The pregnancy

Whilst out for a drive, Stacey and I got talking about the pregnancy. If you have read my book you will know how stressful it was. From not knowing how many heartbeats we’d find at each scan to the huge strain on Stacey’s body. It was a tough ride.

It’s a hard thing to imagine becoming a multiple parent. As my first biological children I had no idea what I was facing. But I was brimming with excitement under the surface. The exact opposite to what Stacey was going through.

It was bizzare how far apart we went from each other from the day we discovered 3 heartbeats. Stacey into deppresion and anxiety, and me just wanting to shout it from the rooftops.

I had to keep my cool and stay grounded, and nothing grounded me more than our doctor in Bristol who laid out the dangers of our type of pregnancy. We were up against it and looking at a high risk few months.

It was my job as an expectant father to remain solid for my wife and unborn babies. Even Frankie went on her own emotional rollercoaster at the prospect of 3 siblings. My wife was going through the emotional wringer. A show of my consistency was greater than any promises I could make.

I stayed quietly positive and did all I could to bond with the babies and calm my wife’s fears. Of course I had my concerns but there would be a time and a place to share them. For the duration of the pregnancy I did what needed to be done from all the cooking to the housework as Stacey ended up bedridden with the sheer mass she was carrying.

It was the most emotional few months of my life, and that’s saying something. I prayed every night that our girls would survive. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy adapting to life with 3 newborns but I was as mentally prepared as possible.

Thankfully the trio arrived all screaming and healthy. We are blessed for this and know it. Once the babies were born Stacey fell naturally into her role and I went mentally downhill for a while. The stress and tiredness overwhelmed me at times.

It’s no secret that stress can cause massive complications to a pregnancy. If there is one bit of advice I could give to an expectant dad it would be to practice patience and tolerance. There are times you will be carrying all the weight. Times you get things thrown at you because you bought the wrong ice cream. You will be constantly reminded that her suffering is all your fault but let it slide off you. Nothing is personal even if it is.

Our triplets will be 4 this coming july. And we are facing constant challenges as their personalities develop. Triplets are hard going. Exhausting and all consuming. But with the right mindset as a dad those things don’t really matter. Because you have become a multiple dad. Your a chosen one and for the love you will get from your children. Nothing beats it.

Sleep apnea – positive treatment

A couple of months ago thanks to a loving nudge by my wife I finally got a sleep test done. Reason being I stop breathing in my sleep.

It happens frequently throughout the night and as a result I am never getting a full rest. I was falling asleep at work and couldn’t go a day without a few hours extra nap time.

It also meant I was jolting about all night, gasping for air and snoring badly. I spent more time sleeping on the sofa than I did in my own bed.

The sleep study showed positive for obstructive sleep apnea. The treatment being a CPAP unit. A mask that pumps oxygen into my airways, keeping them open and thus allow me to get a decent night’s kip.

My CPAP machine

Thankfully the CPAP has worked and almost instantly I felt the results of a good night’s sleep. It has taken some getting used to, wearing an oxygen mask to bed but it’s been worth the adjustment.

I no longer fall asleep at work and rarely nap during the day. And the biggest benefit from my point of view is that my chronic pain condition has become easier to mentally manage.

I’m glad my wife encouraged me to seek help, although now she has to sleep next to Darth Vader but that’s just a minor thing.

It’s a good look. May catch on.

Let it go

The girls are currently going through the Frozen film stage. The song ‘let it go’ is once again blasting through our house as it once did with Frankie not so many years ago.

It’s got me thinking about my journey and what I have had to let go of to be able to move forward. From toxic relationships to addictions. I’ve had to shred a lot of what was keeping me sick and holding me back in life.

Recovering from alcoholism brought about the biggest changes in my life. It wasn’t just that I gave up drinking but I needed to improve in every area of my life to stay sober. My perception of the world was seen through the eyes of resentment. To get, and remain sober I had to be willing to let go of my resentments past and present.

Fear was also a driving force in my life. I had built a wall around myself to protect myself from the outside world. I used to panic when the mail came through the door and couldn’t socialize without the comfort of alcohol. I had caused a lot of damage in my past and feared I would continue to hurt people who got close. In truth I feared people.

