Mom Gives 10 Tips On sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ The Insanity Of Raising Identical Triplets
With two toddlers at home and a full-time job, how could I possibly be pregnant with twins?! Twins don’t run in our families. But, since the sᴏɴᴏɢʀᴀᴍ sʜᴏᴡᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴏᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴀʟ ꜰʟᴜᴛᴛᴇʀ of a second ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ, doctor found out There are three ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛs and said to me” You’re having triplets.”
A few months later we found out they were identical triplets. That’s when I started to hope and pray that we’d have three ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ babies.
Thankfully, they were born ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ, and never spent a day in the NICU. Somehow 10 years have flown by. And our three little ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏꜰᴇʟʟᴀs — ᴛʜᴇ ᴏᴅᴅs of which are about 100 million to one — turn 10 this year on 10/10. In honor of their golden birthday, here are 10 tips on sᴜʀᴠɪᴠɪɴɢ the insanity of raising identical triplets.
Celebrate their differences — and dress them differently so you can tell them apart. From day one. We painted each boy’s big toenail — one red, one blue, one green. At times, they had a better pedicure than I did. But we always knew who was who — and we still do. Because although they look alike, they really are different. And now, they wear red, blue and green shirts.
Never leave home without a ᴘʟᴀsᴛɪᴄ ʙᴀɢ. Or three. I know they’re not politically correct these days but believe me, they are handy for everything from dirty diapers to back seat barf to trash from the minivan. Yep. Now we drive a minivan. And if you have triplets, you probably will too.
Get out of the house. No matter how long it takes to get their jackets on. No matter how cold or rainy or hot or snowy it may be. Go outside. It may take longer to get out the door than you actually spend outdoors but do it anyway. Fresh air does a body good and will tucker your tots out.
Don’t pull the plug on PullUps too soon. Potty-training isn’t easy and potty-training triplets is almost impossible. Of note, if you think you’ve nailed it but then they pee on a velvet chair cushion in a local restaurant, don’t panic; just nonchalantly gather your things and your kids and leave a big tip. Also, don’t go back. Trust me on this one.
If you have triplets or even twins, highchairs are the new playpens. The problem with playpens is that the kids can ʙᴇᴀᴛ ᴇᴀᴄʜ other with books or whatever you put in there to entertain them. The problem with highchairs is that the kids may scream “STUCK!!!!” like ours did when they were left in there between breakfast and lunch. But if your house is like ours is, it will be a lot less cluttered after that extended high chair “play time.” And somehow, that made me feel better.
When it’s time for kindergarten, put them in separate classes. And on the first day of school, be prepared for them to try to climb back in the womb. My mistake: wearing a skirt. They literally got under it and refused to budge. It wasn’t pretty. But separating them was necessary. No kindergarten teacher should need to distinguish identical triplets while teaching the ABCs. It’s not fair. To them or the kids. Separating them is the right thing to do. Just wear pants on the first day.When the triplets are babies, put the other kids to work. They may not like it but they can do it. Our 2-year-old held the triplets’ bottles. Our 4-year-old ᴍᴀᴛᴄʜᴇᴅ sᴏᴄᴋs. And today, all five of them help with laundry, walk the dogs, do the dishes and take out the trash. Boom! Who said having five kids is hard?
Listen to them. They may be small — or maybe they are already big. Either way, they are your little humans with big feelings. Listen. Show empathy. Take the time. I can’t say I always do this; I can say you’ll ʀᴇɢʀᴇᴛ ɪᴛ ɪꜰ ʏᴏᴜ ᴅᴏɴ’ᴛ.
Don’t wish it away. I did. It was ᴏᴠᴇʀᴡʜᴇʟᴍɪɴɢ. We had five kids under 5. Four kids in diapers. At one point, they were consuming a gallon of milk a day. There were dirty diapers, dirty bottles, dogs that had to be walked, laundry to be done. None of that matters. What matters are the moments in between and what you make of them. So, make the most of them. Because in the blink of an eye, they will be gone, and those kids will be turning 10.