Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Triplets: Only For The Very Committed

Raising triplets is hard and scary.  Even to those with three or four children of their own.

I get it.  Trust me, I do. 

Frightening? Yes!
If I didn’t, the 10 people who point it out to me on every single trip we take our triplets on would make sure I do.  We are either brave on the level of firefighters or strong on the level of WWE fighters.

Those people are correct, of course.  Raising triplets is hard.  If it doesn’t seem that way to us we owe it partly to my wife’s superior organization talents and partly to the fact that this is just our life.  We don’t know anything else.  To us, having kids is raising triplets. 

On a somewhat unrelated note, I was reading a story today about world population and the magical 2.1 birthrate required for stable populations.  Turns out large portions of the world fall below that line.  Some, like Sweden, go as low as 1.2.

The author has two little ones of his own and at one point discusses the idea of a third.  His points:

If wanted to pop out another ankle-biter right now, our ageing bodies might just allow us to do so. But we have no intention of trying. As much as we adore our little guys, they’re a lot of work and frighteningly expensive. Most of our friends have just one or two kids, too, and like us they regard the prospect of having three or four kids the way most people look at ultramarathoning or transoceanic sailing—admirable pursuits, but only for the very committed.

A couple of points:

1) kids are indeed “frighteningly expensive.”  If I actually took a minute to think about just how expensive … well, lets just say I choose not to; 

2) This really sums up how people feel about the idea of triplets.  And his quote is only about people who have three children total, not those of us who have three all at one time: people “regard the prospect of having three or four kids the way most people look at ultramarathoning or transoceanic sailing – admirable pursuits, but only for the very committed.”

As far as I can tell those of us with triplets make up about 5 percent of the population.  We are doing something that, like ultramarathoning, is done by only a very small portion of the population.  I’m not yet sure whether the fact that we have no way to stop or take a breather makes it easier or harder on us. I do like to think we are doing something unique here; something that sets us apart; something not just everyone would do.

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