Reflections: Closing in on Turning Five
This has been my motto for almost 5 years now. Before the I became pregnant with the triplets I was an organized choatic person. That may be hard for some to grasp so I’ll try to explain. I was always a strong type A personality ambitious, sensitive, always piling on work/ activities, very driven in everything I commited to, and even a control freak in some areas (floors being the biggest, if they floors are clean- it’s going to be ok,lol). On the other hand I tended to choatic in where my interests led to, I went with my insticts more then what others said, I never cared about being the odd person, I would do things/go places on the spur of the moment, going out of my way to help others, and no one was a stranger (often refered to as my Hippie side).
After giving birth to the triplets my A side came out and the choas in myself retreated. I realize now this was a survival technique to having these three. I had to go from “no schedule, winging the day” to “There is a large schedule hanging in the fridge, whiteboards detailing every waking moment of the kid’s feeding-dipers-activity, and posted on the blog to help others (but really it’s to remeber the sleep deprived year).” Every minute of every day was scheduled. My life became like one large asembly line that had to be adhearded to or else a choas not even I could imagine would ensue. Yes I think that acurately discribes the first year for me. I was in a type A personality wonderland while my Hippie side was fighting to break free from the structure. It was about survivial and we adapt to survive 😉 Now don’t get me wrong, we had fun,laughter, and tender moments, you just have a hard time seeing them when your sinking in it!
The next couple of years were full of milestones: becoming mobile, talking, observing their surroundings, and soaking everything it. I kept feeling my Hippie side floating to the surface, wanting to kick the schedule to the curb, but the rigid type A side kept reading how it is better to keep a strict schedule. Other multiple moms seemed to agree and so I trudged on. I have to admit it was much easier then the first year because now they were sleeping through the night which meant I was at least getting 7 hours a night myself. Let me tell you, sleep makes a HUGE difference in how your day can go.
One of the girls Potty Trained at 2 years old, I was elated. Then the reality of potty training such different personalities was clearly laid out for me by the other two. Every 3 months or so we would spend about a month in what I dubbed “Potty Training Hell” trying to get the other two on board. I don’t care what anyone says, if they are not into it, it’s not happening. I kept testing the waters and ended up making myself miserable every time. It’s funny how everyone else can make you feel like a horrible mom over potty training. My favorite was a person commenting on another mom’s acticle saying it was just “lazy parenting” for those above 3 yearsold not potty trained. I’m sorry, that may be the case for a few people, but most parents are making themselves and their kids miserable by trying and trying when the kid just doesn’t care/ have interest. So for all the haters out there: Stop Judging people! My parenting skills can not be measured by their potty training age.
At 3 years old their personalities were really shining through now. They were are all very distinct in their interests, speech, play, and so on. The unexpected thing with very distinct personalities, the fights that errupt. Oh yes, the yelling, the crying, toys flying through the air, WWE toddler style was an everyday event (and they haven’t even watched wrestling, though they have very good technique). The schedule was becoming looser since they dropped naps at 2, and we were really only scheduling meals/ snacks/ outtings.
At age 4 all the above of age 3 applied but was magnified even more. Better dexterity, more knowledge, stronger throwing arms, louder voices, more advanced wrestling moves (body slams), advancing language skills. The triplets had officially reached a point of choas that my type A personality could no longer process or cope with. Welcome Back Hippie me! Let the battle of choas begin!
Yep, age 4 is where I have been learning to stop trying to control and learning to re-embrase my chaotic, laid-back side. Is this another survival technique to cope with their choas state? Perhaps. Does it make it easier? Most days. Is it easy? Nope but I think it makes for a happier homelife. I still have my vices (like clean-not toy-covered-floors) and bedtime routines, but most days we just go with the flow. We get up early in the morning, have breakfast, get dressed, and then see where the day leads us.
There are some out there that will think I’m crazy. There are tons of articles that say “children need structure and predictable routine.” If that works for you and your little ones, good for you, but don’t think this is a one-size-fits-all philosophy. I spent the first 4 years of their lives wanting to do everything right so I listened to what everyone else said, what experts said, what other multiple-moms said, and keeping my mouth shut a lot in parenting circles because you just never know what comment or statement they will curcify you for (yes this happens just look at any parenting forum board).
I would not have survived the early years without schedules, routine, and assembly-line structure, but that is in the past. What we need now is a little unpridictability, spontaneous outtings, various outlets to burn off steam and fill the mind with knowledge. Retraining myself to not get stressed about the little things (I never really liked white walls anyway, the creative cave-like drawings are much more festive) and save it for the big things (both girls have pilled the couch coushions on the boy and are sitting on them smoothering him while he lets out muffled screams for the 5th time today). Kids are loud. Their volume control has not been added yet, and when you have 3 all at the same loud volume I am sure the neighbors start to wonder just how many kids are actually stuffed in this house. You know, it’s all good. Want to know why? Because that will come in time. Childhood is for testing limits, building knowldge, understanding feelings- then controlling them, interacting with others, building relationships, dealing with obsticles, etc. As parents we guide them, help them, pick them up when it goes all wrong and helps them sort it out. They will be loud, difiant, hilarious, inquisitive, they will make you wonder- cry- laugh- bury your head in the sand- and then raise it high into the air.
I will never be a perfect parent, and I don’t want to be. I just want to be the best parent for MY kids that I can be. We will not always agree and see eye to eye, especiallyin the teen years, but those are only brief moments in the Big Picture.