‘I am a mom of 3-year-old triplets. I have heard ‘I don’t love you today’ every single day this week.’

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“Is it just me or does it feel like discipline is hard to talk about?

There are a lot of opinions about discipline, which I think can often result in conflict and feelings of offense because maybe we do things differently. Do you spank? Do you do time outs? Positive reinforcement? Re-direction?

For me, in the season I am in, discipline has sucked me dry and has been one of the most exhausting parts of parenting. I think kids sometimes need to be disciplined differently, what may work for one doesn’t work for the other. I am a mom of 3-year-old triplets and navigating my way through discipline as a mother I find challenging at times because of their differences. Usually, my daughter, Charlize will only need me to look at her while my boys will push every ounce of my being, stretching me thin. It is insanely challenging. I have been left feeling like I have no clue how to handle my kids and it only results in extreme anxiety.

Toddler with sad face stands in white onesie that says, "I woke up like this #flawless"

I have heard every single day this week, ‘I don’t love you today.’ My worth is not defined in the mean things my 3-year-old’s say to me, but the ‘I don’t love you’s’ hurt. However, discipline is also hard and our kids are never going to like being disciplined. Eventually, they will learn we discipline to help them grow, keep them safe, and teach them boundaries. They will one day understand the importance of discipline.

Little boy sits on floor of playroom screaming

For me, the struggle is having 3 kids the same age and me home most of the time by myself. At this point I really feel like I need some helpful tools to reinforce good behavior. I have recognized there is a lot of negative attention happening in our home and I want to do whatever I can to change that. I feel humbled and humiliated all at the same time when I say, I need help. I need direction. I need wisdom. I feel frustrated when discipline turns into conflict amongst us as parents. Ultimately, we are all working hard to raise good, loving, kind and respectful humans. And it is okay to talk about hard things. It’s okay to help each other even when our patenting styles are different. It’s okay to say, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ It’s okay to ask for help.

Lately, the poor behavior and the overwhelming feeling of not knowing how to discipline my kids in a way that is affective has been triggering my anxiety and usually leads to more chaos. Tantrums are hard.  You are literally trying to reason with a toddler and sometimes that just doesn’t happen. My hopes are not only that I would find a style of discipline that works for our family, but also a style that will help me respond better in those insanely overwhelming parenting moments when all 3 of my kids are losing their minds at the exact same time. Being a parent is not an easy job, but I believe that supporting and helping each other helps us grow in our parenting journeys.

Two triplets lay on floor of kitchen while third squats on floor

Rather than focusing on different styles of how we discipline, we should be supporting each other because we all really have the same goal in mind. I am hoping to reinforce more positive attention in our home.

I hope more than anything talking about this will not be something that will bring offense to any of us because of how we handle discipline, but more so offer support, love, and advice because we all are seeking a common goal in raising good people.”

Mother holds one of her triplets who is crying close to her chest

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Desiree Fortin of California. You can follow her journey as a mom of triplets on Instagram.

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