I sit one day before the birthday of my identical triplet daughters pretty happy to have made it to this self-defined milestone. When I found out I was pregnant and through the early days I was always motivated by the fact that one day…the girls would be four.
Four years at the beginning seemed like an eternity, a gaol sentence even. To spell it out: three premature babies need to be woken up every three hours for feeding. It takes two hours to wake them, feed them, change them and resettle them. That leaves one hour and then you start again. This repeat program goes on for weeks and weeks. No nights off. No weekends off. In these one hour stints off, one must fit in washing, sterilising, replying to the many tonnes of people who don’t quite realise what is going on behind closed doors, not to mention eating and sleeping.
Add to this my wish to breastfeed but their inability to suck from my boob. This scenario leaves me expressing every three hours, 24/7 even when it’s my turn to sleep through a feed session. Does the word ‘zombie’ come to mind? It’s amazing what we can do when pushed.
Now, as the girls reach four, I feel more like a ‘normal’ family and frankly, I think I’ve earned the right for a little boast. I’m not a huge fan of mothers who post blissful, over the top declarations of happiness and perfect lives (it makes me feel bad about myself and yes, I know, this is my issue, not theirs). I’ve conquered post natal depression, got to the girls fourth birthday and found some clarity around why I was ‘chosen’ to have triplets. Here are the good bits:
Our kids run on the same play/rest schedule. We all know what is happening and when. We also know what our limitations are. Try taking three three-year-olds to an evening barbie if none of them have had a sleep. No thanks. Speaking of food, we all eat the same meal at the same time (mostly).
There is one drop off in the mornings and one pick up in the afternoons. Our extracurricular activities for the kids are all at one time slot and at the moment, are all the same activity.
For the time being, the girls share their clothes. We have one ‘change room’ where all the washing and dressing gets done. It works well. We have gotten rid of all our baby gear and did so as soon as it was no longer needed. No storage required here!
There are no arguments about what show or DVD to watch. They all watch the same thing.
I have never heard the words “Mum, will you play with me?” This one is a favourite. They always have playmates. It can mean a little over-stimulation and lack of down time but I love the ever increasing self sufficiency of the ‘unit’.
A big pat on the back to all Mums, dads and carers reaching their self-defined milestones. Well bloody done and hooray to those days where we walk with a spring in our step and feel like things couldn’t be better. I’m looking forward to more to come.
Jodi McAlary is the Founder and Managing Director of emerging kid’s activities and entertainment guide for NSW and ACT, www.todokids.com.au
Mother of naturally conceived (accidental!) 4 year old identical triplet girls, Jodi experienced a period of post natal depression after the birth of her gorgeous babies and is now an advocate for open and wide discussion of the dark journey experienced by herself and others. Find Jodi on Facebook here.