Trying to cope with motherhood is one thing, but can you really balance life being a working mum with twins?
Well, it might sound challenging, but being a supermum with not one, but 2 babies can actually be achieved.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you have twins and are thinking of heading back to work.
If you are determined that you want to return to work soon after delivery, then you may want to consider a few facts:
– Be prepared for mood swings while those pregnancy hormones leave your system — this is perfectly normal.
– You may feel overwhelmed at first — 24 hours will seem like it’s never be enough.
– You may experience feelings of guilt for returning to work — this also is normal.
– If you need to leave your babies at daycare while you work, they may fall ill often.
Planning is key to being an efficient working mum with twins
It’s all about planning
Once you’ve accepted that heading back to work after you’ve had twins may be a bit challenging (it’s challenging enough even with one child!), also remember that it can be done.
You just need to be well organised and put on your planning hat. Here are some ideas to consider to help make your transition back to being a working mum as smooth as possible.
1. Set up a support network
It so important to have a proper support network to help you with the million twin-related chores that will arise while you are at work and at home. Your support network could consist of:
– Your partner: Before you set off to work in the morning, your partner could help out even by doing simple things such as preparing your breakfast or packing your lunch while you breastfeed/ bottle-feed your babies, or minding the kids while you get ready.
– Your domestic helper: Here in Singapore, we are lucky to have easy access to domestic helpers. If you already have a domestic worker working for you, train her well before the twins are born in things like what you expect with regards to feeding, bathing, putting your twins to sleep etc.
If you can afford it, it’s worthwhile employing 2 domestic helpers to look after the twins while you are at work.
Being able to have your extended family look after your babies while you are at work is an ideal set-up for a working mum with twins.
– Your extended family: It’s quite usual in Asian cultures — including Singapore — to either move in to your parents’/ in-laws’ house after having a baby/ babies, or have them move in with you to help you out.
Just remember not to over-burden your mother-in-law or mother with twin-related chores — it’s best if you can also employ a full-time or part-time domestic worker to also help out with things like cleaning.
– Daycare: If you are unable to leave your twins at home with your partner, extended family or maid while you are at work, then your only remaining option is daycare.
Don’t feel bad about leaving your twins at daycare — they will be well looked after by professionals. Do keep in mind that they may fall ill regularly since they will be exposed to more germs than they will be if looked after at home.
Don’t feel bad if you have to leave your twins at daycare – just do your research thoroughly before you decide on a suitable place.
Also, do your homework thoroughly before choosing a daycare facility.
Is the place clean? Who will be looking after your babies and what are their qualifications? Are the staff experienced in looking after twins? These are just a few of the things you may want to consider before deciding on a place.
2. Practical alternatives
Ask your employer if there is an opportunity for you to work from home. If so, the input of being a mother at home can pay dividends early in life for the children. It also allows you to manage both professional and personal life without completely exhausting you.
Flexi-hours at work will allow you to spend more valuable time with your twins.
Many employers also offer the option of flexi-hours. If they do, just imagine how great it would be to be able to leave work early to pick up the twins from daycare, or start work late, once you finish attending to your babies’ needs.
Find out if your employer is supportive of breastfeeding (ideally, they should be).
If you are still breastfeeding, then this could be an opportunity for you to express enough milk for your babies during the day, so that (a) you keep up your milk supply, (b) you have enough milk for them the following day to leave with their carer/s, and (c) you are not engorged and uncomfortable by the end of your working day.
Try to always prioritize what is important and not bottle up your emotions. If your daycare calls you saying your twins are ill, then picking them up yourself if there is no one else to do so, takes priority over a business meeting.
Keep communicating with those around you. If you’re feeling swamped, admit it, accept it and tell someone. Releasing those emotions and talking to someone can be extremely therapeutic.
Join a mothers group for extra support
There are plenty of support groups for working mums with twins that that you could easily find on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Join such a group and share your experiences with them. Listening to what other mum have to say will help you too.
The bottom line is that learning to understand and work within your limits might just be the key to keeping you sane in what will be one of the most rewarding phases of your life.
Being true to yourself and having things in order will help you get through any phase no matter how difficult it is.
Are you a working mum with twins or do you know anyone who is? How do you, or they, cope? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment.