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AMBA, Blessed, Children, Dad, Daddy, epiphany, Family, Growing Up, Hugs, Kids, Life, Love, Madness, Memories, Multiple Parent, Multiverse, Mum, Parenting, Surrogacy, Sweet, Triplets, Truth, Twins, Wardy
AMBA, Australia, Australian Multiple Birth Association, Blessed, Brisbane, Brisbane Multiple Birth Association, Children, Dad, Daddy, epiphany, Family, Growing Up, Hugs, Inspiration, Kids, Life, Love, Madness, Memories, Multiple Parent, Multiverse, Mum, Parenting, Quads, Role Model, Surrogacy, Triplets, Truth, Twins, Wardy
In concluding this series on becoming a Dad of Multiples, I felt it necessary to round off my experiences with some pointers on where to get professional help.
It is all to easy for me to tap away on a device and spit out words of wisdom, yet it would be more prudent to let you know that there is so much more out there. You’re not a lone voice in the wilderness so the question that begs to be answered is where can we get professional help?
There are a variety of places to get help as parents, not only for those of multiples, but there are a few specific places that I will list below.
For Multiple Parents:
1] Your first port of call before you even become parents in Austraila is AMBA, the Australian Multiple Birth Association.
We became members when were 3 months into our pregnancy and I have continued to be active by being the current Dads EPIN Contact for our local club. This organisation is completely run by volunteer Multiple Parents like myself.
Link –> http://www.amba.org.au
To find you local AMBA club, go here –> http://www.amba.org.au/clubfinder
2] Specifically for the Multiple Dads, I have a FB Group. A place where Dads with Multiples (Twins, Triplets and more) can get and share information on their experiences. We are just Dads with different experiences that we hope can help those who are on, or going on, this journey. We are not medical professionals and do not profess to be so. Regardless of how you became a Dad of Multiples (Natural, IVF or Surrogacy), I hope we can listen, suggest or point you in the right direction. Be respectful to all members as well, as they could hold the key to helping you as well as others.
3] Life has it’s ups and downs and depression or more specifically Post Natal Depression affects nearly half of ALL MEN AND WOMEN. Getting professional help is a key to keeping together these days and if you’re not quite ready for Professional Counselling but still need someone to lend an ear, try these organisations:
Beyond Blue –> http://www.beyondblue.org.au. PH: 1300 22 36 46
Lifeline –> http://www.lifeline.org.au. PH: 13114
Another great local resource is your GP. We all have to start somewhere but more importantly that we do start. Your family need you and if it all gets a little much sometimes, it’s nice to have somewhere to turn for ‘those days’.
We’re only human, but we are Dads n Mums to multiples after all.
People with one child or even those who have two close together will not understand completely, as much they would like to think they do, they don’t.
This is NOT a disparaging comment or meant to be rude.
It is just a fact, just like a guy thinks he knows what it’s like to go through labour or a lady thinks she knows what it is like to be kicked in the you know whats.
If you are parents to multiples, it can be a stressed out time for some more than others. We are all different and we all handle stress differently, so even then it’s not a level playing field.
A single parent to multiples with reflux and no support is a super Mum compared to two parents with no reflux. Watch your friends, help out if you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The multiverse is a journey you will never forget, but make it for the right reasons as much as possible.
On a closing note, I have a few individual people that I would like to thank personally. Although they might not know it, we have drawn from their experiences to make our journey a lot easier. They have shared their stories with us, taken time to welcome us into the Multiverse as they were with others before them.
So thank you….
Bree & Nicole – you welcomed and shared many things with us, including your friendship…xo
Tania & Jo – old hands that made new people feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂
Suzana from Munich…words carry a loooong way but they have been heard very well down under.
Ali, where would we be without you?
Roxanne, A late night miracle worker and inspiration!
Mandy in NZ, just across ‘the ditch’, a calm voice of reason..xo
Natasha…on par with us and fellow nightowl to chat too! 😀
David & Sheree, our sounding boards when we get the chance. xo
All the ladies from the support group ‘Support, questions and chat for feeding multiples….and Melissa and Pieta for keeping it such a great place to belong.
