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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/

Dealing with darkness

We all have a story. A past of mixed experiences, fond memories and times we would rather bury under the rug. They all pass through the mind like a river flowing with debri that must be dealt with otherwise we just get dragged along.

I’ve had years of therapy, digging away at myself and searching for happiness and peace in my mind. But I had roadblocks that always stopped me making any real progress. The problem was that I never wanted to look at the darkness in my life. It was too painful to face and deal with.

I found it easy to play a victim of the world that I resented. I could talk for hours about how the world and people wronged me. But I always avoided looking at myself and my own damaging behaviours.

Living the life of an alcoholic I used and hurt people for my own gain. I ran on frustration anger and fear but never wanted to admit that part of me. I felt guilt and didn’t want to face it. Every Avenue of help that I gained access to failed me, because I refused to get honest.

I was a year sober going through a recovery process in a 12th step fellowship that I finally began to heal from my past. The main contributing factor to my new mental health was that this time I dealt solely with the darkness. The resentments and fears that I always ran from and tried to bury deep within myself.

I got honest about my selfishness, my self pity and how my whole life I tried to please others for recognition and just wound up resenting those I put on pedestals. I lived in a constant state of judgment. Especially towards the end of my drinking career. I felt like the world owed me. I was sick with anger.

I discovered that resentment and fear were driving me and effecting every area of my life. And as long as that dark force was at the wheel I would never experience freedom.

As a father I need to deal with everything life throws at me

I made some painful realisations about myself and why I had lived such a damaged life. I also discussed my own abuse for the first time in my life. It is was a burden I could no longer carry. But they say honesty and truth will set you free and that has been my experience.

So I continue to stay awake to the darkness within myself. It doesn’t mean I live a somber life, only focusing on the negative. But it does mean that I have a conscious awareness of myself. I meditate to stay free from rising anger and resentment caused by the inevitable stresses in the stream of life

Therapy is a good thing. All avenues of help can benefit someone lost in their own darkness. But without looking at the whole picture, no real progress will be made.

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

The reconnection of a relationship after babies

If you are a parent with newborns, or young children you will be aware that things can emotionally change between yourself and your partner. Those changes most likely began with the pregnancy. You may also be wondering if your relationship will ever be the same?

My wife and I didn’t sail into the pregnancy in a good place together. We had dealt with the stress of moving house a month before we discovered we had triplets. And we were also dealing with a couple of years filled with disappointment in failing to conceive. We did have the occasional spark of hope, which sadly turned out to be false positive tests.

There was a building tension in our marriage that was reaching breaking point. Then BOOM! We were thrown into a high risk pregnancy and there was no going back.

From the first scan it was like we veered off in different directions emotionally. My wife consumed and struggling with the fears and risks involved with our situation. And me doing my best to remain conscious and keep my family calm and together.

There was a disconnect between us throughout the whole pregnancy. We may have been under the same roof, but we weren’t together.

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The next time we would reconnect was in the NICU with the safe arrival ou our trio. We finally landed on the same page. Brought together by the love, relief and joy at the safe arrival of Ava, Blakely and Lacey.

As we brought them home my wife, and rightly so, became completely focused on the babies’. As I had stayed solid through the pregnancy, we now switched roles. As Stacey found her instincts as a mother, I began to sink into depression under the pressure of home life, work and sleep deprivation. My wife was too focused on her job to hear my problems as I struggled with my sanity. I once again felt as far apart from my wife as we were during the pregnancy.

I became consumed with the fear that before she fell pregnant we were a couple unhappy. And that maybe we would never reconnect as the couple who were once in love. I felt on the outside looking in on our home life, even though I was completely involved as a father. tiredness can do horrible things to a mind.

I became paranoid that our relationship was done. That It was now her and the babies. That I was no longer an interest in her life. self-pity was creeping in. And it wasn’t who I wanted to be, man consumed with myself and my doubts. I would be no use as a father in that place.

Looking back It took one thing for us to reconnect as a couple. Patience. My wife had been through the mill with the pregnancy and was finding her place as a mother to three babies. As I was finding my role. Which was just to support her and be patient. To not make my fears and anxieties an extra weight to put on her. All I needed to do was to be of use, to my wife and stay involved with my daughters.

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It was only when I began to step back from pressuring her, and let go of my fears and doubts about our relationship that we begin to find each other again. We needed each other more than ever. And She needed all the space and support I could give her. Of course things have changed. But those massive changes have only bonded us closer as a family finding our way in a surreal situation.

