People always ask me "How do you do it?" or something like "you must be busy" so I thought I would give a little taste of the weekday:
Newman Triplet Style
I wake up at 5:30, take out the dogs and feed them and sometimes eat breakfast. The night nanny leaves at 6:00 (only during the week) so I head upstairs and TRY to sleep in the guest room with the monitor. This usually lasts about 15 minutes before someone is crying, or pooping or needing attention. The other day I put Beckett in the Baby Bjorn at 6:30 while I made the bottles for the day. At 7:30 I haul all the babies down to the living room, give them their medicine, change them and then feed them their 8:00 bottles. I also watch the Today show. That Willard Scott sure is a scream.
After the morning bottle, I change the babies into their "play clothes" and we usually read a few books and sing Old McDonald, Itsy-Bitsy Spider- you get the picture. This can't last too long because their attention span is so short so they start to get a little fussy around 9:45 and I encourage them to sleep around 10. I end up with Addy in the stroller getting pushed back and forth and I usually hold another baby. Luckily, at least one will usually start their morning nap around this time without my encouragement.
I have help that comes for a few hours during the day so at that point is when I can shower, make bottles if I hadn't done it earlier and then either go to work or run errands. I can't tell you how many times a week I go to Babies R'us. You would think at some point I would figure out to cluster my errands but it always seems like I'm running out of formula, wipes, diapers or nursery water. Imagine that. Or I'm running out of laundry detergent. I do all the baby clothes separately with a different soap. This is what I use. It smells so good sometimes I'm tempted to taste it.
People are amazed that I've gone back to work. I've gone back to work because I'm NOT Supermom. I need the break and to think about other things besides poop and bottles. When I work, I have to shower when I get home (hospital GERMS) so most of the time that means that I only work for 2.5 or 3.5 hours but it is enough to make me glad to get to work and miss the babies about the time that I come back home.
At some point during the day, I try to get the babies outside or give them a change of scenery. Many times I pack them all in the car to go for a walk at a nature preserve. Getting all three in the car with a diaper bag, my wallet, phone, and the stroller while corralling the pugs inside the house is really a scene. But the 10 minutes of crying (babies) and sweating (me) are worth having a cry-free 2 hours. They love being outside and they love going for walks and they love being in the car. Once we get home the transition from the house to the car can be really loud because they are ready to eat and tired of being in their infant seats. This is usually a crazy 15 minutes of carrying things from the garage to the house, getting them out of their seat, changed and ready to eat.
If it looks like it might rain or for some reason we will not have enough time between bottles to go somewhere because say maybe all 3 needed a bath because of a messy diaper then the pugs get lucky. With the rainy weather lately, I've been taking the babies and the two pugs on a walk in the afternoon. I'm sure that is a sight. I have my pockets stuffed with pacifiers, plastic bags and Canine Carry-Outs dog treats.
They eat at 6:30 and then we usually have about 15 minutes of entertaining before starting the bedtime routine. Lately I have been lining them up in their Boppy's, blasting songs from the opera Carmen and standing in front of them pretending to sing opera and dancing. They love it. How these things get started, I have no idea. I mean, why would I think to dance to opera? That is just an glimpse of how desperate I can get to entertain them.
I then haul all three upstairs and put two Boppy's facing one another so the babies are kicking each other, put in the Jewel Lullaby CD and start with the baths. I'm always amazed at the amount of lint that Eloise can collect in her little hands. Even after the bath I have to go back open her clenched fist and and pry out the lint. Beckett's hands need a thorough cleaning as well because he puts them in his mouth so much they always smell like spoiled milk. They all get a bath and a mini massage with Calendula oil. This is my favorite part of the day. They love baths and are so happy and content and clean and naked. There is nothing cuter than a naked baby. When I give them a massage they laugh, kick and stare at me in the mirror in the bathroom.
I feed them another bottle at 8 pm and by 8:30 all three will be lined up in the crib, bundled up sleeping like angels. Well, sometimes. Last night Beckett decided that he was not tired so we had a battle of the wills between 8:30 and 10:00. He whined that entire time. Every 5 minutes I would go in to the room, give him his pacifier, rub his belly, tell him it is okay and then leave when he was quiet. He would be quiet for about 3 minutes and start over again. After they are asleep is when the real work begins.
For the next hour or two I get the house picked up, laundry put away, bottles made, dogs out, water plants, sweep the floor- you know the daily stuff you have to do to keep your house half-way presentable. It is amazing how trashed the living room can get in a matter of hours with bottles, blankets, burp cloths, and toys. There is really no way for me to do any of this during the day. One of my friends was over the other day and she commented about none of the babies sleeping at the time. It's true. At this age, they are still not on a regular nap routine and I can't remember that last time that all 3 were sleeping during the day. I'm ALWAYS entertaining or holding one baby. She also commented on how regimented I was. Actually, the word militant was used. That is true as well. I'm militant about the feeding times and rituals such as bedtime. I can't afford to have all the babies on a different schedule or confused about what comes next.
I try to get to sleep before 11 but that does not happen too frequently. Even though I have a night nanny during the week, I still sometime get up during the night if I hear babies crying for long periods of time. It is just a mother's instinct because I have a hard time falling asleep once I wake up and there is crying. And there is lots of crying these days because we are STILL trying to cut out the 2 AM feeding. Beckett will have none of it. They only get 1.5 oz at 2 but he still wakes up like clockwork. Addy slept through the other night and had to be woken up at 5 AM to eat. Eloise is hit or miss. I think Beckett wakes her up. I heard he woke her up the other night because he was working really hard grunting to fill his pants.
So that it. That's my normal day. I probably struggle and juggle with the same obstacles as any other mom with more than one child. But here's the difference- I don't know any different. I don't know what it is like to only have 1 baby. In many ways, that is probably a good thing. This is normal to me.
I think this weekend we are going to move the 3rd crib out of our room and back into the nursery and put them in their own cribs. It's not that they are too big, yet, but it is more for the noise factor. I remember looking at all three lined up in the crib and thinking how big the crib was for even all three of them. My babies are really growing up. And that little glint of longing for your babies to stay babies forever is probably normal for every parent...