If I was to overcome my fear I had to begin to live by faith, to trust in the process of being willing to let go of my fears. By letting go of resentment and fears I found a new footing and courage in life.

I also had to let go of toxic relationships and my controlling nature. I was co dependent and had a need to fix others which was insane as I couldn’t fix myself. It was always a selfish reason to get in a relationship. I thought that if I could fix someone troubled I would get the recognition I deserved. It makes me cringe to think how sick I was.

Letting go of my need to fix other’s I found a new freedom. I was finally able to go into a relationship with no other motive than to bring to the table and make another’s life easier.

I could go on about the many situations where letting go has been so pivotal to my approach to life but I’m sure you get the point.

If you have things you need to let go of but don’t know how. Here’s a link to a free meditation exercise that is all about letting go.

I better get back to the Frozen movie now. The girl’s are clambering on me and it’s getting hard to write.

So let go of what is holding you back and face life with a new courage. You’ll be glad you did.

Non-Contemplative Meditation™

The mob

Our lives have officially been taken over by the mob. They may only be three and a half but they are tight little gang full of demands and threats of the naughty corner to anyone who dares to questions them.

It doesn’t help that we are stuck in the house on half term and in lockdown. It’s quite a stressful situation to be in. It also doesn’t help that there are three of them, bouncing off each other.

It’s times like this I recall other parents commenting that they’d love to have triplets! They must be insane. No one in their right mind would wish for triplets. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change our situation for the world. But make no mistake it’s tough going. It’s not for the faint of heart

They are at an age where being sassy, naughty and irritable is the norm. They wind each other up for fun and ignore us with grins on their faces. There is nowhere to run or hide from them. We can’t even lock ourselves in the bathroom without them breaking in! We are all stuck under one roof doing our best to raise them in the principles of love and tolerance.

We are told it’s just a phase they are going through. I hope this is true. They are a real test of patience at times. And other times they play nice together. One toddler is probably a handful but God felt I had much to learn from having three. Who says he doesn’t have a sense of humour.

Milo the dog hides all day and Frankie locks herself away in her room until the triplets bedtime. They are both wise to be out of the way.

Take cover

I take comfort in that I’m told it gets much easier when they reach 45. Until that day we have our work cut out for us. There are tough days and hard days with the occasional smooth ride. Our reality is one of stress. Relentless, intense stress. And we are blessed in every way.

Freedom from fear

It is completely possible to overcome fear and anxiety without wilful effort. All it takes is a willingness to meditate. Nothing more is needed.

Anxiety is just a warning sign that there is a problem under the surface. That problem is unrecognized resentment energy. Collected from stressful encounters in the stream of life. We get lost under the spell of negative thinking and emotions that rise as a result. Life can become unmanageable.

I was 16 when my hair began falling out because of stress. At the time I had left a fragmented home with a father with addiction problems and I ended up homeless. I was full of resentment and had already established a drinking problem. I had only just began experiencing the physical symptoms of stress. I would become a lot worse over the years to the point i was hospitalized on a psychiatric ward in my late teens. And then went on to become a full blown alcoholic.

I know what it is to live under the screws of anxiety and depression. But I have also experienced a complete freedom from it. All it took was a willingness to commit to a simple daily meditation practice.

There is no chanting, nothing to buy (it’s completely free), nothing to learn and no one to follow. It’s a very personal affair that everyone has a different experience with. It is a spiritual practice that induces a spiritual awakening. Bringing the practitioner to a new state of conscious awareness. Where the ability to observe rising anger and fear without becoming overwhelmed is possible. To observe thoughts objectively.

No one can shut their thinking off. You may be able to temporarily distract from it but that would mean further suppression. Instead we can learn to step back from the stream of thought and simply observe what we see without being emotionally affected.

The state of mind the meditation brings you to is what some call the 4th dimension of existence. When meditating the body fills with light and literally expels the darkness/fear. As a result of this spiritual detox and continuous practice anxiety falls away without effort. It’s an experience that changes everything to a person’s life and outlook.

Here’s the link if you are open to a new way of overcoming anxiety and stress. You may have anger problems. This meditation is incredibly effective for those struggling with resentments, past and present.

