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Little Daycare in the Suburbs

DaycareIt’s really interesting, the spectrum of responses I get on various aspects of life with triplets. Sometimes I feel like a volleyball, being hit from one side to the other. I regularly have conversations with people who can’t stop shaking their heads at how I “do it all.” (I don’t. See my explanation here.) I often hear, “My one (or two, or three, or four) is so challenging – I can’t imagine having three at once.” Neither could I, friend. Neither could I. =) These are often the same people who seem surprised to see me around town – at church, the grocery store, etc.

Somehow, I should be unable to get out until maybe around age 6. And the fact that I am out must mean I am Super Woman. Most definitely not.

Then the other side of the spectrum sees it as no different as having two or three or four children and often comments how fun it would be to have triplets. Really. Wanna trade? Juuuuust kidding! (Stay tuned for a fun list of things you should nevernevernever say to a hormone-exploding mama of triplets. =) But these are the friends who tease me about having my children on a schedule, for not getting out of the house more regularly, why I can’t have babysitters and generally eliminate the fact that having more children at once is just different than having more children spaced out.

I definitely want to be careful here. I don’t want to communicate that what I do and the gifts God has given us are harder. I don’t want to be singled out and made to feel as abnormal as every stranger I meet seems to think I am. =) But the reality is, we are different. So…

I’d like to bring the volley to a happy medium….a nice, fat spike, if you will.

Mealtimes are MESSY...times three!

Mealtimes are messy times three! Oh, and this is extremely mildly messy.

Having triplets is like running a daycare class…that never.goes.home. And who are the individuals that run daycare classes? Well, we sure hope they aren’t random teenagers or people who have no experience. They typically are qualified or certified in some way or another. Why? Because managing a class of same-aged children in the pre-communication stage is incredibly challenging! To attempt to teach those children anything is nothing short of a miraculous accomplishment. I have great respect for these teachers because I now have a small glimpse of what they experience on a daily basis. (My friend Katherine ran a class of over a dozen 3 year olds all by herself. What?! Who can do that?? My right eye is twitching just thinking about the tantrums and varying degrees of speech levels and “learning” to speak a dozen different dialects of “threeyearold.” =)

And apparently he didn't get enough!

And apparently he didn’t get enough!

Certainly, this toddler-preschool age is fun. Ohmygoodness, it’s fun! I love watching the babies’ eyes light up with something they just “got.” I can only imagine it’s incredibly rewarding to watch that happen in a classroom setting! And there are lots of great things about having three the same age:

They all have the same bedtime and naptimes. When one is down, they’re all down!

They all are at the same level – no 6 year old begging to go outside while I nurse the baby.

They came at once so I got fat once. =)

There is no “first child syndrome” when baby brother or sister comes along.

Etc.

But…throw a teenager (or even two) into this 18 month mix? I’m not alone when I say, “heck, no!” Most MoMs (mothers of multiples) I have talked with simply do not leave their triplets at this age. I have talked with many, many moms and the general consensus is that up through even 4 years, triplets are often left only with grandparents or individuals with daycare and/or triplet experience. Or they secure a 1:1 child/sitter ratio. Or there’s an older sibling to help. Etc. And this is often only for a few hours at a time and most times after the babies are already down for the night! Why?

Join me on Wednesday for the explanation and conclusion of what it’s like to get a sitter for triplets! If you’re a mom of multiples, give us a sneak peek – leave a comment with your thoughts! 

Oh, and while you’re here…would you take a second and click the button below to vote for us? See, we’re in this contest competing with other blogging moms of multiples and would love your vote. And, if you reallyreally love us, you can vote once a day! I know, right?!

Comments

  1. Shelley Webster says:

    I taught pre-school (2 year olds) for 4 years and that included lots of potty training, then I would go to my 2nd job as a nanny for a french family at night, 2 little girls and twins (boy & girl). I did this for 5 years. I only stopped because Brady was born. I tell you what, that was the most exhausting but rewarding job I ever had. At least I had the weekends to myself! Someday Jenn….some day!

    • Wow. That’s amazing. I had no idea you did all that! No wonder you have bite-preventing tips and tricks! :) I’m sure that’s been helpful to draw from with your own family growing up!

      <3

  2. Yes! I love this post!

    And as far as your next post, I was looking for a sitter a month ago because our normal was going to be out of town. I called four (4!!) different sitters, and all 4 conversations went like this-

    Me: “I’m looking for a sitter for April 4th. Are you available?”
    Sitter: “Let me look at my calendar….Yes, I think I am”
    Me: “Great! I have triplet 14 month olds.”
    Sitter:”Oh, no, I forgot. I have something going that night.”

    Ugh. We ended up just staying home because we couldn’t find anyone that would take them, even though we pay well!

  3. I have triplets and we started leaving them with a sitter at about two years old. That sitter did have triplet experience, but after we moved last spring when they were almost three, our new sitter is 16 and does just fine. They’ll be four in July. We don’t go out often, mostly because it’s expensive to have a date plus pay for a sitter, but the kids and the sitter do fine. We’ve even had a 13 year old babysit before. She’s the oldest of five kids, so she has lots of experience corralling young kids.

    I also know a lot of parents of several singletons that rarely leave their kids with a paid sitter and usually use family instead. I think it comes down to how the kids do and how comfortable you as a parent are with leaving them more than the fact that they’re multiples.

  4. I usually used my parents for the triplets, but that was more because I am cheap :). I did use teenagers several times and there were no problems. The one thing I did differently from my singletons there is I had them over beforehand to show them around and left them a much longer how-to list. Surprisingly, the teen didn’t want to charge me extra. I had to tip them to get them to take extra money.

    I really dislike the “competition” that seems to pop up over who has it harder and why. I have 3 older singletons and every one of them was hard. Frankly, the hardest adjustment I had was adding the second! But that was me. Every baby (s) is hard and each one is different. I did spend most of my triplet pregnancy trying not to stress over having 3. My third was an extremely difficult child and thinking of 3 like him as a toddler gave me palpitations.

    I will never forget the day someone came to the door looking for the neighbor who had a daycare in her home. He had seen all the toys and kids and assumed we were it! haha! :)

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