One of the most frequently asked questions from parents of newborn multiples is, “When does it get easier? It DOES get easier, right?” The answers from experienced parents vary from, “When they start sleeping through the night,” to “It doesn’t get easier – the hard stuff just changes.”
For some reason, I always seem to reflect upon the changes that have occurred with my girls during the holiday season. I have an easy benchmark with our annual family Christmas party. My husband’s family is quite large by today’s standards. He has twelve siblings and twenty-some nieces and nephews, most of whom are over the age of eighteen. Because there are so many people, a hall is usually rented and the party takes place just before or just after Christmas day.
My girls were eight months old for their first Christmas. They could sit up and play independently but were not yet crawling. We brought one Pack-n-play with us as I was not about to place them on the floor (of questionable cleaniness) of the function room where the party was taking place. My mom offered to come and assist which was a tremendous help as we would have one adult for each baby.
We weren’t able to socialize much and eating was, well, you know how that goes when caring for multiple babies, but we survived. The girls were still taking three naps a day at that age and one of their naps fell right in the middle of the time we would be at the party. With three adults, we had the luxury of holding them for a short nap – something that normally does not take place when you have three infants.
The girls were twenty months old for their second Christmas, which made it a bit easier but also more difficult. They were mobile and still at the age where they put objects in their mouths and got into things they shouldn’t.
My mom, again, offered to join us to help watch the girls. It was a bit crazy as they spent most of the time running around. They still needed to be watched very closely and I felt as if I spend my entire time there counting, “One, two, three,” to ensure that no one went missing. After finding a few small objects on the floor, I also spent some time scouring the place for choking hazards and setting up a make-shift baby gate around the trash cans.
The Christmas party this year was much more enjoyable. The girls at two years and eight months old are much easier to care for and we have even reached the point where either my husband or I can easily care for all three.
The girls are more into having fun and playing versus getting into things they shouldn’t. There wasn’t much space at the hall this year so they didn’t have room to run around, which was fine by me. We were all able to sit and eat as a family and socialize with other family members instead of chasing around three toddlers.
What is your view on “Does it get easier?” Are you still waiting for it to get easier or have you noticed a difference?
Sarah is the mother to two and a half year old identical triplet girls – Allie, Anna and Emily – who were born at 35 weeks and 6 days. You can read more about her crazy life raising triplets at The Great Umbrella Heist.