Multiples

Please talk me down

Disclaimer: I know it is too early to be worrying about this, but MIL is making me a nervous wreck! I will do my best to summarize.

Long story short is I work for my husband's family business.  He and I are his parents' retirement plan.  MIL is more or less retired at this point (works very part time) and I run the show.  It has always been the plan that she would stay involved through my maternity leave and then fully retire. All of a sudden, she is flipping her lid and making me a nervous wreck.

For one, she's not sure she can stick it out for another year because she is ready to be retired.  On top of that, every.single.day, it's a new question centering around how am I going to handle twins (ie- how am I going to run the business if I am on bedrest, when am I going to find daycare, let's make a plan for after their here). I know it's not going to be easy, but I feel I am capable.  And then I talk to her... Today she came in and told me that she just met a lady who is getting back into the business world now that her twins are entering Kindergarten.  According to this lady, she was so "underwater" and "Overwhelmed" for the first entire year and a half and just needed so much help.  So, MIL asks, have I truly thought about this and how I plan to handle coming back to work? Um, no, I haven't because I'm still in my first freaking trimester.  I have NO idea if my babies will be healthy, much less their personalities. How can I plan when I have absolutely no idea what hurdles we may be facing because it's so darn early in the game.

So, I guess what I am asking is: please tell me this is doable!   and I am not being naive by thinking it will just work...somehow, some way! When do I really need to start reserving spots at a day care?  Also, if you had the ability to bring your LO's to work in the beginning (full, private office with a door to close, room for pack and plays) would you even consider doing it part time?!  Assuming babies are healthy, I would like to stay home for a few weeks, then ease into part time day care and part time at the office with me.  I can also work from home somewhat, but definitely need to be in the office at least 2 days a week. We work long hours (gone from 6a-6-630p daily), so I have major guilt about daycare that much.  Have any of you worked from home with your LO's and been successful?

Any other advice you have would be greatly appreciated.  I was cool as a cucumber until MIL starts her craziness and sends me into a frenzy!

ETA: My husband does work in the same building and also has an office here.  So, it he would be on hand to help with the babies during the day if they were at work with us.  Also, I trust the office manager enough to leave them napping or under her watch if I were to need to run a quick, work related errand.

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Re: Please talk me down

  • Sorry your MIL is freaking out so early. That just adds to your stress.

    I'll try to answer a few of your questions:

    When do I really need to start reserving spots at a day care? This really depends on where you live and what type of daycare you need/want. In my area (DC area), to get into a downtown daycare center, you need to have reserved a spot at many of them as soon as you know  you're pregnant, if not sooner (I know women who get on wait lists when they are just TTC). A friend of mine just got a spot for her son and he's 1+ years old, and she was on the sibling priority list (her DS1 already goes there). If you are looking at in-home daycares, you have some time. We knew we wanted an in-home, so we reserved our two spots when I was about 20 weeks. 

    Also, if you had the ability to bring your LO's to work in the beginning (full, private office with a door to close, room for pack and plays) would you even consider doing it part time?!  This would be absolutely impossible. There is just no way I would even consider it. You need more than just room for PnPs. Babies take up more space than that. And, you wouldn't be able to get any work done, unless you brought them there only for weeks 1-3 when all they do is sleep. And, I wouldn't ask an office manager to watch your babies. That's not their job and would be unprofessional to ask, unless you work in some type of environment where this is common.

    Assuming babies are healthy, I would like to stay home for a few weeks, then ease into part time day care and part time at the office with me.  I can also work from home somewhat, but definitely need to be in the office at least 2 days a week. We work long hours (gone from 6a-6-630p daily), so I have major guilt about daycare that much.  Have any of you worked from home with your LO's and been successful? Working from home with the LOs there without a nanny or other help would also be impossible. I have every other Friday off from work and sometimes, I'll have a conference call scheduled for those days. On those days, I'm only able to do the conference call if it's during a nap, and even that's tough b/c there is always so much to get done during nap time.

    Any other advice you have would be greatly appreciated.  I was cool as a cucumber until MIL starts her craziness and sends me into a frenzy! I think you should ask you MIL to compromise--tell her you'll start to plan for the LOs arrival and your back to work plan once you're in second trimester, when you're feeling better and you both have a better feel for things. Promise her that at Xweeks, you'll all sit down and discuss how the future looks. Until then, though, she has to cool her jets with the worrying and craziness b/c it's only stressing you out.

  • Ummm...I think the first thing I would tell you is that it's pretty sh$tty for your MIL to be so uptight about the business when you're PG, and on top of that, PG with multiples.  Yes, I worked up until Week 30 of my pregnancy, but keeping the babies healthy and doing what was best for them and me was my priority. Period.

