Reddit users console 'frustrated' mom who leaves babies crying alone while she gets 'fresh air'
A young mom of triplets reveals her tremendous struggles
A young mom who shared her story of leaving her triplet babies inside the house crying by themselves while she stepped outside to get "some fresh air" has elicited more than 7,000 comments on Reddit and nearly 35,000 votes (either "upvotes" or "downvotes") from others on the site.
After an outpouring of support from the social media community, the mom dove back into her post to share further developments. She thanked others for helping her through a trying situation — which included a blow-up with her fiancé.
Fox News Digital reached out to experts for professional insight into the case – including a clinical psychologist in New York City – as well as to the poster for additional comment.
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Writing on the subreddit known as "Am I the a--hole," a woman who said she's 20 years old and a mom of triplets who are just 2 months old revealed that she "never expected" to become a mother of triplets in the first place.
"So when I first became pregnant, it was definitely the last thing in my mind," wrote the mom who goes by the user name "TripletsMom0."
She told others, "I'm home with my babies all day long and had to even transfer my education to online."
She said she has no family other than her fiancé and his family.
The mom's story
"Sometimes I just need some fresh air, especially when I can't get them to stop crying," she wrote about her infants and how she handles her challenge.
"I find myself getting super frustrated to the point of tears. It's honestly soo hard," she added, "and the dad isn't here to help, as he's either at work or at school."
Her fiancé is 24 years old, she wrote.
"The dad isn't here to help, as he's either at work or at school."
His parents "rented us a main floor apartment," she related.
"So when I step outside, I'm literally just sitting on the chair right beside the door, plus I have a baby monitor up in [the babies'] room, and it has a camera on it."
She said she "can literally see them and hear them, so if anything happened I'd be able to quickly get to them."
The young mom said that "being able to step outside for a few minutes to take a breather is really important to me because I start to have mini panic attacks when I can't get them to stop crying."
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She said she gets "really frustrated" and feels "super overwhelmed."
That's why "being able to go outside just gives me a chance to calm down," she wrote to the community.
The reaction on the home front
Here's what happened when her fiancé "came home to me sitting outside while the babies were crying," the young mother related.
"He freaked out on me, calling me a horrible mom and a bunch of other names that I'm not gonna list here," she wrote.
"Now everyone seems to be really against me."
"He thinks that I was being super neglectful and putting the babies in harm's way" – and even told his family about the incident, she said.
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She added, "Now everyone seems to be really against me."
The young mother peeled back another layer of her personal background so that Reddit users had more context.
"I grew up in the system," she wrote, presumably referring to the foster care system.
"My fiancé's family is the only family I have and [have] ever known – so it breaks my heart," she wrote, "that they are so upset with me."
She added, "But I really don't think I was doing anything wrong or putting my babies in harm's way – but they seem to think otherwise."
The mother went on, "So here I am wondering if I should apologize for my actions or if I am the a--hole in this situation."
The update from the mom
The young mother later came back onto the Reddit thread – and shared an update on her story with others.
"I decided to show my fiancé this thread," she wrote.
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"At first he was really upset with me for sharing our personal problems with strangers on the internet, even though it's anonymous."
She went on to say, "But in the end, when he had a chance to calm down and hear me [out] – and all of you guys out – he actually apologized," the young mother wrote.
"It brought tears to my eyes (happy tears) seeing how supportive you all were to a stranger on the internet."
He "promised me," she added, that "he'd be more involved with parenting and even is willing to take parenting classes – which, I'll hold him to that."
She continued, "I just wanna thank everyone for the support that you all [have given] me. It brought tears to my eyes (happy tears) seeing how supportive you all were to a stranger on the internet. I don't think I ever received this much support before," she added.
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She finished with, "I can't believe how much attention this post" has gotten.
The community's response
One sympathetic mom – who goes by the user name "Important Lawyer 350" – wrote to the 20-year-old mom, "When I had my baby, one of the things the nurses told me repetitively while in hospital and during the home visits is that if she is crying, and I know she has been fed, she has a clean [diaper] on, and she isn't sick, and I am getting stressed out – it's OK to go outside for a few minutes to just recollect myself."
This mom added that the "exact words [from the nurse] were, ‘A crying baby is an alive baby.’"
"Maybe Dad needs to stay home with the babies by himself for about 12 hours just to see what it's like."
This same Reddit responder added, "They tell you this because it is better for a baby to be left to cry for a little while and the parents to get a breather than for parents to wig out and hurt their babies in frustration."
Another sympathetic Reddit responder wrote to the young mom, "Dad came home to three crying alive babies. You were with them all day and kept them fed and clean, and you had a monitor on them while just feet away from them."