You’ll be glad you discovered it as i was 7 years ago.

Non-Contemplative Meditation™

The meditation

As a parent stress is inevitable. Demanding routines can seem relentless as we all face the pressures of daily life. It can be all to easy to become consumed by the agitation and anxieties that crop up throughout the day. And when those negative emotions start affecting those closest to us all sorts of problems arise.

As a someone who has overcome serious mental health problems and alcoholism, it is crucial that I remain emotionally consistent for my family. I do that by way of a unique Non contemplative meditation I found a good few years ago. This doesn’t mean I’m a perfect human being, I’m definitely not a parenting Guru. But I am improving. And life is about moving forward. I want to be the best man I can be for my children.

Now this isn’t a sales pitch. Nor I am telling you that this meditation is for you right now. It may not be. Only you will know if you are at a time in your life where you are open-minded to facing the pressures of life in a way you may never have done before. From a place of conscious awareness.

If you are up against the stresses of balancing work and home-life, if you are a stay at home parent or are flying solo you will know what it is to feel overwhelmed occasionally by your situation.

There’s no escaping the temptation to resent the cards we’ve been dealt with from time to time, only to suffer the emotional pull of guilt for feeling that way about the people we love. Parenting is an emotional rollercoaster. One that should strengthen us – rather than beat us down. The key to meeting stress lies in a very special meditation exercise.

Coming from a broken, unstable home, I know full well the effects growing up in a stressed environment can have on a child. It is why I feel it is so important to share this free meditation exercise with you. The link is below. It has literally changed my life.

I am not a buddhist. I have no guru and I am not part of any cult groups. I do however have a faith which was acquired through my own personal experience of seeking God. I am simply a working man who has discovered a way to live consciously in the stream of life, free from emotional conflicts and free to be of use to those who rely on me the most.

By discovering the present moment and living consciously we also discover a spiritual protection against the force of resentment, it never fails. I have also found a way to raise my family with the principles of love, patience and tolerance, free from anger so my children can thrive in a relatively stress free environment.

Here’s the free meditation link

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

Don’t walk away, no matter what

The rate of separation and divorce caused by the stress of multiple pregnancies and births, especially in the first year are truly sad. It’s vital that if a family is to survive, Men more than ever, need to discover a way to endure, and subsequently step up to the toughest situation they will most likely ever encounter.

The strain of the arrival of one child can be enough to break a relationship In the early days. Marriages and partnerships fall prey to overwhelming resentment and fear. Sleep deprivation only fuels the flames of a stressful situation, as does rising pride and intolerance. And when a couple are struggling to cope, and anger and fear take hold at the centre of a relationship , It becomes an almost impossible situation.

Unless one, or both parents are able to pull back and open a line of communication, the wall is already in place, and can be incredibly hard to dismantle. The babies pick up on the nervous energy, become unsettled, and also suffer from the effects of an emotional instability under their roof. Everyone suffers.

As a member of a couple of multiple Dad sites. I can share with you one of the main pieces of advice given to expectant fathers, from men who have walked, and are walking this path,

‘Don’t get divorced in the first year, no matter what. Ride it out and see where you are when you make it to that point’

Gives you an idea of the seriousness of the event, and the emotional weight involved. It’s kind of scary to even comprehend what’s involved with multiples. To be in the middle of it is a whole different level of existence. And we are lucky to have three healthy girls. Our experience has gone as smoothly in that sense as it could go. Other parents have had a lot more to deal with than us.

When I began writing this blog it was simply to document my experience. Along the way my eyes have been opened to a sad reality. As difficult as it is for the parents, it is the children who will suffer the greatest from the breakdown.

It’s a common misunderstanding to point to an external situation as the cause of symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Even the children themselves are seen as the cause of a family failing. Sure, a traumatic experience can begin a cycle of internal conflicts and obsessive, destructive behaviours. But as big as some of those events seem,

Maybe it’s not so much the event, but the inability to meet it without becoming overwhelmed that causes the real damage and conflicts. How we meet these pressures in life determine which way they will tip us.