    As far as reserving day care spots, I can't help you there.  I got laid off when I was on maternity leave and became a SAHM. 

    I will say though that I woudln't have considered working part time the first 12 weeks.  I also think that your idea of bringing the babies to your job (even if it's a family  business) and thinking that your DH can help you out while you both try to work is very unrealistic.  Perhaps your MIL is using scare tactics with you because she thinks you're being unrealistic?

    My doctor took me out of work at 30 weeks to rest up and keep my babies inside- I was having no complications.  I don't regret one day of that time.  I made it to my scheduled c/s and I enjoyed having that time to myself before the girls arrived.

    I didn't need help the first year and a half.  I did need help the first few weeks (DH could only take one week off), but after 6 weeks I was on my own and managed just fine.  But I was taking care of two babies- that was enough to consume my time.  I could not have worked while doing that.

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  • I've got a few words of wisdown here (if you can call it that). Will your MIL plan on doing any of the babysitting since she is now retired?

    For me personally, if I had to work I wouldn't want both of the babies there with me, because honestly they require my full attention. I could possibly one baby, because they usually sleep a lot in the beginning, but two babies, they never slept at the same time for me.

    I work full time and so does my DH, I went back at 6 weeks and it has worked out fine for us. You just get into a routine and it gets done. If you are planning on using a daycare you may want to start looking now, I hear some waiting lists can be 1+ years long.

    I hope you guys can figure it out soon so she doesn't stress you out more!

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  • Thanks for the advice.  MIL is not using scare tactics about bringing them to work.  That's what she WANTS me to do and I know it's unreasonable.  In her world, they would be here part time, in day care part time and with her part time.  To be honest, I would rather put them in DC (or hire nanny) so I can drill down while I'm here and get back home to them ASAP.

    She wants to watch them a day or two a week, but won't commit to a schedule, so sorry...I'm not paying FT for DC just for you to take them when you feel like it.  I, ideally, would like to keep them on a schedule/routine and that surely isn't happening with her.  I love her, but she is terrible with babies.  All she does is hold them 24/7 and feed them any time they hint at a whimper.  Don't get me wrong, I know that a grandmother's job is to spoil, but I don't want her spoiling them days at a time and throwing off whatever schedule I may have set in place. Beyond that, I am not sure she is physically/ mentally capable of caring for two babies routinely without flaking out on me.

     

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  • your MIL needs to chill the f-out, you do not need to be stressed out about this right now. you have enough going on. if you were anything like i was at 7 wks PG with twins, you are a nervous wreck on your own..

    anyway, you should know that is it DEFINITELY doable to return to work with twins. you should post on the multiples board - a lot of women there return to work within 6-8 weeks, some even sooner. i plan to return to work when they are just about 3 months old. it will be hard, but you will be able to manage it.

    you should also definitely start looking into daycare. not sure where you are located, but i'm pretty sure around where i live (and this seems to be pretty common for a lot of the women i see on here) is that there could be a year+ waiting list, and getting 2 spots might be harder. so at least start touring places and get your name on lists now! we are using a nanny, so i don't have any advice from personal experience sorry!

    ETA - i thought i was posting on the PAIF board, not the multiples board, so clearly my comment about posting on the multiples board is moot since you are already here :)

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  • image LnA5909:

    Thanks for the advice.  MIL is not using scare tactics about bringing them to work.  That's what she WANTS me to do and I know it's unreasonable.  In her world, they would be here part time, in day care part time and with her part time.  To be honest, I would rather put them in DC (or hire nanny) so I can drill down while I'm here and get back home to them ASAP.

    She wants to watch them a day or two a week, but won't commit to a schedule, so sorry...I'm not paying FT for DC just for you to take them when you feel like it.  I, ideally, would like to keep them on a schedule/routine and that surely isn't happening with her.  I love her, but she is terrible with babies.  All she does is hold them 24/7 and feed them any time they hint at a whimper.  Don't get me wrong, I know that a grandmother's job is to spoil, but I don't want her spoiling them days at a time and throwing off whatever schedule I may have set in place. Beyond that, I am not sure she is physically/ mentally capable of caring for two babies routinely without flaking out on me.

     

    Ok....I'm not sure what your question is then.  This is what you said above:

    "Assuming babies are healthy, I would like to stay home for a few weeks, then ease into part time day care and part time at the office with me.  I can also work from home somewhat, but definitely need to be in the office at least 2 days a week. We work long hours (gone from 6a-6-630p daily), so I have major guilt about daycare that much.  Have any of you worked from home with your LO's and been successful?"

    It sounded like it was your idea and not your MIL's based on what you wrote- especially since you kept saying that your MIL was mentioning how much  help you'd need.