My job a s husband has always been to support my wife. My job as a father in the beginning was no different. Be patient and you will almost certainly meet again. And discover the love you once had will have gone no-where,

Why all the meditation posts?

I get pulled up occasionally as to why I always respond to other’s emotional problems with a link to the free meditation exercise.

Simply put it is because it is there they will discover an answer to their problems. Not through me or any advice I can give. I share of myself on my blog. I am very open about my experiences and how I deal with them by practicing conscious awareness. Via meditation.

People can be suspicious, as if I am directing to promote some kind of money making scheme. The truth is that apart from my book (I’m self published and add a link to my book for those who may feel they could benefit from my experience). My blog is a non profit one. In fact I pay to not have advertisements. This blog costs me money to run. But I’m not complaining. I receive more messages of thanks then I do suspicious complaints.

The link is to a friends meditation that he passes on freely. There’s no books to buy or guru to follow. It is a a way to deal with the pressures of parenthood which is why I feel it is so important to make available for those struggling.

So next time you see a link to the meditation, remember that for someone it is a life saving proposition. One that as a recovered alcoholic with a history of mental health conflicts has changed my life and continues to do so.

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

Involved men make confident children

Most of the conclusions I have come to around parenting have been drawn from my own experience. And in understanding my own failures, to then being willing to see the changes I would need to bring into my own life as a dad. It hasn’t been easy at times.

Children need stability. I see more than ever that raising healthy and confident children takes certain vital ingredients. Of course those certain elements that we as parents are adding in from day to day will not always be given with balance, because the tectonic plates of life are constantly moving. But working together to bring consistency to our daughters lives is important.

Four big responsibilities

I spent the majority of my life resenting a dad that didn’t have any time for me. His involvement with himself and his personal issues didn’t afford him a great deal of time to focus on a relationship with me. And to see the relationships others had with dads who were proud of their kids, who took an interest in their lives was hard for me to take in. Throw in the abuse and his addiction and our relationship was so far from anything I could see my friends were experiencing. It was bound to affect me and did.

Over the years it became apparent that there was a common thread in others, like me, who had been failed by the one man in a their lives who should have been the constant figure of stability, strength and love. They all suffered emotionally from the damage of that damaged separation. Anger problems, addiction issues and unhealthy relationships centred around control and fear became normal.

Some men go into fatherhood knowing exactly what their role is. And how his own conscious approach to dealing with the massive pressures coming will impact his family for the better. A lot of men don’t, not because they are bad. But because they, like me grew up walking a very different path to one of knowing and understanding the importance of the principles of love and tolerance with a family.

A beautiful connection

A fathers involvement in the most stressful event can tip the balance of an already emotionally volatile situation for the better. The smallest gestures from day one can ease tensions and bring confidence to a pregnant partner who is already going through the emotional wringer. Early bonding for an example, can relief stress and give a show of commitment. It is also a way to begin to connect. To make a start on a relationship that will not always be easy.

From day one involvement is everything to a father/child relationship. Patience and tolerance, if put at the centre of a home can make all the difference. But it takes a willingness to practice those simple principles in his life. To be willing to outgrow his fears and shortcomings, to grow as a man in his responsibilities. If the weight of his role can be carried with care and attention. His children will benefit and thrive under his love. And Mum will also benefit from his stability.

Lockdown blues

Once again here in the UK we are now in another lockdown. The only blessing was that the triplets nursery was staying open. Now even those are closing, open for only childern of key workers.

In the lockdown of last March I got furloughed from work. This made home life a lot easier as I was free to stay at home and help deal with the triplets and Frankie who was home schooling. It was still a test of patience but at least the two of us was sharing the load.

Stacey carrying the load

Unfortunately this time around I’m back at work and Stacey will be dealing with the triplets alone for a big part of the day. It is a stressful situation to be forced into. I feel for her, the trio are at a hectic stage of their development and demand constant attention.

It’s going to be a trying time for her, I will of course be pulling my weight when I am home from work, taking over so that Stacey gets a break.

It would be easy to feel overwhelmed in the weeks to come. Keeping the troops entertained in lockdown isn’t easy. I will be staying on top of my meditation exercise to help me deal with the temptation to resent. No one likes being forced into a situation, especially one that brings so much stress.

So please spare a thought for all the parents who are at home dealing with kids this lockdown. And spare a thought for Stacey’s sanity. It’s going to be a tough ride for her.

Temper-temper

Nothing is more destructive to a family environment than anger. Wether its a Dad’s inability to deal with his emotions with the stress of daily life , or a mothers impatience, There will be casualties.

