“Is it difficult getting out the door every morning with twins?” After someone asked me this today for the umpteenth time, I thought, well, I guess it kind of is, but not in the way they are probably asking about. Physically, it’s not hard as once you kind of have a routine going, changes happen, but we all adjust quickly. Mentally and emotionally, it’s a challenge every single day I leave for work.
We wake up and feed and change and play and the babes help mommy and daddy get ready for the day. This entails a lot of balancing and watching and catching and half naked running around after babies and singing and clapping and diversion and laughter and a bit of whining. But we do it.
Preparing for 4 days without me at home is a challenge. Planning for meals and having everything our caretakers need to feed these babies is time consuming and tedious. Sunday is spent shopping and making meals for the week, doing laundry and prepping for the work week. Plus, all the play play playing!
My husband does the grocery shopping every week. He has done this since I was at the end of my pregnancy last year and could barely move. He’s done this every week since the babies came and all I have to do is give him a list. It is the greatest gift in that I don’t have to wrangle babies at the store and also, then I don’t impulse shop. He is one of those guys who has a list and sticks to it. I am not one of those guys.
The payoff is great though for this control freak who knows her babies are eating well and also knowing that I’ve lightened the load for my caretakers. In the too much information category, I know what their poop looks like and they are eating well for sure. How’s that for controlling behavior?
I embrace my current situation of being a mom who has to work outside the home as a gift. We have to work. We need our two incomes as neither one of us makes nearly enough to support our family. That being said, I get the best of all worlds. I get to be with my babies and I get to go out into the world and be my own person and perform tasks that have nothing to do with being a mother. And yet, I am a mother ALWAYS.
I’m still adjusting to all of this. I am a woman who has her own thoughts and feelings and motivations and yet, once you become a mom everything shifts to “them”. So what I used to do, feel, think is no longer the same. I have the same job, I take the same routes, I go to the same meetings, hell I dress the same as I did before kids. But I am different now. I am so much more.
This is our life TODAY. It may not always be this way, but for now we are grateful for two good jobs with insurance and stability and flexibility that allows me leave early each day and work at home one or more days a week. We are grateful for wonderful childcare and our village is incredibly strong.
What is the most difficult moment for a working mom? For me, the walking out the door in the morning is a loaded gun. I tend to love on the babies hard before I leave and then when we are leaving I run. I say one last, “mommy loves you” and run. For my sanity and emotional wellbeing as well as theirs, I don’t linger. I leave with a smile on my face and usually that way, they are smiling too. I leave with the knowledge that they are loved with the people who care for them and that I will be home in a few hours to take my place as mom. I leave letting them know that they are loved and will be well cared for and have nothing to worry about because mommy is smiling. I leave with the knowledge that there is only one me. And in that vein, I take that mentality into my day, into the world.
Would I leave my job if I could? If I had the money to be able to stop working, would I? These are questions I could only answer if it were staring me in the face, but my gut right now says yes. Yes I would as my most valuable time is spent with my babies. However, the balance is good. I don’t ever get tired of my babies. I don’t get frustrated or feel like I need a break, because I get a break 4 days a week when I go to work. I get to socialize and go to meetings and use my gifts in other ways all while getting paid for it.
We parents have a heavy load to carry, no matter our situation. Stay at home, work outside the home, work at home, any of it is challenging and with its own set of difficulties. We all feel all the feelings. But we all make it work and it’s fascinating to me how everybody makes it work. No two families are the same and what works for us won’t necessarily work for you. What works for you wouldn’t fit for us. There is no judgment, only respect for doing the best we can with what we have. We all love our kids to the moon and back.
We all have difficult moments. The strength for me is found in smiling through them even when I don’t want to. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel it or I don’t express the sadness or the longing. I just don’t want my kids to feel that. All I want them to feel is love and laughter and safety. That’s how I know I’m doing my job well. Or at least to best of my ability. That’s all I can do. Even when it’s really really difficult. This payoff makes it all completely and utterly worth it.
You see Sally Boy in this picture? He’s still with us.
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