What a woman goes through to bring a child into the world is a huge mental and physical strain, men do not suffer the same which is why it’s our job to bring stability under our roofs, no matter what is thrown at us. Nothing is personal even when it seems that way, and it is going to get tough. So we need to be prepared.

We have to be conscious of of our situation. To be present and awake to what is happening and useful, rather than being constantly drawn into the negativity of it all, day in, day out.

There is always a underlying pull to retaliate with a loved one who is only struggling themselves. It’s when we are overwhelmed that we do and say things we don’t really mean, it’s usually from a place of fear.

So if a Man is able to step back when tempted to bite and react, if in those heated moments he can observe his own anger rising and not become affected by it. Then in that moment he can surely bring clarity and patience to any given situation during the day. No matter how big or irrelevant that moment may seem or how much other’s may be reacting.

Mum needs to know Dad can handle the situation, the family is counting on it.

I am in no way a man who doesn’t still get pulled into stress from time to time, But I have found a way to improve my home life through meditation. I don’t know a new multiple Parent who has time for therapy to talk about their problems at home. Medications as a way of coping only tend to make matters worse with depression. They just suppress the problems, the agitation continues.

The solution to recovering from depression and meeting daily stresses in the stream of life needs to happen quickly if a family is to thrive. When stress is met with grace, remarkable things happen.

Here’s a link to a free non contemplative meditation exercise that will allow you to begin sharpening from stress. I hope you find this to be of use, if you can stick with it you won’t regret it, or will your family.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

Triplets – does it really get easier ?

There are rumours that that the older the kids get, the easier life gets.

I’d like to clear that up once and for all. Does it get easier? – in my experience, no it doesn’t. It just changes as new challenges arise.

Don’t get me wrong, toddlers are great fun but they can still test our patience to the max. Throw a hormonal teenager into the mix and we are up against it daily. It’s still exhausting. Some days are longer than others but Stacey and I work together to bring calm and patience into each day.

They are at an age now where everything is new and exciting. They’re talking has come on leaps and bounds and it’s easier to communicate with them which less stressful for all of us. They are also learning new tricks every day. For example Blakely can now cross her eyes. She loves it and does it all the time. She is still the one to play on her own, she can be a little destructive and impatient when she plays with her sisters.

The girls got skills

Ava is still the boss and now mother hen to the other two. She is definitely in charge out of the three of them. She’s a little goody two shoes and often grasses the other two up if they are being naughty. She developing a strong sense of right and wrong and it’s lovely to see. She is still the most helpful and the best at doing what she’s told

The Boss

Lacey is a little monkey. She enjoys winding her sister’s up but also has a very sweet side. She isn’t the best at doing what she’s told but gets there eventually. Lacey and Ava are usually the ones playing together although all three love charging about the house after dinner, screaming and going wild. Lacey is still the one who enjoys drawing and colouring the most. They all love dancing and singing.

Lacey lou lah. The little monkey

It still amazes me how different they are yet they have little traits they all share.

Frankie is now 13 going on 21. All she’s interested in is make-up and doing her hair. She has little patience with her sisters who do tend to gang up on her. Regularly the triplets can be heard telling Frankie to get in the naughty corner. They wind her up all the time which isn’t difficult at the moment, it is probably why she spends so much time in her room. If I had the chance I’d probably hide from them too. They are a force to be reckoned with at times.

Hair and makeup, the girls love when Frankie makes time for them

It’s hard work dealing with so many different personalities under one roof. It’s the toughest gig of the my life but the most rewarding. All in all I think Stacey and I manage well. Meditation keeps us out of arguments and we tend to deal with new problems together.

Stacey is at the moment training to be a breastfeeding support worker. A topic she loves and knows well. It is an outlet for her. Something to outside of home life and I’m incredibly proud of all the work she has put in over the last few months.

Every day brings new challenges and will continue to do so. Parenthood is tough going and the temptation to resent our situation is very real. I can understand why so many struggle with multiples. We are blessed but boy are we tested.

A weight to carry

The inner voice of doubt

When I finally got sober a few moons ago I became acutely aware of the noise in my head. Intrusive thoughts, mostly negative, would bombard me from the moment I woke up until I went to bed.

