Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to make your multiples feel special....

As a mother of triplets, I fall into the trap of lumping them together as a unit. In many ways, that is what they are. However, they are also three very special individuals. Mothers of multiples must do everything they can to embrace their individuality and to encourage it. However, having multiples means your hands are very full. There are little things you can do to make your children feel special.

-Use errand time on the weekends as a time for each child to have time alone with Mama or Daddy. At our house, there are no strict rules and we don't keep a chart, but if DH is going to Lowe's, he'll choose a child to ride with him for "special time".

-Embrace the days you have with one sick child at home. My tendency is to use days at home to organize, clean, and cook while checking in on the sick child when it's convenient. Make yourself spend time with your child FIRST and then spend time doing your chores.

-Take all of the duplicate copies of photos and make an album of pictures of each individual child. Now that most people have a digital camera, you may not have duplicates of photos. If not, then use your Mac or Shutterfly or Snapfish and create a photo book of each individual child. My friend, MD, does this for her three children who are not multiples. Each year on their birthday they receive a book of their little life over the last year. What a keepsake!

-I have taken the doubles of our old photos and made photo albums for each child. They LOVE to look at themselves and have looked at these photo albums countless times more than I have looked at mine. I know they will treasure them forever!

-Prayerfully consider godparents for your children. Godparents share their love for the Lord with your children and can send them individual postcards or letters or just be a presence in their lives.

-As I've mentioned before, keep a journal for each child and let them know how you delight in them.

-Print pictures of them individually and together. Put these around your home.

-Assign each child a color when they are babies. This becomes part of their identity. To this day, friends know our trips as the lavender, pink, or green/blue baby. They used to be given gifts in these colors.

-Delight in their individual interests and allow each child to pursue one. It's great for them to do activities together, but if one child loves golf, let him do it. Five of us sit in a hot park while A takes his golf lessons each week. It's a good lesson that we all sacrifice our time for one another.

-Find bits of time to sit on each child's bed, hold them in your lap, read to them, cook with them, play with them, etc. Sometimes you have to work really hard to find just a few minutes with a child by themselves, but it is so worth it!

-Write them encouraging notes that highlight their individual personality.

-When the triplets were four, we took each of them on their own trip with at least one parent. It worked out that D went to Dallas with DH and me, A went with his Daddy to meet his uncle in Portland, Oregon, and CP went with me to see old friends in Memphis. To this day, they will recall events from those trips FOUR YEARS AGO. CP remembers running through the airport, Ash remembers changing planes & flying for a long time, and DJ still talks about our friend's son being sick. Those trips made a BIG impression. I hope we can do it again in the future. Little sis K went with her daddy to Baton Rouge to visit family last year. It's fun to do trips with just 1 or 2 children, and day trips or afternoon excursions work too!

-Most of all, love your multiples, delight in who each one is, and enjoy them!!!


The B Family said...

I don't have multiples, but these are great things to think about and do even for those of us who just have multiple children. Love the individual, annual photo albums--your tips and ideas are always so inspiring!

pink green & southern said...

You are the best mama!