If you are a parent you may be in agreement with me that one of the hardest things about self isolating is keeping the kids entertained.
As normal with toddlers ,we are doing our best to keep things structured and to maintain a daily routine. It gives the triplets some stability, and we also know where we are with them at any given time of the day.
Self isolating is difficult for all of us. The triplets are used to going out during the day. Whether it’s an exercise class with Stacey, or a mother toddler group. A trip out always keeps them a little more sane.
Stacey has worked hard to find things to do in the mornings when they would otherwise be at pre school. So we are both Learning the ropes of home schooling. Which takes a mass of patience, they are also having to settle into a routine. But we are doing okay so far.
Frankie is settling well into her own routine of school work and break times. There are printed copies of everyone’s routines stuck to the fridge so we all know where we are.
We have also added in to the day a break for meditation and exercise. Our mental wellbeing while we are stacked on top of each other in our little home is incredibly important.
We have included a set time once a week to get off our chests any grievance resentments we may have. To clean house in an emotional sense just so we don’t go mad.
I’m also playing another live gig from my living room this Friday 3rd April at 8.30pm GMT. Follow this link if you are tired of the TV and fancy some live music. If so, see you there!
If you have followed my blog ot read my book you will know I dabble in guitar and vocals.
I sing for a rock covers band and also play acoustic sets when I’m in the mood. Because venues have now closed and pubs and clubs are cancelling bands, I thought I could do a little something to entertain anyone who wants to join me. Il be playing a live acoustic set from my living room for all of you self isolating that miss live music.
On Friday the 3rd of April I will be playing a gig live on Facebook. If you fancy a bit of live music while you’re self isolating then look no further.
To get involved (the Last gig we had over 100 in the crowd), simply follow the link to my Facebook page and join.
The gig will begin at 8.30 GMT. It will be an hour of popular rock covers and Motown classics. Performed by myself, with Stacey reading out the messages and requests in between tunes.
In July 2019 I released my first book ‘From Triples To Triplets’. The title was changed from the original one of ‘A Meditative parent’ for a couple of reasons. The first being that people were put off a little by the title. It sounded like a self help book. The second reason is that with the speech problems I have I struggled to be able to pronounce it. Which as its author – wasnt good.
Since it’s release It has sold steadily, which is a good thing, but beyond that it has been a book of use. Which was what i intended it to be.
It is a story – my story to be precise, of finding my feet in fatherhood from a destructive past. Men like me with histories of personatilty disorders, anger, mental health issues and alcoholism, are not really pegged as men who are likely to become peaceful loving parents. And for many men – and women, these pasts can, and do become roadblocks in dealing with the pressures of paernthood. Especially when past and present issues are not adressed.
I wanted the book to be one that offered hope to those who still may be suffering from past traumas and who have now become parents themselves. Im no expert, and my book is not a self help manual. But i do share how i reached a point where fatherhood became the most important role i would ever step into. And how I overcame the pressures involved with early parenting.
My book has had great reviews from Mums and Dads. Even those who dont have children have found it to be a good read. My story is loaded, in the sense that I have had much to deal with in my time, and alcoholism and madness always makes for an interesting life, and subsequently, an interesting book.
In these times of self isolation you may be looking for a book to read. If so why not check my publication out. It was a labour of love to write. And the positive feedback is more than i could have expected as a first time author.
‘From Triples to triplets’ is available now on Amazon in paperback and on kindle. Also if you have kindle unmlimted it is free to read in that library. The link is below.
So, if you have read it, I thank you for lending your time to it. And if you haven’t read it, maybe you will find something within the pages to be of use.
Covid-19 is in full flight and affecting everyone’s lives at the moment, if you have managed to locate any pasta or toilet rolls, hit me up, I dont have much money but am willing to exchange a small guitar for some Penne and nine rolls of Aloe vera. If its not quilted – no time waisters please.
In all seriousness, there is a bigger problem at hand than what to wipe with in a few weeks time. The most pressing issue lies under everyday peoples roofs. In that couples will be forced to survive each other in close proximity.
