It would have been foolish to believe that life would continue as normal after the triplets arrived. Thankfully I didn’t have much of a social life and my only real commitment was to my band. Other than a few cancelled gigs not much changed in that respect.
The triplets were like a vacuum that consumed us. And the one most affected in our house was Frankie. She went from being an only child with all the focus on her to being a big sister to three screaming babies. And as a result of having to adjust to life with three newborns our relationship began to change.
I could no longer give her all my attention, for obvious reasons. I felt guilty for not having the time to spend together as we used to. Even though we got her as involved as she wanted to be there was a distance forming between us as I struggled with impatience and exhaustion.
Every night, I used to carry Frankie upstairs to bed with a fireman’s lift. We would have a little conversation about her day before we prayed and gave thanks and she went to sleep. Almost overnight that little routine stopped. I was either pacifying babies or bathing them or past out asleep, suffering badly from sleep deprivation.
All of a sudden Frankie had to grow up and start taking care of herself in little ways. It was hard on her to get nudged out of the top spot and adjust, as we all had to.
Frankie lost her biological dad to suicide when she was three years old and is now asking questions and dealing with her emotions around that. It’s a difficult time for her, and as step dad I need to allow her the space she needs to work her way through what she’s experiencing. And support as much as I can.
She is also now a teenager and has naturally gravitated towards her mum. She is experiencing raging hormones and other issues that teenage girls experience. I’m sure over time our relationship will strengthen again.
I knew there were times that being a step dad could be difficult. I guess I’m going through that now. I need to remind myself that as a parent there are ups and downs. And it’s my job to just be emotionally consistent and available for the times she does come to me for advice or to talk about her problems.
She is still my number one daughter and I love her as much as the triplets. It’s tough to see her going through so much. But time, patience, love and consistency can be a great healers.