Like any mother of triplets, Judit Minda often feels sleep-deprived and overwhelmed. She sometimes wishes she had another pair of hands to help feed, diaper or chase after her 1-year-old children. But, Minda does have something most moms of multiples don’t — her own triplet sisters.
“They have helped a lot,” Minda, 32, of Jessheim, Norway, told TODAY Parents via email. “Seeing the two people I love so much loving my children as if they were their own feels safe, amazing and almost indescribable.”
When Minda and her fiancé Glenn Undheim, 39, first learned she was pregnant with triplets, they worried. Even though Minda enjoyed growing up as a triplet, she knew being pregnant with multiple babies came with potential problems and loads of stress.
“I wanted them all, but I did not want three children at the same time. I thought about all the complications that could occur (with) a triplet pregnancy and I felt extremely scared and confused,” she told TODAY Parents in 2019.
But as she recalled her childhood and how the close relationship with her sisters shaped who she is, she started feeling more comfortable with the thought. And, as it turns out, her childhood experiences have been helping her as a parent.
Growing up, people often acted as if Minda and her sisters Sofia and Szilvia were interchangeable and simply referred to them as “Mindas” or “the triplets.” When her children started kindergarten at age 1 — (in Norway, child care and early education from ages 1 to 5 is considered "kindergarten," Minda explained) — everyone began calling the children “the triplets” as well.
“I immediately asked everyone ... to call them by their names and not ever to compare them,” Minda said. “I had a really bad experience with all that and I remember not liking being compared or referred to as 'the triplets.' I … can protect my children from all of that.”
While the past year of parenting triplets came with plenty of sleep deprivation, little alone time and some financial worries, Minda has enjoyed watching her children develop their own personalities. Filip is “extremely curious” and enjoys cuddling and smiling. Henrik is “sensitive socially” and laughs and smiles a lot. He has “a special charm which makes everyone fall in love with him.” The lone girl, Amelia, is fiercely determined, but also acts protectively of her brothers.
“They are individuals who happen to share a birthday,” Minda said. The siblings are fresh off their first birthday on Jan. 29.
Minda also has been relying on advice from her mother.
“I have had (countless) conversations with my mother about the early years when we were babies. It has been very exciting to hear stories she’s never told us before,” Minda said.
Minda shares her experiences on Instagram at @triplet_with_triplets, where she’s been connecting to other parents of multiples. She said it feels comforting to communicate with people who understand the challenges she faces.
“We have received so much help and kindness from our Instagram friends. I am absolutely amazed how caring people can be,” she said. “Mental support from other mothers has been a huge help.”
Minda and Undheim have managed to travel with (and without) their children and enjoy special time together. Minda said raising triplets together has helped the couple — who plan to marry in a small ceremony this fall — grow closer.
“We are no longer just a couple but also two persons who are working for the same bosses and the same goals,” she said. “Our relationship has got a new meaning to it. We have three little creatures we love equally and that has made our love deeper and the bond between us even stronger.”