Right before I got pregnant four of my very close friends moved out of state. All to different states. They were all people I hung out with regularly and none of them have children at this point, and were not planning to when I got pregnant.
Then I had the worst pregnancy ever and puked every day literally for nine months. So not much socializing then. It was incredibly isolating actually. I had previously been spending at least weekly visits with my niece and sister and sister-in-law and hanging out with friends and then bam. Puking. Never could leave the house and just trying to survive my work days.
Then I had twins. Bam. Trust me no one lines up to offer to take care of twins. As infants and as toddlers we’ve heard crickets when looking around for any extra help. Which is fine in some ways because I don’t regret any time I spend with my sons. And when we’ve really been in a jam my family has definitely pulled through for us.
I worked very hard to grow them. I never want to feel any resentment toward them. And I don’t. I just feel sort of a loss.
The loss of a social life. And also the loss of regular visits and time with my niece and extended family. Because the boys are a lot. They are energetic, they are stubborn, and they have no fear. All very bad combinations. Three and a half year old twin boys. Yup it is as bad as it sounds.
Through the first year I rarely made it out, and therefore grew apart and lost more friends. It was like I lost my inner circle and my outer circle all in a few short years.
Then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and made myself reach out to people I lost touch with. I reconnected with some girls I went to high school with, now mom’s of kids the boys age. We have get-togethers with a ton of kids and three or four moms every 3 months or so. It’s great!
My best friend who moved to Florida has actually been back a shocking number of times so far, and makes it a point to stop in and stay with us every time. So I think I’ve actually seen her more this year with her living in Florida than when she lived thirty minutes away.
I connected with other therapists as I forayed deeper into mental health. I now have a couple nurse practitioners I’m close with and their spouses and kids. I also am so lucky to have kept a friendship going over time with a therapist I trained with many years ago. We grew apart and saw each other maybe once or twice a year and then slowly reconnected; now she was the one I called when my dad died and I asked her to watch my kids with her partner. And they did. For roughly eight hours. God bless them.
My business partner used to be my boss, and she and I have always been close but grew closer in the last couple years in starting a business and then after the deaths of our Dad’s within three weeks of one another.
I do have supportive family around also (and far away supportive family as well).
But socially it’s been the hardest adjustment for me. I’ve never had a ton of friends but I’ve always had people I can hang out with and just relax and have fun with. It’s like with the boy’s birth I shed some really good friends, gained some great new ones, and reconnected with others. But it took time and there were months at the beginning when it was just me, the boys, and my wife. And the cats.
I feel much less lonely now than I did three years ago, and more connected. I have learned that I have to put myself out there. I can’t just expect good friends to drop on my doorstep. I also have to reset my expectations for friends with kids versus without kids.
My friends with kids don’t blink an eye at having a bunch of kids and adults get together. My friends without kids I always give the option of just seeing me alone without the boys or seeing us all together.
I try and be respectful of others expectations. But it’s hard. It’s hard to be a good friend a good mom and a good wife and all that other stuff. Having twins has been the most wild adventure of my life. But also the most isolating. The most challenging.
While deeply rewarding and marveling still sometimes that there’s TWO of them…I sometimes think how much I truly sacrificed for them. It’s a lot.
I wouldn’t trade them for a hundred friends. But there have been moments I’ve wished for at least a couple more.
My point to this long rambling is not to make anyone feel sorry for me, because please don’t. I’m loved by my friends and family and most importantly by my boys. My point is to bring awareness to the fact that new moms; especially of twins and multiples are still the same people they were before just with some extra babies floating around. In my case three year old monsters.
We still want to be called and texted and messaged. We still want invites. We still think of you and all our wonderful pre-kid times together often. We hope to connect with new friends and stay connected with old friends. Don’t leave us alone during these first few years of mommy-hood. We are being pulled in tons of emotional and physical directions.
What was striking to me was that more people reached out to me when my dad died then when my sons were born. More people offered to “help out” when my dad died then when my sons were born. I needed the support more three years ago. I don’t need help now. I need you to just show up and either take me out for a drink or tell me you’ll watch my boys for an hour so my wife and I can go have a drink together. Alone. Maybe we will just have sex in the car. Or a nap.
Either way an hour alone together would be magical. Either way just show up. Or call or text. I’m still here and so is every other new mom. Don’t forget them.
p.s. Thank-you to every one who has done this! You know who you are and I could not live my life without the support of everyone who shows up!
Also did a family photo shoot in our bathing suits. Yes. Next blog post.