If one baby is a joy, then two must be twice the fun. Parents of twins, triplets, and beyond are undoubtedly blessed, but certain challenges are theirs, too. One of the trickiest parts of raising multiples can be finding time – for the group as well as for each of them as individuals.
One of the first things that parents of multiples need to do is accept any and all help that is offered. Don’t be shy, don’t be humble, and swallow your pride. Taking care of more than one child, especially when they are the same age, can be tricky. When they are babies, you can count on mountains of diapers and endless bottles. As they get bigger and more boisterous, the work increases. When friends and relatives volunteer to help out, quickly agree before they come to their senses!
As dull as it sounds, being well organised frees up a lot of your time. Many a mum has said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” These words could have been written for families with multiples. Take the time to establish a daily routine and you will find that you have a bit more spare time. Try to get into the habit of putting things back where they belong as soon as you have finished using them and teach your children to do the same. The time that you save scrambling around looking for missing shoes and book bags can be spent having fun.
One on One Time
It can be easy to refer to your multiples as, “the twins” or “the triplets” but you must remember that they are individuals, as well. Each child is unique, with their own strengths and interests. Although time is scarce, make every effort to set aside a little time to spend with each child, individually, even if it is only to read a book or have a chat. Each child needs a bit of one on one attention, just as they would if they hadn’t been born on the same day!
Children all want to have their say when it comes to how to spend their free time. One way to avoid battles about what to do for family outings is to allow each child to take turns picking the day’s activities. If you have Saturday afternoons set aside for family time, have the children alternate in choosing the games to play or the places to visit. Not only will this make sure that everyone gets to engage in their favourite pastimes, but it will teach your kids about taking turns and accommodating the needs of others.
Mum and Dad
Cooperation is key when finding time to meet the needs of a large family. Raising multiples means more work, to be sure, but when both mum and dad pitch in, there is extra time to enjoy family time. And no matter how difficult it seems right now, when you blink they will be all grown up and starting families of their own. Enjoy them!