This person added, "You are a tired, amazing, NTA ['not the a--hole] mom of these babies. Carry on, Mama."
Wrote a third Reddit responder, "Maybe Dad needs to stay home with the babies by himself for about 12 hours just to see what it's like… And see how long it takes for him to need a break."
"Do you have postpartum care? I'm sure that your doctors, nurses, etc. will provide info that parents of multiples need help."
Wrote yet another person, "Maybe there is a church or school program [that] would offer volunteers to come over and help out a few times a week to help give you some relief."
Many other Redditors shared support for the overwhelmed young mom.
This commenter summed up what others had to say: "I have twins, and compared to having one baby, you almost never got a break. There was always one baby that needed something. It's chiller now that they're older. But when they're still not sleeping through the night, it's so damn hard. Purely because it's constant."
This same commenter also said, "Honestly, my heart is breaking for this poor girl. I had my twins at 32 and my spouse is 100% in the trenches with me. And I still found having two newborns overwhelming."
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She added, "This woman deserves all the support, all the rest – and a medal."
Wrote another Redditor about the dad of the three baby triplets, "Respectfully, from one dad to another, he’s not doing enough. And yelling at you doesn’t help any situation."
This man added, "I’d advise you guys to have a sit-down conversation and for you to lay it all out for him. I get that it’s tiring to go and do a job all day. But he still gets ‘off’ time. You don’t."
The same writer also said, "A mother is never not on the clock, and he needs to realize that and step up at home. You are [not the a--hole] but your fiancé is in danger of being a massive one if he doesn’t get it together."
Yet another Reddit user posed a reaction that others also agreed with: "Do you have postpartum care? I'm sure that your doctors, nurses, etc. will provide info that parents of multiples need help."
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Added this person, "I hope [the] fiancé can come with you to your next checkup and please ask the health provider. They will not only support that you did the right thing, but that you need hands-on assistance and breaks."
Still another person wrote, "I'm concerned that none of them [the fiancé's family] seem to be helping, just criticizing. Three babies and one person is not OK."
The professionals' input
Dr. Jayme Albin, a clinical psychologist in New York City, told Fox News Digital about the challenging case, "Obviously the mom didn’t do anything wrong by sitting [outside] with the baby monitor."
Yet "clearly," she added, "she and the fiancé have different ideas about what is safe."
So, they need to "discuss it so that both parents feel comfortable," she said.
"It’s very hard to be a new mother, let alone a mother of three."
Albin added, "It’s very hard to be a new mother, let alone a mother of three. And it’s extra hard when you have other family members chiming in with their judgments."
She said, "It’s probably best for the husband to tell his parents to stay out of it – and to stop feeding them information."
Albin also said, "She should definitely seek out the advice of a professional to see if she is suffering from postpartum depression – and perhaps look into gaining some emotional support, maybe enroll in a mommy support group."
Dr. Meg Meeker, a longtime pediatrician based in Minnesota and the author of numerous books on raising children, told Fox News Digital, "Parenting is the most emotionally intense experience any adult can have. Kids cry when they're hot, cold, hungry, have a messy diaper or even when they want the lights turned down."
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She added, "Hearing the constant cries of one baby produces anxiety — but hearing it from three is anguish. Add to that essentially parenting alone and [this] parent is a time bomb waiting to explode. Her blood pressure goes up, her cortisol levels rise, her mind becomes confused and of course, guilt comes in."
"Calm parents create calm kids. Parents ready to blow produce stressed babies."
Dr. Meeker also noted, "No parent can answer every cry of their child. And they don't need to. As a pediatrician of 30 years, I tell mothers that the best thing they can do for their child when they (the mothers) are at their mental, physical and emotional limit is to step away from their babies into another room. Breathe deeply — calm themselves so that they can renew their sanity."
She also said, "Calm parents create calm kids. Parents ready to blow produce stressed babies. By stepping away at a safe distance from her babies, this mother was giving them the gift of a renewed sanity."
Said Dr. Meeker as well, "And as far as the boyfriend/‘fiancé’ who abusively yells at her when he has no idea what she's going through — personally, I'd throw him out on his ear and ask someone else to help."
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The Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minnesota, devotes a section of its website to caring for multiple infants.
It says of the challenging task of parenting multiple babies at once, "Healthy multiples have the same needs as other newborns. But you might need more rest and support than you imagined, especially if your babies are born prematurely or need special medical care after birth."
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Adds the site to the parents of multiples, "You're also at higher risk of postpartum depression. If you experience any symptoms of postpartum depression, talk to your doctor."
It also urges parents to "take time to enjoy your babies – and ask friends, loved ones and others for help when you need it."