Since Father’s Day was on Sunday I thought it would be fitting that our Featured Blogger of the week be a Dad. Joe’s blog Dad’s Guide to Twins is all about raising twins from a perspective you don’t often find, the Dad’s. It is a great resource for current Dad’s of multiples or soon-to-be Dad’s of multiples.
What got you into blogging?
I started blogging before anyone (including myself) knew what a blog was. I started my first website back in 1998. As I had just returned from Chile after two years of being a missionary for my church, I create a site all about the amazing Chilean people and culture.
Fast-forward ten years: I’m married, we have two boys, and my wife and I welcomed twin girls into our family. I was so hungry for information to help me on my twin journey that I looked high and low for tips and tricks for fathers of twins. Unfortunately, there just weren’t many resources for dads. So I started a blog at dadsguidetotwins.com to help other Dads like me overcome the challenges of preparing for, having, and raising twins.
How did your two older children adjust to the news of having twin sisters?
When we found out we were pregnant with twins, our boys were 2 and barely 1 years old. At that time they didn’t really grasp what was about to happen. Well, to be honest, we as parents didn’t, either! Near the end of the pregnancy the boys knew that they had two sisters inside mommy and even knew their names.
After the twins’ birth, both boys were very excited to visit the babies in the hospital. However, when we brought the girls home from the hospital, our boys each reacted differently. Our oldest, who had just turned three, was an awesome big brother. He wanted to help his sisters and give them kisses and hugs all the time. Our other son pretty much just ignored his sisters for several weeks.
How did you do it those first few months with four kids 3 and under?
Our key to survival, and the tip that we tell anyone expecting twins, was to get helpers. We enlisted help from family members and close friends, and arranged for someone to stay with us on a constant basis for the first two months. It ended up being a week or so commitment for each family member; when one would leave, the next would arrive. This gave us a three-person crew that could handle the day-to-day operations of our family.
After a week of paternity leave, I returned to work. During the day, my wife and our helper held down the fort at home, one playing with our boys and keeping them happy while the other fed or cared for the babies.
At night the three of us would take turns caring for the babies in a three-day rotation. Each night two of us would wake up to feed the girls. The third adult had the night off and could sleep. Each of us was “on duty” for two nights in a row. On the third night we rested. This rotation worked well for us because there was always a light at the end of the tunnel for when we could sleep.
By the end of two months, our girls were in a good routine and sleeping longer stretches at night so the transition back to just my wife and I as caregivers wasn’t so bad.
What is your favorite thing about being a father?
I love spending time with my kids. I love reliving my youth as I watch them discover new things and learn new skills. I love how I can’t get out of the door to work without several minutes of hugs and kisses. It feels great to be loved!
Recently, I’ve also found great satisfaction in helping other fathers of twins along their twin journeys. I’ve written two books for fathers of twins, “Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins” and “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins” that have been very well received.
What activities do you like to do as a family?
As a family we like to travel and discover new things and places together. When our kids were very young, traveling with all six of us wasn’t usually the best part of the vacation, but it’s getting easier the more we do it and the older the children get. We’ve recently taken several long road trips and our kids are great travelers. We also enjoy going to local parks and playing around town.
What questions you have for the community?
When you found out you were having twins, what was your biggest concern or worry? Dads: what did you wish you knew before your twins were born?
A huge thank you to Joe for being the featured blogger this week! Be sure to leave your answer to his question in the comment section and head over to Dad’s Guide to Twins to leave some bloggy love!