It's been a tough couple of days and I am exhausted. The babies are all finally asleep and I thought I'd just google.... "coping with triplets" and this is some of what I found. The 8 Truths about Parenting Multiple Toddlers toward the bottom of the post describes my life.... I LOVE IT!!!
Time magazine warned that multiples are trouble "even in the best homes." Fact is, Time found this sobering factoid about time and triplets: "According to Australian researchers, it takes 198 hours a week to run a household and care for triplets. That's 30 more hours than there are in a week."
Coping with twins, triplets -- and more: UW Medical Center offers special classes for expectant parents
The impact of multiple births on a family is not additive, it's exponential. Few parents are prepared for the enormous emotional, physical and financial demands that accompany this phenomenon.
After labor and delivery, the hard part begins. The television sit-com versions of life with twins and triplets are a far cry from the truth. The effect of one baby on a household is monumental; two, three, four or more is earth-shaking.
Eight Truths About Parenting Multiple Toddlers
Without a doubt, the toddler years with your twins, triplets, or more, will be full of laughter and amazement, not to mention CEO-level management.
1. It Will be a Very Noisy Time: toddlers don’t merely express their opinions; they need to be sure you’ve heard them. They don’t really care whether or not you agree, but they do require an indication that you’re listening. Until they receive that acknowledgement, they will continue to repeat the same comment or question over and over (and over) until you respond—and then possibly a few more times even after you’ve acknowledged them. Be prepared to make the words, “Uh-huh,” “OK,” and “Yes” staples of your vocabulary. (She fails to describe the noise level when you tell them "NO")
2. The Art of Childproofing Will Be Taken to a Whole New Level: Toddlers love to explore. Multiple toddlers tend to take the concepts of exploration and adventure a few steps further and—trust me—they will get into things you never imagined they would (or could). Multiple toddlers barely speak your language, but they have a way of communicating with one another to strategize a way of reaching the tallest spot in the house or opening anything with a certified childproofing mechanism. In fact, most childproofing mechanisms don’t work for too terribly long with multiples. The lesson: If it gets too quiet in the house and you know they are not asleep, be very concerned.
3. Potty Training Requires Utmost Patience : Regardless of the training program you use, it’s a safe bet that your multiples won’t take to using the watering hole at precisely the same moment or in precisely the same manner. I can almost guarantee that for awhile, once you get child #1 out of the Target restroom, having ascertained to the best of your ability that child #2 does not have to go (and even possibly after convincing her to try anyway), child #2 will announce that she now has to go…right now…or else. And rest assured, it will be the day you decided to try putting them in real underwear, so you won’t even be able to rely on the Pull-Ups. What you will be able to rely on is the fact that a clean-up request will be announced for Lane 6 momentarily.
4. They Are Finicky, and They’ll Switch on a Dime: Know that the minute you produce the apple juice your two year old has requested, he’ll decide he wants orange juice—and will accept nothing less. The issue when you’re raising more than one toddler at the same time is that the instant Katie decides her apple juice isn’t going to work, Kelly will insist that hers isn’t going to work either. Same goes for shirt, pant, and shoe selection. Another enjoyable experience: One of your toddlers asks to watch “Finding Nemo” while the other insists on watching “The Wiggles.” I have one child who likes for me to sing to the radio in the car and one who would have you think such an activity is doing irreparable damage to his ear drums. They both scream, one for me to sing and the other for me to stop. (This TRULY happens all the time in our house... Kaylee - Mommy sing!!!!!, Addison - No Mommy don't sing!!!!!). You must determine when you will draw the line on the constant need for modifications, and know that the point at which you choose to draw the line can change at any time given how much sleep you had the night before or how many times you’ve had to go through the change routine already that day.
5. There Is No Such Thing As a Family Meal That Consists of Fewer Than 20 Options : At some point you will likely determine it’s time to begin serving “family dinners,” whereby you all gather around the table for a delicious, healthy meal you’ve slaved over, accompanied by some good old-fashioned family conversation. Such intentions are absolutely to be admired. Be prepared, however, for the fact that in all likelihood, your toddlers won’t like what’s being served (and if only one does, the other may well suddenly change her mind, as I mentioned earlier). I used to become so frustrated when I’d cook a nice meal, only to have it accompanied not by conversation but by constant screaming for Cheerios, marshmallows, or pizza. Now, I put applesauce, yogurt, and a fruit or vegetable that I know they like on the table with the other menu items. This way, there’s something I am certain they will eat even if it’s not what they’d order off the menu given the choice, and my husband and I don’t find ourselves having to stand up every four seconds to retrieve such an item from the refrigerator or pantry. (This is EXACTLY what we do!!!)
6. It’s Expensive : Obviously, you’re going to be dealing with multiple shirts, shorts, and shoes for the next 16 years or so. However, the toddler years with multiples can be expensive for more reasons than just clothes. It is usually during these years that we start signing our kids up for music classes, parent/tot swimming classes, mother’s-day-out programs, or—for the extremely optimistic fathers out there—golf lessons. In most cases, you will be responsible for registration and participation fees times two or more.
7. You Are Going to Need a Hobby That You Greatly Enjoy : There is a reason the term “The Terrible Twos” has gained a lot of notoriety. It’s a time during which toddlers learn a great deal, which is exciting to watch. It’s also a time when you will be challenged almost constantly in terms of your ability to be patient and calm, and possibly not to shout “Shut up!” at the top of your lungs as everyone vies for your attention simultaneously for the sixth hour in a row. It will be critical to your sanity during this time to have a hobby you enjoy and can lose yourself in as often as necessary. (My hobbies I guess are photography and blogging)
8. It’s Going to Be Messy : Toddlers have little to no need for order and cleanliness. Find me a toddler’s room that is cleaned by him or her on a weekly basis and, well, I’m moving in with you for a week to absorb your strategy. Play-doh will end up on the floor (but hopefully not in the carpet), crayon will end up on walls (buy the washable kind), sippy cups will spill (even though the manufacturer claims they are spill-proof), and more urine will likely hit the floor than the cute little potty bowl. I know without a doubt that I could clean all day, every day, and be able to start all over again once I was finished. Keep the following running through your head: “I have toddlers. The house is going to be messy. It won’t last forever.”
http://www.mostonline.org/schoolage.htm ( You can read the whole article here)