I think being a new mom is lonely no matter what the circumstances. You can go days with out talking to another adult, wearing anything but sweats or pajamas, or getting out of the house. Your kids drain any energy or sanity that you might be clinging too. I think this is mostly normal. It is a huge adjustment period, even if you couldn’t wait for your child! Whether your child is your first, second or fifth, birth or adopted, there is still an adjustment period and it is hard.
I grew up in a very busy and loud home. As the oldest of four chaotic kids, there was always some one to hang out with or talk to. Our door was always open too. We were quirky, authentic, flawed and a whole lot of fun. Friends would come over just to watch TV or even hang out with my mom if us kids weren’t home. I don’t miss the chaos but I do wish there were more people around to talk to. I have Jon right now but we have very different communication styles and like our space from each other some times 🙂 Having him home is an adjustment in itself. Thankfully, we’ve been too busy to really get at each other much!
It is hard to find a remedy for Mommy-loneliness right now. I think it is just a stage in my life. Once my kids are all in school I can get a regular job again! Most of my friends are either child less, so don’t have patience to hang out with a mom and two rambunctious kids, or they are in the same situation as me. They have to be home for nap times, cleaning and cooking the same as me. They don’t get out much, just the same as me 🙂
I think I’m feeling extra alone because of the different parenting situation I’m in. At least, I’m feeling like I’m in a different situation. Maybe all new moms feel like that. We are still figuring out how to parent Sofie properly. She needs a lot of parenting right now. I find myself questioning which parenting issues are just adoption issues, which are normal 3 year old issues and what are down syndrome issues.
As much experience as Jon and I have with people with different abilities, we don’t really know anyone or have a lot of experience with kids. We have friends who have adopted babies (typical and different abilities) and older kids but know no one with toddlers. I don’t get nearly as much advice from strangers or even family as I did, or even still do, with Livi. I’m mostly thankful for random people not butting in, but right now the silence is just echoing to me how unique our family is. No one knows what advice to give or what to say when I complain about Sofie hitting and pulling hair CONSTANTLY! Or the fact that she still rarely naps, but when she doesn’t nap she is ridiculous from 3pm until bed time.
In my annoyed, easily disappointed state of mind, I get mad that our family is so unique. We shouldn’t be. Why don’t more people choose adoption? Why are people so scared of people with different abilities and quirks? Why, when strangers find out I have adopted a child with DS, feel the need to either question why I would choose to do that and some how get some understanding or clarity from the fact that I have a sister with DS or tell me some awkward anecdote about how they know some one with DS and would love to adopt “one” because of how cute and simple they are? One lady even told me she thought DS people would be easier to parent because they are easily manipulated. Wow. This lady was cutting my hair at the time and I was really at a loss for words. Having a sister with DS does NOT explain why we have adopted Sofie and please DO NOT talk about my kid like she is a puppy you want to take home.
Haha… this blog post did not turn out like I thought it would 🙂 It sounds like I’m judging anyone for getting pregnant. I’m not. Pregnancy and birth are some of the most amazing things I have ever experienced but people get so attached to their ideals and what they think the perfect life should look like. People want what they want and they don’t want to mess with anything by adding unknowns to the mix. News flash: There are a lot more unknowns with pregnancy than with adoption! My birth child is no more or less a miracle and no more or less my child than my adopted child is.
Anyways, I am going to go to a signing playgroup for families with kids with DS 0-5 years old next month. I’m really excited and I really hope I can connect with some other families with toddlers with DS. I think it will be good for all of us! I’m also going to make a real effort to go to the DS parent group once a month. I only went once when we were just starting the adoption process and haven’t been since. Basically I just need to get out of the house and have some adult conversations!
I leave you with some amazing family photos that my friend took for us a few weeks ago! Enjoy…