Alex asks this question: “How can I find some time to defrag or mentally transition myself after work, before having to jump into the new domestic challenges?”
Alex, creating that transition is very important, from work to home, and it is important to create that time. If you don’t, oftentimes, the stress and the burdens of work transition into home life and make that more difficult than it needs to be.
Make Time to Transition to Home Life
Perhaps look for even small things that you can do to help ease the transition to home life. This could be an extra drive around the block as you approach your home, or maybe even walking to go get the mail at the mailbox. Or it may even be something that you do around the home before you even enter the house and greet your family. Maybe it’s taking in the trash cans or pulling some weeds, something outside, to help you mentally transition into family life.
Now, remember that you may have only a few minutes to transition, but you need to make the most of them. Evaluate what you do in your car for the commute home, and see if there’s something else that can help you get ready to put your dad hat on. Maybe use the drive time to mentally prepare for that transition, to think about what’s going to be waiting for you when you go home.
Perhaps change what you’re listening to on the radio, the music, or maybe turn the radio off completely so that you can focus on this mental transition. Or maybe if you have a good friend who you can chat with on a hands-free headset on your way home to help you relax, or maybe even when you arrive home, spend a few minutes, a few moments, in the driveway or in the garage meditating before you enter the house.
Even if you can find just a few minutes of transition and do a little extra to mentally prepare yourself before you enter the home, it’s going to be a big, big relief and make things easier when you go in.
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Focus on Something Positive
One thing to make sure is that you don’t let animosity build up that you don’t get a break. Odds are, mom has been home with the kids all day and she hasn’t had a break either. Look for happy moments as soon as you walk in the door.
There’s going to be screaming, diapers, and so on, but enjoy a moment. Find a moment that’s positive and happy and focus on that. Perhaps it’s holding one of your babies or seeing the smile of one of your twins. It’ll help you focus on the positive and not all the chaos that is in a twin household.
I find that coming home, I do have to jump right into domestic challenges and I don’t get a break, often until the kids are in bed. If you’re not able to find time to defrag between work and home or time to relax between work and home, perhaps plan for some down time a little later in the evening, so that way you’ll have something to look forward to and you have a light at the end of the tunnel after the kids go to bed.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast episode 26: Transition from Work to Home, Twin Differences, Nighttime Feedings.