Annually, the cost for two full time babies in daycare can seem like you're paying for college. If you are still new to this whole “supporting other life forms” thing, it could be a bit of a sticker shock. You will debate the pros and cons of one of the parents staying home in lieu of going to college, I mean daycare. Here are some things I have learned about daycare with twins
Make sure they offer you help
There is nothing like picking up two car seats, with two kids, a daycare bag and lugging it out to your car every day. Ask what they can do to help, see if someone can help carry a kid out with you. Maybe they have drop off and can grab the twins out of the car for you so you don’t even have to get out. You have twins now, time to pull some strings and use it to your advantage. Just ask what they can do to make this process easier.
It can literally save the day
It will happen, the twins will bring home every known illness from daycare. Inevitably both parents will get sick after the twins have recovered. No one is around to help so who do you call? Ghostbusters? Or daycare? Yes, daycare, and low and behold the twins are out of the house. Parents stay at home attempting to get better before the twins inevitable return.
Prepping for daycare with twins is a new job
Not only are you laying out their feeding schedule, but also packing what they need to eat throughout the day. The older they get, the more intricate the meals get: packing bottles, sippy cups, spoons, puffs, and on and on. Don’t forget things outside the feeding component like diapers, bibs, clothes, wipes, and then repeat for the other baby as they each need their own items. Then comes the BEST part, you start labeling EVERYTHING. Not just last name but first name as well. As a parent of twins nothing is more infuriating then grabbing four nipples and three of them have baby A’s name and one with Baby B’s name. So a tip, don’t put permanent labels on items, just use a Sharpie because it will wash off.
The skills they learn are priceless
Your babies will amaze you with what they learn every day. You come home to clapping and waving. They are exhausted from being challenged every day. Also daycare with twins helps get them into a routine that makes your weekends much smoother. Two things that have made our nights more peaceful are that they helped train our kids for nap time. This helped them fall asleep in their cribs without being rocked.
Find out if your employer offers a Flexible Savings Account (FSA) and enroll
We didn’t do this for the first half of the year of our twins lives. It’s something I am upset we missed out on because daycare with twins is expensive. An FSA simply lets your company take out a determined amount of money (pre tax) for you to use for child care, the maximum being $5,000. So say you get 24 checks a year and you take the full $5,000; every pay period they will fund your FSA, taking it out of your pay check pre-tax, so roughly $208 (5000/24) per check. You can set up a recurring payment with your daycare and the FSA payer so every time money is deposited into the FSA account a check will be issued to you as well. It's very little work and we get a check every 2 weeks in the mail for $208. The benefit is the same $5,000 you were spending on daycare, but you now do not need to pay tax on it.
I love my kids, but MLK day, Presidents Day, and Columbus Day my wife and I have as company holidays. Daycare is open. Let me repeat: Those are three days we have off and daycare is open. You can bet your bottom dollar those tykes are going in for the day, while mommy and daddy sloth around all day watching movies and eating take out.
Offers me freedom to get the other chores done
I get off work at 3:30 pm, my wife 6:30 pm, but I don’t pick the twins up until 5:30. The reason why isn't because I am scared to be alone with the twins. It’s because I need to make sure the house keeps standing. Most homeowners know owning a home isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, almost weekly there is something that needs my attention. These two hours are prime “get stuff done” time, take out trash, do dishes, cut the grass, fix the water heater, etc.
Daycare with twins is expensive. But it’s worth every penny and it's an invaluable asset in raising our twins and keeping our sanity.
Michael Ackerman is married to a loving, hard working momma bear and has 1 year old twin boy/girl cubs. He works full time as a Gas Leak/ Boiler Technician in NYC schools. He has a love for sports, video games, and chimichanga’s. He spends most of his time now chasing around his two maniac children and his two dogs Link and Sabre. You can follow him on Twitter.
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