To our immediate family, surrogacy families and friends. Your support and contributions have made a world do difference to us.
And lastly, to my wife Tina, may we both continue to love this journey as much as we love each other. We are a family, we are complete and we have two of the most gorgeous boys anyone could ask for.
May the multiverse be all you hoped for, take your breath away and I hope you will continue to follow our journey as our boys grow over time.
I’m sure I will continue with a new series as our boys move from being infants into being toddlers. So until then, be well, be prepared and be proud of being of a multiple parent!
AMBA, Australian Multiple Birth Association, Blessed, Brisbane, Children, Dad, Daddy, David Attenborough, epiphany, Family, Growing Up, Hugs, Inspiration, Kids, Life, Love, Madness, Multiple Parent, Multiverse, Parenting, Quads, Role Model, Surrogacy, Triplets, Truth, Twins
Well, after a very eventful few weeks I have finally found some time to do the last couple of tips in this series.
Tonight I look at ‘people keep who keep touching the pram, kids and making stupid remarks and asking personal questions….’
This question is asked a LOT by new multiple parents and I’m afraid it just a fact that you too will get asked these questions.
The second part to this question is why & can we harm them if they do it again?
All very relevant mind you and sometimes I actually wonder if anyone has…kidding!
Let’s take a look under the hood of someone’s cranium to have a peek as to what is really going on here. You’ve been warned and you might not think much of it now, but trust me, the first few times you just smile and nod….by the 50th, 60th or even 100th time someone does or says anything remotely to do with your kids, it’s more likely they will see dark clouds roll in over their heads, your eyes turn to slitted pupils and a bolt of lighting may just strike between their feet….or so we’d hope.
Sound a bit excessive? Well even to one as calm as myself, I found out very quickly that I had a new temperament around a new breed of what I thought were just dumb people.
From a strangers perspective, we are gifted, we have super powers of attracting the dumbest, inconsiderate, rude individuals. When I say attracting, think black hole type attraction, there is no escaping it…and you live on the event horizon for the first 18 months or so.
If David Attenborough ever wanted to study a new species of human behaviour, I think even he would find it challenging, yet simultaneously dumbfounding as all rational thoughts evaporate from normal people once they hit the 1 metre mark from the pram…welcome to the twilight zone.
So let’s be clear as to what you can expect:
1] Homo Inconsiderus….. Threat level: 9/10
Removing muslin wraps that cover sleeping children in a pram and want to play with said sleeping children. Not having washed their hands or wiping their nose with the sleeve of their jumper then reaching for your children. (Think Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’s children snatcher with a dash of wicked witch of the west thrown in for good measure.)
Idle threats like ‘I wouldn’t do that if I was you.’…..followed by a raised eyebrow. If oblivious to said remark, slap wrist firmly and wiggle a finger at them followed by a simple Tut Tut…..no touchy touchy.
2] Homo Whatthefuckius….. Threat level 8/10
Asks all about your sex life, how you conceived twins, guesses, rightly or wrongly, that you must have used IVF and worst of all, expects you to actually answer the question.
Ask them what colour their knickers are. When they snap out of their rivière, follow this up with ‘it’s rude to ask those questions isn’t it?’ And walk away immediately.
If this happens to be asked at a family gathering and you cannot escape, I’m sure you’re within your rights to answer with the alternative rebuke of ‘Karma sutra position number 43, how about you?’
3] Dinodumbass….. Threat Level 5/10
Tries to be funny with comments like, double (triple) trouble, I have two kids 2 years apart, that’s like having twins, what did you do to deserve THAT many kids at once, etc…
Blank stare or whitty comeback (if you’re good at them).
Best defence to all of the above…thicker skin. Your kryptonite is your ability to be drawn down to their level and being beaten with experience. You owe nobody any type of explanation for your circumstances no matter who they are.
Yes it will happen, but one word of advice….. hold your tongue! There is method to this madness in the fact that after 99th person has tested your patience, the 100th person will lean close to you, you brave yourself as they whisper, “You’re doing a great job” and then winks.
Don’t miss this rare treat as they walk away smiling, you can only bet the dumbfounded look on your face that they are either a twin or triplet or parents of multiples themselves. Oh and don’t forget to laugh….you’ll only understand why when you are in this exact same scenario.
