Becoming a Father of Five in Under 13 Months with Philipp Hartmann – Podcast 209

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - October 22, 2020

Becoming a Father of Five in Under 13 Months

Episode 209 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

Today we continue our father of twins interview series with Philipp Hartmann, father of fraternal twin girls and triplets! Listen as we explore his twin parenting journey, including:

  • Having only 10 days to get ready for adopted infant twins
  • Discovering they were pregnant with triplets
  • The twins’ reaction to having mom in the hospital
  • The twins’ response to the triplets coming home
  • Challenges of giving individual time to each child
  • Ways to schedule date nights and time away with your partner
  • Tips for managing twins
  • Finding a night nurse you can trust
  • Managing grandparent visits

Connect with Philipp:

Transcript

Joe 0:00
Imagine you only had 10 days to get ready for your twins. And then imagine that about six months after you brought the twins home, you found out that you’re having triplets. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Philipp Hartmann, fellow father of twins that we’re interviewing today on the show.

Intro Guy 0:17
Welcome to the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast, the podcast that’ll help you survive and thrive as a father of twins Now, here’s your host, the author of the book, the “Dad’s Guide to Twins”, Joe Rawlinson.

Joe 0:31
Hey everybody, and welcome to the Dad’s Guide To Twins Podcast episode number 209. My name is Joe Rawlinson. As always you can find me on the web at twindadpodcast.com. We will find the complete show notes and transcript for this episode and all previous podcast episodes. Today we are continuing our father of twins interview series with fellow twin dad, Philipp Hartmann. But not only does he have twins, but he also has triplets. So stay tuned for his amazing story. Today’s show is brought to you by my second book for fathers of twins.

It’s called “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins“. You can learn more about this book and get a copy for yourself at raisingtwinsbook.com. Let’s jump right into the interview with Philipp. Today I’d like to welcome to the show fellow father of twins and triplets Philipp Hartmann. Welcome to the show, Philipp.

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Philipp 1:17
Hey, Joe. Thank you for having me.

Joe 1:19
So Philipp, I mentioned twins, I mentioned triplets. It’s not as it’s not a very common situation to have twins and triplets. So tell us about your family situation right now. How old are your kids?

Philipp 1:28
So the girls are four and a half and they the twins and then the triplets are almost three. So they are actually the unraveling here. They’re not quite a year and a half apart. So we had twins and triplets under the age of two within 13 months from having zero.

(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)

Joe 1:47
Okay, that’s quite the accelerated ramp up to fatherhood. The twins came first. So tell me about your family situation when the twins came into your life.

Philipp 1:56
So we had been trying to fall pregnant for a long time and then. My wife actually failed pregnant and didn’t work. And that was hugely traumatic. And we had signed up for kangaroo parenting for that we had actually forgotten about this because she was pregnant and it didn’t work. And it’s just like, Okay. And they called us shortly after. And they said, Well, you know, that the agency that organizes this, they called us and they said, Well, we have the situation. Are you still interested? And we were like, yeah, and, but they’re twins. And obviously there, they don’t separate them. And they need to, they need to get out of here in this hospital within a week, they are six months. So we went there and we visited and now we knew then is there these two babies? They’re so cute. And we’re like, Okay, how can we say no, you know, so we looked literally, within a week. I was a dad of twins.

Joe 2:45
Wow. So you got the notice. And then a week later, you’re bringing the twins home.

Philipp 2:49
My wife is a superstar. She organized everything within a weekend and they were here and then, you know, we were like, okay, you know, took us 10 million years to fall pregnant the first time so we’re just going to keep on trying and you know, eventually we’ll have a third one. And then we’re three kids. And that’s great. And then of course, within six months, my wife was pregnant with triplets.

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Joe 3:07
Wow. That was a surprise. I’d assume since you had had trouble having kids before. So the news of triplets was quite a shock.

Philipp 3:14
It was Yeah. I mean, it was very stressful for me, actually, the experience was super traumatic, which is also why I started this whole project you can talk about later, you know, the first time it didn’t work. And then the first thing the doctor said to us was like, you can ever reduction which is a rude way of saying abortion. And, you know, he was just saying, it’s very complicated. It’s a high risk pregnancy, this and this, and I was like, just seeing people dying, left, right and center. And, you know, from my perspective, what I just realized, I just find this not enough stuff out there for dads. There’s very little quality content for dads. There’s a lot of stuff for moms, which is great, no problem, no problems. Just there’s nothing for dads, and that’s why I started the podcast also because, you know, speaking to other dads like you, I think we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

Joe 4:01
Absolutely and your podcast is called the being dad podcast.

