Tuesday, February 10

Surviving the First Year: Helpful Tips from a Mama of Triplets plus One
{4 kids 2 and under}

I’ve never given much thought to what things helped us get through having a {newly} 2 year old and triplets {besides God}, but there was a lot of things that made that first year more bearable. I pestered Matt to help me think of the things that we did to help us survive. Most of them were pretty straight forward and easy to implement {we didn’t have a lot of excess income and lofty ambitions during that time…and still don’t}.

Surviving the First Year Helpful Tips from a Mama of Triplets plus One {4 kids 2 and under}

1. Ditch the Diaper Bag

Even before the triplets were born, I knew that my super-cute Vera Bradley diaper bag, was just not going to cut it. We had 4 kids in diapers…cloth diapers. The space alone was lacking, never mind having no free hands. I pulled out the LL Bean Deluxe backpack that I purchased before heading off to college and started using that….oh my goodness! So much easier! It was so great, that we bought a second one, to keep stocked in case we had appointments or what-have-you with only a couple of the kids.

2. Put the seat down

I am still {almost 4 years later} mourning the loss of my beloved Honda CRV, but logistically it had to go: There was no choice but to get a minivan. Through a series of divine events we found our van and it was perfect. The big thing that I wanted was to fit all the car seats {for the triplets} in the back row, so that we could keep 1 captain’s chair down…we did. Keeping that seat down has been an incredible life {and back} saver. We didn’t have to hump around the inside of a car with kids in infant car seats. {I’m honestly not looking forward to putting up that seat in order to fit Number 5, this summer, but until we get another vehicle we’ll manage}.

3. Evening showers

I know a lot of people can’t wake up until they shower in the morning. I’d love to say I get that, but I don’t drink coffee either. In college I had started showering in the evenings to kill time, before Matt and I could chat on AOL Instant Messenger {does anyone else miss AIM?!} The easiest thing for us, was evening showers.

We could either peacefully shower once the kids were in bed, or we could do family showers, when one of us would get in and pass a baby back and forth for their bath time. Oh the pictures I wish I had! We’d line all the babies up on the floor of the bathroom and spend 30 minutes getting everyone clean. It’s still my favorite way to bath babies.
Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under} @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com
4. TV

I hate to say it, but between Avelyn and me…TV was a life saver. To the point that Avelyn was speaking with a British accent from watching Kipper. That’s just what happens when you have 3 babies born in the winter and a little that’s still too little to go outside {or anywhere} alone.
For me…I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch doing feedings. The TV kept me company. Matt was working full time on the route and needed to sleep. I would stay up until 1am or so for the last feeding then go to bed. I wish I had a picture of that too…me sitting on the couch feeding all 3 babies at once.

5. Easy meals

I did not have lofty meal ambitions that year. I honestly couldn’t tell you what we ate, because it was non-remarkable. We had 2 or 3 meals delivered by people, and my parents sent leftovers and meals when they could. We did what we had to.  I don’t remember us starving and we didn’t prep months of freezer meals in advance {and there is no take-out where we live}. We had good food in the house and ate what we had on hand.

6. Minimal outings

When I say we didn’t go anywhere that first year…I mean we didn’t go ANYWHERE! Between my mom and Matt’s mom I was able to go grocery shopping, while leaving everyone home. Our biggest outing during that year was going to Hershey Park to see Matt’s family {the triplets were 8 months old} and it went better than I thought it would. Other than that we didn’t go out. {The other thing was that it was exhausting to try going out, between the looks, comments, and questions}.Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under} @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com
7. Quad stroller

The one thing we did do, was go for walks…once we had a quad stroller. Another triplet-mama from our area gave us a quad stroller they had picked up years before at a yard sale and we made it work until the seats literally broke. The only way we got out of the house was with the quad stroller, whether it was for a walk around the corner or out in the yard. The stroller at least gave me a way, by myself, to move all of the kids around outside at once.

8. Baby wearing

When the triplets were very little one of them would always be awake and wanting to be held. The easiest way to handle that was to put them in my Moby wrap and go. There were even times when Avelyn needed a little cuddle and she would go in there so that I could get things done around the house.

9. Easy access

Once the babies were home our house was taken over by the things we had for them. Our living room became baby central: We had a pack n’ play {changing table attached} with a shelf above it for clothes, diapers and other necessities, three swings and three bouncies. We removed all unnecessary furniture {coffee tables, end tables, etc} and did everything possible to keep things on hand and enough space for Avelyn too. Now, before you think we have a huge living room…the whole room is 12x13, if that. Not very big at all, but it worked!
Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under} @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com
10. Low key wardrobes

I was looking back at pictures a few weeks ago, from 2012-2013, and it struck me that almost all the pictures of the kids had them in PJs. At first I thought “wow, way to go mom”…boy I was lazy. Then I thought about it. It was winter, it was cold, we didn’t go anywhere, it was that much less laundry to do and it made the day a lot easier. Avelyn was always dressed to the Nines, when you have one baby that’s ok to do; when you have 3 babies and a 2 year old and you don’t honestly care, it’s OK.
Which brings me to the next thing.


There was a lot of grace during that time. It was hard…I think I forget just how hard it was, because you just did what you had to. There were 4 kids clamoring for your attention and requiring it for their survival; there never was a choice to just not do it. There were temper tantrums and melt downs {by mommy}, but we got through them. Most everything on this list, was our way of showing grace to ourselves, by not putting lofty expectations over our heads and only doing what we needed to care for these little blessings.
Life Saving Tips from a Mama of A LOT OF LITTLES {4 kids 2 and under} @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com

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