If you have triplets, especially young triplets, one of the most common sentiments you may hear is, “How do you manage?” Honestly, it’s a great question. It’s a question that you may ask yourself at times when it all seems like too much.
Having triplets is an incredible, unique experience that not many people will ever have. It takes an enormous amount of time, energy and resources, not to mention all the collaboration, planning, and love. And it’s not just about giving these things to your children, it’s also about allocating some of that for yourself.
If you don’t give to yourself, you won’t be able to give to your children.
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “If mama isn’t happy, nobody can be happy”. Mothers are often the center or glue of the family unit holding everyone together. This is not to say that they are more important than fathers or other caregivers, but the maternal unit is the literal life source from which the family grows.
Fathers need support too. Fathers of triplets may worry about how their lack of sleep contributes to their job performance or if the family’s income is secure enough.
The good news is that you absolutely can learn some ways to take care of yourself as the parent of triplets so that you can cope with the heavy demands placed on you every day.
It is crucial for you to take care of your body, especially if you are a breastfeeding mother. Do not skip meals or do chores through every nap just to get one more thing done. Your energy is finite and must be replenished with adequate sleep and nutrition.
In fact, you may want to spend extra attention to the foods you are eating to make sure they are well balanced and from quality sources to ensure that you are fueling your body well. Drink plenty of water and ask for help with cooking if you need it. There are many ways to meal plan and freeze ahead meals so that you don’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen.
The advice to sleep when the babies are sleeping is actually great advice. The chores can wait. Make a routine of napping with your babies every day; perhaps in the afternoon after lunch.
If you feel inclined, you may want to include stretching or exercising into your daily or weekly routine. Don’t be too hard on yourself to lose the baby weight or put unrealistic expectations on yourself. For now, it’s all about doing what makes you feel good and gives you energy to take care of your little ones.
Allow for some flexibility in your routine. Family or friends dropping in occasionally for a chat can be a welcome relief from constant company of children. Their commiseration with your workload and praise of how well you cope will boost your ego. Discuss their methods og managing family situations for comparison with your own. Do accept thier offers of help!
Decreased libido is completely normal in the first few weeks or months. Be considerate of each other and communicate how you feel. Talk to your doctor if you have any problems after you are cleared to resume sex.
Be very attentive to how you feel throughout the day. Your emotions may help you identify your needs, be it physical, emotional, or both. Having a daily routine can keep you grounded and comfortable.
At first, your daily routine may feel more like an experiment. The needs of your babies and yourself may feel a bit unpredictable at first. You can start by showering or taking a warm bath at a particular time, perhaps in the morning before everyone wakes up or in the evening when your partner comes home.
Set up each area where you will be spending the most time with your babies with everything you need to feel comfortable and relaxed. Maybe you need to add an extra shelf near your bed to put snacks or a water bottle for you to save you a trip to the kitchen, especially in the early days. Give everything you need on a daily basis a “home” so you can always find it and stay organized (within reason!).
In the morning, you may find that it is helpful to get dressed instead of staying in pajamas all day. If you like you can apply some lip tint, lotion, or perfume--whatever makes you feel confident! Pick a day of the week when your partner is there to spend extra time on your body doing a face mask, foot soak, bath bomb, or anything that relaxes you and makes you feel good about yourself.
Whenever you can, find a babysitter so you can get your hair or nails done or just have an afternoon to yourself out of the house. Over time, you will be able to resume activities that interest you such as sports or creative pursuits. Don’t feel bad taking time to do things that you like to do if you have the opportunity to.
Play music throughout the day to soothe yourself and your babies. Do something that helps you feel connected to the outside world, like listening to the radio, putting the TV on in the background, or giving yourself a few minutes to look at social media while your babies are occupied. Or, sometimes turning off electronics can be a welcome relief.
Notice when you are beginning to become frustrated, angry, or irritated. Cry, call a friend, or remove yourself from the situation if you need to. If you feel unable to cope, seek emergency help right away.
Communication with your partner is essential to your emotional health. Let your partner know when you need help and give yourselves time to express your feelings. Have a date night, even if it is in your own bed while the babies sleep, to talk and have fun together.
For nights out, if you have trouble finding a babysitter, consider recruiting a few friends to watch the children together so they feel more comfortable.
Raising your triplets will absolutely cause stress and strain on your relationship. Be open with each other and make a habit of checking in with each other’s emotional health. If something is bothering you, find a relaxed time to discuss it and keep a positive attitude.
The physical and emotional demands on parents of triplets far exceed similar demands upon those caring for a single baby, or twins. How do triplets parents cope? The answer is they had tremendous support from their partners in caring for the triplets, the older children, and the household chores.
Fathers of triplets may find that they have to take on many of the nurturing tasks such as feeding, burping, diapering, etc. It may not be first nature at first, but over time it can create a deep connection with your children. Sometimes partners of fathers may offer to trade some of the mothering duties for other chores around the home such as working outside.
Fathers may worry about their job performance from lacking sleep and providing enough resources for the family. Other worries may be on their mind too--such as changes in your sexual relationship and the emotional climate of the household. Again, communication is key.
Working fathers may discover that their workplace is sympathetic to their situation and they may ask for less work or paternal leave. If the work is not reducible, perhaps consider hiring help for the house work or with the children,
Taking care of triplets can drain you, so you must learn to take care of yourself in order to be the parent you want to be. Modify or adjust our advice to suit your unique family. Above all, remember to have fun, laugh, and enjoy the precious moments that will be over before you know it.