Back to Work After Twins: Finding Flexibility

Are you planning on returning to work after having twins? If so, how can you find flexibility in your existing job or in a new job that allows to you be the hands-on parent that you desire and still be a breadwinner? Our twin moms share their personal experiences!

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Episode Transcript

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 0:03
Are you planning on returning to work after having twins? If so, how can you find flexibility in your existing job or in a new job that allows you to be the hands on parent that you desire and still be a breadwinner? Today we're here to talk with Dr. Alessandra Wall and learn how we can find flexibility in our return to work plans. This is Twin Talks.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 0:55
Welcome to Twin Talks! Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting a new parents of twins. I'm your host, Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. If you'd like to listen to our show on the go, be sure to download our Parents on Demand app. It's available on Apple and Android. Not only can you hear our show, but you'll also discover more great podcasts geared towards parents and families. So let's get started. We've got parents we've got a whole lot lots of great people with us today. So let's introduce everyone who is joining us let's tell us a little bit about yourself your family so first I'm going to introduce our speaker Dr. Alessandra Wall, so I know even though you're not a parent of twins, you do have children and you've had to find work life balance yourself.

Alessandra Wall 1:42
I have. I have a currently very rambunctious seven and a half year old and a somewhat calmer but entering teen moodiness although he's only 10 and a half year old boy. So to just not the same age.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 1:55
I mean, I gotta say, I only have girls. So boys are a handful in of themselves. And let's see, we have one of our appearance, who's also going to share externally, Haley and I know you've got well, not boys, but tell us about your kids.

Haley Tallman 2:09
I have three and a half year old identical girls, Eden and Avery and I am a part-time work-at-home mom.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 2:17
Alright. And let's see Sarah, another parent with us.

Sarah Roberts 2:22
Hi! So I have twin boys who are five. So I completely understand the boy comment about them being so overwhelming. I am an attorney and I kind of have a varied career pattern. During my boy's life. I have worked full time I've stayed at home with them. I've switched jobs, I have the experience of trying to figure out what works best.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 2:41
Don't we all try to figure out what works best. And I think that's that's an ongoing question. So hopefully want to talk more about that. And lastly, Sunny is our producer. So Sunny, can you introduce yourself?

Sunny Gault 2:55
Yeah. Hi, Christine. Hi, everybody. So my name is Sunny. And I have four kids, my oldest is eight a boy, I have a seven year old boy. And then I have identical twin girls who are five. And as far as my work life balance, I primarily work from home. But I find that that can also be a real challenge, which I'm sure we're going to dive in today. Because when your kids are still that young, they're still with you and you are expected to work and be a mom at the same time. And I can't tell you how many times during the day, my girls will come in and I really can't like I do a lot of computer work podcasting work and but it's all on the computer. And so many times they'll come in and want me to do something right then and they don't get that I'm working right. They think mommy's playing on the computer. And that can be a real struggle too. But I'm sure we're gonna dive into that later today. But I'm happy to be here.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 3:48
Yay. And I'm your host, Christine. And I'm, let's see, I've got identical girls who are now nine years old. So I'm like, wow, nine years. And I also have a singleton. She is six years old. And I will say yeah, my career journey has been interesting as well going from full time work in the technology world to not to podcasting and can part time consulting work and like a full time. So it's, it's kind of gone through different phases. So I definitely have to say it's what makes sense for now is probably the question I have to ask today and probably even five years from now. All right. Well, welcome everyone.

