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The greatest gift I can give my children

Becoming a Parent has been life-changing beyond explanation. New perspectives shine with clarity, and priorities shift to meet a new purpose. There are also concerns for any expecting parents that arise concerning the world they are brought into. It is a mine field of corruption, dishonesty and temptation. It is also one of immense beauty, truth & light.

A path of love, courage, tolerance and virtue is one I hope my girls remain on. It is my role as their father to show them how to stay on that path. I hope from the many mistakes I have made in my life, I have at least something valuable to pass on. As It is those mistakes and failures as a human, once driven by resentment and a selfish spirit, that brought me crashing to a need to become a better man. Failure can become a great teacher in the absence of pride. With rock bottom came my personal opportunity to begin to learn.

It would be easy to make excuses for myself and my failings, rather than be willing to grow from them. Nor would it be much use to beat myself up continually for my mistakes. Resentment is just as bad when turned on oneself, it’s a trap that many never escape from. No one is perfect, but being entrusted as a father to four children and as a husband, there is much more of a need to move towards that ideal.

It’s a given that I will/do get things wrong.

There is much as a parent that I can do to contribute to my children’s foundation, that will be the difference between them struggling through life, and effortlessly evolving with confidence, without being affected by the harsh realities of the world around them.

I work hard to provide for them, to have a roof over our head, clothes to wear, and food on the table are needs my family require that must be provided by me. These are the basics. I want for them to have a good start in life. There are skills and knowledge we will pass on that will help them find their way in the world. There are also other financial commitments I will have to meet further down the road that will help them along.

But there is one thing that I can do that I believe is the greatest gift any Man can give his children. To show them how to forgive. To not resent the darkness in the world, or the mistakes and wrongs of others, or they themselves will make along the way.

I will show them a way to let go of anger. Whether it’s towards another or themselves.

With the ability to let go comes a freedom. Without harbouring anger and it’s debilitating mental and physical symptoms, a human is free to thrive, unaffected by the stresses of the world. I want my children to have this opportunity.

I have a job to one day prepare them for life beyond the comforts of a protective home. I can think of nothing more important to the wellbeing of themselves and their future than the ability to live free from the crippling effects of resentment. Life is stressful, it’s unavoidable.

It is a natural gift I lived without for decades, my inability to meet stress without it overwhelming me became the cause of all my problems. My Father was never shown, or his path would have been different. My path in turn would have been different. I eventually had to forgive him. It wasn’t his fault. People who are overwhelmed with life and the problems they encounter stop being themselves, they do and say things from a place of fear.

My ten year old daughter understands this. She is rarely effected by any negativity that comes her way. Because she knows forgiveness, and can see the truth of others struggles. It’s a powerful discernment and one I will nurture in all of them.

if love is the absence of hate, it’s my responsibility to show them this.

Flying solo with three babies, what’s the worst that could happen?

9.00am thoughts –

So far there have only been a handful of times that It’s been just the babies and me. And because of breastfeeding it’s never been more than a couple of hours. There has never been a problem and I enjoy those times. It means that Stacey and Frankie get some girl time away from the house. Every relationship is one that requires tending, so since the triplets arrival it’s nice for them to get a break, and Frankie loves having Mum to herself. So it’s a win-win all round.

Today I have packed Stacey off to a spa for the day. She needs a real break from her routine. This means I will be covering feeds, including the lunchtime high chair messy one, the 4pm which will be breast milk in a bottle as well as the bath bottle bed routine. Unfortunately Frankie is a bit poorly so I will be taking the reigns for the most of today, and Stacey is obviously a little anxious about leaving me for so long with them for the first time. I however am ready for the challenge. I mean how tough can it be? I’ve been up with them since 5am already so they should be nice and tired for the day.

Here’s a few thoughts that documented my day

2.30pm – Sweet Jesus, this is a handful

3.30pm – Well this is getting intense

4pm – where’s the f*#king bonjela gone.

4.20pm – where did I put the f•#king paracetamol and why did I do this?

4.30pm- is that all the f*#king time is?! Dear God , give me all I need to get through this next hour and a half!

5pm thoughts – I’m so glad I meditated this morning

6pm – And exhale

But for the most it ran smoothly, the feeds went well, bath time was hassle free. We had play time and settled moments. The real intensity comes from the mental strain of remaining switched on to an unpredictable, constantly changing situation. Although my work is physical and tiring in that sense, I also have the privilege of a lunch break.

