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A mom of triplets asked for help on Facebook—and her community delivered

Sometimes getting the help we need is as simple as asking for it. 

A mom of triplets asked for help on Facebook—and her community delivered

Nothing can truly prepare a parent for those early days at home with a newborn. The diaper changes, the loads and loads of tiny laundry, the sleepless nights and endless feedings keep parents in perpetual motion—and it’s all multiplied when you bring home multiples. You’re always busy.


“It’s a good busy,” new mom Hayley Arsenault tells Motherly. She recently welcomed triplets Finn, Hogan and Rylan, and has some advice for other new moms in similarly busy shoes: “Take all the help [you] can get”.

The 25-year-old mom is enjoying her beautiful boys (who eat every four hours) but was happy that her own mother was able to take time off from work when the babies were born. Bringing them home from the hospital at four days old was a lot easier for her knowing the boys’ grandmother would be around.

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“When the time was coming up for her to return [to work] we started to realize I may need a few extra hands during the day,” she explains. That’s when Arsenault did something that many moms don’t, but should: She asked for help.

“I reached out on Facebook,” she explains, adding that in her small town of about 800 people, everybody is somehow connected. She expected at least some kind of response from her neighbours, but was blown away by the volume of replies.

Soon Arsenault was working out a schedule for volunteers. A trio of sisters—Jenny MacDougall, Alice Mokler and Anita Arsenault (no relation)—are among the crew. The three retired women have plenty of child care experience between them as they’re all grandmothers.

"Knowing what it's like to have one baby, it's a lot of work," MacDougall told the CBC. "When I heard that she had three, I could really understand how exhausting it must be.”

MacDougall says she and her sisters enjoy caring for Finn, Hogan and Rylan while Arsenault sleeps. "For me, it's a gift to come here."

Arsenault says she’s the one getting a gift, and she’s so grateful for the help she’s received from the sisters and others in her community. She says having this support system around her and not trying to do everything on her own has been a huge relief to her family.

She hopes other parents, regardless of how many kids they have, are also able to ask for help and take a break.

“I think that it’s important for moms to still have time for themselves,” she tells Motherly, offering some advice to those who are afraid to ask for help. “Connect with people. You’ll be surprised at how great people can be.”

And if you don’t live in close knit community like Arsenault does, try to build your own. Join moms’ groups, or take a baby class to expand your circle.

When you’re feeling like you need to grow a second set of arms, remember this piece of advice from one of Arsenault’s helpers: "It takes a village to raise a child.”

You don’t have to do it all alone, mama.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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