Here is a question from a father of twins. He’s worried about his wife’s mental health. He says that she’s all alone with the boys while he’s at work and he knows that it’s stressful for her. And so most of the time, the boys are fine, but even then, they can be a handful. So he asks what he can do to help with his wife’s mental health.
First and foremost, make sure that you show gratitude and appreciation to your wife for the amazing job that she’s doing, and all the work that she’s doing to take care of your twins and your family, and what that means to you, and why it matters to you and your family.
Gratitude goes a long way to soothing the pains and the burdens that we carry. Definitely acknowledge the difficult tasks that she’s been doing and that she has to work through. This will make sure that she knows that she’s appreciated and that it’s not just a superficial sign of gratitude, but rather a deep understanding of the things that she’s actually doing throughout the day that are difficult. Acknowledge those things for her, and she’ll feel better for it.
Ask How You Can Help
Of course, you need to ask, how can you help with the twins and around the home? It never hurts to ask, and you just may get a long list of things that you can do that you had not considered before.
Even if asking doesn’t work so well, maybe your wife says she’s got it covered, or maybe she only gives you a short list, you need to be observant. Pay attention to what’s going on around you, in your home, and with your wife and your twins.
Look for Opportunities
Observe and then look for opportunities to serve. This will give you a good idea because you have a good foundation of seeing what’s happening, and then you can know where the gaps may be, or where opportunities arise that you can serve your wife and your kids.
Give Mom a Break
I definitely recommend that you give mom a break because if she’s with the twins all the time while you’re at work, by the end of your work day, she’s exhausted as well. So you may want to consider helping her take time off. Maybe you take a day off of work and you take the twins, or you allow her to go out for the evening with some friends, so that she can get time away and to relax and rejuvenate.
Remember that when you’re home from the office, you are on duty as a father of twins. And you need to be Johnny-on-the-spot, helping everywhere in any way that you can. This will definitely alleviate mom’s burden because she will know that when you’re home, you can be trusted and relied upon to assist her and ease her burden.
I recommend that you have regular checkups with your wife on the state of your family and of the twins. This way, you can discuss openly concerns that you may have about the twins, issues that they may be struggling with, or challenges that you’re seeing, and how you can tackle those together as a couple and as a team.
Always be open and transparent in your feelings, in your thoughts with each other. This will encourage an open dialogue between you and your spouse, so that you can raise your twins effectively.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 69: Equality, Helping Mom’s Mental Health, Day Care. Picture by Joe Goldberg.