The Online Mother of Multiples Club

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Categories Community, Friendships with Other Multiples, HDYDI Blog, MoM Groups, Mommy Issues, Time Management, WorkingTags , , , , , ,

I didn’t seek out mother of multiples clubs when I was pregnant. It never even occurred to me that such a thing existed. However, I had a fortuitous run-in at my daughters’ very first pediatric visit, the day after J was released from the NICU, 22 days old. I was stopped on the way to the examination room by a mother, Laura, who told me that she had twin boys, and would I be interested in joining her mothers of multiples club? It was a small one, limited to the suburb in which we lived. There were fewer than 20 moms in the group. I gave her my contact information, and found myself attending the next meeting.

These women were incredibly nice. One of them, Kara, was tandem nursing her one-year-olds. Formula had never touched their lips. She was an inspiration to me throughout my efforts to breastfeed my girls.

The problem, though, was that I was the only woman in the group with a full-time job. The group’s activities that included kids were all held during the day, on weekdays. They didn’t have any weekend activities; they wanted to spend that time together as a family with their husbands. The monthly weekday evening meetings were child-free. They were intended to be a chance for a bunch of girlfriends to leave their kids with their husbands and get a night off. That worked for me for a couple of months, but then my husband deployed to Iraq when our babies were 5 months old.

I couldn’t quite see my way to hiring a babysitter when I was already away from my daughters 11 hours every day. I maintained friendships with individual members of the group by email. I volunteered to manage the membership records. I couldn’t really attend any events, though.

My “real” participation was limited to the annual family-inclusive potluck picnic. I was the only one at the picnic without a husband. (Since then, three of us have gotten divorced and one has remarried.) It was a great time, though. When I got up from my hotdog to give my girls their bottles, their having rejected the breast months earlier, Kara asked me to hand her a baby. We each fed a child with one hand, feeding ourselves with the other, while she watched her three kids run in the grass. I was dumbfounded. With the exception of my dear friends Sara, whose son was 14 days younger than mine and whose husband had deployed with with mine, and Kaylan, who was living with us, my friends were generally terrified by my children. I hardly knew what to do with this cool, collected and well-coiffed mother who was clearly comfortable handling an undersize baby or two.

I tried reaching out to the much larger mothers of multiples group that served the greater Austin area, but never received a response to my queries. I looked at their meeting schedule, and sure enough, kid-friendly activities were during work hours. Kids weren’t welcome at after-hours events. I was a little miffed, but figured that I had a pretty great support network through work, plus the gifts of Sara and Kaylan.

This whole time, I’d been blogging, trying to provide a place for our relatives around the world, including Daddy in Iraq, to keep up with what M and J were up to. There were lots of photos and here’s-what-we-did-today posts. One day, I clicked a link in a moms’ forum to The Busy Dad Blog. I don’t even remember what post it was, but it had me in stitches and I left a comment. On a whim, I linked my name to my little family-and-friends mommy blog.

Community surrounds usFrom that teeny little comment, people–complete strangers–started visiting my dinky little blog. People starting commenting. I clicked to their sites. I discovered this entire culture of mommy blogging. (Sorry, Jim, but I consider you a mommy blogger; if there were more daddy bloggers like you around, I’d probably graduate to “parent blogger,” but there you have it.) Before long, I was finding my parenting deeply impacted and greatly improved by the observations and recommendations of the likes of LauraC, Goddess in Progress, and Momo Fali. LauraC’s extraordinary boys, Nate and Alex, are only 6 days younger than my daughters, she works full-time, and her husband travels for work. There’s no one else I’d come across who seemed to understand my day-to-day reality better.

Tracey is reading to our two sets of twins.I discovered LauraC and Goddess in Progress right here at How Do You Do It? I’ve since met HDYDI’s LauraC and Reanbean in real life. Goddess and I can somehow never quite make it to the same place at the same time, although we’ve tried. I’ve become close friends with Tracey, also a former blogger at HDYDI. Our families have even spent Christmas together, although her boys can no more tell my girls apart than my girls can distinguish them. It doesn’t seem to negatively impact their play.

My virtual mothers of multiples club online has helped me get through potty training, the Terrible (Horrible Awful Monstrous) Threes, deployment after deployment, school decisions and, most recently, divorce. It’s hard to explain to people who don’t experience online relationships like these how much these people, most of whom I will never meet face-to-face, mean to me. I’ll never be able to repay what I owe them.

Traditional mother of multiples clubs haven’t quite worked out for me, but the blogosphere? That’s my club. Online parenting support has been priceless. My daughters are better off for the community of thoughtful parents who’ve shaped how they’re raised.

Thanks to MarisaB and RebeccaD for kicking off this conversation.

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

7 thoughts on “The Online Mother of Multiples Club”

  1. I feel such an intense connection to the mamas — mostly fellow MoMs — in my online world. That’s so hard to begin to explain to someone who isn’t a part of such a community…but some days I owe my sanity to knowing there are other mamas who are traveling a very similar path to mine. As you said, I’ve gotten through some really major transitions — namely potty training! — with support from some amazing mothers around the globe.

    When our girls were born, I literally didn’t know another mother of twins. Having moved around with my job, my friends in our city were all “work” friends…true friends, for sure, but ones whose lives became very different from mine when I quit my job to be home with the girls. Those first few months were, at times, so incredibly lonely.

    At the time, I wasn’t even on Facebook, much less blogging, so even my online communication was very limited.

    When the girls were 6 or 8 months old, I reconnected with one of the moms I’d met in our prenatal classes, whose B/G twins were born one week before mine. We partnered to start a Mothers of Multiples group in our town.

    I’m so very thankful for some of the friends I’ve made there…a couple of whom I count among my very best friends now…but I have to wonder, If I’d had the blogosphere when the girls were tiny, would I have seen the need to start the IRL group? Of course I’m very glad I did…but that just speaks — in my mind — to how important my online community is.

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I toyed with the idea of trying to bring a MoM club to El Paso. Perhaps I would have, had we lived there longer. I don’t know how I would have made it through, though, without the friends who I know as their blog and Twitter handles.

  2. It’s the mom blogging community that has been such a source for friendship and support for me during my 6 awesome years blogging, you included, so that label is an honor. I will wear it proudly! haha

  3. I spent the better part of my pregnancy poring over twin mommy blogs and finding hope, laughter, and great tips – especially LauraC and other bloggers I found through HDYDI! This blog is what encouraged me to seek out a multiples club in my area. I still follow many twin mom blogs and love reading about the next stages that I have to look forward to – and the amazing moms that write about them.

  4. YOU have been an inspiration to me. Thank you for that. I do wonder HOW YOU DO IT! And, you’ve provided me laughter more times than I can count. I’m so glad we found each other (even though it pains me to give Jim credit). (Kidding!)

  5. Sadia, I couldn’t agree more! I actually joined the MMOTA chapter I did because I was able to figure out that Goddess belonged. :) One of my biggest worries about our move to Texas is having working mom friends and not just SAHM friends. I’m going to go to a bunch of professional networking events to see if I can find any but also going to the local twin mom club too for weekend playdates.

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