A mom’s story about how she managed to raise 3 under the age of two
I love babies and children – always have and my plan was 3 children based on the assumption my husband would negotiate me down to 2 – which I could accept. Never did I believe I would be mom to 3 beautiful boys. Here’s what happened…
Finding out you are pregnant with #2 before your 1st baby is one is a little bit of a shock, but hey, who wants a massive age gap anyway right?! My 2nd pregnancy started off so different from my 1st – I wasn’t tired, no morning sickness and I could still drink coffee – warning bells rang in my head so I booked an early scan and told my husband he was coming with me. We never imagined we would be told all was well AND there were TWO and due date was before Max (our first) would be 18months – 3 babies under the age of two in the house – all the nappies, changing, bottles, feeding, crying – it was very over whelming.
In order to prepare as best we could we found out the sex of the babies as soon as possible and were delighted it was 2 boys. I had reasoned internally that the twin dynamic and close age gap would be more troublesome if we had a boy/girl set or 2 girls.
I stock piled 2nd hand clothes for the twins – any size, any age. I kept all Max’s baby clothes. I bought nappies way in advance. And we started renovating what would become Max’s bedroom so the twins could move into the room next to ours. I also spent as much time with Max as I could – knowing his time as an only child with my undivided attention was limited.
I had a textbook perfect twin pregnancy, Max started walking 2 weeks before the twins were born and had just started a morning crèche.
Going to hospital with 1 baby and returning with 2 more is quite extraordinary. We had 3 car seats in the back of our trusted Volvo, 2 bouncy chairs in the lounge and the camp cot set up in the dining room (all open plan thank goodness!)
I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed the twins for a few months – and I felt much like a cow as all I ever seem to do was feed one (or two – I attempted double feeding). I fed on demand as I discovered early on, one twin would always fall asleep if I tried to synchronize them which became frustrating. We gratefully accepted meals from friends who popped in to see us – there was no time for making meals except for Max.
Bath time was difficult in the beginning – I had 2 bath “slings” so the twins could be in at the same time. As soon as they were sitting properly I bought 2 bath seats and all 3 would spend time in the bath together. I also discovered showering the twins sitting in bath seats worked well and Max loved “showering” his brothers – a win all round. Half an hour of fun play for all 3 and they got cleaned.
Time management became difficult – I read Gina Ford and cried because I couldn’t get a routine in place – one of the 3 boys always threw the schedule out somehow. I asked a close friend to help me (she was a Gina Ford guru) and despite her elaborate excel spreadsheet we couldn’t get it to work. So you know what, I let it go. I decided we would go with the flow. It was for a limited time period (I hoped by the time the twins were 2 things would be better) and I stopped trying to put our lives on schedule. It worked.
I found it difficult to go out with the twins for the 1st year – and NEVER on my own – I was petrified if both of them started crying and I could only soothe one that people would walk past me tutting and thinking I was a bad mom. So I stayed home and invited other moms over for play dates. I found they were often the best part of my day. I relaxed and the stress of long after 3 babies would be shared between a group of friends – and let’s face it who doesn’t find twins a wee bit exciting and secretly wish (until you see the reality!) that you had also had twins?!
I missed out on a lot of the small things with both Max and the twins, exactly when they got their first tooth or what their favourite starter food had been – we didn’t have time. Making sure all 3 were healthy and happy was the most important thing. And despite it all – and a severe lack of sleep for years – we did it.
Some tips for moms with multiples or 2 close together:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – sandwiches or a bowl of cereal does count as dinner and you can vacuum later
- Have a shower and get dressed each morning – it will make you feel better about yourself
- Stock you freezer with ready prepared meals in advance
- Use bath time as playtime if possible – a great wind down for you and the kids
- Don’t hibernate – chatting to other moms and seeing how they are coping makes you feel better. You are NOT alone in your worries or woes
- On week-ends get up and get out – we had very early risers and on week-end would be out the house by 8am – useful as anywhere we went was quiet so perfect for the boys to run around
- Use a baby carrier if possible – one of the twins was very “needy” and I took to wearing him in a Baby Bjorn carrier many hours a day – it soothed him and meant I could still do things
- Use nappy changes as one on one time with each baby – it is only a few minutes but it is just you and you baby – treasure the moments and use them
Read more about the journey of the 40-something mom of 3 trolls ready to take on the written world in cyber space talking about my 3 wonderful boys and my-our journey https://threetrolls.wordpress.com