Philipp 4:04
And that’s the logo the podcast is found under dadicated.com. So like dedication but with an A dadicated.com

(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)

Joe 4:11
The reason you started your podcast is the same reason I started mine and my website was when we found out we’re having twins, I went looking for information. And everything, like you said was for moms by moms, which is you know, fine for the ladies. But dads have unique perspectives and needs and responsibilities. And there just was nothing really out there. That’s why I started Dad’s Guide to Twins. So I’m glad you’re on a very similar mission to help dads in our in our fatherhood journey. That’s awesome.

Philipp 4:38
Yeah, and you know, I get awesome feedback I’m sure you get the same people are really thankful for and and moms by the way, also for like you said, these these unique perspectives because fathers have different questions and experiences. It’s not a competition. It’s really just to get both perspectives in and from fathers for fathers. That’s really where the value lies. And I think

Joe 5:00
Absolutely. It’s like you have a friend or a mentor, a virtual friend or mentor that you can turn to, to get advice, regardless of where you are in the world, like you and I are speaking on opposite ends of the world. And we have a unique fatherhood bond, which is it was great. So you brought home the twins, the girls, were they identical or fraternal?

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Philipp 5:19
No, they’re not identical.

Joe 5:21
And how old were they when you brought them home?

Philipp 5:23
There was six months. So you know, when my wife had to go to hospital, I had these not even quite yet one and a half year old babies that added to the whole interesting situation. I’m trying to juggle the company not go bankrupt in the meantime on the side and, you know, drive to hospital and support her. She basically had to go the six months or something, not she had to go earlier. And then the babies came 10 and a half weeks early, so they were NICU for 10 weeks. That was quite stressful too. So yeah, I do think there’s a need for that to share knowledge and experience and to support each other in that way.

Joe 5:57
So your home with the twins when your wife had to go into bed rest into the hospital. You mentioned work and and family. How were you able to balance those things when your wife was at the hospital?

Philipp 6:10
Yeah, I think there wasn’t really much balance. It was a lot of hours. And I was just very lucky and very lucky that my business partner Stephen kind of took over, you know, I was working like from in the car driving to hospital as a one and a half hour drive from where we live. And because we had to choose a hospital with a very good NICU because it was obvious that the kids needed special care or attention. And you know, so it was an hour and a half drive each way In the beginning was the twins that gave me time to phone and you know, and try and organize stuff on the phone and eventually the twins were in a not allowed to come anymore because they didn’t know what was going on. You know, they were freaking out so they couldn’t speak and you know, adoption starts with with trauma really or with loss so they were like, okay, next mommy’s leaving us kind of scenario. So every time we went into hospital, they would just turn around and scream and my wife obviously was super hurt, you know, she’s like, okay, you don’t just don’t bring them anymore. You know, they don’t understand they don’t know I’m not coming home with them and it’s just traumatic. So, you know, eventually I drove on my own so I could work a bit more. But really it was there was no balance.

(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)

Joe 7:17
So that time when your wife was on bed rest and the time that the triplets were in the NICU, was a period where your twins had this kind of anxiety and fear about what was going to happen when you finally were able to bring the triplets home. How were they received by their older sisters?

Philipp 7:35
Super nice, actually.  And they’ve always been nice together. They’ve always been playing well together. They’re very cute with each other. One of my daughters, I think struggles a bit more with the whole dynamics because these children are very much the same age and I think they feel a lot of competition for attention, because literally we always outnumbered, right? And I think it’s a different scenario – We were also five children when I grew up – It’s a different scenario when you’re 14, and then your youngest sibling is two, because you have totally different interests, you are independent, and the baby does whatever the baby does. But with us, if I want to take one child, and I want to remove it, or her and or him and go for a walk, everybody always wants to come. And so the twins are receiving the babies really, really well. They’re all nice together, you know, but I do think it’s a competitive kind of scenario that we do have.

Joe 8:31
So how are you able to make one on one time with each of your children? Or is that even possible?

