It’s obviously not easy. And I would recommend help, if your family has a good one. Every family should have help in raising their children, and its good for children to be exposed to different caregivers – good caregivers invested in their emotional, physical and mental well-beings.
Our family, unfortunately does not have access to such good caregivers. Lately, people have been asking me to enrol Livia in childcare when the triplets come into our lives. I’m not really interested to put her in a structured environment this young. I think kindy is okay, but anything before kindy, in Singapore at least, is not ideal for us. If I was working full-time and I became a mother, I was prepared to stop work for awhile to raise all my children till at least they went to kindy. My husband, too, agrees with me and he was willing to be a stay-at-home dad. Its just so happens our situation has turned out that I’m not working full-time so I ended up staying home. That’s not about to change despite having the triplets.
The first four months were tough. I will readily admit I could not take care of Livia at all. I could barely get out of bed and feed myself. My husband stopped work for 2 months and took care of us and it worked out somehow because his previous job required a lot of traveling which we did not like. He went back to work once my morning sickness significantly improved, and started with a new company where there was no more overseas work trips.
Our everyday situation since then has stabilised more or less. If my husband is at home, he will take care of us and all the chores. If he’s not, then I am responsible for caring for Livia but I don’t have to do the chores unless I wanted to. We used to be able to go out but that has stopped and we now spend most days at home. On good days, I am able to cook, clean and play with Livia. On bad days, we eat take out food and I turn on the TV or music to keep her occupied. If I feel she’s had too much TV, I will take out her books, Lego, building blocks or papers to draw on and that keeps her sufficiently entertained. Days are usually good, and if the days are bad, it becomes better when my husband comes home. So I wouldn’t say its been terribly tough being pregnant with triplets and taking care of a toddler.
Granted my toddler is especially independent, not needy and pretty good at listening to instructions. For example, if I cannot bend down, she knows how to stand on a stool so I can bathe her or put on her diapers and clothes. She’s also gotten very good at feeding herself and I simply have to place food on a plate and she sits quietly at the dining table and eats next to me. She is now learning also to clean after herself and do simple chores like putting her dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket, and putting her toys back into their containers and books back on the shelves. Sometimes I don’t even need to take off her diapers for her, she takes them off for me. We have been practicing potty-training but its going oh-so-slow! She takes her nap at the same time everyday and goes to bed by 8pm after a bath and a few stories. Maybe if I had a more needy toddler, I would be painting a different situation. All she asks of us is that we are close by and not leave her alone in a room and if possible, sing songs with her whenever we can. If my husband is not tired from working the double shift, he takes her outdoors to play. We also try to bring her outdoors on his off-days – a place where I can sit or relax comfortably while both of them play. Before the triplets, Livia would be outdoors almost everyday and our favourite place was the swimming pool.
I am not entirely sure how its going to work out when the triplets arrive. We’ll adjust accordingly. We aren’t too worried about it, and no one else should too!