Sunny Gault 4:35
Okay, so let's kick things off with a news headline. This is a segment that we like to do where we find interesting articles that have to do with twins, triplets, multiples, anything that's really making the news right now. And right now as we're recording this. There's a lot of people graduating, right. A lot of people go into graduation parties, whether it's high school or college. Well, I found this article that I think really really puts things into perspective as far as what's happening in the world right now with twins and triplets and multiples. And the headline was, this is what grabbed my attention 10 sets of twins in one Kentucky high school graduating class. It's surreal. So if you read on, right, if you read on in this article, I mean, the headline kind of says it all, but this one Kentucky High School, it's in Boyle County, which I didn't have a chance to look up exactly where that is. But Boyle County High School, it's actually 10% of their graduating class. So apparently, 10% 10%. So yeah, if there's like 100 Kids, I mean, right. Let's do the math. I'm not the best at math. But if it's 10%, you know, and they've got 10 sets of twins. Actually, if there's two Oh, that'd be 200. Kids. Right? Okay, so my math is off. But still, like, you know, so there's, that's still a huge percentage of kids, right? And they really don't know. I mean, there's some jokes going around or whatever, saying that, hey, you know, apparently someone was passing out fertility pills, you know, when you guys were born, or maybe there's something in the water, you know, funny stuff like that. Some of the kids move there. So they didn't grow up in the district, so to speak. Yeah, but it's crazy. And I just wanted to ask you guys, I know some of us have really young twins. But do you notice that whether it's preschool? Or, you know, if your kids are a little bit older, do you notice more and more sets of twins? And then along with that? Do you see more, you know, fraternal twins are identical twins. Like, I'm just curious what you guys are seeing...

Sarah Roberts 6:32
I'll jump in actually, from a slightly different perspective. I recently went to my 10 year law school reunion, and about a third of the class I would say, showed up, and I started counting how many parents of twins were in that class. And it was kind of mind boggling. I don't know if we're, like, 10% of your class, but I would easily say at least 5% of the people there, if not more, and it's it's just so funny. I don't know, if I'm now hyper aware of the fact or there really is just a huge uptick of twins.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 6:59
Wow. And, you know, and I have to wonder, too, I mean, like, Okay, so these, you know, the kids are, you know, 1718 years old. So, I mean, using fertility methods, I don't think it was as common as it is now. Right. So I think that's what makes it even more unusual, because I think if they were maybe under 10 years old, we'd say, oh, yeah, well, it's, you know, we're the use of, of, you know, IVF and fertility methods that would explain it. But, but yeah, if you look at 18 to 20 years ago, was it that common?

Alessandra Wall 7:32
I don't think so. And I'm actually trying to think both about preschool experiences. And now Elementary and my kids school goes into middle school, I can't think of a single set of twins in the school. I'm sure there are at least fraternal twins. I cannot think of a single set.

Haley Tallman 7:46
I think Sara nailed it with the hyper awareness because we have twins. We just see it everywhere.

Sunny Gault 7:51
But my girls and my girls, my twins are in TK this year. So for those of you who aren't in California, TK is kind of like pre K, or it's kind of like a preschool. But anyways, the school does it right. And so it's like before you go to kindergarten. And so my girls are in TK, they have another set of twins in their class, fraternal girls. But it gets really confusing because my girls names are Ainslie and Addison. And the other ones are arienne Asha. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, this poor teacher is gonna think of, you know, everybody's name was like, we all named our kids, you know, names with a is to confuse the teacher. And then so they're in like, half days right now. And then the second half of the day, there's another set, and those are identical girls. So I've seen it a little bit, you know, in our classroom, but man 10 sets of twins that just seems really crazy. Like, like, I don't know, I know, I can say this. I'm originally from Ohio. And I can say this, because I'm originally a Midwestern-er, but it is true. There's not quite as much to do in the Midwest. Maybe moms and dads are just getting it on a little bit more. I don't really know. But yeah, that's kind of crazy to see. I hope they take a picture of graduation, I hope they line up and you know, take a picture of the twins because that's something special for them to remember.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 9:15
We're here today with Dr. Alessandra wall. And she's a psychologist and executive coach. She specializes in empowering women within the workplace. She helps her clients find unique strategies and solutions that are just the right fit for them. So we're here today to talk about how parents who plan to return to work can find the flexibility they need to be both a twin parent and a breadwinner. So thank you, Dr. Wall. Well, you know, first of all, we got to talk a lot about flexibility. But you know, before we kind of jump into it, I mean, maybe you can even just tell us, like how do you or how do most people define what flexibility is and why and why is it so important in this day and age, especially for parents?

