Hi! We are Gal and Lauren, friends, and CoFounders of The Mom Juice, an empowerment network helping moms to prioritize self-care by making it more accessible in their daily lives. Over the next few months we will be sharing our different personal experiences and approaches on the same major parenting milestones.
This month we will delve into what childcare looked like for each of us during our first year as twin parents. Hopefully our different perspectives help you in making the best childcare decision for you and your family!
Before we get into the details, the most important message we wish to share is ASK FOR HELP! Twins are an incredible blessing, but it can be a lot more challenging if you do it alone.
What childcare looked like for Gal
I desperately wanted to do it all by myself. I had my ideal natural birth, my milk was flowing freely, and I had the first year musts – so why couldn’t I take care of my babies alone? My husband reminded me that technically I could, but at what cost? Was it worth completely running myself down?
I knew he was right, so at one week postpartum we hired a nanny that we found online. It was weird letting someone I didn’t know into the newborn bubble while I myself was recovering, but thankfully she was absolutely wonderful! She came Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm and on the Sundays I was alone. She not only helped me with my babies, she kept the house in order by doing laundry, the dishes and cleaning. Most importantly, she gave the kids so much love – who could ask for more?
When Lev and Shai were around 4.5 months old I felt a lot more confident in my ability to balance it all and my nanny had to move away, so we parted as friends. From that point on, other than family here and there, I have been alone full-time with my now two-year-olds. I feel very blessed to have this time watching them learn, grow and become best friends, but I know the help I received in the beginning allowed me to reach the point I am at today.
What childcare looked like for Lauren
My husband and I started evaluating our childcare options and costs as soon as we found out we were having twins. We have always been a dual income household and at the time, I planned on taking my maternity leave and then returning to work full-time at my PR agency in the city. We did a lot of research, and by “research”, I mean tracking down any twin parents we could find and asking about their childcare experience and seeking their expert advice (I would literally approach people walking down the street).
The most common thing people would say to us was, “You need a night nurse.” We took this advice to heart and soon finding a night nurse became our priority. I received a few referrals from a Twin Mom group on Facebook and was fortunate to find a wonderful soul who started off as our baby nurse for two weeks and then transitioned to our night nurse for the next 3 months. She worked every night from 9pm to 6am. I have to say, having the help of a night nurse certainly came at a cost, but till this day we say it was one of the best investments we ever made.
During my four months of maternity leave, we were still trying to figure out what to do when it was time for me to go back to work. The cost of daycare for two infants was insane and we couldn’t comfortably afford a full-time nanny. Financially, the option that made the most sense for us was to find an au-pair.
At first, I revolted against the thought. I was completely against having someone live with us and having to be responsible for another new person in our home, which was already becoming tight living quarters. But as the days passed during maternity leave, I slowly became more open to the idea of having an extra set of hands around the house, and we welcomed our au pair into our household when the twins turned 3-months old (we timed her arrival to coincide with the departure of our night nurse).
Having an au pair was an incredible experience for us! I never could have imagined how nice it would be to have dependable, consistent childcare living with us. But most importantly, our wonderful au pair, Mayara, truly became an extension of our family. We took care of each other, and she built such a special bond with the twins.
Our recommendations for finding childcare
Local mom Facebook groups
Don’t be shy! Ask neighbors, friends, family and that mom you see walking down the street!
If you are still on the fence about childcare for your twins, our advice is to be open-minded to all options. You truly do not know what your needs will be until your little ones arrive. It’s helpful to do your research and know your options, but don’t stress about committing to anything too far in advance.
We look forward to sharing more with you about our journeys and welcome any questions / comments @themomjuice!
Lauren Carasso is a lifestyle expert, self-care advocate, and full-time working mom. Her professional background includes nearly 15 years in public relations working with entertainment and lifestyle clients. She is passionate about meditation, fitness, yoga, matcha lattes, and taking advantage of all that living in the NYC-metro area has to offer. Originally from New Jersey, Lauren currently lives in Westchester County with her husband, David, and 3-year-old twins, Alexander and Bella.
Gal Shyli is passionate about all things fitness, wellness and ‘mom life’. She is a HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator, pre/postnatal exercise specialist and motherhood coach who runs Embrace: Birth and Beyond. Self-care and community have been paramount in her life as a mom, and she hopes to empower others to prioritize both as well! Gal currently lives in Westchester with her husband, Seth, her 2-year-old twins, Lev and Shai, and she is expecting baby number 3 in May.