It's working for Jamie Mueller
There are a lot of multiple families that really struggle and are trying to make it work. Everything doubles. Same for the stress.
Jamie Mueller never expected to become a mom of multiples. “We have no history of twins in our family, just thought we were going to end up with one kid,” she said. When she and her husband went in for a routine ultrasound and learned they’d be having twins, Jamie panicked. “I hit the radiologist, poor woman. I started crying. We were not expecting that at all.”
Jamie and her husband were forced to reevaluate the initial plans they’d made to both be working parents. They’d already moved outside of the D.C. area, which meant a two-hour round trip commute to Jamie’s job as a social worker. “It wasn’t sustainable for juggling two kids,” she said. Jamie always knew she wanted to go back to work, her mom had been a working mom, and it was something she’d already wanted to do. But Jamie started to question whether she was in the right job for her family at that moment.
“I had a friend that had gone to work at Change.org and she called me up randomly and thought there was a good opportunity for me there. I started to really evaluate what type of job would allow me to have an end goal in mind and at the same time not consume my life,” she said.
And she realized that a company like Change.org was exactly where she wanted to be.
“Change has always prided itself on being a company that really cares about family. Their policy reflects that. Five weeks vacation starting out. Eighteen weeks parental leave. There’s no sick leave; if your kid is sick, you just take off. You’ll make it up, you’ll figure it out. The mindset is around trusting the employee,” she said. Jamie found that her coworkers worked just as hard and wanted the company to succeed. “Everyone really strives for excellence,” she said. “Someone might need to take a few days and deal with family issues so they do it.”
For Jamie, that family friendly workplace became a clear priority. She took a pay cut to accept the new job, though she felt it had better long-term earning potential. “The benefits alone made up for the pay decrease that I took. I only have to send an email and say ‘my kid’s sick and I need to stay home.’”
Jamie considers her experience lucky. “There are a lot of multiple families that really struggle and are trying to make it work. Everything doubles. Same for the stress. Same for the recuperation time. They call it ‘the fog’ for the first year for parents of multiples. And it really is. It takes a year to bounce back from what one person calls the most traumatic experience in your life: having twins.”
“It’s a good trauma,” she clarifies. “But it’s still a trauma.”