Alessandra Wall 9:55
I might be stumped on that question of how people define flexibility in general, I think, I think What we're asking for when we talk about flexibility is jobs that allow us to have some harmony between our life outside of work and our life inside work. And that's going to look completely different for most people, whether some people are gonna be talking about wanting to work remotely wanting to have hours, that that can shift from one day to another based on personal life demands. I think there's a real push and and I'm hoping companies start buying into this, to look at people's value and productivity within the workplace as based on what they are doing, not how many hours they're spending at work. And then they're all the demands for paternal leave, being able to be granted leave, when you're not a parent to take care of things outside of work. I happen not just to work with women who are mothers, but women who aren't and really complained about the fact that flexibility is really crouched and defined around the needs of a parent and not just the needs of an individual.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 11:03
And then, you know, it was interesting, you're talking about the idea of kind of moving towards a model that places value on the work and what they do, not just the number of hours, because I think that's been so ingrained within us about well, you know, okay, full time is 40 Hour Workweek, which of course, for you know, a lot of salaried people really doesn't hold it that, but you're talking about really producing and what we what we do and, and I know we've got some of our parents who who do things, and you're doing working on projects, and it really doesn't matter. I mean, maybe some things you can just bang out, and they're quick, but other things, they just take a lot longer. And so there's there's long term value. So I find that really interesting is that something then that parents can even talk about when they're going into job interviews or trying to negotiate, you know, some type of employment.

Alessandra Wall 11:56
So if you're listening to this, I need everybody to know, I have this huge bias about talking about things. And my answer to any question that is, is this something we can talk about is going to be? Yes. I think one of the biggest issues we're facing is that we don't we don't talk about a lot of things. And you're asking why is flexibility so important in this day and age. And I think it's because we have higher expectations or different expectations about the kinds of roles we want to play in the lives of our children. And it's not just a personal expectation, it's a societal expectation, whereas I'm a Gen Xer. So whereas I was a latchkey kid with two parents who worked, and a dad who traveled for work, and there were a lot of things that I did independently. If I told anybody that my seven year old was getting himself to school today, I would have guests and shocks and probably CPS showing up at my door, when I started letting my older my 10 year old, go to the park alone, which was at the time, block away from our house block and a half, with his little brother following him, I made a point of talking to every single neighbor and introducing myself, and letting them know that they would see two small children walking on their own to the park.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 13:12
I gotta say, I love free range, I love Yes.

Alessandra Wall 13:17
But that expectation means that we as parents, not just moms are told that we have to be with and around and supporting our children all the time. If that expectation is to be held true for dads to less so still, then we need the flexibility with the workplace, because many of us still want to have that financial or professional autonomy, as well.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 13:41
So I think what you're saying is that the expectations of parenting just in of itself have changed fairly radically over the last few decades. And so as a result of that, to really balance that we really need to change the expectations of the parenting and within the workplace. So I gotta say, Do you think that the employers, I mean, is this a slow shift? I mean, we, you know, I think for moms, I mean, we've got all moms here on our on our chat today, we don't have dads, but is it you know, more common than for I mean, I think for women to to initiate that sort of discussion about, hey, you know, I've got to take my kids to school or pick them up. I've got to do this. And I think employers are, I mean, are we moving the needle in that direction?

Alessandra Wall 14:32
Very slowly. Yeah. We are very slowly and, and as long as we continue having parents who are willing to walk in and request that flexibility, that needle is going to continue moving. I also think that as the younger generations who now have this expectation of parenting, and I don't like the word life balance, but somebody used the word harmony the other day, so that harmony between different spheres of life because that generation comes up and starts to become the boss. manager, the supervisor, the CEO, I think we're going to see that needle move much more rapidly in the right direction. I certainly found that. As a CIO, I have three businesses. Before having children, I was on track to become a clinical psychologist, which is what I do. I had a partnership and a practice that was thriving and full, I worked till 7pm. Some nights, I came in on weekends for people who came out of state to see me. And then I had my first child, and I took my full 16 weeks of leave in California, which is great. And upon coming back thought, I don't I don't want to do this full time, but nor am I cut out to be a stay at home mom, for the parents who do it, I think you're absolutely amazing. And so I went back to work at some version of part time.

