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Going from one kid to three was naturally a big change for model Ashely Graham and her husband, Justin Ervin. It was one that required more space, taking the family from an apartment in New York City to an almost two-and-a-half-acre property in New Jersey. The move was a "breath of fresh air," says Graham, who was comfortable with apartment living with her firstborn, Isaac.
"But then, when we found out we were having twins, I was like, 'What apartment am I going to live in in New York with three children? I started taking inventory—everywhere we walked, whether it was in Manhattan or Brooklyn, I was always looking for parents with three kids. I could never really find them," says Graham. "When I did find them, I would walk up to them and be like, 'I'm having twins; I'm having three kids, how do you do it?' Some people were like, 'You just do it.' And some people were like, 'We haven't figured it out.'"
The couple didn't want to leave Brooklyn but felt it would be best for their family of five, especially since their New Jersey home had backyard space, which Graham knew would be good for her kids. With all the benefits of outdoor play, including its impact on improving mood and happiness, it was a win all around. The model teamed up with Affirm, a credit card alternative that allows customers to pay for items over time, to furnish her new home. It helped make the process more enjoyable. "Being a parent is already stressful and you're already buying so much for your kids—everything adds up," she says. "And so, to be able to pay for something as you go is, to me, incredibly important, especially for young families who are adjusting to a new place and constantly buying new gear."
A few months since settling into her new home with her family, Graham says she's happily adjusting to being a mom to a 2-year-old and 7-month-old twin sons, Malachi and Roman. "As a parent, you have your good days, and you have your 'Oh my god, I've made it through this day' moments," she says.
A big joy has been watching Isaac interacting with his little brothers. "He is so obsessed with them. They're already all wrestling together. It's just so cute, just to see all three of them really get along." It's a relief, since Graham says everyone was warning her that Isaac would likely be jealous of the twins. "We haven't had that at all," she says. "He loves to go in their room and wake them up and be with us when we're feeding them. He just becomes a part of it, and then, if he's over it, he's such a good independent player that he'll just go build a tower or whatever."
While having three kids can understandably be a handful, Graham is living by a helpful motto: "You rise to the occasion." She adds, "This is such a gift to be able to have them, so I really make a conscious effort to not be stressed out, and to really take each day and each moment as it comes and not overwhelm myself. I think that makes it a lot easier to be a mom of multiples."
What's also been helpful? Creating play stations for the kids throughout the house. "That kind of keeps everybody active and stimulated," she says. Graham has also been getting some help from parenting hacks she sees on TikTok. One recent favorite: a fishing tackle box where you put snacks in each individual container. "Isaac was like, 'Wow!' And when your kid says 'wow' when you are experimenting and trying something you're like, 'Yes!' It's like so much validation as a parent."
As she slowly glides back into work after her maternity leave with new projects on the horizon, Graham is also making it a point to carve out some alone time. That's usually in the morning, waking up before the kids to have coffee, meditate, read the Bible, or do some yoga. And she doesn't forget about date night with her hubby. The key? Scheduling it way in advance. "If we can schedule it ahead of time, then it can actually happen," she says. "Spontaneousness doesn't really exist when you have three kids under 3, as far as date nights go."