Philipp 8:38
It’s a very good one. It’s possible, I schedule it in so I literally put it in the calendar. And I try to remember which child was last and I do one hour, and it doesn’t really matter what we do, you know, we will eat a cake or rub the goats here on the farm next door or walk up the mountain. It’s just the me-time and I can see that the babies – Well, they’re not babies anymore – But the triplets as well as the twins are completely different when I’m with them alone. They don’t compete or they don’t have to compete. They know it’s their time and they’re totally immersed in it. It’s super nice. But I have to say it’s difficult. It’s five hours, at least. And so a lot of it is obviously done on the weekend. But I do do some of it in the week because I work from home. So it’s possible to schedule my time.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Joe 9:26
Does your wife also take one on one time with each of the kids?

Philipp 9:29
Yeah, she does.

Joe 9:31
That’s great. I know that when I’ve been able to spend one on one time with each of my kids as well, I’ve seen a definitely improvement in our relationship and the bond we have together. And like you say, it doesn’t have to be a complicated time together or something really fancy it can just be dedicated time together that they know is theirs, and that’s extremely important to them and then do whatever comes naturally do whatever they want to work on. And it becomes a very cherished ritual for them to have.

Philipp 9:59
Have you ritualized The whole experience I mean, what do you just say? Okay, now, tomorrow we go, now we go, how do you do that?

Joe 10:07
We’ve gone through, I guess, different phases. I used to have a dedicated, like daddy lunch where I would come home from work and take one of the kids out to lunch. The last five years or so I’ve been working on the house, so that dynamic has changed. One thing that my wife and I have done is, we’ll have what we call a date night. So my wife and I, we’ll take one of the kids so it’s both parents together with one the children will go do something, and that we’ve kind of ritualized lately. Now that our kids are older our youngest – our twins are now 11 – They can kind of plan what they want to do. And so that’s kind of fun to see what they come up with what they want to do. And then we have a night on the calendar, just like you said, it’s important to schedule these things. And we go do something together if it’s a go out for a treat or play games or watch a movie or whatever it’s going to be and that’s something that if we let it slip if we forget about that, they definitely remind us they want that time and they know for them, and so they keep us on our toes.

Philipp 11:03
I love that. We also have date night, but just the two of us. Do you also do date nights for parents away weekends, just the two of you?

Joe 11:12
We do. That’s sometimes we’re challenging whenever we talk about going off by ourselves it’s like, “What do we do with the kids?” My wife and I, we both work out of the house. And so now that our kids are all in school, we can go out, you know, go out for lunch during the day, that’s usually the best time to spend time together. We have taken occasional trips away. Maybe we can recruit to the grandparents to come stay with the kids. Or we’ve hired like a college age young woman like a babysitter to come stay with them for a few days. But the first question is always “Who’s gonna watch the kids?” when we talk about having to get away somewhere.

Philipp 11:46
Yeah, but I mean, do you have to systematize that kind of stuff, I believe, you know, it’s also with us. It’s in the calendar and we do it once a month that we go away for one night, and we try to do one day at night, just the two of us once a week. That sometimes does get skipped. The night away, I usually drive it. And I’m responsible for organizing. And if you know if you don’t do it once, and you don’t do it twice, and suddenly you haven’t done to three months, eventually, you know, and that’s a problem, so it must be done otherwise you always just parents and you’re never a couple.

Joe 12:19
That’s right. Because you started out as a couple, it was just the two of us, right? And then you have to maintain that friendship and that relationship through children because eventually the kids grow up and they leave the house. And it’s back to just the two of you again, and you still have to, you know, nurture that, love and respect for each other over time.

Philipp 12:37
Yeah, that and also something. A very interesting dad on my podcast told me was that in his mind, and I agree with him, the parents always come first to the parents relationship has to come first. Because the parents relationship is the foundation for the family, so to speak. And if there’s no relationship that doesn’t hurt the children, neither you know. So it’s important to invest in that relationship in dedicated time.

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Joe 13:01
I agree, because the children are looking at us as parents, as dad as mom, to see how do we interact with each other, because they’re going to start mimicking that behavior. So I agree and the parents are the foundation of the family, and the kids are going to follow that; whatever example we’re showing whatever path we’re putting out in front of them. If mom and dad – the parents relationship is not stable or not healthy, then that’s going to affect the children.

Philipp 13:24
Do you also have a situation where the twins always want to do everything together? So if I want to take one of the twins, they will always say, but also take my other twin. Do you have the same or do they stop that eventually when they get older,

Joe 13:36
When they were younger, it was definitely the case. But now they’re old enough to realize that, okay, now it’s my sister’s turn to do something with dad. And I’m going to get a turn next. So now as they’ve gotten older, they’ve been able to have more patience and wait for their turn. They’ve also started to have more diverse interests. And so maybe one of the twins doesn’t want to do what the other twin is doing and so she’s fine just to let her sister go do that activity.

Philipp 14:02
Yeah, I mean, eventually they find their own stuff to do and tell me what are the 10 best twin hacks that that other twin that have told you about?

Joe 14:11
So one thing, as you have realized is that, I guess there’s limited downtime for parents when you’ve got twins are multiples. So first of all, is accepting the fact that you’re going to have to let some things go they used to do before twins before multiples; some of your schedule, or your hobbies or your interests. Those things may have to be put on temporary hold until your kids get a little bit older. And you can work those things back into the schedule. Because most of your time in those early months in early years is heavily focused on childcare, and just the logistics of that. As the kids get older, then they become more self sufficient. As you’re seeing three and four, I mean, now they can feed themselves, they’re probably potty trained, they can go to the restroom, the bathroom, and they just get older and older and they can do more and more things that they couldn’t do before. And that’s less and less things that mom and dad have to do for them. So in those early months with twins, which now your past with so many of our listeners are still in that phase is, it’s okay to ask for help from other people, if it’s a family member, or getting a babysitter, or friends to come over and help just so you can get a break. So you can get an hour wave with your wife, you know, get out of the house, or we talked about a little bit already is making sure that you give individual attention to each of the children. It’s so easy with twins and multiples to by default kind of group them together. Even how you refer to them; like you call them the twins – We call them the “girls” – No, they’re actually each individual’s and that constant struggle to make sure that you’re not assuming they both have the same needs or interests, but you’re finding out what that actually is. So you can tailor your parenting to meet those needs. I think in the first year or two, it’s okay to get – I mentioned helpers like people – But you can also use baby gear. If it’s a swing or a bouncer or a stroller or anything that can help you physically occupy, or take care of one of the kids while you’re feeding the other or changing the other helping other get dressed, that’s okay. And often when you’re by yourself with the twins, you feel like you have to take care of both of them immediately at the same time. And the reality is that they can take turns, there’s always one that has a slightly greater need than the other. Maybe they’re crying more loudly than the other or they’re more fussy than the other or more uncomfortable than the other. Start with that twin, help them suit them and then take care of the next twin because physically, sometimes you can’t do it all. You can’t do it all at the same time. They have to take turns. And if your twins are crying, it’s not indicating that you are a bad father or a bad parent. That’s just how they communicate at that time.

Philipp 16:42
Yeah, and they can’t regulate so it can be quite stressful, I think. For us, I mean, if all five start screaming which happens, you know, you’re like “OK, what must I do?” You know, you can’t do anything, especially if you’re alone. And the one thing I might add to your list is definitely definitely if you can, even if it’s just once in night, or once a week, get a night nurse and protect the assets. So if you get sleep, it makes such a big difference. Just one night of sleep or two nights. I mean, we because we live in South Africa luckily we able to afford this and in Germany – I’m German – Germany would have never ever been possible. We still have a night nurse you know. And the triplets are almost three but it’s been a lifesaver. We had five babies. So it’s that’s not physically possible. Now the twins are sleeping, and the triplets are starting to sleep through. But night nurse is the biggest game changer.

Joe 17:32
That’s a wonderful point. When we had our twins, we had somebody staying with us it was family, a grandparents, a brother. So like their aunts and uncles came or a dear friend of our family came and stayed with us for a few weeks. And we took turns just like a nurse would take you know. And so we knew that in our case every three nights, we could get a full night’s sleep because that was our night to sleep. That was a game changer. Like you said. You don’t think about it too much until you don’t get any sleep and then you realize how important it actually is, to the quality of your life.

