3 under 3

By Dr Ella Rachamim,


3 children under 3

I want to start off my saying how wonderful it is to have 3 under 3, actually we had 3 under 18 months at one stage!

It is rewarding, fun-filled and full of adventures.  However, I must admit to it not being always like this.  I want to be honest in this article but also positive.  We have 13 month old identical twin girls, Miriam and Leila, and a son called Joey who is 2 and a half.  The girls are delightful, charismatic, busy and beautiful.  Joey is charming, sensitive, affectionate and both scooter and book mad in equal proportions!

The first 3 months were actually ok, the girls were born 4 weeks early and they did a lot of sleeping from what I remember, being identical they were similar in their patterns and breastfed without any problems.  My son did not seem to remember being an only child and took to his role as big (although I was very careful at remembering he was not so big really) brother superbly.

The difficulty is that this honeymoon stage does not last forever, the girls needed more attention as they developed, and rightly so, they also developed silent reflux which went undiagnosed for a while, and help soon started to disappear after the first few weeks.  If I could have done things differently it would have been to organise proper help to start a few weeks into the journey, to help with the running of the household and to help with the twins, giving me proper time with my son and also giving me some well needed rest.

The sleep deprivation I had led to a very low point in my life, and thankfully one I have worked through, and got help with, as well as having a supportive husband and family and friends that helped.  But all this when I personally knew how to navigate the NHS and knew how things worked, being a paediatrician of all things.  So you can see I am being very honest.

Thankfully the girls and my son are all healthy children, I cannot even begin to imagine what other families go through if they also have lots of hospital appointments as well.  Help arrived in abundance while I was not so well and as I recovered I was able to take more control of life, my children and house.

I think weaning was tough, messy and time consuming – so my advice would be to get help in whatever shape it comes in at this stage, get friends to puree and freeze for you or make food!  Get friends to make dinners for you and your partner to save you time.

I read somewhere in a twins book that “a visitor is not a guest but a helper” and this motto really applies here.  I probably did not take this to heart, and took on a bit too much all round, in addition to the breastfeeding which I stopped at 3 months.  In practical terms, there is lots of equipment advice I have so please feel free to contact me if you need any support or help.

Getting out and about with the 3 – it was never as difficult as I was led to believe, Joey was either in the back-pack or on his scooter, he never took to the buggyboard.  The girls were in the double buggy or one was in a sling when Joey was in the pram. One thing I have learnt is to trust your instincts – by this I mean your maternal ones, you know if something is not right with your children, I wished I had listened to mine a bit more regarding their silent reflux, and this from a paediatrician! Try and rest, really try and don’t be a super woman, it just won’t pay off.

Saying all this, there is not one inch of me that regrets having them so close in age, it is just fantastic and I love being a mother to my 3 adorable monkeys.  They are just delightful, they play together, they eat together, they sleep at the same time both at lunchtime and at night, they swim together – just such fun and I am so glad I have been able to overcome my challenges and can enjoy our children and reap the benefits of having them so close together.

My journey has made me a different person, I can honestly say that hand on heart, and not in a wishy-washy touchy-feely kind of way.  It really has made me more sympathetic, confident, insightful and determined; I now know even more what is important in life.  I know the value of true friends and family and I am now passionate about supporting others through their challenges.


Dr Ella Rachamim www.bereadytoparent.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/beready.toparent