    So I'm confused!  I thought because you said you felt guilty about daycare that your solution was to bring them to work with you.  If you're ok sending them to daycare, then it sounds like you've got a plan- no? 

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  • Your MIL is being totally unreasonable. 

    I have a small WFH project that's basically data entry that I do every fall/winter.  I did about 80% of it before the babies were born.  In their first few weeks of life, I was able to work some while they slept but it was hard.  Mostly because I should have been sleeping myself. This was something I did maybe 5-10h/wk.  I can't imagine trying to do 40h+/wk with babies right there.

    The only way I can remotely see what she wants to happen working is if you dedicate a room for the babies at the office and hire a nanny to watch them there.  

    If you know your MIL is going to hold the babies all the time and feed them off-schedule, I wouldn't count on her as any sort of child care.  Having a predictable schedule/routine is crucial for survival with multiples.  

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  • Sorry, I know it's confusing.  I do have guilt about sending them to daycare fulltime, but I also think that idea of putting them in DC part time and having them work with me the other times just isn't feasible.  Ideally, it sounds great and I wish it could work, but I also think I am setting myself up for unnecessary stress and failure that way. So, more or less, my question was...am I right?  Is it insane to even remotely plan on them tagging along(from the time I return around 6 weeks to when they start crawling, per MIL).  She is so convinced it worked because we did have a family friend's baby here for mutliple days a week for few months.  However, I honestly think he was the exception in that the kid slept non stop and when he was awake, he wanted to play, bounce, whatever alone vs. interaction.  I want more children to have more stimulation and interaction than that! Thank you for talking sense into me.
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  • image MrsLnt:

    Your MIL is being totally unreasonable. 

    I have a small WFH project that's basically data entry that I do every fall/winter.  I did about 80% of it before the babies were born.  In their first few weeks of life, I was able to work some while they slept but it was hard.  Mostly because I should have been sleeping myself. This was something I did maybe 5-10h/wk.  I can't imagine trying to do 40h+/wk with babies right there.

    The only way I can remotely see what she wants to happen working is if you dedicate a room for the babies at the office and hire a nanny to watch them there.  

    If you know your MIL is going to hold the babies all the time and feed them off-schedule, I wouldn't count on her as any sort of child care.  Having a predictable schedule/routine is crucial for survival with multiples.  

    Thankfully, I was blessed with the experience of being able to nanny twins from 0-3 (summers only, though) and have some experience.  Because of this, and their wonderful mom, I have always felt strongly about keeping babies on a schedule regardless of singleton vs. twin.  MIL and I have had many heated conversations about this.  She just can't do it.  She can't stand to hear babies cry and will do anything and everything to make it stop.  H and SIL didn't STTN until preschool, amongst numerous other self-indulgence issues.  Like I said, I love MIL, but she's not who I want watching my children.  She's going to hate to hear it, but it's best for all!

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  • I would try to give yourself at least 6-8 weeks postpartum before even thinking about work, and then I agree with you that it would be easier to have DC/nanny lined up than to try to work with the babies in the office, especially in the first months before they settle into a nap routine. I did not have hte type of newborns that slept all the time; it seemed like most of the time someone was awake and fussing and I couldn't even shower or pump much less try to work unless someone was helping me with them. Mine did settle into a nap routine at 7.5w (thank you HSHHC!) but that's earlier than many.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • What is HSHHC? I keep seeing it, but can't figure it outHuh?
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  • I will be honest and say you may want to seriously rethink your situation.  If you regularly work 6am-6:30pm, you will likely be at work all of your babies waking hours.  And that's not just when they're a newborn.  I very purposely scaled back my working hours after my girls arrived because at that point, being a parent was more important than my career.

    As far as daycare goes, you just don't know.  If your babies are premature, you may have to get a nanny since their doctor may not want them in daycare at all.  And no, having them in your office or home with you while you work is not doable.  Your singleton mom friends may be able to pull that off, but multiples are a lot more work.  Having a nanny or mother's helper there with you?  Maybe. 

    Fwiw, I gave myself until 12 weeks to just be pregnant and not do any planning.  You are still very early in your pregnancy to be freaking out over this stuff.   

  • image erinruns:

    I will be honest and say you may want to seriously rethink your situation.  If you regularly work 6am-6:30pm, you will likely be at work all of your babies waking hours.  And that's not just when they're a newborn.  I very purposely scaled back my working hours after my girls arrived because at that point, being a parent was more important than my career.

    I meant to mention this too. My babies sleep from 6:30pm-6:30am (ok, recently it's been 5am but I'm hoping it goes back to 6:30am soon), so you or DH will likely need to cut back on hours or change schedules if you want to see your kids awake.

