Microblog Mondays – Things I Wish I’d Known – 3

Microblog_MondaysI wish I had known how lonely motherhood is.

I thought I had joined the ranks of MOTHERHOOD, so I hoped I could be part of a gang.  My friends who had kids, had them years ago and were back at work.  They hadn’t spent years trying to get knocked up. They had nannies,daycare or able-bodied parents.

This is where I would suggest finding a mother’s group to hang out with on occasion.   I lived downtown and the only other person I knew with a young child had her in daycare because she was producing a movie.  I had occasional get togethers with another blogger adoptive mum but she didn’t live anywhere near me.  I felt reluctant to join a so called “mother’s group”.   One day I ran into a young mother who had an infant and she suggested I join the baby activity/music group she led at the community centre.  She was so kind and so encouraging and so I joined.  I learned a lot about infant socialization and I learned about the language of new mothers.  Oddly, maybe it was because of my maturity, I’m not sure, but I also became aware of the so called cult of motherhood; the competitiveness and the little tribes that women formed around their children and how they chose to raise them.  But that’s for another time, another place, I think.

These structured music/play groups are a great place to find about resources in the community that you may not be aware of.  I.e. doctors, nutrition, music classes. You will find yourself spending time with women you might not ordinarily talk to because your children will be fond of one another. Also, they are the only ones who can take the endless talk about child development or poo.Women are great at sharing their knowledge about these type of things.

If there are adoption support/playgroups in your area, I would go to those as well.  Same benefits but with an added layer of understanding about birth parents, home studies and social workers.  It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to really connect with people on that level.   It’s also where you get to share the assinine comments that people make and learn witty comebacks. For example, one man asked my husband, “Where did you get your kid?”.  My husband: “My wife.” Further to that, you can read more stuff on NOT what to say to an adoptive parent here and here.

You may also want to let your friends or co-workers know to not keep referring to your child as your “adopted” child to everybody they know, like it’s a permanent prefix.  Also I get the impression that some people think adoption is something “trendy”  or incredibly altruistic to do, like building a house for the less fortunate.  If you don’t nip it in the bud, they will do it in front of your child when they are old enough to know what they are saying and/or whispering.  Or you will have people you don’t even know telling you horrible anecdotes. Trust me on this one.

I’d like to open the floor to anyone who has questions at this point.

7 thoughts on “Microblog Mondays – Things I Wish I’d Known – 3

  1. Good for your husband! Excellent reply on his part. I hope you’re able to connect with other mothers locally. I well remember (my kidlets are 15 through 20 now) those competitive mothers, and I wish sometimes I could go back in time and tell them, “You were WRONG and my kids turned out just fine.” 😀

  2. I LOVE this series! I am going to repost the lot of them, together, because I think they are so helpful. I have already started addressing the whole “adoptive/adopted baby” thing with my family… okay every once in a while if it’s relevant to the conversation, but for the love of all that’s holy don’t START discussing my future baby as Adopted Baby. Unnecessary. Other people don’t go around referring to their babies or other people’s babies as “your birthed baby” or “your genetic child.” Good point to nip it early so little ears don’t hear the hurtful things and the people around you are soundly educated. I am slightly afraid of the mommy groups, but am looking forward to library events and any adopted support group I can find. I have a group of friends that either have adopted or are in the process, like me, within the past year, and so that kind of breeds a community. I am going to be home for up to 6 months, but then will be sending my little love to day care (although the day care we chose has a community of its own, so that should help with the loneliness and guilt too, right?)

    I think you addressed it a bit in the first post, but how was it transitioning to the life of parenthood after having a lengthy time just the two of you? We are a little worried about this, because we’ve been just us for 9 years now and married for 6, and we sort of got used to all our routines and things that we do together. My husband in particular is worried about the seemingly strange dichotomy of wanting this for so long, but then fearing a resentment for the change in our daily lives. I feel a strange sort of peace with the wait because we know a change is coming but we can live it up (sort of) in the time leading up to that call, whenever it comes, and enjoy our just-the-two-of-us while we wait, before everything changes drastically. Is it as drastic as it seems, especially given the longevity of the journey?

    • Our relationship pretty much took the back burner. We’d been trying to have a family for about 7 of the 14 years we’d been together at that point. We used to go to movies all the time, plays, stay up late and sleep in on the weekends, take spontaneous day trips. My husband once refused to go to a movie with me and leave the baby with a sitter cause he was teething. I went with the sitter instead. Your routines will change, it’s just the way it is. Life is simply different and there are different joys. Yes, it is drastic. But if you change your perspective, it will be an adventure. Just keep communicating and carve out time for one another.

      • Thank you! I think that we will be able to carve out that time, and I know couples who have done it, but it is so interesting to me to see that intense worry and fear on the part of my husband. He has a lot of solitary hobbies (woodworking, taking acoustics classes online) and he was considering going back for his PhD, but he’s taken to saying, “this is my last woodworking project ever” or “well, no time for this soon.” I’m sure there will be times when all of that goes to the back burner, as you said, and it will be wonderful to have this new little person to spend time with…. it IS possible to retain who you were to some extent though, right? Healthy even? 🙂 I think it will definitely all be an adventure, an adventure we’ve been wanting for so long. Maybe it’s just that it still doesn’t feel quite real.

      • Honestly, Jess, unless you have a nanny, or parents nearby, your husband will need to adjust or you will have to pick up the slack. My point is that he needs to be flexible. Tell him not to worry,babies nap a lot. Get him involved in a nurturing way. His own baby sling, his own manly portable change pad, babies love to hear their daddy’s heartbeat when they snuggle.

  3. I love this! I too, think motherhood is kind of a ‘cult’ it’s ridiculous really. But as for the stupid questions, I get those too, and when I’m more blunt and frank about ‘how we got our child’ you should really see the eyebrow raises. It’s fun for me. 😛

  4. Great post! I’ve never joined mom groups because I don’t want to deal with the competition, but we have a transracial adoptive group that’s been a good resource for us. And about labeling a kid adopted? My BIL once asked if X was going to a birthday of one of his adopted friends. Huh? Seriously!

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