For our last post on multiples this week, we wanted to share various nannies’ personal experiences of looking after twins and triplets…and more! We spoke to four nannies’ including pocketnannies own Siobhan.
Having been a nanny to triplets with a sibling and quadruplets with a sibling, I know some say no way and others would take it in their stride. One thing I know about it is, it’s the most rewarding, busy, loving, fun jobs I’ve ever had. From bringing them home from hospital to watching their first steps, and especially the bond in which they form together, the chatting they have as if they know what the other is saying and the laughter they share as they race around the room. It’s not always fun though with the amount of nappies, feeds, bottles, sick, hospital visits and food on the floor. However that’s all forgotten when they do something sweet or develop to the next milestone. Every milestone is a huge leap forward due to them being very premature, so catching up quickly to their actual age is a great feeling. It’s a crazy amazing job to have, the best thing is all the cuddles, the laughter and the fun and of course when you go into their bedroom in the morning and see all their little happy faces getting so excited.
The nights are hard if they don’t sleep for a few hours each that is your night gone, and when the first time they all sleep through the night you feel you should throw a celebration party! Routines and organisation are definitely the way forward, keeping one step ahead and ready for any eventuality. Another hard element is other people, as I have been in many a situation where parents and carers face so many questions from others and some being very very personal. It’s difficult because you know that they are just intrigued and not many people have even seen triplets or quads before. But as soon as you can get over the questions taking them out because fun to say the least, sometimes pushing a quad pram while trying to keep your eye on four toddling little ones can be very interesting, especially when they all run in there own directions! I can honestly say working with these families has changed me; it’s given me the patience of a saint, made me very organised and given me the best memories and friends I will ever met. Multiples are simply brilliant!!
I have to start by saying caring for multiples has been………..awesome! As a nanny it was the most challenging, funny, scary, frustrating, exciting, hair pulling (mine not theirs) time of my nannying days. I quickly learn multitasking as I would spin around getting things ready, head counting all the time just to be sure I still had all three of them in one place, I think I grew a third eye and a good nose for trouble when It got a little too quiet.
Being organised was key to keeping chaos at bay. Having rain and sunny day activities was a must, arts, crafts, baking, plenty of story times, bike riding, trips to the park, zoo, swimming and jumping in puddles was all part of keep all those fingers and toes busy.
In the early years I knew I wanted to be independent, not feel held back because there were three of them and one of me, even though I was just their nanny, I still wanted to have a life with them, getting out and about doing as many things as we could together. Of course keeping them all together had its moments, I remember the first and last time I used baby reins on them, they tried to go in three different directions, back tracked and crossed over one another, until they ended up in one twisted mess…….I could only but laugh at myself for thinking it would work. They learnt to walk independently shortly after that with me using the words stop, wait and go to keep them together.
I care for three great triplets families when I was a nanny, the first family in 1995. But back then there weren’t as many triplets or support groups for help and advice. Some of the bigger challenges apart from having three children, was being out in public with them…….on the whole most people were lovely, but there were a few times someone would treat the children like public property, pointing, say things and felt they could ask personal questions……..even with the children standing right there with me, but you learn to sail through it and divert the children attention fast.
Watching triplets develop up in the same environment and rules but grow into individual, independent people was amazing and a pleasure to be part of. My oldest set of triplets are now 22 and the youngest set only 16 weeks old. It’s was certainly a busy life the life of a multiple nanny and it’s that experience that made me retrain as a maternity nurse specialising of course in………….multiples, I’ve now cared for over 25 sets of twins and 9 sets of triplets, you could say it’s a little crazy but I wouldn’t change it and it’s still awesome!
Over my 5 1/2 years of nannying and two years training previouly, I have looked after many sets of multiples, which have included both twins and triplets. But it was my first 16months of my career looking after 11month old girl/boy twins that really made me love multiples. It was quite a full on job for my first; 12 hour days, 5days a week, totally sole charge with complete rein over what we did, three big abroad trips, bilingual family and a totally new area for me.
I was instantly faced with two challenges. The first, being in charge of two little humans from the moment they woke to when they went to sleep, by myself. And secondly learning very quickly they ate a selection of two different meals and that was it! Overcoming the eating issues has been one of my biggest achievements in nannying as it was so early on, and actually doing it was a lot different to learning it in training. Bolognese does not come out of a white kitchen very well at all-especially when its thrown and splattered over the floor, up the wall, somehow all over the child who absolutely wouldn’t eat it…..oh! and now the other one has done exactly the same!! I do seem to remember after overcoming this food hurdle, feeling like I was cooking non-stop. Well, it was the best stocked freezer I’ve ever known, and haven’t managed it since!
But what I truely loved best was just watching, witnessing and being in the thick of it. Watching and seeing not just one but two babies grow, their first steps, their first words – in two different languages, making a super set of first friends. Seeing how they shared, copied, cared and faught with each other. Helping them to gain confidence, start a new nursery, learn new life skills like using cutlery. Endless amounts of playing, making towers, climbing, blowing bubbles, trips out around London.
I think now it’s been a while since this job, its all a blissful memory, but I defintely remember the times of utter chaos, crying, the trantrums, the mess, the organisation that was needed, and I most definitely remember the time I locked us out the house with no money, food or drinks. But this job is a certain reminder why I love the world of multiples and have always been drawn towards jobs to care for multiples.
I started with my boy and girl twins when they were 3, very well behaved calm happy relaxed children from the get go – lucky me! I will try and be objective but I’ve been there over 3 years now so I do just love them!
The experience – I love it. From going from single child jobs to 3 (they have an older sibling) I have had such fun. I feel more useful, more helpful and more stretched. The challenges – swimming lessons etc! Getting one child changed for swimming and dried and dressed after is hassle enough but 2 always had its challenges! One needing a wee, one wanting to stay in the shower, one not wanting a shower! But that’s simplified now they are older. A more serious challenge is trying to not compare them, especially now they are at school. For example a letter may come home saying one has been invited to join a club and your instinct is to ask why the other hasn’t! But that’s life and they are both different.
The pleasures – having 2 is a delight to watch because you see them playing together and bonding. The laughs you have are doubled, especially when one tells a story about exactly the same event completely differently to the other. There’s more fun. The organising – of course when they are babies you generally need double the stuff, but actually a few weeks of being with twins you naturally think along the lines of if one needs a swimming kit the other is bound to. They do a lot of sharing!