Caring for a newborn is an all-consuming task, but juggling three of them takes things to a whole new level.
Single mom Hayley Arsenault brought her three beautiful baby boys, Hogan, Rylan, and Finn home when they were four days old after spending a month in the hospital. Her mother was able to take a few weeks off work to help in the beginning, but as Arsenault tells Babble, “When the time was coming up for her to return, we started to realize I may need a few extra hands during the day.”
I can only imagine! Juggling feeding sessions, diaper changes, bath time, and trying to find some time to sleep is hard enough with one baby — it would be a nearly impossible task to take on with THREE newborns! Help was certainly warranted.
Fortunately for Arsenault, help was about to arrive in a big way and among those to answer the call were three adorable grandmas.
It all began when Arsenault made the wise decision to reach out for some help on Facebook. Arsenault lives in a tight-knit community on Canada’s Prince Edward Island that she describes as “a small, everyone knows everyone community.”
She explains to Babble:
“I expected some response, but the feedback I received is mind-blowing. I started a week-by-week schedule and when volunteers are leaving, they will mark themselves in for the following week as well.”
How amazing is this? It’s truly proof that “the village” still exists — and flourishes — in some cases.
Three of the volunteers who answered the call were Jenny MacDougall, Alice Mokler, and Anita Arsenault (who is not related to Haley). The three women are sisters and loving grandmothers, who arrive promptly at 9 AM every Wednesday morning where they each care for one baby and catch up.
“I don’t see this as a chore in any way,” MacDougall tells CBC News. “For me, it’s a gift to come here. We chat, we compare the babies. Love every minute of it.”
This is so beautiful to me. How amazing would it be if there was a community of grandmothers available to help every new mother? These women have an incredible attitude about volunteering.
“It takes a village to raise a child and we’re willing to help out.” MacDougall explains.
Arsenault tells Babble that she has the babies on a schedule where they are fed every four hours. “We feed them all at the same time, otherwise I would constantly be feeding a baby,” she notes. While Finn is the smallest of the baby boys and easily distinguished, Arsenault admits to using nail polish to help volunteers tell the difference between the other two. She makes it a point to keep everything organized to help things run smoothly for those who come assist her.
When asked how she feels about all the help she is receiving from community members, Arsenault says that it “means the world” to her and her family.
“My parents are able to go to work during the day knowing we are in good hands and that I am able to get some rest having being up with the babies by myself at night. We are so thankful for everyone and all they do for us,” she tells Babble.
The help from Arsenault’s community is also continuing in the form of a fundraising event that the town will soon hold for her and the babies. It will include an auction, donation box, some local talent, and a bake sale.
I’m thinking that I may need to pack up my family and move to this charming little community sometime in the very near future.
This is the kind of story that gives you faith in humanity. Knowing that there are still places where the elusive “village” exists, and includes some real-life fairy godmothers to help raise the next generation.