To celebrate Father’s Day we asked Alex from Daddy to Triplets Girls to tell us all about his experience of going from a Daddy of one to a Daddy of four over night. All words and images by Alex, @daddy_to_triplet_girls
I will never forget the moment that my life changed forever it was the 6th of April 2017 around 8pm, I said to my, at the time 3 year old, son Henry ‘what do you fancy doing?’ and he said ‘let’s go down the river and chuck some stones in’ … So that’s what we did. On the face of it this doesn’t sound very life changing but just 10 hours earlier my wife Charlotte had given birth to our triplet daughters.
It was the first time that I felt a little bit lost, lost because I knew I couldn’t be with all my children at the same time, it wasn’t physically possible as the three girls were in the hospital and I wasn’t able to stay in and Henry was at home so I was needed to be there with him. Becoming a dad of 4 overnight was something I never thought would happen to me, firstly I was absolutely over the moon, thrilled and full of happiness as a multiple pregnancy is filled with uncertainty and potential complications but we managed to get through it and the girls were all born happy and a few minor issues aside, born healthy.
The hardest part was just getting my head around the logistics of everything, we had a three bedroom house, our car had 5 seats, we only had two hands etc, but my wife and I made a decision early on that we could either focus on all the negatives and the impossibility of the situation or we could be positive and strong and carry on with life as normal, holidays, day’s out and fun … and that’s what we did. We also wanted Henry to not be affected, so we worked really hard on still doing the things he liked and making a fuss of him!
Like most things in life the highs are high and the low’s are low, but I would say with triplets that is enhanced, I mean walking into a room and seeing 3 baby girls all smiling and wanting a cuddle surely must be the pinnacle of any parents life, getting the positive attention and putting them in cute little outfits etc is wonderful. However, the low points can be really tough, I think sleep deprivation is something that all parents experience but with 3 it can be really hard, the first 6 months my wife and I were really under the cosh, the girls were so demanding and we were shattered, I remember us both laying on the floor of the girls room in tears. Also the relentlessness of the situation is still tough now, you cant really take turns to hold the baby, you’re both just fully involved in it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, I also work full time so Charlotte is on her own although we do get support from family and friends when they can.
I know a lot of dad’s feel a bit of a spare part during the first few months especially if the mother is breastfeeding, due to medical complications Charlotte was unable to breastfeed the girls for longer than a month so whilst it was a blow for her it was an opportunity for me to step up to the plate, I think you only get out of situations what you put into them and being on hand to change the 30 nappies a day (between them) and help with all the feeds, really helped me bond with the girls and gave my wife the support she needed. I was the same with Henry although he was breastfed until around 18 months, I still made time for me and him and liked to bath him and change him so I felt I was doing my bit and creating that special bond.
The biggest challenge of being a daddy to triplets for me personally hasn’t been the girls it’s actually been Henry, he is a typical 4 year old and for the first 3 and half years of his life was an only child. I don’t like the thought of him feeling left out and not included or ‘in the way’, so normally with my last 10% of energy after a long day at work and then helping with the girls I like to make a fuss of him and play with him or take him out. We also have ‘Henry days’ where he chooses what we do and where we go!
I never thought I would have 4 beautiful children and I know how lucky I am, having triplets is such a gift, I also must say my wife does the most incredible job and we are a great team.
- Routine, Routine, Routine … Learn from the hospital what the routine is and stick to it 100% no exceptions and then you may get some sleep
- Never be afraid to ask for help or admit that it’s tough
- Support your partner and ensure he/she is coping
- Give yourself a break … whilst you feel like one you are not a superhero – everyone needs a day/night off
- Accept all the help that’s offered – lasagnes made by the lady next door are a life saver
- Seek support of people that have multiples, connect on Instagram or other sites and learn from people that have been through it already
- Step up to the plate, your partner needs you now more than ever
- Try and have a financial plan as money will be an issue, have a 3 year plan that will see you through to the time they get free childcare and you can both potentially work again
- Don’t feel guilty that you have bad days, we all have terrible days and sometimes we wish we were on a beach in Ibiza and not in a hot stuffy room with 3 crying babies who all need changing, that’s ok!
- Laugh …. The reason I started my Instagram page was so I could laugh at the ridiculous things that were bound to happen and I remember one day all the girls were up all night (literally all night), Henry was sick in his bed and our dog wet the kitchen floor … Charlotte looked at me and we both just laughed hysterically … and then spent the next 3 hours cleaning and feeding