The struggle is real.... :)!!
T.R.I.P.L.E.T.S - The.Real.Important.People.Life.Experiences.True Love.Surprises
I get asked all the time, OMG how did you manage with triplets?! I don’t get the crazy reactions as I use to when walking down the street in a triplet stroller, but I still get the funniest looks when people realize the three kids with me are not twins+singleton, but triplets! I always get a double-take - “wait, did you say TRIPLETS”?! Wow!
When the kids were born in 2011, it was not as common at least in my social circle of hearing about someone having triplets or even twins, but now it is becoming a lot more common, so my answer is always - “it’s just one more”! To which I get uh “you’re crazy”.! LOL!
There is no preparing, that’s for sure! You can read all the books in the world and blogs out there, but there is no preparing to be a first time parent. When I was pregnant, I had no idea what was in store at the end of my 32 weeks and it was even harder for me because I didn’t know anyone who had gone through this before (having multiples) that I could turn to get some free, sane advice.
I kept wondering if what I was doing was okay, comparing to other kids, but then I realized that each child is different and their needs are different, so you just have to take things slow and go with the flow! My rule of thumb was always to take a deep breath and attack the situation. No point in getting stressed out because that would just make things worse - do the best that I could do and everything would be fine. Then I’d snap out of it and come back to reality..haha!
The one thing I did realize and kept reminding myself early on was that these 3 little monkeys, they were so innocent. I created them and brought them into this world! As babies, the only way they knew to communicate was by crying! Isn’t it amazing how you and your child can communicate without even speaking - of course the cries can become frustrating at times, but as you start to learn what each individual cry means, the stress turns to joy and the mood becomes lighter. There was no point in getting frustrated or taking out my stress on them because they were just trying to tell me what was up! You know in the beginning all they do is eat, sleep and poop - so it’s gotta be something about that.. LOL!
As I come across many other parents, friends, relatives, I always get the same comments, “I don’t know how you do it!“ Well I don’t know either.. LOL! We are just in survival mode all.the.time! I definitely have a hard time taking compliments because I just believe this is my job, my responsibility, so I am doing what needs to be done! However, I do have to give my husband and I a pat on the back - we tend to be super parents sometimes and that’s nothing to be shy about! I guess a compliment every now and then is not bragging, just stating the obvious! Never underestimate yourself - parenting is hard work!!
I see others that have three, four kids (all different ages) and I personally think it would be harder if I had three kids one after another, but everyone who has three kids says “Oh, after you have the first one, the rest are so easy”! Maybe it’s because you know what to expect, or just that you have an older sibling that can help out with the younger sibling...
I know in the beginning it was super difficult, but to be honest, I don’t even remember all of it. They say your brain shuts out stress to heal from the pain… LOL! But I couldn’t imagine going through the motions over and over again.. mad props to those of you who do!
Stage 1: Bottles-DONE!
Stage 2: Diapers-DONE!
Stage 3: Potty-training DONE….
The one thing that I have always maintained is a good schedule meaning making sure that the triplets were ALWAYS on the same schedule. Everyone eats together, everyone gets their diapers changed together and everyone sleeps at the same time! You hungry, NO - well eat anyway! You need to go potty, NO -well go potty anyway! Not only did this allow us to be able to schedule exactly what was happening when, but it also allowed us not to go crazy wondering if we fed one or forgot to feed one.. LOL!! Keeping the kids on a schedule is a must because it allows you to be able to know what’s going to happen when and it keeps the kids structured. Doing this early on and teaching them this as they grow is a true blessing! It’s like clock-work!
The triplets are now 6.5 years old and this structure has been maintained throughout the years! They eat at the same time (of course now we try and eat together as a family), they take showers at the same time (not together, but do help each other with washing their hair - it’s not too soon to give them responsibilities), they do homework at the same time, they don’t nap anymore, but they have bedtime at the SAME TIME! This has kept us sane through the years and I highly recommend this - keeping a schedule will keep you sane!
I've spoken to parents that have not done this and they are always about to pull their hair out and don't understand why they can't ever tell the tale-tale signs of what their kids want. Things such as, I never know when they are hungry so I feel like we are eating randomly all the time (easy fix - set a meal time routine and provide small snacks in between if required). Why are they not wanting to sleep and it's 10pm (well you let them take a 3 hour nap at 5pm..hmm)!
If you are just starting out and embarking on being a first-time parent, there are a couple pieces of key advice that I tend to tell everyone, even if you are having a singleton - get a NIGHT NANNY while you are on maternity leave, unless of course you want to be like the walking dead ;)!!! Great places to look - care.com, sittercity, urbanmoms and even your local pre-school/montessori.
This is the biggest blessing! Having someone available to watch over your child between the hours of 11pm-6am is a true blessing! If you can manage to get a solid 6-7 hours of sleep, you will be able to function like normal during the daytime and will not feel overwhelmed! Again, in the beginning, all babies do is eat, sleep and poop and by 4 months they should be sleeping through loooong stretches at night! We did this from day one and had the babies sleeping through the night at 4 months! Because of this, I was able to function during the daytime and not feel overwhelmed! I did have amazing help at that time as my mom was staying with us to provide an extra set of helping hands and we had lots of family visiting on the weekends to help out as well, but regardless - we were not exhausted to the point of no return because we were able to get solid sleep at night. Once I went back to work, my night nanny turned into my fulltime daytime nanny!
The other piece of advice that I highly recommend is do not let your baby co-sleep with you! They might be tiny and innocent, but boy o boy do they know how to get you wrapped around their little finger, yes even at 1 month old! Ever wonder why your baby is crying and all of a sudden, you bring them into bed with you and they fall asleep right away with a big smile on their face?! Which brings me back to my previous advice, get a night nanny!
Check out my other post on some of my do’s and don’ts and products that I recommend:
Last piece of advice: Don't keep things in... make sure to vent - even if you think the person on the other end doesn't understand, just let it out!
I’m hoping that writing these blog posts will help others feel like they are not alone and even if you are having one, two, three or more, being a first-time parent can be overwhelming and just turning to someone you know who has been through it, is the best advice!