Coffs Harbour local and successful business owner Nikki Williams found out she was having triplets when she was 11 weeks pregnant and has not looked back. Now five years old, Harlow, Billi and Ruby have started school, and the chaos of family life is embraced with the help of Nikki’s own mum and a supportive community.
What is your connection to the Coffs Coast?
My grandparents grew up in Coffs, my parents have lived here all their lives, and I was born and grew up here also. We have a family freight business in Coffs that has been operating over 40 years, and my mum has a successful clothing store on Harbour Drive.
Can you tell us a bit about your family?
I have five year old triplet girls who have just started kindy this year at St Augustine’s. We all live in a house at the back of my mum’s house, which is chaotic at times, especially for Mum, but works for us at this stage of our lives.
What do you love most about raising a family here?
All my family live in Coffs, so my kids have a great extended family to grow up with. Coffs is such an easy place to be with kids. I love the familiarity that comes with living in a small town.
When did you find out you were pregnant with triplets, and how did you feel about the news?
It was my first scan at 11 weeks that I found out I was having triplets. At the time I guess I didn’t realise the significance, and I was pretty relaxed about it through my pregnancy. I’m just glad they were my first, so I had no actual idea what I was in for. I’m sure I would have been terrified had I known.
What are the challenges of raising three girls the same age?
I guess the biggest challenge is giving the kids the one on one time they really need; they fight for attention a lot. I really wish I could be more present with each one individually, but we are time poor and sometimes there are just not enough hours in the week to spend quality time with each of them individually.
I feel out numbered a lot of the time when it comes to getting them to listen and behave; they live in their own little world a lot, and I’ve been seen chasing them down the street with them all laughing at me screaming like a crazy woman many times.
It’s the little things though, that you don’t realise, like sitting at the dinner table and only two can sit next to me, or hopping into my bed at night but I only have two sides, so someone has to lie on the end – which causes World War III.
Do they get along well?
They do have a really gorgeous bond. They play really well together and really miss each other if they are on their own. They push all their beds together at night and each night is like a kids’ sleepover. They do fight though, mainly over toys, or over me.
Does everyone get the girls mixed up?
Most people can’t tell them apart. Their teacher at school has it worked out now, but my sister can’t tell them apart a lot of the time, and even I get them mixed up at times.
What is the best thing about raising triplets?
People are more inclined to help you out when you are out shopping or something and your kids are going crazy. I’ve seen parents glared at for having a noisy child in a restaurant or a kid having a tantrum in the plaza, but people just look at me and smile with pity, ha ha. I’ve even had bank tellers open up an extra teller for me and had the staff at Woollies open up a register for us.
You also run a successful business in Coffs. How do you balance work and family?
We are a bit crazy. Between school, homework, ballet lessons, surfing lessons and trying to run a business, life is definitely never dull. Some days we get to school and work on time with all library books, hair braided and a packed lunch fit for a mummy blogger. Other days we are searching the house for some coins to order a sausage roll because I forgot for the second day in a row to buy bread and running out the door with hair tied in top knots, because no one can find a brush.
I have many clients who have watched me run in the door at 5 past 9. Luckily, I have incredible staff who pick up the pieces for me. Without them, I would be a basket case.
Do you have any tips for people expecting or raising triplets?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. If I was a pedantic mother, I wouldn’t have survived. Take the chaos in your stride, and look forward to that glass of wine at the end of the day. Get used to your house being a mess.
Give your kids as much one on one time as you possibly can, but don’t get the guilts if it doesn’t happen as much as you would like.
What is your favourite thing to do as a family?
We love the beach. And we love going for pancakes for breakfast.
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?
The girls’ birthday was actually on Mother’s Day last year, so it was all about them, but this year it is all about me, so I’m guessing I’ll wake up to some drawings and flowers picked from the garden.
Is there anything you would like to say to all the mums out there?
No matter what you see on Instagram, we all have days where our house is a mess and tinned baked beans is the best you can do for dinner. Does it really matter? We don’t need to be perfect to be good mums; we just need our kids to think that we are.