This question comes from Michael. He asks, “What are some things that I can do for my wife to help her relax, to help her feel and know that I am useful and that I will be here? I would like to take care of her as much as possible without her having to ask.”
Well, Michael, this is a great attitude to have as an expectant father of twins, that you want to take care of your wife. You’re looking for ways to help her and the family. This is going to set you up great for the rest of the pregnancy and when the twins arrive. Taking care of your wife will be a huge relief to her.
Giving Your Wife Some Rest
I always told my wife that since she was pregnant, she was working even when she wasn’t doing anything. Her body was constantly working to nourish and care for those twins inside her, even if she was just lying down on the couch and resting. So I understood that there had to be time for her to relax and time for her to rest, time for her to put her feet up. Ultimately, that was semi-formalized with some bed rest later in the pregnancy for us.
So what you can do is make a mental note of everything that your wife does around the house, and try to do it before she can. When a particular chore or task comes up, make sure she takes the time to put her feet up and rest.
So if you’re going to do the dishes, for example, make sure that she’s not standing there next to you doing the dishes. Make sure she’s got her feet up and is relaxing and drinking some water in the living room while you take care of the dishes.
Now, after the twins arrive, a big thing that you can do to help is to take turns with the night shift. But in general, always be available to help your wife when the need arises. This could be before work, or after work when you get home. Or if you can adjust your schedule as needed to even be home during the day, especially in those newborn weeks with the twins. Frankly, you’ll both be needed to care for the twins, so there will be limited time to relax in those early months. This means that during the pregnancy you may have to work extra-hard so that your wife can rest.
The only thing I loved to try to do as a father was change as many diapers as I could while my wife was recovering from her C-section. I also tried to handle all the baby baths, especially if your wife is going to be recovering from a C-section, which is possible with a twin delivery. She’s going to be recovering from the burdens of the pregnancy, as well as major abdominal surgery and the burdens of taking care of the twins as newborns at home. In short, anything you can do to relieve that burden will be huge. So if she doesn’t have to get up to change a diaper and you can take care of that, awesome. If you can take care of the baby baths, wonderful.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
Now, if there are certain things that you can always handle, that will be a huge relief for mom. So if she knows that you’re always going to handle diaper changes, or the first feeding every night so she can go to bed, she’ll be happy. If there’s something that’s reliable and that she can always count on, that will be an awesome way to help your wife.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 42: Separate Twin Bedrooms, Being a Useful Husband, Twins as Friends.
Picture by Nate Grigg