Oh and as for the second part to this question of can we harm them if they do it again? The answer is no, the boot of your car can’t carry that many bodies, even if you own a bus…..
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What a week of firsts, chaos and exhaustion…….
In a nutshell,
1] The boys both have glasses now. Connor has a new prescription and frames and Christian has his first pair as well. Still as cute as every though…
2] The boys have moved up a room in Day Care and are loving it. New friends, good times and so much so they don’t want to leave.
3] I picked the boys up early to go to the optometrists and as we were leaving, 6 girls in the level above the boys were all lined up against the fence saying, bye Christian, bye Connor. Christian walked 2 mtrs along the footpath and started blowing kisses to the girls like a celebrity as the girls all giggled. I nearly died with laughter as he turned walked towards his limo that awaited….hahaha. 😉
Smooth mate….very smooth. 😀
4] We had the fire brigade come out for a gas leak that ended up being aero shed rubber on the end of our BBQ!
5] Christian earned his first ride in the Ambulance as he had a fall at home and hit his head on the tiles. He held his breath until he passed out and went rigid, like a silent seizure and we couldn’t get him to respond. We literally thought we had lost him for a few seconds and it was the scariest thing we have every experienced in our lives. I never want to repeat that in a hurry.
6] Christian has decided to count to 10 out of nowhere. He has half the alphabet down pat and colours and shapes aren’t far behind. His explosion of vocabulary has left us shaking our heads wondering what is coming next. We just wanted a happy pair of boys and he hasn’t been forced to do any of this. It’s incredible how much they soak up and spit back out within a few short weeks.
This is just the simple stuff, lots of changes at work and family news on top of all this, but for tonight….I’m done. It’s now it’s time for some serious ZzZzZzs……
Let’s hope next week isn’t quite as eventful…..
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Today part 9 will look at how soon before you can get out and about after the kids come home.
See that thing over there? Yes the thing at the end of the hallway…. Forgotten what it is called? You know it, you look at it but the world is a different place now. You have twins, triplets or more to look after, their health to think of and you’d have to be out in….. *GASP*….. PUBLIC!
Relax, it’s not as bad as all that. Well almost….
Looking back over this series, I have indirectly mentioned or alluded to something that helps overcome situations like these. Something so small, yet it is probably the biggest key to implementing almost everything I have spoken about……it’s called confidence, even if you have to fake it till you make it, it will be the most powerful thing you can carry with you at all times.
Once you have you confidence eroded, you become susceptible to far darker things. Your confidence is like the force from the Star Wars movies, it can be used for good or bad and it you start to fear using your confidence…..remember Yoda’s words?
“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.”
Ok, so you’re not a Star Wars fan, that’s ok, but the message remains the same. Once you step out that door with multiples, you are vulnerable…….and so are the kids. You are suddenly thrust into a world of the public eye, germs, colds, flu, disease, rude or unfunny people and a lot of other undesirables. Your confidence is your shield and it WILL take a battering for the next 8-10 years. It won’t subside until your multiples are no longer seen as multiples, and that means when they are older and doing their own individual things.
There is going to be no avoiding it, so arm yourself with this little bit of advice.
A] How soon before we can get out and about?
This depends on a few things, common sense being the most obvious. You’re not going to take your newborn out into a 40 degree day in the Australian sun anymore than you would into a snowstorm in Detroit. So let’s list out a few reasons to begin this new journey:
1] The season that your children are born will be the biggest factor. Exposure to everything outside is inviting it back inside your house. No need to bore you with more info here, I’m sure you’ll get it.
2] Your routine. Once you have it, things are a LOT more predictable and therefore you can actually plan an outing. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, routine is what will help you organise yourself and the kids, and I don’t just mean around the house. On average, the first 14-16 months are the easiest times to be getting out and about for a few simple reasons. A] They are immobile B] They sleep a lot C] You can grow your confidence with baby steps (no pun intended!).
I will give you my personal experience and show you how I built my confidence, my wife’s confidence and scored some major brownie points in the process.