I absolutely understand why some nights I walk in from work and my wife is exhausted, sat at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me with her head in her hands.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hands on with these babies as much as possible. My life is work and babies, there is no social life. Nor am I the type of husband who thinks my wife has it easy because she’s home all day. I am aware of Men who’s day is done when they walk through the door, I’m personally not that selfish. My wife went through hell to bring our girls into the world, it’s my job to knuckle down and support her when i’m at home.

So respect where it is due. My wife will be going more often, she deserves it. And I’m glad I spent a day in her shoes. I think all Dads need to step up to this one.

There’s always light, struggle is optional

It’s now the sixth night of the triplets sharing their own room. And not to tempt fate but some sort of victory dance/celebration/hardnightonthemoctails is in order. I cannot remember the last time I felt so rested and mentally awake. It would seem moving the little chickens has been a positive move for all. My wife, myself and the triplets have enjoyed unbroken sleep from the night they moved.

We were expecting at the least, a few small protests at the change of environment, but settling into a new room and cots has been a peaceful transition. What a fantastic start to the year.

I was told, prior to their arrival, all we had to do was keep the babies alive in the beginning. And I understand this. But having now experienced the first six months of three Babies, and feeling like I’ve just survived being blasted out of an explosion. I can confirm there’s a little more to it than just keeping the babies alive. Retaining a level of sanity is definitely in the top three.

There must be people who have never experienced any real form of serious mental health conflicts until the arrival of babies. There were times I was sure I was regressing to a familiar dark mental place. I get why the separation rate is so high in the first year with parents of multiples. It’s incredibly sad but not overly surprising. The mental, physical and spiritual stress of the situation is beyond measure. But chance of survival is possible if there is a commitment to a loving spirit in the home. Patience and tolerance is everything, especially from the Man of the house during the pregnancy and first months after arrival. It really is a test of endurance at times. The temptation to become constantly overwhelmed is real. Mum’s and Dad’s have different problems to address, both need to work together.

There were two thoughts that kept me afloat at times , thoughts that were with me from the dating scan,

1. These three babies are a gift

2. I cannot let my family down

So to both reach this milestone relatively unscathed is a true blessing. There is a calming presence around our situation now that I haven’t felt before. Frankie is an amazing help, without which during the afternoon my wife would struggle. She has matured and grown so much herself as a result of the pregnancy and arrival of her sisters. Becoming a triplet parent can become an isolating experience as we have both discovered. Frankie really is a God send.

And the babies are doing fine. New skills are developing rapidly as they evolve in their surroundings. Our influence on them is everything at this stage.

Staying conscious of what is happening around me, and sharpening from stress is the only way I can bring stability to my home and family life. I found a way to practice this through meditation a few years ago.

Stress is a given as we both adjust to the road ahead, as Dad I need to be level headed and present for it all. Il leave the link to the 12 minute meditation here. Its all free, nothing to buy or sign up for. For me it has become the difference between the ability to deal with life rather than become ground down by it. It is the solution that has provided me with the strength to keep moving forward with a real sense of purpose.

Being a parent brings stress, frustration, fear, resentment, intolerance, impatience and the subsequent struggle and consequences those emotional responses bring. This is simply a way to observe the temptation to bite in those moments as they arise during the day , in the present moment, unaffected by them, with a little practice it can be done.

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

I hope you find this to be a real solution to any problems you may be experiencing. Light is a real guiding force. And this is life changing in every sense.

A room for Three

Since the triplets have been sleeping through more consistently, we have been handed another obstacle. One that is more prevalent since being home after the Christmas holidays. When Stacey and myself try and go to bed at night , 99 percent one of the time, babies wakes up. No matter how stealth or clever we may think we’re being.

We head up the stairs, turn all the lights off, sneak in to our bedroom, careful not to make a sound, no phone lights or anything that may disrupt them. Then I step on the creaking floorboard, and pause in my tracks , heart speeding up, clinging to the thin shred of hope that I haven’t woken a bambino, then………… boom!, to my right in the darkness I hear the sucking of a thumb. So ones awake and a bit peckish, before we know the other two are staring at us with little hope of going back down without a top up.

It doesn’t matter how super cute your babies are or how attached you may be, sooner rather than later they need to move to their own room. That day has arrived for them. And what a great day it has been.

The decision was made and neither of us felt like putting it off any at longer. So i finished decorating at 2am this morning, and today the room was finished. Tonight we get our room back, minus three cribs, a growling dinosaur, a laughing monkey chops and a singing Gremlin.

You have no idea how exited we are to go to bed tonight and not have to worry about waking the triplets.