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  1. Evening, I am a Mummy with 3 under 3! My son was only 4 1/2mnths when I fell pregnant with #2. That was a shock and I didn’t know how I was going to cope with 2babies. Alexi baby #2 came 3wks early and he came with reflux and colic. When he was born my husband lost his job and was unemployed for 6mnths. So not only did we have stress with a reflux/colic baby we also had no income. I don’t remember much for baby #2 and this is sad because I look at him now and he is just amazing. When baby #2 was 10mnths we found out #3 was on its way. This was NOT planned and it as not what we wanted. But after 6weeks we came to terms with having another baby. It was the worst pregnancy I have ever had… sickness,exhaustion,blood pressure issues,hospitals u name it I had it plus 2babies to deal with. My hasband started a business and I was left on my own to fend for myself so the lead up to my baby#3 was horrible. The labour was not nice really bad but when baby #3 arrived it was a GIRL!!!!! WOW,what an amazing gift a baby girl! So I came home with her and her 2brothers as young as they were couldn’t wait to meet her and snuggle her. I had a terrible experience when we realised I was giving birth to part of my placenta that was left inside. My husband was not around and I was all alone with 3babies screaming,crying while I sat in bathroom bleeding and in pain,pain like I have enevr experienced. That to passed and we got back to normal (whatever normal is in your household) and we tried to settle into our new family and 3babies! I did find going from 2 to 3 a huge and VERY scary jump. I love my kids but find that some days I feel like I have red ants crawling up my legs and I can’t escape. It is hard and sleep deprivation is a killer. There are some days where I feel I am rocking motherhood and there are days where I want to run away and climb the highest mountain to escape. It is hard and been a Mummy is the hardest job and sometimes feels unrewarding. I know things will ease up and I look at my 3 beautiful kids and I am grateful for them in so many ways. They are healthy,easy going,fun,energetic and pretty much ‘normal’ so I don’t have much to complain about. However, it is hard and there days where you feel it is never ending. But,this to shell pass and I know one day I will wish they were pulling at my leg asking for help.

  2. Dear Pamela
    I dont know where you live but can I recommend talking to someone or finding a local support group – or a local creche if possible too. I have some good links on my website for support but especially your local twins group.
    they often have a mentor system

    in particular:

    Psychologist and psychotherapist, Marianna Sidiropoulou – Deconstructing Mummy, motherhood psychology workshops in North Finchley and Crouch End. She also has her own private practice for one-to-one psychotherapy. “Deconstructing Mummy” refers to a simple need all the mums crave: the freedom to mother their children without having to play out the various myths associated with motherhood. According to Marianna, “These groups are designed to encourage mothers to share and realise that they are not alone or “weird”. We all think that the mother down the street is better at it and that we just don’t get it. The truth is that each mother brings her own psychological history in the mix and this aspect needs to be understood rather than criticised” Another theme is the mother’s relationship to her mother and how this affects her mothering behaviour. The groups meet for 8-12 sessions and are built for a maximum of 8 people. (http://www.northlondonmums.com/search?q=deconstructing+mummy) I got in touch with Marianna after coming across her blog, and realised that her workshops compliment my course ethos. Marianna kindly comes to talk about her work, keeping emotionally healthy and the transition to motherhood during one of the classes. If you’d like to know more about Deconstructing Mummy and find out about upcoming classes near you, see their website here – http://www.deconstructing-mummy.blogspot.co.uk or facebook group here – https://www.facebook.com/Deconstructing.Mummy Email: deconstructingmummy@gmail.com Tel: 07530539442.

    or Counsellor, Rosalie Ajzensztejn – is a Parenting Counsellor who has extensive experience managing the call centres at Family Lives, the UK’s largest parenting charity, and is a practitioner at Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, based in the New Learning Centre in West Hampstead. She runs her own private practice as well as regular parenting workshops. I recommend Rosalie wholeheartedly to any family who needs parenting advice, counselling, family or individual work. She has a wealth of experience in this field in addition to being a mother of four grown up children. Rosalie is a true friend of mine and we work very closely together on all aspects of these courses. I consult Rosalie on all my endeavours! Tel: 020 3051 0690 and 07946099883. Email: rosalie@parentcounselling.co.uk http://www.parentcounselling.co.uk/

    or this is free
    http://familylives.org.uk/ (formerly known as parentline plus) is the UK’s largest parenting charity and runs a 24 hour free phoneline 7 days a week providing help and support for all aspects of family life 0808 800 2222 .

    AND of course SPEAK TO YOUR GP please
    I will also send the editor some resources.
    Please get some help and talk to someone, I am glad this article helped you to talk,


  3. Jaclyn1224 says:

    I couldn’t have said this better myself!!!

  4. Jaclyn1224 says:

    I couldn’t have said this better myself! Great job!