Considering my husband and I were still exhausted, I have no clue how people cope with infant twins (or more!) with no outside help.
The day my parents left, my husband drove them to the airport and I was left alone with my children for real, for the first time. I cried. I didn't know how I would do it.
|Especially in moments like this, I didn't know how I would do it...|
Then I remembered a favorite saying of author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot "Do the next thing." Elisabeth Elliot had one husband killed during their work as missionaries, she was then widowed and supporting herself and a small daughter, and her second husband died of cancer. So she knew something about hardship.
Now my life was by no means as hard as hers, but raising more than one baby at a time can be challenging. For me, in the moment of fear when my parents left, the "next thing" meant rinsing out some bottles, and playing with my babies on a blanket on the floor. Afterwards the "next thing" was nap time and I swaddled them, laid them in their cribs, and went back to the kitchen to continue catching up on dishes. Eventually I may have caught a few minutes of sleep myself before they woke up for the next feeding and we started the whole cycle over again. For you the "next thing" might be helping your triplets to clean up their play dough. Or the next thing might be giving your twins a bath. Don't worry about the 87 next things after that, just focus on one productive task at a time.
"Do the next thing" became my own mantra for awhile, and I revisit it in moments when I'm stressed out or overwhelmed. Here is the poem, author unknown, that inspired Elisabeth to often speak about that particular quote.