The Mum Network

Guest Post: Naomi Higgins. What’s better 2 sets of hands or 1??

Today’s guest post is from a dear friend of mine who just this week has become the mother of her fourth beautiful child, a boy (congrats Nomes, he is delish!). Bringing her total to 2 girls and 2 boys – all under the age of four so next time you think you’re busy – think of Naomi and what she has ahead of her!! Naomi is great Mum who gave up an uber career to become full time Mum to her young and energetic brood and will be regularly contributing to the Mum Network site. Today she give us her insight as to why she thinks it’s easier when hubby is away!

What’s Better, 2 sets of hands or 1?

Before embarking on the career of full time parenting and household running, I worked in highly stressful areas of the financial markets, both in Sydney and London. I was fortunate enough to be able to run a small financial company at the age of 25 and then went on to dabble back into the big corporate world before international moves and twins halted my career.

I’m now, whenever possible, working on my own business which helps families and parents cope with the changes in households when little people arrive. Re-empowering them and teaching them the tricks of the ultimate parenting trade so they too can regain a little control and “me” time while raising happy, content, little people.

One of my many passions includes writing. So in the age of “blogging and twittering” it makes sense that I put my thoughts to digital media. So here goes!

It goes against reason, but I find that it is often easier being a mother when hubby is away. Most people say two hands are better than one, but in my case, I find managing my three kids a lot easier when my husband is away. I often reflect on this and the reason that I think this occurs is that my energy that radiates when he isn’t here, is a lot different than when he (or someone else for that matter), is present.

I treat the running of my household like a high-powered job. I have 4-year-old twin girls (fraternal), a two-year-old thunderous son, and number four due in July. Having twins requires you to fall into a routine from day one. So when #3 arrived, he had to slot into the twin routine. I have found that kids respond well to structure and routine, and certainly as a mother, it has worked for me as I know the times of day where I may find some reprieve.

So when I am on my own with the kids, it’s just me, my energy, my responsibility for daily activities and my routine. I don’t secretly ever hope that someone will come through the door and know that its time for bath, or that they will pick up the toys…there are no expectations. So there is no disappointment when expectations are not met. Nor is there a sudden burst of crazy energy just before bed when my husband usually comes home. So everyone is tucked into bed by 7pm and I can enjoy some well deserved “aaahhhhh” time. Minus the fact that I can watch terrible shows on television, eat ice cream straight from the tub until it makes me feel sick, wear my daggy knickers and not think twice, and read trashy celebrity news and retreat to the old single habits of pre married life.

Other pluses are the reduced amount of washing and cooking…yes, I probably eat what is ever left on the kids plate as my daily nutrition, but that’s ok! I am ok with going to the same park every day if need be or being at home for breakfast/lunch and dinner. I have no pressure to be socially active beyond the call of the kids.

In saying all that, there are definitely moments each day and week where I love watching daddy interact with the kids and I thank my lucky stars that he is around to help or to let me quickly do a food shop without the kids running up and down the isles. And the kids simply adore him and that’s a special thing to witness. So I would never stop that interaction, but I am sure I am not alone when women hear those words: “I have to go away for a few days/week for work”. My secret reaction is “yippee….some selfish me time post 7pm, with less cooking and washing.”

That said, if he were away for an extended period of time of a month or more such as those in military service, my view would no doubt be very different!


  1. DMH

    I hear you loud and clear. The children seem to listen to one adult voice better, no expectations or disappointments, no having to ask for someone to assist, because I think if people have to ask a Mum of four if they can help, they clearly don’t want to really help. Can people not see washing to be folded, or reading to hear, baby to hold? So I agree and that’s not to take anything away from Dad’s but lets face it, if you are an at home Mum, they still have a quiet assumption that they have had a hard day at work and you’ve coped ok so far ..
    Being an at home Mum is the hardest and best/worst in the world. The corporate world and just the regular work force is a breeze by comparison.
    That’s why so many Mum’s go back to work. Often they earn little more than super and keeping their career options alive. It’s just that they can get a bit of a break…sometimes. Mind you the work load waits for them at home, so maybe that is not the solution either.

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