It’s a huge milestone. One that has been quite emotional to be honest. This room has been put on hold for so long. This house somehow feels more like a home today, with a little more normality. This is an amazing start to the year for us, especially with the Babies being weaned now.

I know parents who struggle to make the transition of moving a baby out of their reach and into their own room. Maybe it’s because we have three little munchkins but my conscious is clear, and hopefully tonight we’ll both sleep like babies.

Buckle up for for another year

Firstly happy new year, I hope you all had an enjoyable time this season. I personally have developed my food baby pregnancy belly again. I’m about three months and need to stop eating.

Although only a couple of weeks since last posting. I’m surprised during this Christmas holiday how much the triplets have developed. Maybe it’s because we’re away with family, just this stepping back a little to let others help out has given me an opportunity to notice more than I usually would.

For one I’ve noticed how big they’ve got. We have three solid little babies on the go. Even Blakely has a noticeable weight to her now. All three have their own little facial expressions which can make it easier to tell who’s who. I’ve only got them muddled up once this holiday. Quite an achievement for me.

This is definitely Lacey

We began weaning them, now 26 weeks, 19 adjusted we felt they were ready to start on wet food for the lunchtime feed. Blakely knew exactly what to do first time round, and other than the protests between the spoon being removed from her mouth and returning she was like a duck to water. Ava and Lacey didn’t take long to get the hang of it either. They’re quick to learn.

Blakely has also discovered how to push herself over from her belly to her back. It’s a lot of effort but she has the determination to keep going. She’s a tough little cookie, but we already knew this.

Ava made her own new discovery whilst in Ikea shopping for high chairs. She discovered how to have a tantrum, and I can report she’s a natural. Very impressive volumes reached, as a singer I’m quite proud of the set of lungs she has.

Lacey has began singing to herself when she wakes up in the mornings. A bit like Gizmo from that Gremlins movie. It’s nothing short of adorable. Ava followed along by blowing bubbles, this has progressed over the last few days into a sort of constant growling with the occasional fart noise thrown in. It’s like we are now sharing a room with a small dinosaur who can’t shut up. It’s funny to wake up to.

Blakely has yet to start with the vocals like her sisters as yet, but does have a really cheeky laugh. I’m sure she’ll be finding her voice very soon. Everything seems to happen between them within a short time as far as development goes.

So it’s been an interesting time. A nice break for us over Christmas, as much as anyone can with multiples. To be honest we’re both still tired. Stacey and myself even had a night out to a restaurant to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I can’t remember the last time we had that quiet time together. It was much needed. Thankfully Stacey has a big family full of women who love taking care of babies so a night out was possible.

Now its back to work, back to the routine, which is made easier by watching the ever changing growth of the triplets. There is much to look forward to, much more to learn and much to work for. My family deserve the best start in life I can provide for them. Everything changed last year. It’s my job to move with that change.

Farewell to an incredible year

There has been more than one occasion in my life that I have stopped briefly this time of year to take a look at events past, and thought with a sense of bewilderment, “what in the hell has just happened”?.They weren’t always positive reflections such is life, but there was always something to take from it. Usually a life lesson or two, or five.

If someone had told me this time last year I would now be a Father to three beautiful triplet girls, I would have laughed you out of the workshop. Many strange things have happen in my life, but being Launched into Jedi level Nappy changing, baby pacifying and a life changing experience such as Fatherhood to another three girls would never have been something I could have anticipated. Mostly Because it’s an insane and almost impossible thing to process.

Three decades ago, by this point I had already swapped my dream of being a stuntman over to chasing the more realistic, and much more suited future career as a stadium filling rock legend. My heroes certainly were enjoying a an excessive life of sex, drugs and rock n roll, at least the ones still breathing. I was going to be loved and appreciated by the world, on stage and off.

Two decades ago I was sat as an in-patient on a psychiatric ward, on full flight from reality, scratching my arse wondering why no one had given me a record deal yet. Not only was I the ultimate undiscovered tortured artist by that point, but I had also acquired supernatural powers.

One decade ago I was scraping along the rock bottom of alcoholism, angry at my failings and the self centred sot I had become. I hated the world and no one more than myself. It was impossible to look ahead, I was unable to give up my anger and unable to stop drinking on my own resources. I had failed everything and everyone in my life and I couldn’t make it stop. I was crippled with the fear of how I would survive without alcohol. It was a bleak, I was stuck halfway around the world with nowhere left to go.

