Benjamin, a first time father of twins, asks, “What should I expect?”
Now, Benjamin, this is a big question for any first time father of twins, especially when they are your first children. The overall theme of the first several months of twins is sleep deprivation and definitely all hands on deck for caring for the twins.
Both you and your wife will be fully engaged in feeding, caring for, and helping to sleep your twin infants. It will be completely exhausting and, at the same time, an amazing adventure.
The Adventure of a First Time Father of Twins
You’ll learn something new everyday. You’ll be fascinated by the similarities and differences of your twins. It’s just a wonderful journey that you’re on. But at the same time, you are completely wasted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. So it’s kind of like a roller-coaster.
Another thing to consider is that you and your spouse are in it together. You can’t just abdicate all the responsibilities to your wife and neither can she to you. You are a team. Any free time that you may have had before now becomes family time and taking-care-of-the-twins time. So you can definitely show your love for your wife by stepping up and serving her and the twins, through changing diapers, helping to wash bottles, doing laundry, helping feed the babies, etc.
Making it Easier
Those first several months are completely overwhelming but it will get easier. I cannot recommend highly enough that you get somebody to come and help you, family, friends, neighbors, whoever offers, whoever says, “Is there anything I can do to help you?” or “If there is ever anything you need, let me know,” well, you need help, and you need to ask them for help. They can help come over and hold the babies or feed the babies. And if they really love you, they’ll spend the night at your house and watch the babies while you get a full night’s sleep.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
Your Non-Twin Life
Another thing to consider before entering the first several months, probably the first year, is that you’re probably going to need to quit your hobbies or your fun personal activities and maybe even seeing your friends. Sorry, that’s just kind of the reality of the first several months of twins. Any hours that you’re not working or taking care of the twins, you’re probably going to be sleeping. You may need to reset expectations with those with whom you associate that this is going to be the reality of your social life and hobby life for the next several months.
Remember also that things can wait. Your first inclination when you find out you’re having twins is that you need to buy a bunch of stuff. You need to upgrade everything, your car, your house, etc. And the reality is that many of those things can wait. And so wait till your twins get here. If there’s even a little bit of space in your car or in your apartment or in your house, wait to see what the reality is before you go and move and change a whole bunch of stuff.
Now, this may sound kind of dreary, that there’s a lot of things to worry about and be concerned about when you are a first time father of twins. And the reality is that it is very difficult to raise twins in those early months. That’s just the truth. However, it is an amazing journey, and you’re going to do great. I do talk about more of the realities of the infant stages of twins in my new book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.
This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 83: Baby Gear You Don’t Need, First-Time Dad Expectations, Breastfeeding NICU Twin.