We all experience the inner voice of doubt to some extent. Thoughts delivered on drip feed that pull us away from the moment into a fantasy land. And we believe these thoughts to be ours. So we listen and react, unaware that these thoughts are not of us, but of the ego. A separate entity that feeds on drama and fear.

We try and overcome our own negativity with distractions and more thinking, positive affirmations to counteract the negative. It becomes a battle of wills against our own thoughts. We struggle and get lost in the conflicts further for the effort. It’s a battle we can not win on our own.

The voice of ego thrives on doubt. You know the voice that tells you you won’t get the job you want so why bother trying. The thoughts that something negative is going to ruin your good mood. Always negative the ego nourishes on resentment energy, fed through your thoughts and emotional responses. It’s a powerful thing.

Being over emotional is not a nice healthy trait. Leaving yourself wide open to be influenced by anything or anyone that causes something to rise in you and cause you to react with exitment or fear isn’t good. You’ve given up your natural ability to discern true from false. Your being owned by the events and people around you and probably have no idea it’s happening. Ego feeds and you suffer. It’s a hard roundabout to be on.

The solution to overthinking and the inner voice is to seperate from them. Observe them objectively, without fear and without reaction. Simply become an observer of your own mind. A watcher rather than a thinker. In this conscious state of awareness we become unmoved by the negativity. It shrinks to right size and life changes drastically. We no longer are ruled by emotions but guided by intuition.

This conscious state some call the 4th dimension of existence is simple to get to. It just takes a very simple and free meditation exercise. A non contemplative meditation that is unlike anything else out there.

If you are drained by your own mind and need to find a new way to exist. If you are tired of the inner voices of doubt try this exercise. Keep an open mind and have your own experience. See for yourself that ego is not your friend, shrink it in the light and never let it take the wheel of your life again.

Non-Contemplative Meditation™

Can a man really change?

I used to sit at the bar, free from marriage, emotional ties and family life. I would sip whiskey without a care in the world. I mean I had serious problems but with whisky in my head I didn’t pay them any mind. Why kill the buzz, I wasn’t stupid!

Sobriety I didn’t care much for. It meant anxiety, irritation and a black and white world that required responsibility. I couldn’t imagine living that way. I used to see families doing their shopping with screaming kids, parents stressed and worn out. I used to look at them with a smug sense of relief in that they lived in a world so unlike mine. And there’s was a life I was never signing up for.

There were nights in police cells for drunk aggressive behaviour. I avoided prison on more than one occasion by some sort of fate. Yet I was strangely comfortable in my shitty existence because I new how to live it. Just keep drinking, avoiding life and hating the world. Simplicity at it’s finest for a man like me. And I was good at it until my conscious finally caught up with me.

A past girlfriends parents (who hated me for obvious reasons) once told me that a leopard never changes its spots. And I believed them, I had no reason to disagree.

I believed in that analogy for a long time. Up until I hit rock bottom and knew in my heart I had to change. I couldn’t live my resentment driven life any longer. I was selfish beyond belief and hated what I had become.

It took six years from the age of 30 to try and kick the alcohol and my mental health state. The last 18 months of my drinking I believed I had found a balance. Between the rum and red wine, the marijuana and the anti psychotic medication I was able to function and work but my mental health was deteriorating quite badly. Something was going to give. I was suicidal and desperate to quit drinking by the end of it. But unable to stop on my own accord.

And then through an act of grace everything changed. Faith replaced fear and forgiveness replaced anger. All through a simple meditation exercise.

Carrying a different weight

Today I woke up and meditated, free from addictions. Went to work to provide for my family and when I walk through the door I will get bombarded by three excited toddlers who love me without question. I practice patience at home and live free from emotional entanglements to the problems around me. I am truly now a free man. I love my wife and daughters unconditionally.

It seems a leopard can change it’s spots but it takes a willingness to do a complete 180. To reassess what is important and to work towards a better ideal. To live in the light free from darkness. To put others before myself and bring strength and stability to my relationships through faith and service and a conscious approach to life.

It comes down to what is important. And being a good husband and father is everything to me now. Everyone has the ability to change for the better. No matter how far they have fallen.

https://tripletdad.blog/2019/01/19/the-meditation-2/