Sure, there’s plenty of support groups out there for parents. First time parents. Parents of children with special needs. Parents of twins. Parents who home school. (Good God, why? I’m already in countdown mode for school year ’10.) But what about the parents of those who had three children in 36 months or less?
Aside from achieving that feat, let's take a quick look and see if any of this sounds familiar to you:
When at the supermarket (or any shop) do you immediately become the entertainment and/or huge annoyance for other patrons?
Is going to church no longer within the realm of possibility because someone either poos, pukes, screams or cries inconsolably during the homily (after you’ve already made a ruckus when you arrived late)?
Is going out to eat at a restaurant a stressful chore that ends in you asking for a takeaway bag and the check moments after you’ve placed your order and only after you’ve sprayed the entire establishment with Cheerios and ingratiated yourself to all waitstaff?
Does trying to get out of the house in the morning always take 45 minutes longer than you thought it would, since you’re still operating under the delusion that your ‘getting ready time’ is the same as when you were single?
Is planning a family holiday a logistical nightmare that makes, say, mobilising infantry seem not-that-daunting-a task?
And then there's the telling other people. When you drop the shell there are varied reactions*. Eyes usually widen, often followed by a look of suspicion, as if your very sanity is now being reconsidered. Some just shake their head. Some are too flabbergasted for words. I even had one lady swoon, but that could’ve just been from a bad clam. We were on Cape Cod.
Then follows the usual question: ‘On purpose?!’
Yes, on purpose. There were many (most of which I think I've forgotten, but I won't get into the 'Things I've forgotten list') reasons, that, at the time, made it sound like a good idea. But it was a combination of bravery and foolishness landed me here, probably you too. (Perhaps for you it was failed contraception. Or extra eggs one month.) But be proud: you are a part of a fringe group within the parenting community. And there are others of us.
Stay tuned for a weekly update...
*For anyone over sixty, it wasn’t quite so rare (reasons being obvious). And not nearly as daunting, since you could buy everything you needed at the corner shop and you had a man who brought milk and bread. To your front door. And you weren’t made to feel guilty if your kids weren’t in at least six activities a piece by age 2.9 years.