Philipp 18:03
It’s hard for everybody you know, and I think we definitely wouldn’t have a relationship anymore. If we hadn’t had a night nurse, you know, it’s super hard also in the relationship because we become grumpy, and you just can’t operate. You know, if you have twins or triplets, someone’s gonna wake up for sure. Once at least, twins wake up, maybe twice. That means you’re woken up four times a night, if you can even sleep. So that means you’re basically not sleeping the whole night.

Joe 18:28
So you mentioned earlier that you at least once a month to try to do a night away with your wife is the same person the Night Nurse, the one that takes care of the kids while you’re away?

Philipp 18:36
Yes, so she’s been there since day one. So since the triplets arrived. Her name is Happy, she’s really really amazing. So she’s like a second mother to the kids, you know, also to the twins.

Joe 18:47
How were you able to find someone that you could trust with your children in your home?

Philipp 18:51
It was stressful. Hey, we had one. At one stage literally, who in the beginning, like in the very beginning, we went to an agency that’s also how we found Happy and the one night nurse within the beginning, took initiative to feed the children and iron medicine kind of, and she fed them 10 times the amount that she was supposed to because she didn’t read the thing. Well, I don’t know if she can read, I don’t know what she did. And if it would have been a different medicine, they would have been dead. And that was really, really stressful for us, because we like, we can’t do this alone. We need someone to help us but we can’t rely on anybody here. And my parents and Vanessa’s parents live in Germany. So it wasn’t really an option to ask them to stay overnight, you know, so we were dependent on hiring someone. So we were super lucky to find Happy but we found her through an agency and then but it wasn’t easy.

Joe 19:41
Let’s talk about how you’ve been able to involve your family, your parents, your wife’s family, been so far away from home.

Philipp 19:47
We go home to Munich. My wife’s was from Munich for three months of the year with everybody and we stay there. So that’s amazing because the kids can see how we grew up and see our family and meet our family and be with them. And then Vanessa’s parents usually stay with us in Cape Town for three months of the year. It’s summer here when it’s winter there, so that’s amazing for them. And they usually come in Christmas and the next day January in February and then the house next door is a holiday home so they literally stay next door, but not in the space. And we’ve been doing that I believe since the triplets came for three years this the third year

Joe 20:22
That’s a great arrangement. You mentioned not having your parents or your in-laws in the same space as you. I know that that’s been a challenge for us, balancing getting time with the grandparents. But maybe not getting too much time with the grandparents. How have you been able to navigate that – setting expectations with the grandparents of when they can be over?

Philipp 20:43
You have to be vocal I believe you have to say what you think and what you want. Because if you have a situation we’ve got a lot of kids even if they even closely together age wise, there’s always someone in your space. You know, there’s the helper or there’s maid or there’s the night nurse, or a granny comes and everybody means well, but sometimes it can just be overwhelming. And the next person walks in, you know, with like this very strong scent, and then we perfume and not a whole baby smells and, you know, it’s like it’s just invasive. And then you have to say, you know, you need to space or you need to leave. Sometimes it’s easier to also leave, but you need to manage it. I think you need to manage it.

Joe 21:25
So you mentioned traveling back home to Germany. Once a year, How have your children traveled being so young?

Philipp 21:31
And I mean, they do puke in the plane and it’s all you know, they have like three outfits. Lufthansa is very happy when they see us at the airport because they know. But actually, it’s quite fun and people have been really good. You know, in like the first flight I was a little bit not scared, but we like our you know, everyone’s gonna be so annoyed because all the babies are screaming, but they’re really good. You know, the older ones, they watch a movie, and then the younger ones eventually fall asleep. Again charter is these. I don’t know if you know them but you get these cushions that you can blow up and you put them into where the feet go, and literally you extending the seat out completely, so there’s no gap. So they can literally lie on the chair with the cushion in front of them and they can’t fall into the foot rest or foot space there. And that’s a good one. You can buy them online. And otherwise it’s just make sure you’ve got snacks, make sure you’ve got clothing to change and get on with it.

Joe 22:24
Is there a direct flight from where you are up to Germany?

Philipp 22:28
Yeah, there is a Cape Town-Munich actually even.

Joe 22:31
Oh, perfect. I know one of the challenges of flying with kids in general is when you have to change planes at some random airport, and it complicates things even more. So that’s great. You can just get on the plane, go and land and then you’re there.

Philipp 22:44
Yeah, we had that once we had to fly to Frankfurt and then went to change plans to Munich and it was like a very short window. And the prams didn’t arrive and we’ve got this trolley thing where you can put all the kids in and the suitcases and stuff and it was quite interesting to say the least.

