Author Topic: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!  (Read 1585 times)

Tig_

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Hello good MMM people.  I’m 14 weeks with twins…. FTM. And need some logistical brains to weigh in, poke holes, give me questions to think about.  Or maybe just reassurance…

TL;DR:
1)   Can I survive raising twins with very little to no help during the first 6-8 months of life? (and/or, give me permission to spend the money on a nanny even if I end up staying home)
2)   Reassurance that this is one of those scenarios where frugality and life happiness might mean hiring the nanny and the college student to clean the house and paying for lots of convenience.

SO and I have been doing long distance since June 2020 – which has been super easy with COVID.  I’m supposed to be in the office one day a week, so to visit him for two weeks is a piece of cake.  Long distance will be done next June. Hes 37 and I’m 33, getting pregnant and taking parental leave the last 6 months of the long distance was why we started trying when talk of “returning to the office full time” started to pick up… twins, and so quickly, was a big surprise.

SO is in his last year of residency, so while he does get up to 6 weeks of parental leave, once that’s done he’ll be working 60-80 hours a week most likely.  I currently live within 30 minutes of mom, stepdad, dad, stepmom, sister, brother in law, plus extended family, high school friends, college friends, etc.  There’s lots of resource support where he is, but most of them are also having kids and while they’d be great emotional support and folks to ask questions of, they aren’t going to feed the kids a bottle at 2am so I can sleep.  Parents are willing to come down to help, but probably for more like a week or two here and there, not a month.

So, here’s my current plan:
Multiple OBs have suggested that if I’m going to move, I move by week 20-24 at the latest.   We are getting married week 22. Right now the baby registry is set up to ship everything to his house, I’m planning on moving around that time, do third trimester there, deliver there, do his parental leave together there. Then have parents visit and support starting when he goes back to work to stretch out the support as long as possible.  Then see how I’m managing. 

When I talk to people who are already parents (as in, my parents, my therapist – although that could have been in a devil’s advocate way), I get a lot of “why wouldn’t you just stay here and have the twins where you have all the support, already have established medical care, etc?” – Am I crazy for thinking that’s a rude way to bring twins into our lives? “Here’s daddy! Now wave goodbye for the next 6 months!” I know military families have to do this, but I can’t imagine doing this in my own circumstances.  Am I seriously missing how hard this is going to be? Worst case scenario sure, I can move back home somehow with two month old twins and baby stuff for two and get family support then if I NEED it…  But I suppose we’d get nanny help and a house cleaner and all those types of things before we decided to separate kids from daddy. 

This is ignoring the question of whether work will allow me to start working remotely full time starting in August – I presume they will, they’ll be angry about it, and this is the perfect example of why FU money is THE MOST AMAZING THING IN THE WORLD.  (Not to mention the high risk doc was like lol you could be on bed rest before that point.)  (Also we have a parental leave status that I can enter into 6 months BEFORE giving birth – I would obviously have to quit after giving birth, but, hey, spread out the pay checks, retirement contributions, etc).  And besides, what is MMM for if it’s not to have the flexibility to quit your job when nature surprises you with freakin’ twins?

And some money details, in case they are helpful –
-   He has ~$260k in SL that are all federal (haven’t been paying)
-   We have ~$90k in cash between the two of us
-   I also have over $110k in a 457 that would be available if I quit
-   He rents and I own – we’d continue paying for both but looking into a renter for mine.  In a co-op so not as easy as you might think, but I definitely want to move back into this house when he’s done (see: grandparents)
-   This means we’d be operating in the red by at least $1k monthly, probably more like $2k since I hadn’t factored in SL payments starting again when I made the babies are here budget. 

So – plenty of cash to get through this year if I end up quitting and spending all the money on help. Not ideal, but, then he’ll make more than we currently make combined, and isn’t all of this frugality about making sure that we have the flexibility to have the best life possible without the financial stress of not having financial flexibility to handle what life throws at us? I think some of this is just seeking permission for the expense of a nanny even if I'm staying home if I'm being honest.

