The day before I brought my babies home, I was sure that I knew what I was in for. I had done (minimal) research, I had made their food, I had looked at lots of adorable pictures and I was confident that I could take care of them and bond with them well.
Well. None of that was true.
I quickly realized that I had no clue what I was doing. I was constantly running to the computer to do research. I ended up being very paranoid that I was doing everything wrong and that my babies would die because I fed them something they couldn’t have or I accidently left an unsafe toy in their cage.
There were so many times that I asked myself, “WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?” For the first eight months, that was always in the back of my mind. I loved Ink and Dreamer dearly and I didn’t want to give them up, but I was also wondering if I had made a bad decision when I wanted a pet. Fish would have been easier!
After the one year mark came (and with it some vet visits), I realized that I was much more calm and confident when it came to my gliders. I’d survived 365 days with them. More importantly, they had survived it. They were both alive…and thriving. Sure, we had had several bumps in the road and I had made a lot of mistakes that I cringe to think about now. But we’d all survived. I had done so much research and I felt confident that I could spot illness before it got really serious and that I could give the gliders a fulfilling life. Do I still make mistakes? HAHA OF COURSE. That’ll never end. Do I still have research to do and things to learn? Yes, yes, yes. In fact, I recently found a mentor who is going to help me when I introduce Ink and Dreamer to Yiska and Ilona. But I’m not the terrified, panicked person that I was when I first realized I knew nothing about sugar gliders.
I say all of this to hopefully bring you some peace, new owner. I know it feels overwhelming right now. There is so much controversy over what diet to feed, what toys to have and how to play with your babies. You probably feel torn in a million different directions, unsure of who to trust and wondering if you’re doing this right.
Take a breathe.
Now open that bonding pouch and look down at the faces of your gliders. Those big, dark, marble-like eyes blinking in the sunlight. That little pink nose sniffing towards you. Those big ears that twitch and swivel at the slightest sound. Feel the warmth of their tiny bodies against your hands. Feel their rhythmic breathing and the beating of their hearts. Touch their soft fur.
Owning gliders isn’t meant to stress you out. It’s meant to enrich your life, to bring you joy and excitement. It’s okay to be worried and scared. It’s okay to ask for help. I know there’s a lot of judgement out there. But hey, I’m here. And there are lots of good people who will listen and answer your questions and who will help you to figure out how to create the best possible life for your furry friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s why we’re here.
Hold your babies, play with them, give them lots of love. You’ve got this. I believe in you. One day you’ll look back and you’ll see how far you’ve come. You’re going to make it. Just keep on trying.