I never could figure out what category to put our family in to be able to assess if I was “doing it right.” Should we go in the higher order multiples group (fancy term for triplets or more) or a regular, 4 children family, or the identical (“freak of nature”) and therefore, not assessable category? I mean, I had to find that template or else all would be a loss.
As I knew it, everything I undertook, had to have a measurable outcome and THEN I would know if I was doing a good job or not. This uncharted territory gave me hives. Who had a 20 month old, natural identical boys and 3 preemies 10 weeks early on all kinds of monitors? I didn’t know WHAT I was doing and therefore did what came oh so naturally but self-destructive….I compared myself to others. That easy road was open, wide and welcoming, at first. It seemed harmless enough until I realized I wasn’t fitting into “the norm” that others seemed to be. No one could relate. Nobody at the Multiples Group, nobody at preschool, and no one anywhere as far as I could find. I searched everywhere. I read books. I attended workshops by renowned authors, so called “parenting experts.” I asked all the doctors, nurses, and clergy I could about everything. I wrote letters to authors whose books were about parenting (one author was unfortunately deceased and couldn’t answer my maniacal questions). I was a control freak freaking out that I didn’t know how to handle all of it. I had no idea I was adding insult to injury and trying to complete the impossible. I was like a barefooted hiker trying to summit a mountain in -5 degrees with no experience or supplies. It hadn’t dawned on me yet that maybe NOT knowing was good for me, that maybe my fear of failure and lack of understanding would actually draw me closer to my Creator. I had no idea that normal doesn’t even exist! I later joined a Bible Study and heard the saying that “Normal Is Just A Setting On a Dryer.” That has been my motto ever since. There. Is. No. Normal. We are all just here for a while working out this experience called life and trying to make the best of it. That’s all.