Our boys were born in July (Winter) and as soon as they were 6 weeks old and Spring was showing hints of arriving, I was learning how to ‘kit up’ for a morning out of the house with just our twin boys and myself.
5:45am Saturday morning rolls around and they were awake. The night before I had their two kids backpacks all ready to go. Two formula feeds, bottles, water, muslin wraps in one bag and portable change mat, nappies, 2 x change of clothes and wipes in the other. All I needed to do was fill the two small thermos’ with hot water and I was ready.
By 6:10am I was dressed, ready and had the boys dressed warm and off we went.
6:15am: We snuck out of the house and left a note for my wife to call me she woke up. So, into the car we go and drive 15 mins into the middle of town to Southbank Recreational area.
At 6:30am I had prime choice of parking spots, put the boys in their twin pram and wandered down to the waterfront. Pulled out the boy’s formula, mixed it up and fed them while watching the sunrise over the city. The number of people out jogging at that time of the morning is quite busy, so by the time it hit 7:15 I had about 20 ladies standing around adoring the boys as they had breakfast.
7:45am: The boys have finished breakfast, been burped and now fast asleep again.
Packed up and by 8am I was enjoying a nice brekky at a local cafe. The ladies gave me a second coffee just for being brave enough taking the twins out on my own! Haha!
8:30am: The market stalls were opening so time for a wander until about 10:30am when I started looking out for a ‘Parents Room’ to change the boys and get ready for the next feed.
10:45am: The boys stirred, so they were changed and fed once again and asleep by 11:30am. Time to grab a bite on the go for me and off to the museum.
At this point I have totally glossed over the crowds around us every time we stopped, the photos taken, asking people NOT to remove the wraps covering the pram,etc. I will cover this in the next chapter….
Ahhhh,…..yes, the museum from 11:30-1:30 then I left to head home.
Arrived at 2pm to a very happy wife who missed her boys while they were gone….BUT not until after she had awakened at 9am, read the note, gave me a quick text message to see we were all ok, a bubble bath, went to our local cafe for brekky, read a magazine and came home all refreshed.
Me? I had a nap. Hahaha. My wife was only too happy to do the next feed in return for our morning out on the town. This became a ritual for us every second weekend so Mum got a break and I got some great Dad time in with our boys. Dad scored some great points for giving Mum a break and it really does help everyone and everything. All I can say is give it a shot, you just might be surprised.
What could be better? By knowing our boys routine, I could accommodate my needs around what they needed to do while the wife had a break. My confidence grew and before too long there wasn’t anywhere we couldn’t go, either individually or as a family.
Sharing the load with a win-win-win situation has other good benefits I can cover another time.
3] Preparation. After a few trips and your confidence grows even more, you will streamline and start taking only what is essential. This allows you more freedom because you don’t have to carry EVERYTHING with you, all of the time. If you’re heading out, don’t just wing it. Google where you are going, see if they have Parents Rooms, where parking is in relation to the venue, see what is around the area. Shops? Cafe? Public places of interest?
If you have a smart phone, you can even double check once you arrive to get your bearings. From here, it is only a matter of keeping an eye on the time for the next feed. Set an alarm or reminder if you have too. 15-20 mins before they are due to wake up is usually enough to get yourself ready to find a place and get organised. In most cases, when we were out, the boys slept longer in the pram, probably due to the constant rocking motion.
4] Location. If you’re in the city, this will differ greatly compared to being out in the country. The tyranny of distance can turn a simple outing into a nightmare…unless you plan to stop around the necessary times. It’s not all that complicated really.
Simply put, we go where we want, when we want. Our routine is based on feeding and sleeping at the same time. The location is irrelevant!
5] Where you go as a destination.
Think ahead a little and allow a little extra time is the key. Most of your choices for a destination will have a parent’s room to change the kids. Shopping Centres, Cinemas, Taverns, etc.
Parking can be a pain as well, but have a little patience and it will pay off. If you’re running late, get used to it or leave earlier. Even with the twins, we still arrived 15 mins early or just on time, we simply adjusted our prep time to compensate.
Restaurants are a different kettle of fish and most don’t cater for kids beyond a high chair and two choices of meals off the menu.
Routine and practice!
Good Luck and enjoy getting out and about. You will love it!