Joe 22:59
Did You make your connection.

Philipp 23:01
We did make it but literally by a minute we had sat down like a minute before that. To miss the plane with five babies, second Frankfurt and not trying to get a rental car or finding a train to Munich or something – disaster. Luckily we made it.

Joe 23:16
Yeah, especially when they’re so young and you may be carrying them or pushing them, like you said in the pram, you’ve got all of their supplies with you. And so you’re running through the airport physically exhausted. You get on the plane, you’re just totally tired and you still have to get the kids settled in their seats, get everybody buckled in and ready to go. For that reason, I’m glad my kids are older now that they can do that stuff by themselves. But when they were younger, and we traveled It was like you say it was quite the adventure.

Philipp 23:39
Did you have tricks to get them to do more stuff themselves faster, maybe then singletons or other kids because obviously with multiples, that’s a huge help.

Joe 23:49
So one thing with our twins was when we saw one of the twins doing something that we liked, or that we wanted them to do – a positive behavior, we would focus on encouraging that behavior. So if it was – when they’re really young, maybe just even crawling or walking or later going to the bathroom by themselves. And what we found was that there would be some positive peer pressure between the two of them, where if one of them was doing something, and they were getting mom and dad’s attention, the other twin would want to do that same thing. And so they would kind of learn from each other, which was good, if the first one did something right the first time, the other twin would copy that. So we had to be careful to quickly maybe correct behavior if one of them was doing something wrong, because the other twin would want to do the same thing. So that peer pressure still works today. And like I mentioned, our girls are 11, and we can still pull out that concept on them. We just praise them, show them gratitude for whatever they’re doing. Maybe it’s they’re doing their homework, or maybe they’re doing their chores around the house and the other twin still, you think they’d be old enough to realize what we were doing? But they’re still like, Oh, yeah, I’m gonna go do that too, right now. So it’s a timeless principle that’s worked great for us. So Philipp, tell us a little bit about your podcast and what your mission is there with your dads that you’ve been talking to.

Philipp 24:55
Yeah, thanks for bringing up it’s a dear topic to me. So like I said, you know, the whole journey of becoming a dad for me was difficult. Now it’s fine and I love it, man. It’s amazing. But like I said, I’ve just found there wasn’t enough inspirational content or support in terms of content for myself. And so my mission is to empower dads with the aim of facilitating family success. And I tried to do that by speaking to unique fathers with a unique story who also obviously mentally apply themselves. It’s not enough to just because you have triplets it’s not interesting. If you’re actually into being a dad, and you’ve actually applied yourself you probably have an interesting story to tell. And I believe that if we can impact on fathers, we can obviously make the world a better place because family is the smallest unit and how we can organize society. So impacting on fathers impacts on families and that impacts on society.

So the dads that I speak to are across the whole world, different dads everywhere from Thailand, from the States from Germany, from Hong Kong, from South Africa; all kinds of people so far. And they are also all kinds of professions and people in terms of mindset. So they’ve been athletes, they’ve been some world champions, for instance, Jamie Mitchell, or Florian Jung he’s German he’s one of the most progressive windsurfers in the world. But there’s also like just very interesting stories. For instance, Walter Lee, he’s an entrepreneur from Thailand. And he has a son who’s got only one arm so he’s got only got one functional limb and he was born like that as a surprise. I don’t know how that’s possible but some how at the hospital the they went to the scans and everything but they didn’t pick it up. So when he came out Sai, Sai is the son’s name, day came out, they hadn’t prepared for this, you know, and and he just tells a story on how this was and all the stuff that came out of it and super inspirational, you know, because he started a foundation where he wants to impact 10 million children and he’s like making good progress. He managed to involve the royal family of Thailand which is a big thing if you know the prince in the king in times, obviously super important and everybody loves them. And you know, he’s just inspirational, but he managed to get his son to walk obviously on prosthesis. This with by the age of two, which everybody deemed impossible, and he doesn’t do this in his energy as an entrepreneur, but he does this in his energy as a father, and as a dad. And that’s why it’s so unique and inspirational. Because of this love for this child, he manages to pull up all these things. And by the age of nine, they walked up Mount Kilimanjaro. So Sai was the youngest, differently abled child ever to summit Mount Kilimanjaro at that stage, I don’t know if that records been broken. And so he continues to do that. So now they walk up mountains with other differently abled children to kind of create awareness for the situation. And yeah, the stories are totally diverse. It’s never a dull to speak interview style. I guess it’s kind of similar than this. That’s more like a conversation and it’s always experiences so we don’t ever go are you must read this book and so and so said this. So said this was always personal experiences. I’ve had some specialists I should say in the field. So for instance, John Gray who wrote men are from Mars, women are from Venus. He was very interesting. So he talked a bit more from his perspective as an author and a writer and a specialist and about hormones and that not so much as a dad, although he did share a little bit. And actually, just last week, I interviewed Warren Farrell, who wrote the boy crisis. Amazing, amazing book. So then it’s also some specialist knowledge, I guess. But it’s mainly own experiences. Anybody who’s keen, it’s called dadicated.com.

