‘Be our guest’ is an encounter with a personality and an issue. For a few lines, the Mag belongs to them. They can make it their own. Its tone, its style and the story it tells is theirs alone.
We first met Margaritha through her adorable Instagram account, @mamamargaritha. She is a photographer from the Netherlands and at just 25 years old, she is mum to three boys under three. Today she has agreed to tell us her story and give us her advice for other young mums!
Three kids in one year: five survival tips
“Hi, my name is Margaritha and I had three kids in one year.” This is my favourite sentence – it shocks people every time! Luckily it means that I always have a story to tell. I’m a bit shy when I meet new people, so it’s a good ice-breaker!
Three years ago, I gave birth to Jack. He was not an easy baby but after three months his reflux finally left the building and he only needed one feed a night, so things got a lot easier. A second baby? No way, I thought. I would go crazy.
When Jack was four months old, I found out I was pregnant. Instead of freaking out, I felt nothing. And in just two days, that nothing grew into a whole lot of happiness and enthusiasm for this second little miracle in my belly. I made an appointment with the obstetrician – time for an ultrasound to check if all was well. I was about eight weeks pregnant at this point. The lovely nurse turned on the ultrasound and put it on my tummy. I watched the screen and saw two or three little pieces shaped like beans. I thought parts were missing! I really thought that. Then the lady said, “Do you guys see what I see?”, and in a split second I knew. There weren’t any parts missing. We had just hit the jackpot in terms of having children. A nervous feeling came over me and I couldn’t stop laughing.
The twins were born at 36 weeks, two weeks after Jack’s first birthday. Two boys: George and James. Life began as a family of five in a new, bigger house, and somehow, I survived! Some parts I didn’t enjoy and some parts were the best of my life…
TIP 1: EITHER WORK HARD OR LET IT GO
I definitely prefer working hard over letting it all go. A clean house with laundry folded neatly in the closets makes me so happy that I’d even give up a bit of sleep for it. A clean house lets me enjoy life more.
TIP 2: GET HELP
If you can get help, do! Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends, even if you feel guilty about it. Even if all you need is someone to listen to your story about the horrible night you just had. If I hadn’t had my parents, my sister, my parents-in-law and the rest of the family, I don’t know what I would have done. I was still recovering from a burn out I guess.
TIP 3: TREAT YOURSELF
Buy something nice for yourself now and then. Go out once in a while. Get your nails done. Eat some chocolate. Go to the hairdresser. Read a magazine for 20 minutes. And put your phone down!
TIP 4: SLEEP?
We had three of the worst sleepers in the world. They just turned 3 and 2 and things have got slightly better… But over the last three years I think we probably got a solid average of five hours a night, not straight. So I tried to get my energy from other things. It works weirdly sometimes – if you do something fun, you can get energy from that too. I still feel tired everyday but now I can control it and not let it rule my life. I want to live life to the full and not obsess over sleeping.
TIP 5: TEAM UP WITH YOUR HUSBAND
Being a team is probably the most important part of this whole survival kit. You need each other. Don’t fight about who is having the hardest time. Give each other attention. Try to get out together every so often. Don’t go to sleep at the same time as the kids. It’s the small things that count, like making cups of tea for each other.
I must say that now we’ve got through the hardest part (please don’t mention puberty yet!), we have a great time with the boys. They play (and fight), they talk in bed when it is far past bedtime, they watch big brother J on the loo. It’s so much FUN!