OK, so maybe the title of this blog post is a bit sensational. Before you all worry about my state of mind. You could probably replace the word “terrify” with “concern”, because while there is some underlying sense of terror when one considers life with triplets, I do know that I will make it through it all, and I know I will have happy and healthy children at the end of the day.
I am actually quite a resiliant woman, and I know that sense of confidence that God has given me is going to be stretched to the max, but I know it’s going to get me through. That and the help I’m sure I’m going to receive from family, friends, and most importantly, Divine intervention!
OK, so now you know I’m not running around in circles, hands clasping my head screaming, “Why Me?” Here are some of the things that I think about once I’ve woken up at night and gone to the loo (again), or the little things that keep popping into my head that I am trying to be prepared for. I’m actually grateful so many things are running through my head. Forewarned can be forearmed. I know once I am in the midst of a situation, things won’t always go as planned, but at least I can be somewhat mentally ready.
1. Having 5 Children 5 and Under.
In fact, that doesn’t sound half as scary as the four children that I will have under 2 when the triplets arrive. People have been saying to me, “At least you aren’t a first time Mum, that will make it easier.” Um, Yes and No. For sure, I will have more of an idea what babies do, and what I can do for them. Having the steep first time parent learning curve eliminated will make life easier. Having said that, I know what babies do when you have them one at a time. There will still be a “Having 3 at one time” learning curve. Also, I still have 2 other children that need lots of care, attention and nuturing – not to mention the fact that they still need to be fed, played with, bathed, behavioural issues dealt with, potty trained, begin school (January), etc. etc.
Already it makes the pregnancy much more difficult. Unlike triplet mother’s who are doing it for the first time, I don’t always have the luxury of sitting down when I’m tired. There are other bodies that need me, so my aching body needs to keep going. I’m fortunate to have great family support, so I do get to rest, however as much as people help out, kids just need their Mummy’s sometimes, especially when they are also going through huge life changing situations. This new family configurement is obviously effecting each one of our lives – BIG TIME!
2. Lack of Sleep
I can well remember that haze of sleep deprivation that one has to exist through during those busy newborn months with all the nightime feeds and interruptions. Multiplied by three, I can only imagine the stupor I will be living in. And unlike with my first child, finding moments during the day to snatch a little cat nap while the baby sleeps, is going to be a challenge.
Thoughts also for the poor Accountant, who is going to have to be on call even more than before. He needs to work the next day too. (Not that I won’t be working, but I don’t need to present myself as competent as he will…)
I’m reading all sorts of books at the moment of how to establish routines so the babies might be able to get into a pattern of feeding and sleeping at the same time. I know that babies often don’t always comply with the advice that is issued in books though. As with all these things, I can only arm myself with the information. Discovery of how it is going to work in our household will not occur until once the babies arrive.
I have admitted regularly to my status of total non-domestic goddess. So, obviously if I’m not very good at it with two kids, what is my house going to look like once there are five residing here?
Now, this is one area that lots of people have offered to help me with. And believe you me, I am completely grateful for these offers and I will be accepting them! I also know that this can’t last forever. At some point in time I’m going to have to deal with being responsible for home maintenance all by myself. And this is where ‘concern’ probably doesn’t adqueately express my emotions at the thought, then I really can use the word, “terrified”!
If you are a full blown “Messy” such as myself, you will know that keeping the place clean, can sometimes be the easy bit. It’s really not to hard to clean the toilet, vacuum the floors and clean the bathroom. (Well, it will be hard to do that with three newborns…) It’s all the clutter that I accumulate, by not putting things away, that makes my house the complete disaster zone. Of course, the obvious answer is “Just put it away”, and to the “Cleanie”, it sounds so simple. Not so for the Messy. Where do I put it away? How do I have the time to put it away? I’m about to use it again. I can’t seem to find time to tidy all the previous mess in order to start. Yes, they are excuses, and these are all things that I can work on. But believe me, these are things that I’ve been working on my whole adult life, in fact, remembering my childhood bedroom, I’ve been trying to improve in this area my whole life. When you have the tidy component of your brain missing, this is one of life’s biggest challenges.
4. Lack of Privacy
Like I’ve said, we have lots of offers for help. I am so incredibly grateful for this and I intend to accept these offers with extreme gratitude.
I know that this is likely to get overwhelming at times. For starters, refer to point above. My messiness is going to be completely exposed. I do have a secret hope that this might be enough to inspire a reformation in my life. However, in the meantime, it’s going to be embarrasing. It’s already been embarrasing, I’ve had people in my house recently and it’s always a mess. You know you are losing your dignity when your book club is about to arrive in half an hour and you choose having a quick little sleep rather than that desperate last minute tidy up.
People tell me I shouldn’t be embarrassed about this. As grateful as I am that people are not being judgemental about me, it is still embarrassing. I know the standard I would like to maintain, and my houses appearance is nothing like that. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think it’s all bad that I am embarrassed. This is an area that does need to improve, and it’s not going to if I become complacent.
Having been a stay at home Mum for over 5 years now, some of my favourite days are the stay at home days, where we don’t go to any groups, visit anyone, or venture outside our own property. If we all want to blob around in our PJ’s, we do. For some Mum’s who are extroverted, this drives them crazy. However, I can exist quite happily talking to only children until my hubby comes home.
Luckily for me, I’m not a complete introvert, I actually scored right in the middle of introvert/extrovert when I had my Myers/Briggs profile done. So, at least I’ll generally be happy enough to see people. The Accountant is an extreme extrovert, so this won’t worry him too much either. It could be much worse if we were highly introverted.
5. Being Stuck At Home
OK, so I know this seems to contradict the last heading, but life often is a contradiction.
As much as I like to stay at home, I also like to get out and about. (Remember, I’m equal parts introvert/extrovert). Getting out and about is just not going to be the same once the triplets arrive. In fact getting out is pretty close to ending as it is, since I get tired after about an hour of shopping. It’s a tragedy.
Shopping, is a good example number one. I love it. My boys are generally well behaved in the shops, (I alway
s schedule visits to the toy departments, this will generally keep them happy), so this is something we do at least once a fortnight. It’s easy to have one child in the pram and one child holding your hand or the pram. It’s very orderly. Even by the time I do venture to the shops, it’s going to be different. For starters, I won’t have the same anonymity that I have now. A triplet stroller is kind of bound to get some attention. And the likelihood of three bodies being content, even in the toy aisles? I don’t have high hopes.
Even general trips to playgroups or the library are going to require a lot more time, preparation and organisation. Taking all my children to other people’s houses will also mean keeping an eye on three little bodies creating havoc (particularly when toddlers).
Going to cafe’s or restaturants? This is another favourite activity of mine. I shudder to think of the implications, once they are walking. And can you imagine us vacating a table that has had three babies feeding at it? Oh the mess!
The town we live in is called the Garden City. We have a multitude of beautiful parks, gardens and wonderful playgrounds. My kids love it when I take them to play. Sadly, this will need be so spontaneous anymore as Toowoomba does not have any playgrounds that are fenced. (Sore point, the multiple birth association has been trying to rectify this for years, but the request is constantly refused.) There’s no way I’ll be able to take the children to play without re-inforcements.
So, I think this is the start of the list. We might leave this as a ‘to be continued’. Mainly I’ve touched on how it’s effecting my life. I also have several concerns on the day to day “how to’s” of life with triplets.
So, any words of advice for me? Remember, I know I’m going to make it, I’ll be fine in the end, but any practical words of wisdom will be filed away for future use. I’m especially interested in anything you multiple Mum peeps have to say. I don’t often hear from you, but I know you must be out there! I’m sure you have a wealth of wisdom you can share!