Well, I’ve survived over a year now. A year ago, after a trying pregnancy, I gave birth to my handsome trio. And life hasn’t been the same since. Some of the things that I expected have been true. I’m in a sleep deficit that I will never ever be able to regain. The hubby and I talk in 30 second increments. My daughter is obsessed with being a big sister and has made it her life’s work to be sure the boys grow up tough, if you know what I mean. I had many well-meaning friends and family give me all sorts of tips and advice before we had the boys. Some of them were beyond true, and others were nonsense. Most of it I’ve had to learn along the way myself. After all, the pool of people who can give advice about having triplets because they’ve lived it is pretty small (and, no, having three small kids at different ages is not the same as having triplets). However, there are some aspects to my new life that have surprised me. So today I want to share the 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Having Triplets. They are not in any kind of order of importance. Some are humorous, some are not, and some seem my seem obvious, but they are all absolutely true.
1. Cancel Netflix. Buy batteries. Kid’s toys take batteries. Kid’s toys x3 take even more batteries. All the toys my boys like use batteries. They also each have a crib soother on their cribs that use 4 “c” batteries a piece. The soothers do the trick- but each one requires a battery change about once a month. We spend approximately $10-$15 dollars a month on batteries. I honestly would have never imagined that we would use this many batteries.
2. Growing Boys Have to Eat. Before we had the boys I would think far ahead in the future to the teenage years. I would imagine how much food that I would have to cook on a daily basis. My husband is a youth minister, and we’ve had teens at our house plenty of times, so I know that they can put back some food. Thank goodness I have plenty of time before that happens. Ha. Think again, naive chica. At a year I already have to cook over double of everything. A can of biscuits doesn’t last through two meals anymore. I cook Pioneer Woman quantities of food. Last night we destroyed a rotisserie chicken like it was nothing. And the boys are not prejudiced when it comes to food. Spicy? Bring it on. Mac and Cheese? Their favorite. Green Beans? Yeah, they’ll suck on those in a heartbeat. Phew. Please hang on while I go start on tomorrow’s meals…
3. They are actually individual people. Well, duh, you say. I think I had referred to the boys as “the triplets” so much in my mind that they started to form into one entity. And the some of the advice that I received from other people only enforced this. “Put them on a schedule. Make them all do the same things at the same time.” “They all need to eat the same foods.” “All their names should match. And their clothes!” Well, guess what? They are individuals as much as they are brothers. Someone is going to have a food allergy. Someone is going to be more mobile and burn more calories, therefore eating more and maybe even napping longer. Someone is going to cut teeth before the others and wake up screaming after an hour. Do I wake up the entire crew just because someone decide to take a poo in the middle of naptime? Umm, no way! Treating them as a group is helpful– I won’t deny that. But being so obsessed with it that I can’t be flexible will only drive me crazy.
4. As Tracy Lawrence sings, You Find Out Who Your Friends Are. Having triplets is life changing. Let me say that one more time so you’ll hear me. Having triplets is LIFE CHANGING. My time, energy, and focus is not the same as it was a year and a half ago. It took a few months, but my husband and I discovered our real supporters through this experience. We had”friends” who suddenly disappeared when our availability ended. We have other “friends” who take it personally when we can’t hang out like we did pre-triplet. Having triplets will change your friend base, but my hubby and I count ourselves as lucky. We’ve discovered the people that God has placed in our lives to truly be understanding friends through this life altering experience.
5. The first 9 months are terrible, followed by the most fun you’ve ever had in your life. The first 9 months are still a blur to me. There is little to no time to have that new baby cuddling experience that most mothers crave. The challenges of prematurity are obstacles that take several months to overcome. It seems like there is always “something”. Someone who needs a specialist or an orthotic or a reflux medication. Many of these things are typical newborn issues, but add them times three and even the most organized person in the world becomes severely overwhelmed. Hang in there. Once the babies get acclimated to being on the outside, and all the newborn kinks get worked out, there is nothing more fun than this incredibly unique experience. At a year old, my babies share a bond that I myself don’t understand. But they express it in the most enjoyable ways. They laugh together, babble at one another, and have some sort of communication that doesn’t require words. They make up their own little silly games (Who can push the most little balls through the gate? Or stash the most toys in the banister?), and I wonder how on earth they thought of them. My guys and their sister add the most joy to my life, even on the days that I’m not necessarily in a happy mood.
There is nothing in the world like being a mom of multiples. I thank God every day that He entrusted me with the opportunity to be on this roller coaster of a ride.