One of the common things people say to me these days are “I don’t know how you cope.”, “How on earth do you look after three babies?” or “I could never do that.” I thought I would briefly answer this question, in case you too have been wondering.
Firstly, if you think that you could never look after three babies, I think given the opportunity, you would find that you would. Sure it’s hard, but I think anyone with the capacity to love your own children would grit their teeth and get on with the job. Sure, some people might be able to cope better than others according to the level of your emotional resilience. But in the end, I think most people would end up growing three healthy children into adulthood.
So when people say that they ‘never would be able to do this’ to me, I always feel a tad embarrassed, because there is nothing particular special about me. I’m just doing the best I can with the hand I have been dealt. I also think to myself, I’m sure you could do it…
The second reason why I feel embarrassed is, because I cheat. I really find it incredibly hard doing it by myself, so I don’t! I have made sure that there is pretty well always a 2nd adult in the house most of the time – 24/7. It may be someone we have hired or a volunteer, or my husband. But someone is normally ready to help when I’m stuck feeding one baby and the other two are crying.
I know some triplet Mum’s do it without assistance, and they are amazing. Like I said above, if you are in a situation you will cope. I would survive if I had to do without assistance, but I know I would be feeling a lot more stressed than I currently am. There would also be a lot more crying and misery abounding, for myself and kids! And although our house may often look like a shambles, it’s still running fairly efficiently. If I didn’t have help, it would be in meltdown because I would be in complete survival mode. I’m glad that I don’t need to do it alone.
We have a Nanny who helps out under the In Home Care Scheme. I am so grateful that living in Australia we have access to In Home Care. (If you are an Aussie multiple Mum, you really should check it out. In a nutshell, you are able to claim childcare rebates and benefits for having a Carer in your home if you have three or more children not in school.) It has meant that we are able pay for someone who really helps alleviate the burdens that result living in a household with triplets and two other children. We have a little gem helping us out right now. (Different person to the lady I had previously mentioned that had originally filled the position.) All the five children absolutely adore Miss Rachael, and I have to say that this makes The Accountant and I are pretty smitten as well.
We’ve also made the decision to have a 2nd paid person helping in the home, especially while things are so busy. Mrs. T is also a gift from God and is helping the household run more smoothly.
In addition to this I have several selfless ladies who come in and help with the babies and the running of our household. To them I have overflowing gratitude and endless amounts of appreciation. Firstly there is my family. My mother is a consistent fixture in our family these days. (It’s kind of nice seeing her so often!) She comes around either early morning or afternoon and helps out before or after our helpers are around. She also takes T-Star for a few hours on a Thursday to have some Grandma time. The little tyke looks forward to this – big time, and just quietly, I think the triplets don’t mind a bit of breathing space where their big bro isn’t rolling over them or waking them up from comfortable naps.
My youngest sister and my brother (when he’s in town) often come around and just help out looking after the children. It’s so handy having another pair of hands, especially at the end of the day during twilight of ‘the crazy hours’. (From about 4:00 until the kids go to bed.) And the best bit of this is the babies are also bonding with their Aunties and Uncle. My other sister helps by letting the two big boys come over for regular playdates with their 5 cousins. Sometimes the big boys just need to get out of the house and be somewhere where everything doesn’t revolve around three tiny persons.
Then there are my angels. I have a lady who comes on Monday for a few hours and whips around my house cleaning it. Another lady comes for most of Wednesday and helps with the bubs and irons. I’ll tell you the truth. My ironing pile has never looked so healthy since I’ve had triplets, and the ironing quality is even an improvement on my efforts. (Oh and for those who don’t iron. I just can’t do that entirely.. But that is for a whole new post.) And then on Thursday morning I have another lady who cuddles babies, giving me the opportunity to feed, play with T-Star, shower, or do whatever I need to. (Crazy Sister also used to be a Thursday cuddling angel, until I had a helper reschedule. She was rather brilliant at getting all mooshy over babies.)
I’ll always be appreciative of the selflessness of these grandmothers (and even one lady is a great-grandmother!) who give up their time to help our family.
And I haven’t even touched on the myriads of people who have dropped in to help or say hello for a little bit. Or all the ladies who have made life easier by cooking us meals.
People sometimes are surprised that I “am still smiling” (I find the whole statement a bit odd, but there you go), but it’s easy when there are so many helping share the burden.
There’s so much more I could say, trying to phrase “Thank You” and “I’m Grateful” in a million different ways, but I hope you’ve got my point. Plus, it’s taken me two weeks to write this much, so if I wish to ever publish this post. I think I’ll stop here.