People are meant to work. To have time away from each other is a healthy thing. It means a couple can take breathing space and have a stronger relationship for it.
So what now with this new situation? Families are having to self isolate to slow the spread of the virus. Couples are going to have to really live together, and there will be problems.
There will be stresses and arguments, but there are little things that can help a couple survive each others pressures and stay out of resentments. Its a difficult situation to be in however you cut it.
So may i make a suggestion of something that my wife and I do, which helps to prevent her not press a pillow over my face while I sleep, and me not pack up and drive to the Premier-inn for a break. House cleaning – and not he duster and bleach kind.
Sitting down once a week to discuss fears and resentments honestly, without judgment or rancour. Just a simple cleaning out of any problems you will have with each other, and there will be plenty!
You may be Romeo and Juliet but make no bones about it, if youre under her feet she will want to strangle you occasionally. Becasue you don’t know how to clean the skirting boards properly, and she just won’t understand your ways of doing things, which will be wrong, whatever it is.
Take the time to talk, to stay free from the aggrivations you have with each other. Because the less they build up, the calmer your situation will be.
We are all forced into a dufficult corner with the stress of being off work and the pressures that absence will affect a family. So take care of the one you love, above all else at this time.
Be open and honest and willing to work together. Otherwise you are in for one hell of a two weeks at home. And i mean hell.
For the last week, the triplets have been recovering from ear infections. Blakely has had a bad tummy and been to hospital with it. And just as we thought it was over, I walked into the triplets room to the stench of sick, and messy bedding from Ava and Lacey’s cots!! This house is officially under quarantine, never mind Covid-19.
Thankfully Frankie seemed okay , and Stacey and me are yet to be infected. She went to school with strict orders to wash hands regularly.
From isolating Ava with her new cough as from Saturday, just to be on the safe side with Covid-19 picking up pace, and Blakely still ill. Now they are all Ill, tired and grumpy.
We tend to forget how horrible it is when all three are down with a sickness. And especially now in dealing with the anticipation of catching whatever they have ourselves. It takes us back to the sickness of the norovirus of 2018. And that’s the last thing we need right now. That really was hell on earth!!
It hasn’t stopped them getting into adventures the minute our backs are turned though. like cracking open the sudocream tub and washing themselves in it. These are just added extra problems to deal with. Triplets can be chaotic. It’s like amplified energy when they are all sick.
As for us, we are managing okay. It becomes an operation of constant disinfecting, bribing them to drink, and staying on the ball to deal with the next problem.
Washing the smell of sick off in the kitchen sink, also saves trips upstairs to run the bath. And it’s a novelty for them so it’s a win win situation. The calmer they are – the better.
Thankfully it’s been quieter for the last hour, but won’t speak too soon. It could all literally go to shit in heartbeat. All we can do is batten down the hatches and wait for the storm to pass, with lots of disinfectant wipes and coffee. And prayers. We need lots of prayers!!!
The triplets will be 3 this coming July. And they are spending more time than ever at play groups, as well as attending pre school twice a week.
You may have expected them to by now be mixing/playing with other children. We did. So it’s quite a surprise to us that they don’t. They may occasionally try making conversation with other kids their age, but for the most of it they stick together.
It’s definitely a case of gang activity wherever they go. Stuck together like adhesive, as they have done before they even entered the world.
They have little interest in what other kids are up to. They may stand and stare at other children who try to involve them at mother and baby groups, but they are most happy to stay in pack formation. There’s safety in numbers I guess.
Part of this is because they are not yet saying clear words. I watched them in a play cafe this morning. The children of the same age will talk to them, but there’s a definite communication problem. Especially as the triplets have their own language.
Blakely is still happy to play on her own on occasion, whereas Ava and Lacey tend to get into mischief together. But if Blakely is approached by another kid, she just gives them a good stare until they disappear.
They are a tight knit group. With a stronger bond than we could ever have imagined. It’s an amazing thing to have really. Even their big sister only gets to play on their terms. To think that they will always have each other is a beautiful gift.
