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Financial pressures further complicate life for parents of multiples- two or more babies simply cannot live as cheaply as one! Parents can economize, however, by having twins share such big items as cribs during early infancy, buying quality used equipment and clothing, and swapping outgrown items with other families.
The financial burden cannot be completely solved by efforts to economize, however. Parents must still buy multiples of many things. In addition, child care costs more and is hard to find. This presents a special dilemma for the woman who would like to continue a career. Although the family may desperately need a second paycheck, her potential income may barely justify the costs, and she is needed just as desperately at home. In such a situation, women experience tremendous conflict. Fathers need to be sensitive to these issues when the double load of mothering makes their wives feel as if they are losing out on both worlds.
Practical options in this Catch22 are difficult to come by, but realistic financial planning can sometimes reveal solutions that relieve worry. A first step before deciding to return to work is to weigh the dollars-and-cents gain against all expenses, including the hidden cost of stress on family members.
Whether or not mothers hold paid jobs, the sharing of housework and childcare seems to be the greatest point of contention in most households. One way to make your endless unpaid labor more visible is to make up a daily list of all the household chores, from shopping to vacuuming, to feeding the babies and running the dog. Then either assign chores to each able family member or let them choose their own. The checklist provides a sense of accomplishment for everyone as well as a more equal distribution of labor.