Honestly, just writing this out was helpful.  Realizing how many contingencies I've tried to plan for when we're only 14 weeks in... I can probably chill out.  But I'm so not good at that.  I want to know what all my options are and rank them before I talk to my supervisor.

ixtap

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 01:37:38 PM »
Personally, I know I would choose my husband over other support systems. However, I also know people who would do the opposite. Only you can decide which is best for your family.

While it is good to know your options, if you like your career, then it is best to start with "Look, life changes are coming, we know I can do this remotely, work with me here."

JROH

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 06:21:37 PM »
Twin mom here.  You can do it.  I would want to be near my partner during the early months too.  You are getting good advice about moving quickly as you never know what will happen in a multiples situation.  It sounds like you are thinking of the right things.  Interview a few nannies or babysitters or night nurses.  Get a list of names going and if you need them bring them in without hesitation.  We had some family support but not a lot.  I had my MIL up one day a week for a few hours and my mom fly in for a week at a time- I think she came three or four times in the first six months.  Other than that just my husband and I.  I did end up leaving work...twins are a lot...but I had already been wanting to try the stay at home route.  Getting a house cleaner and someone in to help you a few days a week for a few hours Would be great! My biggest blessing was finding a great lactation consultant to help with nursing....she was worth every penny!  Just be flexible....your needs will vary based on different stages of the babies lives and be prepared to transition and ask for help when you need it!  Also, you and your partner will find out what you are good at in term of parenting, what you like to do and what you don’t like to do.  By all means, leverage your financial position to make your life easier in those first few months. 

Tig_

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 06:11:57 AM »
Twin mom here.  You can do it.  I would want to be near my partner during the early months too.  You are getting good advice about moving quickly as you never know what will happen in a multiples situation.  It sounds like you are thinking of the right things.  Interview a few nannies or babysitters or night nurses.  Get a list of names going and if you need them bring them in without hesitation.  We had some family support but not a lot.  I had my MIL up one day a week for a few hours and my mom fly in for a week at a time- I think she came three or four times in the first six months.  Other than that just my husband and I.  I did end up leaving work...twins are a lot...but I had already been wanting to try the stay at home route.  Getting a house cleaner and someone in to help you a few days a week for a few hours Would be great! My biggest blessing was finding a great lactation consultant to help with nursing....she was worth every penny!  Just be flexible....your needs will vary based on different stages of the babies lives and be prepared to transition and ask for help when you need it!  Also, you and your partner will find out what you are good at in term of parenting, what you like to do and what you don’t like to do.  By all means, leverage your financial position to make your life easier in those first few months.

Thank you!  This is so helpful to know that you made it work with sounds like similar levels of support that I'll be getting. And good to know what I'm thinking about the right things.  Trying to prioritize things that make all aspects of life easier, not just babies, has been one thing that seems to consistently rise as being helpful from a few different types of folks.


Personally, I know I would choose my husband over other support systems. However, I also know people who would do the opposite. Only you can decide which is best for your family.

This is a good point too - I've been so taken aback by the comments I forget that everyone has their own "thing" and perceptions of hard and helpful.  And yeah, work has no idea what a multiples pregnancy is going to look like... they won't know what hit them. hahaha

shelivesthedream

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 05:41:38 AM »
I might have misunderstood, but your concern with staying near your support system is that your babies would meet their dad and then not see him again for months as he'd be working in his usual place? And your concern with moving is that it'll be just you and him with no support system? But that if you do move, he'll be working 60-80 hour weeks after the first six weeks.

Honestly, your husband might not see the kids awake much for a long time, if that's the case. He'll be gone before they get up and back after they've gone to bed. He might be there to give the babies a bottle at 2am, but the days will be loooooooong without him.

That said, there's often a lot going on to help new mums make friends. Can you do some research in SO's area now?

And only you can know this, but how helpful are your current network going to be REALLY?

I'd be thinking about how you can retain maximum flexibility, so you can basically have the babies and keep your options open before committing. You might get champion sleepers, you might not. Your family might be really helpful or they might actually not do anything that useful. You might find some great new parents friends in SO's area or you might not.

Mrs. D.

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 08:57:09 AM »
Hugs. You're entering motherhood under an exciting set of circumstances. I was in a sort of similar situation with my first, although I wasn't expecting twins. DH got a job that required us to move, change healthcare, set up a new support network, etc. when I was about 26 weeks pregnant. We didn't have nearly as much FU money as you (read: none) so we had no choice but to make plan A work.