And hopefully, soon, they will begin to let others dip a toe into their circle to play and have fun with. We will keep encouraging it. But for the moment they are just the triplets – One for all and all for one. And if you try and get involved, prepare to get stared down.
There are moments I am overwhelmed with love and feel like the proudest man on earth. And days I just smell like baby poo and never get dressed, counting the hours until the triplets bedtime. Fatherhood is a mixed bag in that sense.
Gone are the days of regular romantic evening dates and weekends away. Becoming a triplet dad has absorbed any freedom, or free time. At least as we used to have it. Now a trip to the shop takes military timing and precision. We find ourselves timing trips around predicted bowl movements, toddler tiredness and tantrums.
It would be all too easy to see our lives from the outside as a kid filled nightmare, some do. I still get the occasional messages of condolence from other dads, with the attitude of ‘rather you than me mate’, when they realise we have three of them in-tow. And as rude as they can be I can still understand their sentiments to a degree.
I have written a lot over the last couple of years about the importance of dealing with stress. And at times I get overwhelmed by stress. More so from having to parent with a chronic pain condition than being a triplet dad. I’m not a perfect human being. I’m just a normal guy in the trenches of multiple fatherhood. And it still gets tough, draining and overwhelming at times. But I work hard to be the best I can be for them, as much as myself.
There is always the reality of my situation that Keeps me grounded above all else. I have been given a job to do. And it’s my job to man up and deal with it. I don’t resent the losses of freedom. Life has just changed. A bit like from driving a sports car, to driving a double decker bus that’s on fire and has no breaks.
Frankie is also going through changes, bringing new aspects of parenting that I feel ill equipped for, and for which I am not quite sure how to handle yet. All I can do is to remain patient and do my best to understand her as she steals her mums make up, and brings me concerns I never had with her before.
And as for the triplets. Insanity is prevailing. Tantrums because we can’t go to the moon tomorrow and Blakely having a fit because she can’t wear her slippers in the bath are now normal everyday occurrences under our roof. They really don’t understand us – and I sure as shit don’t understand them much either at the moment.
But it makes for top entertainment. And the love and the cuddles in between the hoo-haas and gang activity. That’s what takes me beyond any fears, worries or real concerns about any of my daughters wellbeing. Because they are raised in love. And have been nurtured to understand its importance in life.
People rarely see beyond what chaos and pressures we must be going through as a couple and as a family. Stacey has a great sense of humour, we both have the ability to laugh in the toughest of times. And we deal with our situation well as a result of consciously rising above the madness that is our life now.
It may seem like we have nothing outside of our home. Stacey keeps the triplets busy with exersise groups and little outings while I’m at work in the mornings. And apart from the occasional gig I really have nothing else.
But what I do have is a the most fulfilling job any man could be blessed with. I’m a dad. And all that I need is right in front of me. Shouting at me because I can’t drive them to the sea-side at 8 o’clock at night when they’re in bed and should be sleeping.
Amongst the pressures of parenthood. Non contemplative meditation is the single most effective defense against negativity and over emotional outburst caused by suppressing stress. Whether you ‘bite your tongue’ in an argument – or had the worst day ever, and tell yourself wilfully ‘just to get on with life’. Struggling more with each new stressful event. Pressures causes problems.
Both of these are examples of stress being suppressed. The problem is it will cause anxiety. Begin affecting others around you. It’s becomes like fighting to keep one lid on two over flowing saucepans. Eventually you explode emotionally. Until the next set of events piss you off.
You can distract yourself from your inner conflicts with anything that means you dont have to feel so shitty. Alcohol works, TV works. Anything can become a distraction in that sense.
Or with Non contemplative meditation you could begin to practice siting still with thoughts, and simply ‘observing’ them while becoming free from them in the process – no matter how uncomfortable that may be.
Observe thinking consciously – because being pulled into thoughts is just crossing the bridge to anger, depression, anxiety, fear and all other emotions that will in turn affect our actions.