Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Whenever we would venture out into public with the girls when they were infants, inevitably a stranger would approach us to say, "Boy, it sure looks like you gotcha hands full."  That was probably the number one comment followed by "Are those triplets?"  Now that the girls are older, the frequency of comments has decreased and the 'hands full' remark has been transformed into something along the lines of "Just wait until they are teenagers."

It has come as a bit of a surprise to me the assumption that having three children the same age and the same gender is easy.  But that assumption has been made and voiced to me.  For some reason, this past month or so, I've taken to comparing having 5 year old triplet girls to having a baby, a 5 year old girl and a 7 year old boy.  Which is easier?

While my 5 year old girl is participating in dance class or gymnastics, I need to entertain a baby and a 7 year old boy.  And while my boy is playing soccer, I have two to entertain.  And trips to the beach are definitely not as easy.  During our recent outing, I observed two families who had gathered on the soft sand near us.  They set up camp together and I immediately noticed that both couples had one young child each - maybe 15 months old.

The girls are borderline with independence at the beach.  They still need someone to stand at the water's edge with them.  They can't carry heavy buckets of water or build sandcastles.  Borderline.  But we are out of the eating sand, throwing sand into one's face, having to be closely watched near the water phase.  It appeared that Rich and I were the ones with the easier parenting role that day even though we were outnumbered.

It's all relative though.  Isn't it?  I don't have a baby, a 5 year old girl, and a 7 year old boy so how can I judge who has it easier.  Just as those who don't have triplets cannot possibly know what it's like.  As for easy, well, we had three infants to care for at the same time.  Three infants who took an hour each to feed and needed to be fed once every three hours.  So, yes, a baby was always being fed unless there were two adults available to feed two babies at once.  And forget about feeding schedules.  These infants needed demand feeding because they were so small.

(I could go on and on with how difficult and trying the first two years were for us.)

So maybe some aspects of our lives are easier now but don't we deserve for something to be easier?


Tracey's Life said...

Hi Sarah, I think you are right when you say none of us can know what another's life is truly like.

I will tell you this - once you can get rid of booster car seats going places will be easier :)

I am preparing to send my 18 yr old off to college in August, and it is the hardest thing I have EVER had to do.

I think our challenges constantly shift as they grow up. Some challenges are more physical, some are more logistical, and some are just down right mentally draining.

Anonymous said...

I would say that the words easy or easier could never describe parenthood. only hard and harder and hardest work for me although i dont like that so many moms out there compete about who has it the hardest. Even my mother in law decided to have a mompetition with me when i mentioned that i dont know if i could make it with three kids in three years. she said "well i had three kds in under three years and they were all singles. i didnt cheat like you by having twins and one." i couldnt believe she really said that to if having multiples is cheating? Ugh. And i think having triplets is more difficukt than having three of different ages because they inevitably squabble more and the financial strain is more apparent because all three need the same things all at once.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Parenting is hard. Period.

I sometimes chuckle to myself when I see people on Facebook "complain" about sleepless nights with "only one" baby...but then I remind myself that 3am is 3am, no matter how many kids you have.

What I really don't appreciate is the "wait until they hit the terrible two's / terrible three's / teenage years"...whatever. How is that helpful to me??? Thanks for the "encouragement", Random Person! ;)

James said...

As with just about anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. No point in trying to compare.

Except for the parents with one kid. That's like learner's permit territory, Mandy, so feel free to chuckle away.

It is funny how the comments change or decrease with time. It happened fairly fast with us -- I think it's because our twins are boy/girl. These days, few people assume they're twins. People mostly just scrunch their eyebrows as they try to figure out how we have so many kids so close in age.

Olusola said...

Yes, I think we totally deserve for some things to get easier with time like say the kids entertaining each other weekend mornings so you can sleep in. I am SOOOO looking forward to that one.

Hate the negative strangers too! Just go your way and skip the commenting bit please

Jayme said...

When I found out I was having twins, I was all cocky about it, how it'd be no problem- after all, my oldest three were all born within 3 years. And then they came, and it was an entirely different ballgame. Not harder, not easier, just different.

Michelle said...

Sarah I am due to have my 4th in 3 weeks. My oldest will be 5 on the 21st. Then there is the 3.5 year old and 21 month old. People look at me like I am crazy!! I can not imagine having my 3 now all as babies at the same time.

I have to say the amount of people who have actually asked me if this 4th was planned irritates me!

Julia said...

I love Mandy's comment - 3 am is 3 am no matter what. But is one thing when your husband can take baby at 3 am and you can safely go back to sleep, another when each has to take one baby and then go on with business in the morning. And a third newborn...oh dear. The emotional stress must be something, Sarah.

It is really rare here in Brazil for not very poor people to have more than 2-3 kids (country's birth rate is around 2 per woman). So rare that I don't remember, off the top of my head, anyone younger than my parents having more than 3 (an uncle who's had 5 with 3 different wives certainly does not count). So, when you have twins, one of the most common comments is "oh, how great to get all done at once!" Gotta hate it!

Anonymous said...

I hate the, well I had mine X months apart and it was JUST LIKE having (multiples). Ummm. . . . Noi actually because while you were feeding the baby the other one could at least hold a bottle and pick up a goldfish!

Anonymous said...

well from my point of view as a Babaysitter and it is just a glimse of what happends on a day to day bases I know, watching a 6y 4y my2y and new born is way harder on me then watching twins18m and my 2y. But somedays the 9y twins I watch are very very hard very competive always want to out do the other. so everyday is different and every parent adapts to the situation. make it or fake it

~Jess said...

It is all relative...that's for sure.

Right now, while the triplets aren't hard, they are easier than they'll be when they can move on their own (the boys have just started rolling).

Everyone is different...both parents and the kids :-)

JP said...

Well said!

Hope's Mama said...

Mine are 21 months apart, both crappy sleepers. So yes, it has been hard. Harder than multiples? Probably not, but still hard. Then, anything my two, adorable, cheeky, exhausting cherubs throw at me will NEVER, EVER be as hard as losing Hope and living the rest of my earthly days without her. It just doesn't stack up. LIve baby parenting is hard, that's for sure, but dead baby parenting is as hard as it gets. I know you know this.

Wendy said...

It's never easy; it's just... different. For us, the girls have been easy. They were healthy, 37w, easy babies, slept well, scheduled well... easy. But this almost-five stuff? Not so easy any more.

Tracy said...

It's never easy, but I know a fabulous mother at our church with a 5 year old (almost 6), 3 year old, 2 year old and a newborn. While it was certainly harder for me when I had 3 one year olds and a newborn.... she definitely has it harder now that I have 3 5 year olds and a 3 year old. I watch her juggling and am just glad to have made it this far. I am happy to pass the supermom crown that I wore so proudly for years over to her.