I would not have wanted to start motherhood away from my SO. Those first months are intense and sharing it with my DH helped solidify our partnership and help us both understand what we had committed to as parents. There's no amount of explaining or face-timing that can communicate what holding a colicky baby from 6-10 pm can (although I hope neither of your babies have colic).

I did do a few proactive things before my first arrived which really helped me out once DS arrived. I searched for mom groups on MeetUp and found the MOMS Club (which has chapters all over the country). I went to several events and met moms, exchanged phone #'s and made some friends. They even set up a meal train for me when the baby came. I looked up when the La Leche League held their monthly meetings and attended a couple of those. Again, met some people and got a # to call in case I needed lactation support. Finally, a nearby hospital has a new mom's group which meets once a week and it was a LIFESAVER. It was just inexperienced, anxious moms hanging out, sharing their experiences, successes, failures, etc. There was always a nurse present who could answer questions (like, is it normal for my baby to _____? and the answer is almost always yes). There was also a very precise scale so you could measure baby's growth and even do pre-feed/post-feed measurements to see how much milk baby takes when nursing. That mom group stuck together for the first 18 months or so before schedules got complicated. I'm not in touch with many of those women anymore, but I really needed them at the time. Friends for a season, as they say.

You're thinking ahead and trying to make a plan, which means you'll be in much better shape when the babies arrive. Best of luck to you and do keep us posted! Just another note - when my first was about 12 days old, I remember being absolutely flabbergasted that anyone could ever have more than one kid. It was so all-encompassing, overwhelming, scary, etc. My parents had 2 and I suddenly realized they were demi-gods for pulling it off! Now we're pregnant with #3 and it feels like NBD. It gets easier, better, more rewarding, more fun. It's a crucible at the beginning, but it forges you into a new person who is part mom/part superwoman. Your capacity will grow beyond what you think is possible now.

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2021, 10:39:08 PM »
Congrats! I have twins though they are my middle kids.  Twins are a lot of work - definitely set yourself up (mentally, financially) to hire the help you need. You don't know what you will need right now - it might be a night nanny so you can sleep, a babysitter twice a week so you can go out alone, a house cleaner so you can focus on the kids, a therapist so you can get all the feels out...but go ahead and get some recommendations for all of the above and set up a rolodex (or internet equivalent) so you can call when you know what you need.  If the money concerns you then make a date every 3 months to reevaluate.  But the first 6 months especially are hard-core - it's why twin moms are such a great community, they've been through the baptism of fire! Look for a moms of multiples group, mine has been amazing and inspiring.  And go ahead and look for playgroups/where moms gather in the new area.  Because no, you can't do it alone, but if you have some kind of community you can do a lot more than you'd imagine. You probably also want a rec for a lactation consultant if you are going to nurse them.  Oh and obviously look hard for a doc and a pediatrician you feel great about. And yeah, I would absolutely move to where daddy is, like someone else said, the first months of your first kid's life really sets the pattern for your family life and marriage going forward. The exception would be if the medical care/NICU is significantly better where you are now, I would give birth and move two weeks later rather than be far away from a Level 3 or even Level 4 NICU just in case.  Tig - twins are so so much fun, best wishes on your adventure!

AMandM

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2021, 01:15:19 PM »
Congratulations from another mother of twins! Yes, you can do this, and yes, you can hire help!

I would absolutely move so that you and SO are together when the babies come. Not to be too much of a downer, but twin pregnancies and births can have unexpected and complicated outcomes. If, for instance, one or both babies end up in the NICU, you want both parents to be able to visit.

Mrs D's advice to set up some support networks in advance is spot on. My local Mothers of Twins groups was bit on the corny side with its cutesy badges, but the people were super helpful.

Think about what help is most worth paying for. One thing I regret was hiring high school girls to babysit while I did housework. I should have spent more to hire cleaners so I could either sleep or play with the twins.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2021, 01:21:05 PM »
Mom of two kids 13 months apart, so not twins. My husband traveled 50% of the time, and we had no family nearby. I worked full time. So, some context, but not a perfect match to your situation.

