Meet this week’s Head of the Class Mom, Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn—founder of Twin Love Concierge and a mom to twin girls!
Tell us about yourself. Why did you start Twin Love Concierge?
I am a stay at home mom to identical 24-month-old twin girls, and alongside this I run a maternity consulting company exclusively for twins. When pregnant with the girls I was put on early bed rest and I realized quickly that there was no personalized support out there for expecting moms of multiples. My company was created while my feet were up on a pillow, trying to cook the girls as long as possible. I was lucky that I made it to 35.5 weeks and most of Twin Love Concierge was planned and ready to be activated by then. My primary mission is to help other twin moms and dads so that they know that help is out there—and not to stress! Our workshops and playgroups bring parents of multiples together, and it’s a constant pinch-myself-moment that I have been blessed to be able to facilitate this.
What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
Gosh is there a secret? Keeping the balance is almost impossible I find, at least with toddlers. I’m a super organized person, so I keep lists for everything and I work during any hour I have free, seven days a week. I am very quick to respond on email and I make sure that my husband and I sit and have a proper meal each night and talk. Relationships are so important and without them everything falls apart—no matter how successful your business is.
Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
As I am Australian, sometimes during my workshops I say things and parents look at me strangely. Once I was referring to the Bjorn bouncers (which are a must-have for twin parents) and I said to the group “once you are finished with them they sell like hotcakes”. What I meant was that you will be able to resell them easily as many parents will buy them secondhand. However, I had at least three emails afterwards from moms telling me why they couldn’t find the site hotcakes.com! I don’t use that term anymore—I don’t want to confuse anyone, ha!
What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
Above anything the most rewarding part of my business is working with moms on bed rest. More than 50% of expecting moms of twins will be placed on some form of bed rest as early as 16 weeks so my role is to come and sit bedside with these moms, discuss what areas they are feeling overwhelmed with, and address these concerns where I can. These clients are my success stories, and they are my world until I hear they have delivered and are safely home with their babies. Until then we stay in constant contact!
What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
That you can function on limited sleep. That babies grow so fast and to cherish the first few months because one day you will stop and look at them and try to remember those days when they were just so tiny. A full nights sleep is only a blink away!
If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
Reach out to support groups and don’t struggle alone. You don’t have to be the expert at everything, there are people who specialize in all of the areas you are struggling in. If only I had taken my own advice!
What is your favorite children’s book?
You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano Love.
What has been your favorite kids’ class?
Anything outdoors. Madison Square Park has the most amazing outdoor music classes during the warmer months. We are about to start ballet, so I have a feeling that is going to become a favorite.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends?
Beach, beach, beach. I am Australian, so need I say more!
What is your favorite rainy day escape?
This may sound terrible but shopping with my twin girls. They love clothes and shoes, so we will bundle up and go to all of the gorgeous kids stores nearby.
Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn is the founder of Twin Love Concierge, a company she created to provide personalized support for parents of multiples. She is also a mom to identical twin girls.