Are triplets easier than one?

I have always found it highly amusing when people call me Supermom for having triplets. As if I had any say in the matter! What they don’t realize is that having triplets, at least for me, is easier than having just one. Why is that? Well, because I’m lazy.

2121446108_c5f0d0fd7d_zSee, when you have triplets, you don’t have the luxury of rocking your baby to sleep. So every night, the boys were fed (sometimes all at once, but usually one at a time), swaddled, and put in their cribs awake. There was no rocking to sleep. From day one, they slept in cribs in their nursery while I slept blissfully (in two hour chunks) down the hall.

Speaking of cribs, while my friends with singletons were lamenting the transition to toddler beds at two, my three were safely ensconced in their cribs (some might say trapped, thanks to the crib tents that topped each bed) until past their third birthday. Toddler bed transition? With three? No way. I knew that I’d have to say bye-bye to naps as soon as they were free to roam, so I put it off as long as possible. And you know what? It was a piece of cake. They were so used to not being able to get out of their cribs that they assumed they weren’t able to get out of their toddler beds either. So they never did.

And let’s talk about potty training. I’d have happily kept them in diapers until kindergarten. Seriously, the thought of potty training three little boys filled me with more terror than Poltergeist ever did. And rightly so. The first time I tried to potty train them, a few months before their third birthday, there were many tears. All mine. I threw in the pee-soaked towel and tried again a few months later. Voila! Easiest thing in the world. I feel certain that if I’d had one sweet little boy, I would have probably attempted to train him at a younger age, because, well, that’s what my singleton friends were doing.

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But the most important aspect of triplet parenting that makes it easier than singleton parenting is The Schedule. Even as we consider ourselves fairly flexible and easy-going, The Schedule ruled. The boys were on a strict three hour schedule when they came home from the hospital, and for the first few weeks, I thought, “this is so easy!” They were woken for their feedings, ate, were changed, then went right back to sleep. Every three hours, around the clock. As they got older, the schedule was modified. There was the four hour schedule, which meant I could sleep in three hour chunks! And then, as time went on, sleep at night went for longer stretches, and shorter during the day. With the support of my triplet moms, we figured out what worked best for them, and we stuck to it. Five years later, the boys still go to bed at 7:30 at night, almost without fail.

7237558176_1c28933120_zNot to say we haven’t been somewhat flexible. But as I watched singleton parents struggle with a cranky kid at 9:30 pm, I smugly thought of my three at home, slumbering peacefully in their cribs. (It’s possible my memories are somewhat hazy, but I like to remember it this way.) Sure, it meant they missed out on some events that went on past their bedtime, but it was worth it.

In the end, the best part about being a triplet parent is that everyone cuts you slack. A ton of it. No one judged me (to my face) for formula feeding the boys. No one blinked at three year olds that still slept in cribs and wore diapers. So many things that I would have gotten judged for if I’d been a singleton parent, I was given a pass for, since I had three babies at once.

Today, I have many friends having their third kids. They turn to me and say, “I don’t know how you did it!” as they juggle a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn. But I just reply to them, “I had it easy. I don’t know how YOU do it.”

My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)

20 COMMENTS

  1. great post! i loved when you were talking about potty training and the difference between 3 and 1, and i quote: “…that’s what my singleton friends were doing.” i think that’s key in parenting period. we see what goes on in someone else’s home and we automatically think that’s where we should or ought to be. every person and every child and every home is different. i totally see that having your three is/can be easier because it forces you to stick to routine and schedule. there’s lots more room for flexibility when there’s only 1. i think. and that may even hold true for multiple kids in various ages. thanks for sharing! your boys are precious!

  2. As a mom of 3 boys ages 8, 5, and newly 2. I would have rather had them all at once!!! At least when they are all the same age, they have similar needs. They are all in the same stage of growing. Regardless if you have a singleton or multiples, it is what it is and you have no choice but to dive in and make it work.

  3. Oh girl – I could’ve written the same thing. The Schedule was AWESOME. However, I don’t know if you felt bound by it in a negative way like I did at times. Like, if we were out and about, and it was coming up on naptime, and I was all – THE SCHEDULE! THE SCHEDULE!!! We have to get home to get them in bed NOW! Like they were going to turn into pumpkins if we missed the deadline. Well, maybe not pumpkins, but three screaming banshees.

    Ohhhh, and the days of cribs and tents (at least for our boys). I always felt guilty (especially when I learned they don’t make them anymore), but for their safety, we had to do it.

    And it is SO funny about the Supermom comments – you’re so right – as IF we had a choice in the matter indeed!!! And if people could see that I probably throw as many tantrums as my three kids, they might change their tune.

    Ah well – great post, mama.

    merci,
    Shannan

  4. Great post 🙂 I had a question for you….
    Hi , I am 11 weeks pregnant with twins – I live in Biloxi , Mississippi and I am looking for moms of multiple groups that are up and running in my area , or close to it. The only one I found doesnt look like they do much. Also I am looking for the next twin resale that they have , do you guys have one coming up in your area? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  5. Pam, I laughed out loud at my desk when I read about you throwing away your pee-soaked towel. Like Angelina, I have oftened wondered how moms of multiples do it. It was fun to get to see parenting through your eyes!

  6. I loved this article! When I found out I was having twins I was like OH NO HOW WILL I TAKE CARE OF THEM BOTH!?!?!?! but I say, I LOVE my schedule! and Im so glad the both are on the same schedule….you would be surprised at the things you can do. *thumbs up!*

  7. Your boys are just a bit older than my BBG. I also have 2 adult children who are less than 18 mo apart. I, too, think triplets are “easier” (relative term!) – mostly just logistical challenges. I think it’s so much more fun – they always have a playmate and I think I notice more little quirky personality differences because of having the others to compare to, rather than just memory of how the older sibling was. Parenting is always hard, no matter the age/gender/number combination.I wouldn’t trade having triplets for anything – so glad our family was blessed!

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