Today, we have a guest post from my husband, Ben. He’s guest posted once before and I loved it. This week, I thought it would be really helpful to have a dad’s view of twin life. The emotions and difficulties that dads face and also how a twin dad to be can prepare for the arrival of the double bundle of joy.
Your twin babies are going to be the best thing that ever happens to you and your family but don’t get me wrong, they will push you to your limits.
Being a twin dad is so fun, but it’s definitely changed me and life is different for our family.
Here are some things you need to know if you’re about to embark into the journey of twin dad life.
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Prepare to be Stretched as a Twin Dad
If you’ve had a singleton it may actually be harder for you with twins because your expectations are off. You may be caught off guard like I was because it is nothing like having one baby.
If twins are your first kids it is by no means easier but you don’t have anything to compare it to. Yes, it is this hard!
The faster you come to grips that this isn’t about you, the better off you will be.
In other words, give until there’s nothing left – and then give some more.
If you’re prepared to give give give then you’ll waste less time fighting – because you’re going to have to give regardless.
The Pregnancy Really Is Harder
It might not look like it to you or the casual observer but growing two humans inside your partner’s body truly is more taxing on her physically than just growing one – its science!
Don’t wait to be asked, be proactive and volunteer taking on extra responsibilities around the house now. Tidy up, cook, clean, help to prepare for the baby, whatever it may be.
I promise that you will get screamed at less – oh, you’ll still get screamed at, I mean c’mon she’s producing double the hormones. But rest assured, it will be less.
Read –> Why Twin Pregnancy is So Hard
Twin Dad: After the Babies Arrive
C’mon babe your bones finally stopped hurting and you brought those 2 beautiful babies into the world, what do you mean you’re not back to your pre-pregnant self yet?
Write this down, It will take time for her to return to herself both physically and emotionally, and you need to be patient and okay with that.
It takes 9-months to create these babies, well it could take up to a year for her to “bounce back.”
Remember what I said about extra responsibilities, yup still a thing.
Notably, late-night feedings. I don’t care if she is nursing, bottle feeding, pumping, using formula, she is still more tired than you.
My advice? Get up the same amount as her in the middle of the night or more. Remember the screaming thing? Yeah, still applies.
Make One-One-One Time a Priority
Having multiple kids at or near the same age (aka twins) can make it harder to spend time with each one.
Make it a point early on to spend time independently with each twin.
This can be as easy as each of you taking a twin during playtime or feeding or even taking turns running an errand. It doesn’t need to be elaborate.
This is something we continue to do now that our twins are 3 and their brother is 5. Each kid adores one-on-one time and it is the best for getting to know their unique wonderful personalities.
Not to be forgotten is alone time with your partner.
My gosh, one thing my wife and I always talk about doing this and we still stink at it. But get away, do date night in, put your phones down, be alone, do whatever is most comfortable and easiest for you.
It is so easy to make your new twins your world and forget to show attention and serve each other.
Encourage Her Like No One Else
Twin mom guilt is real. It can be really tough sledding in the mom community and there may be times (more often than she’d like to admit) that she feels guilty for not spending enough time with each of her twins.
For us, that also includes spending enough time with their older brother – the twins can easily get all of the attention.
Don’t stop encouraging her. She needs reminders constantly that she is doing the best she can and that she is giving her children more than enough.
Give Up a Hobby, Twin Dad
Remember when I told you that you’ll be stretched and it will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done? It isn’t about you, right? Give up a hobby. Go ahead, twin dad, pick one out now.
Do you go to the gym 5x a week – trim that down. Play videogames 5 hours a day – pack that up. Go to happy hours multiple times a week – cut it out.
In all seriousness, having twins doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life or do the things you loved when you didn’t have kids (or just had 1) but it does mean more sacrifice for a season and the season may be long.
The faster you’re okay with giving up something you do for fun the more you can give to your partner.
Own Being Sensitive and Vulnerable
Your twins will melt your heart, yes times two.
There is something purely magical about seeing them recognize each other for the first time, coo together, and start to hold conversations. You won’t be sure if you want to laugh or cry.
There’s something about twins that feels so natural – isn’t this how all babies are supposed to be born – with a built-in buddy?
My gosh, as a twin dad your heart will melt. So be okay with sensitivity, let your emotions go cause it is too much work to hold all of that in.
Twin Dad: Selflessness is True Manhood
There’s so much more I could say but I hope this captures much of the twin dad experience.
Panic, fear, joy, elation, heartache, stress, everything. All of it.
But in the end, the more often you make this about your partner and your kids – as hard as that is, the first time and the 100th time – the more worthwhile it will be.
Twins will shape you into a serving, loving, gentle, kind, wise, humble father and husband – sooner, faster, stronger.