Alessandra Wall 15:48
And with the arrival of my second child, I thought, Oh, my goodness, I can't just be a psychologist, I was burning out. And so I created a second business. And Sonny, when you were talking about working from home, and being constantly interrupted, I would started building my coaching business. And that was creating the website doing the marketing, I was recording podcasts at the time trying to connect with people creating content. So really at a computer all day long, being interrupted very frequently. But also having that flexibility, we're talking about to be home part of the time with my with my children, and put them down to nap and go to parks and playgrounds with them. And then I have this third business, which is as a speaker, I have found that as long as I go in and talk to my different clients, whether it's my therapy patients, my coaching, or the corporations that I'm trying to speak to about my needs as a parent, and the fact that those needs cannot be shifted very much I can compromise but I won't negate a need. I have everybody has been willing to work with that there is more understanding now than there would have been before. And I don't think I'm perceived as less professional because of that. I don't think that would have been true 20 years ago.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 17:02
Wow. No, that's a really interesting point. So even even within your field, you it sounds like, um, you have to be really upfront with what your needs are, in your personal life to make it all work. And you know, just thinking now, specifically in areas of the let's just say the postpartum period, so you said you took 16 weeks off, which is, I think that's pretty much that's as much as we generally ever get in California, or a lot of places here in the US. So when when women specifically are returning after that, that period, whether it's maybe, you know, two months or up to 1616 weeks, I'm just thinking of that sort of a period of coming back to work. And probably, you know, as we know, having babies, there's just this constant evolution of taking care of them. How can the moms articulate what their needs are and let their employers know, hey, I want to come back to work. But maybe they're not even sure what what they need? Or what kind of time off? What do you usually recommend?

Alessandra Wall 18:06
I think that's that last point you made is is really important. I think there's just so much that you can talk about before you have your child or children. Because you know, that thing we all heard before we had kids, you won't know until you know, it's true. You don't know till you know, you think you do. And so I've worked with women who were persuaded they'd go back to work and had no interested in doing it. And vice versa. Women who thought they'd be stay at home moms, and after a few months realized that they just they just couldn't do it. So when you're working with a traditional employer, there's a certain level of conversation you can have beforehand about what you expect, and talking about what the employer expects, and what they're willing to provide and what the rules and the policies of your organization might be. And then there has to be a follow up conversation when you come back in about where you are. And if you can set that follow up conversation in advance. So before leaving on maternity leave, really talking to whether it's HR or a direct supervisor, about the fact that this is where I think I am. Who knows, once this baby comes, can we revisit this conversation? Probably my recommendation would be a few weeks before your leaf ends, then you open up these possibilities for dialogue. And a lot of us walk into this assuming that people won't hear us or that as parents will be considered as second class employees, creating that dialogue really can shift that.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 19:37
So kind of being proactive about it really. Now I want to put this out to our panelists. So Haley, did you have that kind of conversation? I mean, what was what was your plans when you were pregnant with your twins?

Haley Tallman 19:49
Yeah, I worked come from a hospitality background. I worked in the events department of a hotel, and before I came back, I did I went and I had the conversation with my boss. It was was very clear up to my end that she wanted me full time. I knew I didn't want full time. So I came in for a couple months, I helped get things settled, trained a new my replacement. And then afterwards, they they were, they were great they offered me our general manager offered me, pick the days, pick the hours, whatever you want. But I wouldn't have a steady office, I would be a floater in the hotel. So I decided that having some stability in my job was more important than going back to work even with that flexibility and hours. So I decided to stay home instead of returning to to my office.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 20:39
Oh, that's great. So you knew ahead of time, you know that your your job would be changing? Somewhat dramatically. And so you're able to make that choice ahead of time. Yes. And how about Sarah, for you? I mean, you've had, I mean, in law, I guess Dami? Were you planning on coming back full time? Or what was what kind of conversation did you have with your employer?

Sarah Roberts 20:59
I mean, that was always the thought was to go back full time, not miss a step not blink an eye and I laugh now with how naive I was. I wish I had the foresight to speak with my supervisor ahead of time, I recall vividly one of my friends sending me a text message why no one thinks you're coming back to work. And me just panicking. I had worked very hard for my career. I had no intentions of giving up my career. But I think because I didn't have any safety net in place and having to go back to the the hard work the demanding the full time the no flexibility that I had beforehand. I couldn't live that expectations. And I think that was part of the reason which ultimately led me to step away from my career for a brief pause, you know, a year year and a half down the road.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 21:45
No, absolutely. No, I think that's a I mean, just interesting that I mean, you had the foresight to say, Okay, this is what I think is going to happen. But maybe I need to do more communication. Because I think that's yeah, a lot of folks. Well, that's I think we can talk about that even more about the idea when you do take time off. What's the perceptions in the workplace as well.