Joe 28:43
Dadicated.com, and I’ll link up to that in the show notes for the podcast today for listeners to check out. So Philip, one more thing I want to talk about before we close and that is you are a surfer. That right?

Philipp 28:53
I am.

Joe 28:54
So I want to hear about how you balance this fun hobby that you have with fatherhood. And how do you involve your kids in that if you do it all.

Philipp 29:02
Not yet, I mean, South Africa or Cape Town, rather, I should say is is quite harsh in terms of conditions of the water is literally 14 degrees Celsius. It’s very cold. And you know, for two year old, that’s literally not fun. But I have to admit surfing is one of those things that you mentioned earlier. You know, it’s the hobby that really had to take a backseat and I don’t surf so much anymore. I used to be surfing all the time, all the time, maybe once a day. And now I’ve surfed maybe the last two years I’ve surfed maybe, I don’t know, 20 times, not much. So what I’ve kind of reverted to was, I’ve scheduled training with a personal trainer three times a week, and that’s one hour and it’s easy. So that’s maybe what’s a good tip for people who suddenly time strapped I’ve got a soccer and I will do the same with tennis. We have a set period and you know it’s on and you can play and you don’t have to be dependent on conditions and wind and water and and and weather and way of conditions and this and this. You could just go into the exercise, so I’ve kind of swapped over to that more. I do miss it, man, I do miss the surf.

Joe 30:07
So do you have plans to get back into that more as your children get older?

Philipp 30:10
Yeah, in fact, yeah, I went today. And I actually three days ago, I decided I want to go twice a week. So that would be eight times a month. That’s awesome.

Joe 30:20
That is awesome. And that that pattern that you’re describing, I think is great for the dads that are listening to us today is that, like we talked about, it’s okay to put a hobby, maybe on the shelf for a little while. But gradually, you can pick that back up as your kids get older. So sometimes we feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We’re just completely bogged down with being a dad or parent. But things do get easier as your children get older, and you can start reincorporating those activities that you used to love back again, you’re a great example of doing that right now.

Philipp 30:47
Thank you. That’s important.

Joe 30:49
So Philipp, as we wrap up today, if listeners want to connect with you and get and get a hold of you, what’s the best way to connect?

Philipp 30:54
So I think the easiest way would probably be on LinkedIn. You’ll find me on linkedin.com/in/philipphartmann2, I think but you can just google it dadicated and Philipp Hartmann and otherwise by the podcast.

Joe 31:06
Excellent. And I’ll link up to all that in the show notes for the podcast today. Over at twindadpodcast.com. Thank you again, Philipp for spending time with me and sharing your parenting and fatherhood adventure.

Philipp 31:15
Thank you, Joe. It was really fun. Thank you.

Joe 31:17
I hope you enjoy that chat with Philipp about his experience as a twin dad as a triplet dad, and as a father. How he’s overcome some of those parenting challenges and how he’s navigated having such a very young children all at the same time, keeping that relationship strong with each of them and his wife along the way. If you want to connect with Philipp, I’ve linked up to all of his information over on the podcast show notes over at twindadpodcast.com.

Once again, today’s show is brought to you by my book, dad’s guide to raising twins and to thrive as a father of twins. You can get your own copy of this book over at raising twins book.com

If you would like to share your twin story on the podcast, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out to me, drop me an email [email protected] or connect with me on Instagram or Twitter @twindadjoe. I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time.

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