Going Back to Work After Twins

To go back to work, or stay at home with your twins, is a question that I’m sure most of us have posed or will pose to ourselves at some time over the next few years. And one of the most difficult to find a satisfactory answer to; whatever decision you make, there will be compromises along the way. There is no right answer as everyone is different, but here are a few tips:

Take your time and consider all the options. Don’t feel like you owe anyone a rushed decision – things are different than they were before and you want to get it right.

Consider all of the childcare options. This is different for everyone and will depend on lots of factors: cost, age (and disposition!) of children, local options etc. A nanny is often a good idea with younger children, as they will be in their home environment, and there will be no other children to consider, but a childminder may be more flexible, often cheaper, and your home won’t look like it’s been burgled when you get home! We were lucky as we found a very good value and welcoming nursery, the boys are a bit older and really thrive on the structure/atmosphere/other children. And given the amount they eat, it’s nice for someone else to feed them a few days a week!

Full time/part time – again, have a really good think! Work out of the pros and cons of each option, and do what is right for you. I don’t know how anyone has a full time job and still manages to have a presentable home and clean clothes, but we are all different.

When considering finances, make sure you are getting everything you are eligible for. This is what you have paid your taxes all these years for. Look into whether your employer is part of a childcare vouchers scheme and avail of this to help out with childcare costs. It is easy and free for your employer to set up, even if your employer is a really small company. See if you are eligible for tax credits – if you are paying for childcare they are available even to higher earners in some situations – check it out!

Following this, even if going back to work is not immediately massively financially beneficial, don’t rule it out. If you feel like you are going round the twist at home, then maybe your sanity will be all the better for it.

Be aware that you are legally entitled to take a certain amount of (unpaid) “parental leave” per child if you’re employed. You can find out details online. Although unpaid, this can really help with childcare cover during nursery / school holidays!

Enjoy your time at work and don’t feel guilty! Not everyone works in an office and has peace and quiet of course, but take it where you can. Enjoy the company of adults, revel in your once hated commute and if possible sit and enjoy your lunch/cup of tea in peace.

There will be times when everything goes wrong. Only this morning I arrived at nursery and one of my boys threw up everywhere. So no work for me, back in the pushchair, and off home we went. However robust your children are, this will happen! Or possibly worse, you will get to work and that call will come, and home you go. Easier said than done, but go with the flow! There is nothing you can do in these situations, and your employer will have to understand. If you can call on a member of family to help out then great, but if not, well, life goes on!

Most importantly (and I don’t always manage this) don’t feel guilty. You will know instinctively what is right for you and your family, and your children will thrive. We are so lucky and privileged to live in a country and society where we have a choice, and we should appreciate that and make the most of it. Our children are fed, clothed, loved and cherished. They will not berate you for working, and conversely, will be just as happy if you decide to stay at home. No decision is right or wrong, so do what is best for you.

Good luck!