Things to consider when raising multiples
August, 2017
Being a parent can be demanding. Whether you’re dealing with new-born babies or sulky teenagers, it’s true enough that being a parent is a full-time job. With this in mind, the prospect of raising multiples can be worrying and overwhelming. There’s so much to consider that trying to keep track of it all can take more time than looking after the children. Fear not, there is light at the end of the tunnel and with a few simple tips and tricks, you can ensure that you’re raising multiples with ease while avoiding the stress and worry that seems to be pre-packaged with parenthood.
Make Notes
Initially, the prospect of taking notes when looking after multiples can make parents feel like they are not up to the job and failing the children in some way, but make no mistake, raising multiples can be difficult and time-consuming, regardless of how well-behaved the children are. As such, making notes of when a certain child had their last bottle ensures that no-one is being overfed, just as recording nap times will make for a more productive day. When we’re alert and rested, such tasks are carried out easily. However, if you’re also trying to keep the house in order, there will come a time when tiredness kicks in and you’re not firing on all cylinders, which is where the art of notetaking becomes a reliable ally when caring for multiples.
Ensure Everyone is on the Same Side
Regardless of how many children we have, ensuring routines and unruly behaviour is handled with a united front will ensure that you are able to make more realistic plans for the day ahead. For example, if your children visit a nursey, be sure to advise the nursery of said routines and how these are implemented. Nurseries are happy to support parents while ensuring children know where they stand when it comes to expectations and consequences. The same applies for visits to friends and family. Just because they may not agree with a certain structure doesn’t mean they should overrule you, as it only causes more confusion for the children. As such, decide on a plan that suits you and your children and ensure that all involved can follow the template when possible.
Remember You’re Only Human
Any parent can try and become a superhero when it comes to their children, and many push themselves to the point of exhaustion and feel guilty about becoming stressed and irritable. In this regard, you need to reassure yourself that you’re only human, and like many others in your position, just need a good dose of rest. You may find that some friends and family take a back seat when offering help as they may feel they are intruding. Don’t be afraid of asking for help, those around will only be too happy to lend a hand and spend some time with the children while you get some much-need respite. Of course, it’s not only friends and family that can help you. Nannies are often an overlooked solution when it comes to contending with the challenges that raising multiples can bring, but they can be a real godsend to those who feel there is no over avenue. What’s more a nanny will be fully qualified to deal with a multitude of children, so will only be used to the challenges children can bring, regardless of how many of them there are.
Get Yourself Organised
Not being organised in any context can bring on unwarranted stress, but being disorganised when trying to contend with the needs of multiples can leave you chasing your own tail. There are many ways to get organised, it’s simply a case of ascertaining what works best for you. For example, if you have triplets, then you may find it easier to store outfits together instead of singularly, meaning you are able to dress the children quickly. Another way of becoming organised is to keep a ring binder that contains all the relevant information about the multiples. This can include feeding times, any allergies and details of nap times. There is no cookie cutter solution, as different children will have different requirements. However, as you become more aware of patterns, you can use this to your advantage and be proactive when dealing with the days ahead.
Encourage Teamwork Where Possible
As your children develop, it will be normal for them to start seeing the benefits of sharing and helping others, and there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of this. For example, if your child goes to get a drink for themselves, try to encourage them to consider the other children. Not only does this allow for a stronger bond among siblings, but the small task that they undertake can help lighten the load overall. Of course, there are other benefits to encouraging teamwork that will help your children flourish in the future. For example, children who partake in teamwork are able to better negotiate their own needs, as well as look back on individual experiences and learn from them.
Encourage Individuality
When women give birth to twins, triplets or even quadruplets it can be easy to refer to them as a collective rather than individuals. However, if we’re able to shine a light on their traits and behaviours, you will be able to shine the spotlight on them and celebrate their individuality. Treating children as individuals will help them discover their own personality as well as establishing their own achievements. Different children may have different traits, so it can take a little getting used to, but encouraging individuality can make for a more peaceful and manageable routine moving forwards. Encouraging children to have their own individuality will also ensure that as time goes by, they grow into confident adults who are able to contend with the world of tomorrow and everything it has to throw at them.
As many will testify, there is no magic wand that can be waved when it comes to bringing up multiples, as there can be many varying factors. However, the above tips can be applied to almost any structure, and will help you unburden the worry.