Tonight I came home from a job I worked hard for. I bathed each of my babies as I do every night and had that special time with them, while Stacey got the rest of the evening routine ready for their bed time.

After feeds we take them up and I put them in their sleeping sacks, kiss them all goodnight as they smile up from their cots at me. Nothing moves me more. Many men do not get a second chance at life. That’s exactly what I’ve been granted.

I can honestly say I know what it is to love another human being unconditionally. I see the importance of what it is to give of myself so others can benefit. So that my family may thrive. If there’s anything I can take from this year it’s that the unexpected will continue to happen in my life. That the opportunities for me to grow on this journey will always be coming, my practicing patience is everything.

To reflect on this year is to see the beginning. The decision to start this blog was one made in sleep deprivation. I needed to document what was happening, simply so I wouldn’t forget. Although very personal at times I am glad I began. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share in this journey with us. And for your messages of support. I hope to become a better blogger in the new year, once I figure out linky’s. (If your not a blogger, you’ll have as much understanding of what that means as I do, just know it’s important)

This will be my last post now until the new year. So from my house to yours, have a wonderful Christmas and God bless x

All fit and ready for Christmas

It’s nice to be feeling well again. After a few weeks of illness the hospital finally got to the cause last Friday night. Turns out aswell as a nasty little chest infection, the real pain was caused by gastritis. Anyway after one pill, I feel as though I’ve pretty much blown the problem away now, much to Frankie’s amusement.

It’s coming to the end of a rollercoaster year, I think my family have done an amazing job to all get through it as well as we have. There was so much uncertainty from the day we had the scan, but it was faith, patience and knowing that we had been entrusted with something incredibly rare that got us here.

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The stress of it all and the tiredness may have nipped at me at the end, but to be honest it feels we are finally now emerging from the other end of the massive adjustment that was bringing three new born premature babies home.

Ava,Lacey and Blakely have thrived, right from the starting gun. They have adjusted and grown into very calm, content little bambinos. Each a little different already in their personalities, in looks, I still get them muddled up occasionally. They all sleep through 12 hours now. I now how incredibly lucky we’ve been in that sense. They will be 23 weeks tomorrow.

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Through all the difficulties, mostly emotional it’s hard not to feel blessed. Our marriage has become stronger, Frankie now has been officially promoted to big sister and loves them, after having to deal with her own adjustments. I’m very proud of her for the young lady she is becoming.

This christmas and new year will be a very special one. Looking back at the events of my life that have brought me to this point it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that really, my life is only beginning. In the sense that I am now able to bring stability, love and consistency to my home, to my children , I have discovered my purpose as a man, my true purpose in life. Without grace I wouldn’t be here. Without faith I would be unable to continue.

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Christmas for me now is a reminder, and a celebration of the man who showed others a way to connect with a light, that would drive out darkness and heal all internal suffering. I see that light in my children. This year brought three bright lights into our lives, that have moved us as a family to improve, to pull together, to stay out of anger for the sake of each other. And to put love and trust first.

Each one is a gift, we have our lives mapped out for us, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

The not so immortal stuntman

As a kid I grew up watching Saturday tv shows like The A Team, and The Dukes of Hazard. My particular favourite was The fall Guy with Lee Majors. For one he had a cool truck, could handle himself in a bar brawl and did lots of stunts.

It was decided in my overactive mind back then as a child, I needed to be a stuntman. It was my destiny calling that I would jump out of moving vehicles, off buildings, out of trees and generally attempt anything that would put me at risk. I pretty much got started straight away.

Instead I ended up embarking on a journey of mental illness and alcoholism with a spattering of stuntman like victory’s and failures. Mostly just doing stupid things drunk. Problem was that when I was drunk I believed I was immortal, and when I had a paranoid schizophrenic episode as a late teenager It just reaffirmed I was immortal. And even If I wasn’t I didn’t care. I had a very up and down life.

In my life I have survived

Chronic alcoholism.
Abuse.
Mental illness.
A drunken trip through the heart of Mexico.
A drunken trip through south east Asia.
Drs prescriptions.
Broken bones.
Fights with men I clearly had no chance against.
Falling off high things drunk and breaking things.
A Scorpion sting.
Home tattooing.
A really upset gang member in New Zealand.
Home brewed sambuca.
Gallons of sugar cane spirit that apparently puts one at risk of blindness.
A year on a remote island with no alcohol, tv, phone or internet connection for most of my stay.
Psychiatrists.
Strange women.
Wandering drunk and lost at night through the project housing area of St. Louis.
Mescal.
Swimming at night naked after a shark sighting.
Beer Chang.
Snake wine.
Air Laos.
‘Dave the dirty anarchists’ brew of special brew and mushroom tea at Glastonbury festival.
A nasty stabbing incident.
Drunk skateboarding nights through the streets of Melbourne.
The sex in the city movies.

