Triplets aged 4 - will life ever get easier?(8 Posts)
Having a very hard day today and am in need of some reassurance (I hope!). Life has obviously always been pretty tricky with triplets (bbg) but I've always just got my head down and got on with it in the hope things will one day be easier and more enjoyable. However things don't really seem to be going that way and I'm at a loss now as I desperately want to enjoy my children and I'm really not feeling that way.
The worst part at the moment I think is just general behaviour. I am a sahm and they attend nursery for 2 full days a week (for me as much as them). On the days they aren't at nursery I am completely devoted to them I.e. play games, activities, cook with them, draw but whatever I do it seems it's not good enough. Even doing something as simple as jigsaws ends in screeches of 'mummy, mummy help me, no help me, no help me' 'he did that, she did this' etc etc. This morning we were doing crafts in the kitchen and after 2 mins the arguing and screeching had begun as to who I was to draw a picture for, what stamps weren't working for another and the list goes on. The general mood then followed through into lunch time 'I don't want that, no I won't sit at the table, blow my nose, feed me.......... I could go on for hours about the whining and whingeing. I'm pretty strict and have given 4 time outs this morning alone but I really can't see an end to this. I thought being a mum would be hard but wonderful, however at the moment I've waited 4 years and it's still a long hard slog to be quite frank and it's taking all of my reserves to get through it.
Any reassurance, advice would be very gratefully received. Thank you
When will they go to school?
I found ds was much better this year (age 5yo) than he was a year ago. I don't know whether that was maturity or dealing with school has got him more independent.
Hats off to you though. I've 3dc but the oldest's 11yo and can be fairly helpful is dealing with the youngest. can't imagine having 3 the same age.
I don't have triplets. I am not surprised that it is a slog having 3 children under 5. I imagine it must feel pretty full on having three small children. I guess it must be pretty expensive to do any activites outside the house like toddler groups.
Maybe you could ask your health visitor to refer you to homestart. You would have a volunteer come round once a week to help you out. I knew a lady with twins who managed to get a college student doing childcare to come and do her placement with her.
Would be an option for the triplets to do 4 half days at nursery instead of two whole days.
I have twins and another 18 months older (so not triplets but similar). I think that age is one of the hardest. It does get better, not easier as such, just different - but definitely I think better.
In the meantime - try getting them outside to run off some energy, and stop trying to entertain them - let them entertain themselves more (within limits of safety and your mess tolerance).
Hi Wrenster - I am so sorry it all seems so tough right now. I can't imagine how crazy life must be for you. I won't say "gosh you have your hands full" because I imagine you get told that ALL the time.
I have no experience of multiples. I have 3 of different ages the youngest of whom is 3.9yrs (and the thought of three of her....yikes).
But in general the things that you describe are the things that get me down are whining from all quarters, bickering and just the never ending "me me me".
Have you read Happier Easier Parenting by Janis Noel Norton. I can really recommend it for some real practical tips. If you search MN you will find some good summaries of her techniques but you may find they work better than time outs. Which often doesn't.
Main thing is - be kind to yourself. Its OK to find parenthood a slog and frankly irritating a lot of the time. Well I do. Try and do stuff with them that you enjoy - it doesn't always have to be solely what they enjoy (obvs I am talking about if you enjoy getting out to the park, and they aren't keen).
I also find that spending time with my children each on their own (tricky I know) reminds me of what I like about them as individuals (when they are not battling for my attention) and also is incredibly important esp for mutiples.
Good luck - I am sure you are doing a mervellous job. It will get easier (I find normally a real breakthrough in empathy and ability to control impulse at about 6-7 - sorry if that seems ages away).
Other than that, the old cliche of having some time off (when they are at nursey do something nice one of the mornings rather than shopping, bills, etc etc)
Thanks everyone. I actually feel less tearful having written it down. They have just turned 4 so I have another year of this to get through yet (think this is also part of my panic as all of our friends have gone to school this year so no one to have playdates with apart from holidays.)
I try to set them up with activities, colouring for instance but they last 2 mins before either wanting to do something different or fighting between themselves or screaming mummy mummy help me! any tips on making them more self sufficient?
I did have a home start volunteer when they were babies, but I'm confident to take them out on my own so don't really feel I need one anyone as long as I know where I'm going and I can safely keep an eye on them all. I was going to take them to a farm centre this afternoon but don't feel their behaviour deserves it but for my sanity I need to get out! How will they learn if I take them regardless? It's a tricky call.
They won't connect it with their activity this morning - so they won't see it as a reward (so it is a treat for your benefit).
As for letting them do things without you intervening - provide them with a pile of duplo (or whatever), snuggle down with a book, and when they start calling for you to intervene, just say, I am reading now, can you try and sort it yourself. After a while they will learn not to ask for you to help every time.
Have they got trikes they can pedal about outside, or a slide to play on ? Get a small ball for them to chase around after (kicking not likely to be very reliable yet). If they can do that for a while while you keep an eye on them from inside while you have a cuppa that will help give you a recharge.
And don't think about all that time stretching ahead of you - just plan for the next hour (or half hour if that seems too long !).
It's an old post.. I'm reading it coz I'm feeling how you felt then and it's interesting if it finally got easier for you.
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