Alessandra Wall 22:06
Christina, one of the things I'm I'm thinking about as we're talking is all of us are professionals and with with being professionals, there's a certain amount of flexibility that we have, whether it's financial flexibility, or kind of a hierarchy within our organizations that allow us to have more of a free flowing engagement. And I'm thinking of all the parents who who are not who might have power. Now I'm thinking about somebody who, who works as a weight I've worked used to work as a waitress, right as a waitstaff at a restaurant or as a cashier, or you know, jobs where you don't always get to pad your income to have that kind of flexibility to make the choices Sarah made, or Haley made her I made to shift our careers, as we figured out what that balance or what that harmony look like. And so just to the moms and the parents who are listening who fall within that category, I want to say that piece of advice of making sure that you build that conversation with your employer with your manager still stands, it's really important to realize that our employers need us as much as we need them, especially if we're good at what we do. And that's regardless of what it is we do. And if we can approach them as though we want to collaborate and we assume they want to collaborate with us, we create a certain level of goodwill that makes people far more flexible and willing to problem solve for us.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 23:31
So that wow, well, that's I mean, I think very strategic approach. So you know, I think we're gonna take a break right now. And when we come back, we're going to talk a little bit more detail about that strategy that we can use when our original plans change.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 23:51
Well, welcome back. Today we're talking with Dr. Alessandra wall about creating a flexible work environment after having twins. We know that having twins gives us plenty of detours in life. So often what we imagine or plan quickly falls to pieces, and we move to Plan B. And we were just going to talking about that where maybe we envisioned having working full time, but we're just realizing, hey, that this really just doesn't cut it. Or maybe the original job itself. I think in in Haley's situation, they were saying, hey, they wanted you in a different capacity. And that just wasn't lining up with your your own views and vision. So Dr. Wall, do you have some maybe just pointers on how do we go about creating a new strategy that incorporates our new reality, whatever that is.

Alessandra Wall 24:40
So the first piece of advice I'm going to give, I promise, I promise works. And I know it's very difficult as a parent and I cannot imagine what it is like for the parent of a twin. But the first thing that I would say is to slow down and create time. Too often what I see in The women I work with is that when they have to pivot, because something's not working for them, they start making choices, very reactively. So they're trying to avoid certain concerns, consequences, stressors, and they don't stop to think about what they want to move towards just what they're moving away from. So the first thing I would say is slow down and create opportunities to really stop and think about not what you're running away from, but what you want to move towards that way, the choices will be far, far better choices....

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 25:35
That's really profound. I mean, that's like, that's, I mean, gosh, you can apply that in so many different areas of life, what are you moving towards, rather than what are you moving away from so I, I think I can totally embrace that.

Alessandra Wall 25:49
In practical terms, I can describe that for you. So for me, and a lot of what I work on, and I teach people are things that I practice first, and then and then I test with everybody I've working with. So now it's been tested on, you know, 100 plus people that were really well, but for me, it meant when my son Reese was to my Luca, my oldest is two and a half years older. So at this point, he's either he was in preschool, and I was trying to build this new business. And I would put Rhys down to sleep in Russia, to try to work on my business. And even the way I was working on my business was kind of reactive. And I started doing this thing I called The Art of nothing, where I would just sit and force myself after putting Reese down for his whatever first or second afternoon nap to, to just sit in my yard for two minutes. And, and allow myself to rest and start building that practice to 1015 minutes. Sometimes there's enough of a break in a day for a human being and especially for a busy parent, it's luxury to start thinking about what do I want? What do I want this next move to look like? What are some things that are needs that I really can't shift? Because without them, I'm going to be miserable again. And then what are the actual circumstances, you know, and situational needs, financial needs, and time constraints that are going to allow me to either get those needs in those once met exactly the way I want them to, or that are going to force me to massage things a little bit and be a realist.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 27:31
Wow, I so kind of taking some time to just really stop, you know, amid the chaos and create that space. Now, Haley, it sounds like you kind of did that while you were pregnant. How did you manage to do that?