To name a few.

I never really considered my immortality until I reached my end with alcoholism and the person I had become. That led me to a much more peaceful existence. It was the only other road to take. And I am grateful that I made this far with just a few scars and bruises. Especially now I’m a parent.

Last week I was taken into hospital struggling to breath with chest pains, the second time in almost as many weeks. The X-ray shows an infection on the bottom of my left lung behind my heart. Now on a second course of antibiotics waiting for it to shift, being told to rest.

It has scared me a little, being unable to get on with my work and home life as I normally would. The realisation again that I am not immortal, that I do need to slow down occasionally, a stressful year may have caught up a little bit more than I anticipated it would. With a family now relying on me I have to take a step back now and again.

I’m not the car with no breaks anymore. And I’ve always learn the hard way.

Trigger warning! Absolutely everything ever is completely offensive

It has become increasingly difficult to open ones mouth these days and not get someone chewy. I used to be a boy who took everything personally, unless it was inline with my thinking of course.

I suffered from a problem that was all mine. That problem being that I couldn’t control my emotional nature. If something offended me I would spin into an emotional dive bomb simply because I couldn’t tolerate another’s opinion or point of view. I got angry and reacted. It was a crappy way to live.

Thankfully I am able to now live unaffected by the things I see in the world,  no matter how off key they may or may not be. I am happily neutral.

I’m surprised at how offended folks get by certain things, that there are so many floundering in bitterness, almost looking for a reason to vent. I never once believed that sharing any info about my beautiful daughters would offend so many. But it has, and still does.

This is where I overstep the line, feel free to unfollow me if the hot chocolate doesn’t calm those senses

 

‘Our triplets were not conceived through fertility treatment, they simply arrived the old fashioned way’

’My wife is still breastfeeding all three now at 21 weeks’

There I put it out there, I have actually been removed from Father support sites for sharing this information.

I am not smuggly giggling to myself as I write this. Nor am I puffing my chest out and spitting at those who went through horrendous times just to bring life into the world.

Its apparently a real no-no to mention those two facts of my life as a parent. It raises anger. I have been asked to be more considerate of others, yet my consideration is not to be granted by those offended as my truth offends them. It’s a little bit nutty to say the least.

I am truly sorry if you have struggled. Turns out so did we, our chances were less than average. Yet why the anger when you are now raising multiples ?, beautiful children, no matter how they got here, or how they are being kept alive.

I’m incredibly proud of my family, especially my wife for the amazing job she is doing. It genuinely amazes me the situation that my family has been blessed with this year.

 

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It’s been my experience that whenever I have been offended, it’s because something in me has been affected. Something internally that is mine to deal with and find peace with.

So if my experience has offended you, forgive me, you’ll feel much lighter for it.

Now go enjoy being a parent, the really important bit.

The grizzlies

I love this time of year. The Autumn leaves, crisp mornings, walking the little dog before Work in the quiet dark cold. Pre Christmas mince pie research and cosy nights in with the heating on. Planning for Christmas and all that’s involved with it. The odd festive movie thrown in over a mince pie with cream.

Of course it wouldn’t be Autumn without the obligatory coughs and colds. Usually brought home by Frankie as they unknowingly infect each other with their germs without a care during school time, as they do. Parents know the deal, and usually end up with the goods. I’m always first in line for Frankies snotty gifts. She’s always had a sharing nature.

Unfortunatly this year the triplets have now all caught it aswell as Frankie and myself, and it’s not nice. Our bedroom has resembled more of a small hospital ward then a chilled baby sanctuary the last few nights. Stacey has managed to avoid catching it so far, thankfully.

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Poor little chickens with horrible grandad coughs and sore throats, Stacey’s exhausted, I’m running on four brain cells, and unfortunately there’s nothing we can do other than crack open the calpol and comfort them as best we can. I’ve also dealt with some of my first serious nappy incidences. Like, WOW girls!!!! I’m impressed.

It was far from my mind that the babies would get ill util this week, and the tears and grizzlies that go with it make a Dad feel a little helpless. It’s a given that what one gets, the others are likely to catch it also. It’s their first round of being poorly, not the best of milestones but one I hope for them and us doesn’t last much longer.