When my triplets were newborns, I had a perinatal professional say to me that “in an ideal world, you would have one person for each baby” when I was asking for help figuring out how to manage the day to day details of caring for three babies. I remember bursting out laughing because yes, technically she was right. In an ideal world I would have three extra people to help care for each baby twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. And I would have a personal chef, a massage therapist on call, and a team of gnomes that would do all my laundry.
I was lucky to have wonderfully supportive family and friends but the reality of our situation was that for the majority of the time, I was solo with three infants. This was real life and all I wanted was someone to help me navigate that. Honestly, I think that ideal world B.S. was just about the most useless thing I’ve heard since getting pregnant and having kids.
Obviously in an ideal world you’d have a whole team catering to your and your babies' every need, but no one lives in an ideal world. Maybe your partner works long hours to support your new family, maybe your extended family lives on the other side of the country, maybe you’re a single parent, maybe you’ve got tons of family and friends that are willing to help but your babies have specific challenges that make it difficult for just anyone to jump in. Maybe you and your babies are struggling with breastfeeding, maybe you’re at a loss on how to figure out the logistics of getting your older kids to school on time with wailing newborns in tow, maybe you’ve been having a tough time emotionally since your babies’ birth but you’re not really sure who to talk to about it. All of these things happen in this non-ideal world that we live in.
So shouldn’t whatever support you have recognize that and help you to survive and thrive in the world you’re in now, rather than some imaginary one?
Prenatal and postpartum support should be tailored to each family’s unique situation. It should help you discover the best routines and habits to incorporate into your existing world. It should make you feel like some semblance of normal is attainable, even though with two, three or more babies “normal” will be a little different from here on out. It should meet you where you are, no matter how non-ideal that situation may be.
Pregnancy and postpartum support should be firmly rooted in real life.
This incredible, scary, messy, amazing real life.
So don’t waste time, energy, and resources on wishing for magical unicorns that deliver coffee and change diapers. Although, Universe, if there is such a thing as magical unicorn coffee delivery, please sign me up!