Do you have help?
This is one of the first questions I receive once people finish goggling over the idea of triplets. Everyone asks this question, although younger mothers like myself who are first time parents of a singleton always follow it up with “because my (fill in the blank) old child is hard enough, I can’t even imagine how you manage 3. Sometimes I’m tempted to say “well, unlike you, I literally have no life anymore and my days really are hard.” But of course I’m not a bitch so I usually explain how lucky I am to have the help I do.
From the day my children were born, my mother, “grammy”, has been a huge part of my children’s lives. She came over every day for the first 3-4 months to help out. She would even visit Mia in the NICU for the week Max and I had to bounce between the 2 babies we had at home and the 1 we had in the hospital. I don’t think I could have managed those first few months without her help. My sister, a full time mom of 2 demanding boys and a nurse, also was a huge help. For a few months, my mom and my sister took turns with the 10 PM feeding so Max and I could go to sleep early. My sister even spent the night and helped out some of those first grueling months.
When my kids were 2-5 months old, I had a mother’s helper who worked about 12 hours/week. She took care of preparing formula and bottles, folding laundry, restocking supplies and helping with the babies between the time my mom left and the time Max arrived home several days/week.
This past summer, I had another mother’s helper (still miss you Gaylynn) who worked about 10 hours/week. Her main duty was to help me get out of the house with the kids. We took many trips to the science museum, parks, pool, playzones, etc.
Through the first year of our children’s lives, we used cleaners and lawn maintenance companies to help us keep up with our house. This investment was so we could give our children our time and not go completely cookoo trying to take care of everything ourselves.
After I stopped pumping (around 3 months) Both sets of grandparents spent several weekends at our house so that Max and I could decompress with a night/weekend away. Those weekends were vital and I highly encourage all parents (even you first time moms of singletons) to get away! It is hard the first time but SO WORTH IT!
From about 8 months on, I would say help was no longer necessary; although, it was always appreciated. Now, I don’t require any more help than any other mom of 2 – 3+ children of varying ages. In fact, I often think I have it easier than mom’s of young twins + a sibling or two. I try to run my house much like a preschool/daycare runs their centers. We have organized activities, focused playtimes, and lots and lots of supervision. This makes a 1:3 ration for 1.5 year old’s totally manageable. As a stay-at-home mom I have to squeeze a lot into my day. Even though staying at home full time was not in my original game plan, keeping everything going is sort-a my job now, and I’ve always liked to stay busy at work. Taking the kids out on my own is one of my tougher job duties but even that is manageable and I love tackling challenges.
So yes, I have had help over the past 15 months. Even though help is no longer needed, grammy is still around a few times a week to give me a break and give the children more undivided attention.
And just to be clear, day-to-day help may no longer be needed but Max and I still need time away