Haley Tallman 27:46
I don't know, I just think I had this idea from when I was little that I didn't want to work full time. So I had the idea in my head that I wanted to be a mom as much as I could. So I knew that that would work that staying home was going to be my path. I don't know how conscious it was, it just sort of wasn't me.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 28:06
But you you kind of you had some idea. And then it sounds like over time that kind of crystallized into kind of the steps that you needed to take. And I think even just maybe tell us now what what are you doing now that since you're not doing hospitality, what did you Sure.

Haley Tallman 28:23
So I did, I did no work and just you know, 100% parenthood my girls for a while. And then there's I realized that I wanted to have a little bit more financial independence, because there were things that I didn't want to give up my little luxuries. So I work for a company called Stitch Fix that is completely remotely based. I do everything from home. So I was able to to keep that sort of idea of being a stay at home parent, but give myself those little things that I don't want to give up personally.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 28:53
And what were those things that you didn't want to give up personally, so I mean, oh, no, just by

Haley Tallman 28:59
my little things that I like to do. Like I didn't want to give up the shopping or, you know, treating myself to my nails done or stuff just little things like that. My little luxuries, not big ideas, but the little things that helped me feel a bit more like myself and not just a mom.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 29:13
Yeah, absolutely. And I was gonna ask and Sarah to like, you know, what were the things when you were thinking about the going back? Did did you have sort of those the stakes in the ground to say these are the things that are important to me in your job going forward?

Sarah Roberts 29:27
Well, I will say I think it's something that I've learned to do since then, that first job I just kind of went back thinking it worked before it'll work again, and it didn't work for I think just those reasons. So I did take the time to stop and think going do I just want another job or do I actually want to take a pause and maybe just enjoy being a mom for a little bit. So it was something where I was able to you know, use that time and use that luxury and see my position and I put a lot of thought into taking you know that year and a half I ultimately took off and then in the converse, I took a lot time deciding to return to work. I mean, part of it was financially motivated because the kids were starting preschool. And as we all know, preschool for twins is very, very expensive. So that was part of it. And I think I kind of thought I knew what I wanted again. But it turns out, I was very wrong. And I took a year in a year and a half in a job, that wasn't a great fit to realize, you know, for me, having the ability to remote in anywhere, meant that they expected me to work all the time. And I've subsequently traded that in from that was a private sector job, I'm now working for a government entity. And pretty much when work is done, work is done, they don't expect you to be responding to them in the middle of the night or 8pm. On Sunday, you know, so I'm actually I feel like I got my evenings and weekends back with my kids, which just kind of offered a lot more of what I needed. And so it's one of those that I think my message is, even though you may not start that, that doesn't mean later down the line, you can take that time, take that step away, and realize what you need what fits and just because you thought that was what you needed, I don't think there's any shame in admitting that's actually incorrect, and realizing where you can go and where you can grow from there.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 31:15
Absolutely. No, it sounds like so this was kind of an evolution of really defining what's important. And Dr. Weil, do you find that is kind of a common theme among your clients as well?

Alessandra Wall 31:29
Absolutely. I mean, it makes sense. If you think about it, the more you've learned about yourself, the more you know, so you know what Sarah was talking about she, she tried these different options. And every time she tried an option, she figured something else, which allowed her to stop and make a better decision because she was willing to pivot. And that's, that's really important to realize that, that you're not stuck, right? That there's so many opportunities out there. So many different ways you can get your needs met, there's not a single way of of having that balance between your role as a parent and your role as a career woman or man. And, and being a friend and being a lover and being a partner and all of those things put together.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 32:13
Now, I think we'd also just touched earlier on the idea... I know, a lot of us here have been in jobs that are sort of office jobs. And and, you know, we've had some degree of flexibility and allowing either working from home or project base. But what about those folks who think as you mentioned, they are, you know, on site, you know, in customer service oriented, in being, you know, at a specific location at a certain time, where it's much more restricted in terms of the, the presence, what do you tell to, to those parents in how they can create, you know, some sense of, you know, flexibility and looking at their their needs, whether it's spending time with their kids or having weekends off? I don't know, does that exist?