In most scenarios, I'd completely recommend moving to be with your husband. The thing that gives me pause is that your husband will be working so much, and frankly, exhausted when he's not working. Will he be of much/any help? I still think moving to be with him probably makes sense, but ... how much space is in the house? How will he sleep? Will you share any night feedings, etc? I'd definitely plan for additional help, because I'd be very concerned about his ability to pitch in for that period of time.

EricEng

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2021, 04:21:32 PM »
We had 3 under 3, not same as twins but not too different either.  We also moved and new job in middle of that.  Moving with babies isn't fun, so if you can get that sorted out now that might be your biggest factor.

If your husband is doing 60-80 hour weeks in a stressful job, he will likely be 0 help with the children.  The children will actually make it harder on him because they will wake him up during the night.  I do think he will see the kids awake frequently because lots of newborns only sleep in anywhere from 1-3 hour sprints followed by awake for 1-2 hours, not that you really want that in the middle of the night!

A nanny will feel like a huge life line even if it is only 2-3 days a week to save money.  Use that time to shower, get some solid sleep, etc.  With your husbands schedule you won't get that from him.  Unless you have some incredible parents/inlaws, you probably won't get as much consistent support as you will want.

Tig_

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Re: FTM, Twins, Long Distance... Feedback & Reassurance needed!
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2021, 01:36:41 PM »
Thank you SO SO much all!!  The exhaustion has hit like a ton of bricks and the to-do list keeps growing despite trying to check things off as fast as I can these days.... it's just not as fast as I once was!  I've been watching other like, moms facebook groups or parents of multiples online... and... they... just aren't my people.  I knew I had to come here for some level-headedness.

This is all so reassuring and such good advice.  The update is that work seems more likely to let me keep working remotely, so I can push the quitting decision to after birth at least (I hear arguments on both sides - seems more existential (?) so it'll be interesting where I fall).  I do have to convince a doc to get me a letter to work from home starting week 24, which... we'll see how annoying that is.  But, it's nice to remind myself these days that yes, I'm moving. I'm not asking for permission to move.  YOU (bosslady) are deciding if you want to continue to let me work or not. I'll get you your damn letter when I get you your damn letter.  And that, mentally, has helped a lot.

Great tips too re:
-- moving to be near SO reassurance - yes, 100% the inability to communicate what it's like over FaceTime - that hit so hard. I think it will be really important to the relationship to know what it means to be in this thing together, even if his help/exposure is limited.  Thanks so much for giving voice to that!!  I think I felt that and just couldn't name it. And this is 1000% what I was thinking.
-- twin support (found a moms of multiples group and joined - I think it will be cutesy, annoying, and helpful like mentioned haha, definitely "friends for a season" vibes)
-- cleaning support - excellent tip - yes, find ways to outsource things so I can focus on the babies, not help with the babies so I can do the dishes.
-- SO lives about 10 minutes from one of the biggest NICUs in the country (level 4) and a level III NICU is even closer.  I'm currently about 30 minutes from where my OBs deliver, so that's actually a really nice benefit.
-- Have a lot of friends who are family docs and will be great pediatricians those first few months.  Feel very calm on the medical side overall these days.

Good news is, once his contract is up, he'll likely have 3 months of unemployment before the next contract starts, so he'll get his time once they are a little more mobile, which he'll do better with than me anyway. And we currently have 3 bedrooms so if we need to sleep in separate rooms for a few months, it seems like that will be doable.  He also tends to stay up later than me (like, sometimes get home after I'm asleep), so it might even work out to have him do one bottle feeding a night so I can get more rest.  I'm feeling way, way, WAY better about everything these days.  I just want to make it to maternity leave - I've worked so hard at this job and have so much sick leave I'll get paid for the full 12 weeks but if I had to quit before taking that I would just lose all that time.

But 17 weeks with twins, getting married week 22, still don't have a wedding dress, still need to figure out *how* to rent my house out *and* find a renter, *and* have them approved by the co-op board, still need to move a bunch of crap a timezone over.  Just thinking about the to-do list makes me want to take another nap!

Also, do federal student loan repayments need to start two months before I have twins? Can't we keep pushing that down the line a *little* bit longer? Sighhhh