R U OK?Day is 10 September 2020. It is a national day of action to remind Australians that every day is the day to ask “Are you OK?”, if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs.
The message for R U OK?Day 2020 is “There’s more to say after R U OK?”. In what has been an incredibly challenging year on so many unprecedented levels, this year’s R U OK?Day will help Australians to reach out to their friends and loved ones and guide them through how they can start a conversation that could change, or save, a life.
If you know a multiple birth family, we encourage you to take a minute to ask them, R U OK? Multiple births are truly amazing, but they can also bring significant levels of stress and physical, emotional and financial turmoil. Parenting can be a tough gig, but juggling the responsibilities of a multiple birth can be, quite frankly, overwhelming. A multiple birth starts out as a high-risk pregnancy. The challenges from then on are not necessarily high risk, but they are still high stakes. There’s always more than one to worry about and the parents of multiples that you see are juggling that every minute, of every day.
Have a think about some of the things that might be running through the mind of a multiple birth parent:
- How will I afford this? How can I afford more than one baby?! How can I afford all the extra equipment?
- They were born so early. They needed so much help. I couldn’t even hold them when they were born, it broke my heart. How can I ever make up for that?
- Everyone says I need to breastfeed. How can I feed them at the same time? Why isn’t this working? Should I express? How will I find the time to express, they need so much attention. I’m so tired, I can’t think straight. I cry all the time.
- I can’t get out of the house. It’s too hard. There’s no point in me trying to keep friendships, I can’t even get out of the house to see them. My friends don’t understand.
- My partner is struggling so badly at the moment. I don’t know how to help. I’m hurting too, but they have so much to deal with.
- I can’t function at work properly, I’m so tired. I’m so scared I’m going to make a mistake, but I don’t know how to ask for help. What happens if I get fired because I’m not performing well enough? I love my kids, but I need some sleep.
- Am I giving enough attention to each of them? How do they know I love them equally?
- I can’t go to that event. I have 2 (or 3 or more!) toddlers, it is physically impossible for me to look after them in public by myself, I’m so scared they will run away and there’s only one of me to chase them. No one understands how stressful this is.
- What’s the best way to help them through school, do we put them in the same class? What if one is doing better than the other? They keep getting compared?
- How do I afford to keep doing all their favourite activities – they like different things, I can’t afford this. How else can I help them?
- Their development is behind. We have so many appointments we’re just trying to keep on top of, to make sure they don’t get left behind. They are starting to realise they are different, how do I help them through this?
- How do I encourage them to develop their own identity as they get older? I want them to be friends? Why don’t they like each other? Is it something I’ve done?
- Why is this SO HARD?
Makes you think, right?
So what can you do to help?
Start the conversation. Listen with an open mind. Encourage action. Check in.
R U OK? Day has some amazing resources available to help you start the conversation with your loved one, and to go beyond asking R U OK? Because, after all, there’s more to say after R U OK?
Check out their website for some great tips, and let’s start talking.
BMBAN || R U OK? Day 2020