Meet the Loo family, who manage them all without a domestic helper nor help from in-laws.
Ermita Soenarto and Loo Ming Da planned for two kids, spaced two years apart. But when their daughter Livia was 18 months old, they found themselves expecting again – this time with triplets!
Life has been a whirlwind for the family of 6 since then, which Ermita blogs about on www.craftyacademic.com, initially started to track her progress in teaching herself to sew as she works on her PHD in History. We are particularly charmed by her beautifully shot photos and anecdotes of her kids shared on her Instagram account of the same name. Ermita gives us a glimpse into their happy, busy world.
Ernita gives us a quick introduction to her family:
I’m Ermita Soenarto, 34, a PhD student in History and stay-at-home parent, and I enjoy creative pursuits. My husband Loo Ming Da, 32, is an engineer who enjoys his job and his family. Livia, 4, is big sister to the triplets. She is wacky, outdoorsy and mature for her age. Lysbeth, 2, is chatty, easy-going and helpful. She is Lucia’s identical twin. Lucia is very determined, athletic, and wears her feelings on her sleeve. Liora is the fraternal triplet and tends to be domineering, enjoys jokes and pranks, and is laid-back in nature.
What’s a typical day like in the Loo household?
Since the kids are older now, my quality of life has improved tremendously. This blog post from 2015 records a day in a life when I was still caring for baby triplets and a toddler.
Now, a typical day goes like this:
7am: My husband and Livia get up. We taught our daughters about self-sufficiency and independence from the moment they could understand so Livia actually awakes on her own, dresses herself for school and prepares her own school bag. My husband takes her to school and heads to work. The triplets sometimes awake at 7am because they hear commotion in the morning; they always get up earlier than I do and they engage themselves with activities in the playroom. It’s set up in a way to encourage self-directed learning and play so they often help themselves to what they want to engage in and seek my help if they have questions or want to learn about something more deeply.
9am: Once the triplets get really hungry, they wake me. I prepare breakfast, give them a shower and then start on preparing lunch. Sometimes they help me or they play on their own.
11am: Before we leave to pick Livia from school, I expect them to clear the playroom and return toys, learning aids and art supplies to their respective storage areas. It’s a 20-minute journey on the MRT and on foot to Livia’s school. We don’t use carriers or strollers since the triplets turned 16 months old, in an effort to be more efficient. We taught them to walk long distances through long hours of outdoor play and nature walks. If they feel tired, we take a break or I’ll offer them a snack to boost their energy but they are rarely tired midday and have skipped naps since turning 2.
On alternate Wednesdays, from 9am to 11am, the triplets attend a multiples’ outdoor playgroup that I organized with three other multiple moms since Jan 2016. We randomly choose an outdoor venue to let the kids play freely while the moms mingle and chat.
12pm: Livia is out from school. We usually do any of these 3 things:
- At least three or four times a week, we’ll take a train, bus or taxi, depending on the location, for outdoor play and remain outside until evening. The kids eat their lunches in bento boxes.
- We head home for lunch and then head out later to a nearby playground, park, swimming pool or water-park.
- If it rains or the weather is insanely hot, we head home to have lunch and the kids engage in hours of arts and craft till evening.
4pm: If its A or B, we’ll get home to shower, prepare dinner, and just wind down for the day.
6pm: My husband gets home and we take turns to read to the girls.
7pm: The kids go to bed. After 7pm is obviously my favourite time of the day because there is just silence! My husband and I take that time to do chores. I like to prepare meals in advance and freeze them. My husband then does his work while I do my dissertation, start on a sewing project or just watch a movie on my computer (we have no TV screens at home).
On Saturdays my husband usually brings the kids out on his own so I get to have a day without kids. On Sundays, we do something together as a family. We generally spend a lot of time outdoors because we feel it’s good for the kids and our mental health. When the kids are outside, they naturally expend a lot of energy so when they’re at home, they’re more calm, eat their meals without fuss and fall asleep easily.
People think, “Oh boy, you have triplets, it means you never get to sleep!” It’s actually untrue. Since the girls were 3 months old, they have slept through the night. When they turned 6 months, we brought them out every day, starting with half an hour and slowly stretching the time outdoors as they grew bigger. We have never missed a night of sleep except for the 3 months when they were newborns.
This article is written by Stella Thng for singaporeschild.com.sg