Although bringing home a new baby is never easy, you can at least prepare for many of the challenges that parenthood brings. You can psych yourself up to understand that you’re not going to sleep properly for the next 3-17 years. You can come to terms with the fact that you will be forever tripping over toys and stepping on crayons. You can even learn to love Peppa Pig. You can, I promise.
However, there are some parts of becoming a new parent that you just can’t predict, expect, or prevent. Some new parents face depression, while others may be dealing with problems breastfeeding, health concerns, or a number of other issues. For some couples, a baby puts an immense and unexpected strain on their relationship.
Even a perfect baby who is eating and sleeping and smiling ever so sweetly can lead to relationship challenges. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to figure out that triplets can multiply those challenges by three! In fact, a 2012 study showed that divorce rates in parents of multiples were significantly higher than other families. Yes, raising multiple babies at once will put a strain on your relationship (especially for first-time parents), but it doesn’t have to break it. Read on to learn about strengthening your relationship after bringing home triplets.
Understanding why divorce rates in parents of multiples are higher
Firstly, it’s important to realise that the study mentioned above didn’t find a staggeringly high divorce rate in parents of multiples – just a little higher than other parents. Having multiples certainly doesn’t make you destined to be dividing up your belongings anytime soon. That said, there are a few reasons why divorce rates in parents of multiples seem to be higher:
- Emotional struggles. Raising multiples can be incredibly draining. Mothers of triplets are more susceptible to postnatal depression, which can also affect the health of your marriage (and other relationships). Many new fathers of multiples also experience emotional challenges adjusting to their new life.
- Financial uncertainty. Babies are expensive, and triplets typically come with triple the cost. You may get a few “buying in bulk” discounts, but all those hungry mouths can certainly strain a relationship or make you concerned about the future of your finances.
- Time constraints. We always hear that relationships are built on trust, but they’re also built over time. Discussing your individual days over a glass of wine, cooking dinner together, or even just snuggling on the couch are all things that build and strengthen a relationship. If there’s one thing that triplets know how to do, it’s suck every second out of your day. Not having time with your partner can sometimes create a void between the two of you that can be difficult to fill.
If triplets are now sounding like a bad idea, please don’t be alarmed. There are so many amazing benefits of raising multiples; it’s just also important to be aware of the challenges so that you can face them head-on. Many married couples raise multiples and live happily ever after. Here are their secrets.
How to strengthen your relationship when raising multiples
Just because divorce rates in parents of multiples are slightly higher than other parents, it doesn’t mean that your babies won’t be the best thing that ever happened for you and your partner. Here are some of the ways you can use your munchkins to bring you together.
- Celebrate the little wins together. With multiples, one baby falling asleep is the cue for the others to start screaming in harmony. Although you may not get a moment’s peace and quiet, there are other things you can celebrate, like changing nappies in record time, or finding the ideal way of rocking your new little ones to sleep. Make sure you celebrate these moments – there’s always time for a quick high five!
- Communicate your needs. Your partner wants to help – they probably just don’t know how. Make sure you’re very specific about what you need, and definitely don’t expect them to just know what to do. This is new territory for both of you, and it needs to be conquered together.
- Re-connect in little ways. It might be a while until you can plan your next date night at a restaurant (or until you even have the energy to stay awake to make it to dessert), but there are other ways to re-connect and reduce any distance that may be creeping in. Summon the energy to spend a few minutes hearing about your partner’s day. If you’re both too tired to talk, just hug.
Don’t let the fact that there are slightly higher divorce rates in parents of multiples put you off. Raising triplets sure is a crazy rollercoaster ride (with somehow even more screaming than an actual rollercoaster), but there’s every chance that you and your partner will love each three times as much because of it.