  • I'm not much help because I went down to part time and my H switched to nights (military) to avoid daycare.  I'm leaving work entirely to be a sahm in Nov or Dec, depending on when we can pay off the cars. 

    While I don't think its impossible, I think going back to work after "a few weeks" and having them with you at work (even part time) would be VERY hard.  I'd give yourself at least 6w to get in a routine and heal from the birth.  The first month can be very overwhelming.  It does get easier and things will fall into place! 

    I think your MIL needs to back off and let you figure things out.  I hate that she relayed her convo with the other multiples mom.  Not everyone has an experience like that woman.  Sure, some do.  Some babies are collicky and require a lot more of mom's attention.  But even those mom's figure out what works and they get through the tough stuff.  We have NO help. We live 1000 miles from the closest family member and from day UNO we've been going it alone.  Its hard some days, but you learn as you go and the crazy wonderful twin life becomes your new norm.  I have to say, its pretty awesome ;)   

    You'll figure it out and everything will fall into place.  Congrats on your pregnancy!   

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  • I agree with what everyone has said. Ill also throw out that you need to set some boundaries with her NOW. I know it's hard since you all work together, but these decisions about your children are not committee decisions. Your future (in all things, not just children) will be much easier if everyone knows the boundaries.
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  • It is absoutely possible to have a career and twins, but you are going to need help.  I could not be productive if I had the twins in the office.  And honestly, I am not very productive when I try to work from home.  That being said, I have help and am able to be a mom and work full-time. We looked into all the options and decided to have an au pair.  It was a lot cheaper that dc in our area and we don't have to worry about drop offs, pick ups, or getting personalized attention.  Reasearch all the childcare options in your area and decide what is best for you and DH.  You can work and be a mom!!  Don't let your MIL get you down.
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  • I work FT and atted 2 classes a week right now for my BS. It is doable, but it requires a good support system and supportive husband, and damn good organizational skills. I'm gone from 7:30-5:30 most days and attend a class on Wed nights and Sat mornings. I do get to see my kids quite a bit except for Wed, which of course is tough sometimes. We have a nanny so DC dropoffs are not an issue ad saves us time. You have to do what works for you, but don't freak out about it now. You've got some time to think about what you want to do. You barely just found out you have twins coming. Enjoy it for a few days and tell MIL to relax.
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  • HSHHC = Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (there's also a twin version - Health Sleep Habits, Happy Twins) by Marc Weissbluth (link to the twin version: http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-Happy-Twins/dp/0345497791)

    Try to imagine what you would do if your MIL wasn't breathing down your neck. That's probably going to be the "right" answer for you. You will be doing yourself, the company, and your babies a major disservice by bringing them to work with you. If you work from home, I echo the other moms (who have their babies already), have help with you those days - don't expect to do it all yourself. I'm taking 12 weeks off after the birth to spend with my twins - it's a lot of time for my company and I'm lucky to get it. But I don't feel the least bit guilty because it's what's best for the babies (and for my recovery) and I know when I do go back and I'll be better able to cope than if I tried to go back at 6 or 8 weeks - which makes me a better employee.

    You may find that putting them in daycare AND having a nanny (as someone else noted) will work best for you - so someone can take them to /pick them up from daycare and settle them for the night if you and your husband are working late. Some people are able to change their schedules to accommodate their babies, and some people aren't. Perhaps between you and your husband you can aim to have at least one parent home early every day - even if that person is getting up to go in earlier. It could be rough on your marriage to not get to spend as much time together while also being caretakers of two babies, but it might be a decent solution for the first few months after you go back to work.

    Good luck - and it doesn't feel it because you're pregnant with twins and there's a lot of planning to do - but you have a LOT of time. Yes, start figuring out what you want to do with daycare/get on lists at least, but you really really DO have time at this point. I thought 40 weeks would be here before I knew it. And it has gone fast (obviously I'm not even there yet) but you can get a LOT done and a lot of researching completed and plan. You don't have to have it decided right this minute just because your MIL wants to retire.

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  • First, congratulations!  Ignore your MIL as much as possible and try to enjoy the excitement of having twins.

    Second, working full-time with twins is completely doable.  I was lucky, and was able to take 6 months off when I had them.  It wasn't necessary, but I could, so I did.  After the 6 months, we put the girls in daycare and I went back to work full-time.  My husband and I are both attorneys.  Sometimes that means early mornings and later evenings.  We just make sure those times never hit at the same time for both of us.  The only difficulty is that some daycares, like mine, have a 10 hour maximum.  I'm glad they do, because more than 10 hours seems like a long time, but it can be surprisingly difficult to arrange your schedule to avoid lengthy time at daycare. 

    What it all comes down to is what you're comfortable with.  You will figure it out as you go along like so many of us do.  Just do what feels right, and ignore that MIL of yours. 

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