With triplets, just getting the essentials done in life is a balancing act. I hate to admit this, but there have been plenty of days where I am unable to squeeze in a shower or I completely forget to brush my teeth in the morning. I cannot simply carry my baby into the bathroom and let them play on the floor while I shower and dress. By the time I got all three kids in the bathroom, there would definitely be a poopy diaper to change, spit-up to wipe up, or a boo-boo to kiss. The harsh reality is I often am a disheveled mess until the kids go down for morning nap. Heck, some days I stay a disheveled mess until bedtime.
So, I sometimes seriously doubt I can ever accomplish much else besides making sure we all eat, drink, and stay clean while my kids are little. Yet, besides squeezing in blogging (my creative outlet), grocery shopping, and my 4-5 workouts a week, I also am trying to finish my master’s degree. This would not be possible without the help of the most awesome grammy in the world who my children absolutely adore (thanks mom) and coffee. For the past several months, Grammy P. comes over twice a week while I frantically knock away at my thesis, run my errands, and stay sane. I also make sure I keep my k-cup stock of coffee full.
So how do I accomplish anything? It’s a balancing act and a multi-tasker’s dream. I try to fill the dishwasher in the morning while the kids are eating finger food for breakfast. I try to get laundry going during morning nap a few days a week and the other days I try to jump on my spin bike for 45 min. While the kids play, I try to switch out laundry, put away laundry or restock supplies. During lunch I try to empty the dishwasher while the kids play with their sippy cups. Afternoon nap is cleaning, emailing, blogging or trying to get thesis done. I try to get the kids out of the house between afternoon nap and dinner. We either run errands or go on a run. Evenings are thesis work (only during crunch time), more chores, and maybe a tv show before curling up with my book.
With all the hustle and bustle of life, you would think I would be exhausted and loony. But, I am pretty anal about taking care of myself. I think this is so important for all women! I try to get myself into bed every night by 9:30 PM so that I can read and PEACEFULLY fall asleep by 10 PM (my kids bedtime is 7 PM with few exceptions). This means I get almost 8 hours of sleep a night (with the exception of teething, colds, etc). I also make sure I get my workouts in. Those natural endorphins do a whole lot more than keep me skinny. I try to eat healthy (yogurt, fruit and lots of fiber) but make sure I get a special reasonable treat every night (ice-cream). Perhaps most silly but good for my psych, I try to keep my toenails painted.
So, by making sure I take care of myself, get out of the house with the kids, and am efficient with my time I am able to accomplish life without being completely exhausted and overwhelmed. In fact, I am very close to finishing my thesis and FINALLY getting my master’s degree. Perhaps the most important piece of all this is family. Not only has my mom been a huge help, but really enjoying my kids and the time we spend together as a family is paramount. Even though cleaning up the cheerios all over the floor was just another thing I had to do, seeing the mischievous grin on Marcus’s face made the extra work worth it. Even though loading the kids in and out of the stroller every day is a huge PITA, enjoying the fresh air and getting exercise is worth it. Even though taking the kids out anywhere causes a scene and takes lots of patience, seeing their happy faces and being reminded by strangers what an amazing gift Max and I have been given, makes it all worth it.
So I think taking care of ourselves and appreciating family keeps life from becoming too exhausting and overwhelming, even if you don’t have triplets. Does it prevent us from becoming loony…that is still up for debate?