Alessandra Wall 33:00
Well, that's I was actually going to reference here as the last comment she made back again, you know, flexibility at that point might mean, being very clear about your employer that when you when you leave, you leave it that you're that your day ends, or that we're making sure that you have certain holidays or vacation times really protected. I think it's it's about working with an employer to make sure that if there is an emergency, and emergency we know is not somebody dying, it's it's a child waking up with a toothache, it's it's a it's a kid who, who has a fever, it's hand foot and mouth. That, that we that we can call in and, and stay at home and be with that child again, not just without our pay, or our safety at work being docked, but also the perception of who we are as professionals. I just came back from a trip to England, where I had the opportunity of speaking with a bunch of women in finance. And by the way, in England, they get anywhere from six months to one year. Leave and dads get six months of life. It sounds sound like a dream. And one of the things I realized is in all the women I spoke with every single one of them said that being a mom actually made them much more career driven, that it didn't take away from their desire to build their their careers and to be successful professionally. Maybe that's something we need to get employers to understand that being a parent actually makes most of us better employees. We're more efficient, we're more efficient, we're more effective, we're more present. We need our jobs more often times. And for those of us who want to model what it means to be independent, autonomous, have a career have drive make a difference, like our careers are great places to Do that for our children.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 35:01
Wow. I like that message being a, a parent makes us a better employee. I think that's that's a really new concept. I think that's No, I mean, that's something I think you're right. We are more and especially as twin parents, we've been we've had to learn to be resourceful to be flexible, to manage schedules. So I have to agree with that. I don't know if Sara and Haley, you want to comment on that?

Sarah Roberts 35:28
Well, I know what they say is that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. And I think parents are probably the busiest and most multitasking people I know.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 35:38
We are the epitome of multitaskers. That is true. Well, I think that is going to wrap up our show for today. So I wanted to say thank you so much to Dr. Wall for joining us. And if you'd like to learn more about how she helps women achieve success in life and work, you can visit her website and her website. It's called it's life in focus, SD. So that's SD is in San So life in focus And we'll come back in just a moment.

Sunny Gault 36:12
Okay, so we're gonna wrap up our show today with our last segment. And this is a new segment, this is the first time we've done this segment. But you know, as I'm looking for stories online about twins and things that we can relate to, in our shows, sometimes I come across stories that are from the perspective of twins that are older, because I know a lot of times on the show, our twins are younger, and we're still learning how to be a twin parent, and you know how to do life in general with twins. But sometimes it's fun to get the perspective of twins that are a little bit older. So I thought this would be a good segment to do. This story comes from Reddit. So if you guys are familiar with Reddit, there's just a ton of discussions on Reddit, they call them subreddits. So you can pretty much look for any kind of topic you want. And people are sharing stories. And so I thought this was kind of funny. So this comes from the perspective of a friend of a twin and this is what he says. My friend said hi to his brother one morning. Well, it turns out his brother was actually his own reflection in a window. His mom witnessed it and his never let him live it down. And I just obviously, they're identical boys. And I don't know what what what point like when he went to lift his hand to say hi, or like, how did you you know, you see that sometimes in cartoons when cartoons are trying to play a trick on each other, right? And you see them like, kind of walk onto the screen and kind of creep and you know, when they lift one hand, the other hand lifts up and they try to mimic each other. That's what this totally reminds me of. And I just thought it was so funny that you know, because you also hear about twins, like playing jokes on other people about which twin is which. And here's a situation where the twin really thought that was his problem.

Sarah Roberts 37:53
I'm just dying to know how old was that twin because I have a cute story when mine, you know, looked in a mirror and said brother, but he was, you know, year, year and a half.

Sunny Gault 38:02
Oh, that's so cute. I think this this boy was a little bit older. I don't think it said exactly how old but in my mind for some reason. I'm thinking like elementary school or something like that. But we don't actually have the, you know, the age of it. But yeah, it's more understandable. And I often wondered that too, when my twins were little, like, do they think that everybody has like somebody that looks exactly like us? Or will they get confused when they look in a mirror or you know what I mean? Or, or something like that? I guess they kind of figure it out at some point. But yeah, it says it sounds like this guy was a little bit older and that's why his mom never let him live it down.

Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald 38:41
No, that's not true. But it's yes, it's there are things called mirrors. Right. Well, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks. Don't forget to check out our sister show Preggie Pals for expecting parents, and our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies. Parent Savers, your parenting resource on the go, and Newbies for new moms during the first year. This is Twin Talks- parenting times two.

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