Impatience, jealousy, bitterness, anger, annoyance are all forms of resentment. Even fear is just anger around events that are yet to happen. Everyone experiences that deal, getting angry with someone because we already fear they are going to let us down or fail us is just one example. Fear creates tension, the ripples effect everyone in a home. Children are more sensitive to it than anyone.

We live in a society in which anger is seen as a normal healthy emotion, it’s marketed as such, one to be managed. Think about the last time you saw red, or felt that agitation rise into your chest then that heat in your face as it overwhelms you. Heart racing, head boiling, Acting or speaking out in rage, bringing hell on earth. Only to experience the guilt and embarrassment after the event has passed, when you finally return to ‘consciousness’.

Looking at the damage anger brings I’d label it anything but a healthy emotion. The prison system is full of young men labelled with what is termed as borderline personality disorder. Are they sat there because they were unable to manage their anger successfully, or are they sat there because their anger is managing them?

Who really wants to admit that its a problem, and take an honest look at it’s effects on those closest to us. It’s much easier to justify and rationalise it as a just normal behaviour that ‘everyone has’.

As recovered alcoholic I’ve been on the front line with men and women who’s family’s are destroyed by the real cause of all obsessive behaviour and internal conflict, unrecognised and suppressed anger. I’ve watched the relationships and marriages fail, the children suffer in the middle of it, the suicides, the chaos and madness. I’ve also lived and survived it.

I have also seen men and women establish a new order of things and begin to bring a spirit of patience to a home.

Alcoholics are an extreme example of where anger can take someone. But even the smallest attitude of intolerance can cause as much damage to a child’s environment.

As a parent now, raising a family I have even more of a responsibility to stay out of anger. No matter what goes on around me. Keeping my own council and remaining consistent and conscious is the only way I can do this deal. I cannot afford to throw my toys out of the pram and not expect it to effect my Family. My actions affect everyone under my roof. I cannot run to justifications and self pity as excuses for an inability to control my temper. Simply put it would eventually end my home life.

‘So what’s the solution’ ?

The solution to meeting stress without becoming overwhelmed by it is incredibly simple.

Not easy, but simple.

The solution to anger is to be able to observe it, nothing more. To be in a position to be able to step back as it rises, without struggling, to just let it pass in that moment.

This only happens when we are awake to see it happening. So each time we are presented with an opportunity to react. In that moment, grace replaces a prideful spirit. Instead of stress digging at us, we sharpen from those moments.

There is no avoiding stress in the stream of life. But we do have an opportunity to strengthen from it. To begin to deal with life with a natural courage that comes from practicing consciousness, rather than reacting badly and running from it. Family life can never be the same because of it.

The ripples of patience slowly replace the damaging ripples of intolerance as a result.

There is a specific type of meditation that brings this state of consciousness. It is a simple exercise that allows you to pull back from thoughts. To bring you back to the present moment, the only place anyone ever needs to be. The only place my family needs me.It’s complimentary, there’s nothing to learn or buy. No gurus to follow.

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

It is a personal experience. One you may or may not be ready for. But believe me it is a game changer.

This is the guided meditation. If stress, anger, overthinking is becoming a real problem and you’ve exhausted other options as a solution, this may be exactly what your searching for.

You’re welcome.

Fatherhood and changes

Living without expectations is a good start on this road of fatherhood.

Many times when the road is smooth I have began to relax in that groove. I begin to get that foolish feeling that it’s going to be plane sailing, which is easy to imagine when the girls are well behaved and they are playing well.

It’s not all fighting

But situations change by the day and by the hour. And what I expect them to be like from one minute to another can go out of the window kicking and screaming without warning. They have short fuses as all toddlers do if things are not going their way.

Children fight. They get frustrated with each other and can lose their cool in a heartbeat, regardless of how calm I am in dealing with them. Therefore it’s even more important that I stay calm in those moments. The more I deal with them from a place of patience the more they are learning how to behave from me.

We are also dealing with a teenager now. Frankie changed overnight when she began high school. It has been hard for me to adjust to my new daughter who is now dealing with peer pressure and teenage issues. Once again I have to stay free from my fears and concerns around her and allow her to find her own feet. Reminding myself that I was a teenager once (God help us).

She’s growing up too fast

Our relationship has changed greatly and once again I find myself questioning my every step with her. She has definitely drawn closer to mum and its now my job to be patient and tolerant and remain consistent with her. I’ve said it before and it bares repeating. I am the man that she will judge all other men by. It’s a big responsibility however you cut it.

So there are constant changes occurring under my roof. The best I can do is continue to practice the principles of love and tolerance. And be a calm referee amongst the tantrums and strops of which seem endless.