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Triplets Plus 2 - Tips For Managing A Large Family
Start Small, Start Early
Being told that you're expecting twins or more can be daunting. I think when I was told I was having triplets my emotional state was about 30% excited, 60% terrified and 10% confused. I'd been told children weren't likely to be a feature in my life just four years previously, and there I was with a baby being looked after by a friend while I went for my first ultrasound, and three months pregnant with triplets.
Honestly, the first thing we did to prepare for them was to make a shortlist of names. Three names for boys and three for girls. It may seem like an unusual first move, but knowing that they had something, however small, made it real. And believe me, it has to feel real right from the start.
I know expectant mums like to go and buy cute little outfits for their soon-to-be, but you have to accept the fact that, unless you have all the money in the world, you're not going to be able to afford to do that if you're having triplets or more.
Think about it, the average cost of a single outfit is around $15-20, so that's going to run to about $50 for just one outfit each for triplets. Can anyone really afford that?
I know it sounds horrible, but buy in bulk, buy neutral, and buy as early as you can. Friends and family will buy cute outfits for them but vests, rompers and sleepsuits are all they really need.
And muslin squares are a fantastic investment. You can use them for almost anything, and when your baby's no longer spitting up feeds, they're great for using as tea towels.
Team Mummy, Team Daddy
Your large family requires teamwork in order to thrive, so make it fun.
We have Team Mum and Team Dad in our family, so when we're out, I look out for Team Mum, and he looks out for Team Dad. It's a smaller group to keep track of, and there's less risk of a child going missing. If each mini team stays together, even if the larger group gets separated, it's a lot easier to relocate each other with minimal fuss.
This can also help when you are faced with immunisations. There's no point in trying to cope with multiple screamin children when they've had a jab, so divide the cuddles between you. Or if you have one, get an older child to help with the hugs.
Fun Doesn't Cost The Earth
Don't feel pressured to take your kids to expensive theme parks.
With a little local knowledge, anything can be made interesting for your kids.
Have a local castle of fort? Find out which historical figures may have stayed there, and find out an interesting fact about them to engage your children's attention.
A trip to the beach can be rich with natural curiosities. Encourage them to collect shells, or interesting seaweed or driftwood. Search rock pools, take photos, watch sea birds.
Nature walks are almost universally available. Even in cities there will be public parks where you can go and look at the flora and fauna. Try bug catching and tree bark rubbings.
The world is full of fascinating things, you just need to know how to spark your children's curiosity.
Just how many children are in a large family?
How large is your family?
Manners Cost Nothing
Polite children are always appreciated, so if you want your kids to be accepted when you're out in public, make sure they know how to say please, thank you, excuse me, pardon and all the other common courtesies.
Believe it or not, it isn't hard to teach your kids to be polite. They learn by example, so smile and say thank you to the checkout assistant when you go shopping, say please when you ask them to do something, and thank you when they're done. Be as pleasant as you would like them to be and they will follow suit.
Pack Everything In Advance
From your hospital bag before they're born, to lunches for school and luggage for holidays, make sure you get everything sorted well in advance.
School lunches and picnics for days out can be made the night before, and luggage can be packed weeks ahead of a holiday. Don't leave anything until the last minute.
And keep spare clothes in the car when you're out. You never know when they'll fall in a pond, or spill juice down their t-shirt, or have an unexpected nappy malfunction. No matter how good your nappy brand, there will always be a rogue nappy that decides not to keep everything in.
YouTube Will Amuse Them For Hours
- Plan everything
- Get ready in advance
- Bulk buying is your friend
- Manners cost nothing
- History is fun!
Start Your Journey Early
If you have to drive a considerable distance to be somewhere at a specific time, and the kids are going with you, make sure you leave with planty of extra time in hand.
There will always need to be toilet breaks, and your children will never need to go at the same time, so allow at least an extra half an hour per hundred miles you need to travel.
© 2014 Rebecca Hillary