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Juggling ‘multiple’ relationships

I am sitting in the chicken place at the zoo. The Little Lady is trying to get in and out her high chair which she was determined to sit in, but is actually too big for, teasing me with the fact she needs a wee. Every time we go to the toilet she grins and says she doesn’t need to go. Back to the table we head. The problem is she knows I will never risk an accident. She has control.

Chilled out Boy is on and off his seat and had overstuffed his mouth with chicken so much that he had just regurgitated it onto the top of the table.

BB is in tears because the Little Lady had just had a spoonful of his baked beans.

I hover above the noise and look around the room. I look longingly at the table opposite me, where the children appear quiet and well-mannered and behaved.

Why can’t my children be like that I think?

My Mum tells me I am being over sensitive. I was tired from a very hectic (and fun) weekend away, upset that they were cross with me for leaving them, and annoyed that they seemed to have forgotten every rule of good behaviour.

However,  I had been away for a whole weekend, which is the longest time we have been apart to date. The Little Lady had sulked at me for the first two hours of my arrival home and had only just started talking to me, choosing now to begin the forgiveness process of me deserting her.

Multiple Daddy left at 7am that morning to go on an exam  marking course so another parent had deserted and left as far as they were concerned.

I was paying the price. The price of three different carers over the course of the weekend. The price of sweets and gingerbread men and other tasty treats. The price of not being there to tuck them in for bed and rub it better when it hurts.

I couldn’t really blame them – the mixed feelings of excitement I was home, and resentment that I had left was going to tip the balance. The uncertainty of me doing it again was making them suspicious and untrusting. I felt guilty.

However I do think it is important to have this time away, for me and for them. To build that trust that I will always return. To make me miss them so much, my heart is pounding on the train with anticipation,a feeling I remember strongly when I used to be away at university and knew I was heading home to see hubby. To have some adult, female time. To be able wee all on my own!

Then I remembered something another twin mum had told me. Something I had never considered before. She said that in a Multiple family or a large family, you have so many more relationships to contend with.

She siad when you start out married life you have one relationship to deal with – you and your partners.

When you introduce a baby, suddenly you have three relationships to deal with, you and your partner’s, yours and the babies and your babies and your partners. The addition of these two new relationships is what can put pressure and strain on some partnerships.

However when you then add twins suddenly to the mix you leap to ten relationships to contend with. Those of yours and your partners, you and your partners relationship with each child and then the relationships between siblings, one of which being the complicated relationship of twins.

It is no wonder that sometimes things can seem chaotic. Like you are constantly refereeing and attempting to restore harmony. The amount of change your family has been through is huge.

It made me think of a few questions when I hover in trance like state looking at other families appearing to look so together.Firstly do they have as many relationships to manage as I do? What is the adult to child ratio? Is this their thirty minutes of harmony for the day and I am fortunate enough to witness it?

I doubt any of them are thinking what poorly behaved kids. I bet most of them are looking across with sympathetic eyes, guilty thinking ‘thank god that’s not my kids right now. You should have seen them ten minutes ago though!’

Or maybe mine were not as bad as I thought and I was being sensitive.

Whatever the case, I am going to cut myself some slack. Ten relationships are quite a challenge don’t you think? Plus like with all difficult phases with parenting it constantly shifts and changes and brings in new challenges.


Juggling multiple relationships, multiple mummy







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11 comments to Juggling ‘multiple’ relationships

  • They are indeed. Especially when the ages are so close together between the twins and your oldest boy. You’re doing a fantastic job – and your family sounds fun! x

  • You definitely should cut yourself some slack Kerry, your children are delightful and a credit to you and your hubby. All kids have meltdown moments and generally speaking its changes in routine that cause it, you know that so don’t beat yourself up. You are outnumbered when your husband is there, so when there is only one parent around the power plays right into the kids hands. Add to that the fact that you are feeling a bit tired and below par…..! The fact that you could take them to the zoo, and then a restaurant at all says a lot about how good they are. I always think what a rock star you are coping with the three of them so effortlessly.
    It’s interesting that you are talking about the multiple relationships within your family, because one of the things freaking me about being pregnant is how the existing relationships in my family will have to change and we will have new ones to contend with. x

  • Sherree

    I absolutely love your honesty. I only have 2 children (2 and 12 weeks), and some days are really tough. It’s nice to know other people have the same problem of juggling needs. You are brave taking all 3 to the zoo! Keep doing what you are doing, I love reading your blog. X x

  • Awww, lovely. It can be so hard with three.

    S was just the same going to the toilet in the airport, she was driving me mad!

    You are doing a brilliant job, and you deserve to take a break sometimes. xx

  • Yes, definitely cut yourself some slack!! It can be really difficult sometimes, especially with twins because developmentally they have the same needs at the same time. I doubt the other people there even noticed, and anyway, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks…

  • Im sure they were better than you thought. I’m finding things easier when were at home but still a nightmare going anywhere. I guess you still have to do it if only so they learn how to behave.

    I’ve never thought about all the relationships but it does make sense.

  • Oh dear – I still have this in my inbox with the intention of reading in full and leaving you a comment!!
    So here it is..
    I can tell from reading your blog that you are doing a fab job. Hats off to all multiple mums!! Taking care of one at a time is hard enough!
    I used to think my two boys were unruly at times too, but I’m sure they all are at times. It’s unnatural for them to be well behaved all the time.
    So yes.. cut yourself some slack and take no notice of people who seem to be looking and judging.. ask them if their kids were like it too!

  • Jenny Paulin

    Blimey Kerry go easy on yourself. You ave three very young children and from what I saw of you last weekend you look bloody amazing on it.,
    I struggle on a regular basis with just two so I applaud you having three I honestly do.
    On Sunday Jenson wouldn’t leave me alone all day not even to have a nap, he is a mummy’s boy a the best of times but after I was away he was stuck to me for the whole of Sunday and most of the following week too!
    You are a wonderful mum and person xx

  • Ha ha, this is so us when we go out! And I do think you are being too hard on yourself, same as I am. But then you look at how they are actually behaving, and that you are able to leave two of them while you nip to the loo with the third without too much of a meltdown, which is more than many families can do. My two older ones fight enough with a three year age-gap, so I’m not surprised yours fight a little too. You are doing amazingly well – and I know what it’s like so it must be true. x

  • Kerry you most certainly deserve to take a break and it will make you an even better Mummy as a result. It means you will go back refreshed and ready to tackle this parenting lark! We all need a break sometimes, I know i do, and I only have one!

    You seem like an amazing Mummy and I bet your children are as gorgeous as they look in the photos. I know Lucy has said they are, I would love to meet them one day.

    If I was anything like you if I was a mother to three, then I would be very proud indeed.


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