Episode 219 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes
Today we continue our father of twins interview series with Ned W. Schaut, father of five including boy/girl twins! Listen as we explore his twin parenting journey, including:
- Having twins when they already had two super young children
- When twins are born on dad’s birthday
- One twin broke her collarbone during birth
- Bonding with a newborn while still in the hospital
- Having another child after twins
- Importance of having a mentor as a father
- Having children so close together
- How to keep the family relationships strong
- Tips on traveling with a large family
Connect with Ned Schaut:
(Auto-generated – please forgive any typos)
Today we are continuing our father twins interview series with Father of five, Ned Schaut.
Today’s show is brought to you by my book, “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins”. This is an essential guidebook that you need to guide you from infants to toddlers and beyond. RaisingTwinsBook.com
Today on the show we’re chatting with fellow father of twins, father of five and fellow author, Ned Schaut. Welcome to the show, Ned.
Hey Joe thanks so much for having me.
Awesome. So you are a father of fraternal twins. Twins, but they were not your first children. So tell us a little bit about your family situation.
Yeah, so it was a pretty funny day. Well first off yeah we had a four month old when we found out, so we were not planning to have anymore, but you know one thing led to another and well, we were, we were pregnant again. And I remember being in the, in the room where we you know we got to go in and we’re doing an ultrasound, that the nurse had said, there’s one heartbeat. And like as soon as those words came out of her mouth. My wife and I looked at each other because we were already you know we had a four month old and we had a one year old. We’re already going no way. So we looked at each other and we just burst into laughter, it was just like a joyous moment of like. So then when the twins were born, Brooklyn was three years, four months. So we had three girls, and a boy. They were born on my birthday, which is Fourth of July. So, it was like that was, that was pretty rad.
So did you know that was gonna be the day or was that just when they decided to come?
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That’s just when they decided to come, you know, I, they were their due date was well my wife went 38 weeks and I think for twins is 36 weeks is like a full term so she went 38 weeks, but we had got to the hospital like as it started getting closer to the fourth, which has just been such a fun birthday my whole life as it started getting closer there’s this whole, like, will this happen, that would be super rad. If they got to share a birthday with me. I remember getting to the hospital at around 9:30 10 o’clock at night on the third, and she was ready to go. And we were telling them nurses, hold them in there, pull them in there, we, we don’t want to be born on the third, you know, on them for the fourth thing of course you know they’re saying well we’ll do you know we’ll do we can it’s up to them. And lo and behold Brody was born at 1:02 and Presley was born at 1:04. So he will hang out over her head forever that he’s two minutes older, but we’ve got the twins on the fourth definitely the best birthday present. It was pretty, pretty cool. That’s awesome.
So speaking of birthdays, how do you celebrate your birthday and their birthdays together, separate on that day, how does it work?
How do we do it? I think it’s probably my wife’s least favorite day. As far as the amount that she does you know because she wants us all to be happy. I’m of the mindset of, hey you guys it’s your birthday your, you know, and my twins are so sweet to me, my son especially like what do you want Dad, What do you want to do because right now. There’s, we’re limited on what we can do for this fourth of July cuz there’s not a lot of firework shows and things going on where we’re at. Usually, it looks like, you know, I’ll get a pecan pie that my wife makes for me. And then depending on what the twins are into now she’ll make them what they want, and then we’ll find some body of water to go play in after the parade and then we’ll do with fireworks and nobody’s working so it’s a totally rad day. But yeah, about half of our family’s birthdays.
What a great Day celebrations all day long.
Yeah, it’s fun.
Yeah My birthday is towards the end of May. Every so often it’ll fall on Memorial day and I just thought that was coolest thing as a kid because I didn’t have to go to school.
You get that every year which is fantastic.
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Every year, nobody has to work everybody wants to hang out and have a good time. So it’s a pretty good birthday. That’s why, for me growing up. It was so fun. I thought what a cool gift for them to be able to have it I don’t, I don’t need it anymore, you know, as far as like, I wasn’t bummed at all, that they were born on the same day, I was excited about it.
So, were there any complications with your twins, the pregnancy or delivery.
There probably should have been thinking about having, you know, having such little kids at the same time. But no, no bed rest. Sarah went full you know the 38 weeks. You know, we were in the operating room for the very first time because it could be complications but no c section. Presley did come out breach. So she broke her collarbone. And then she had to stay in the nick you for three days so we came home one day without her, which was a bummer so i guess i mean that that’s a complication but they didn’t say that she had to stay in the nick you because of her broken collarbone they just said that she had a traumatic birthing experience, but what was really cool about it was we were in the hospital for, you know, 24-48 hours after the Brody and Pressly were delivered and Sarah was in the room, and so I spent a lot of time in the nick you just sitting next to Presley talking to her. And so I remember that as a very sweet and special time sitting next to this little baby, who was whimpering quite a bit, you know because her collarbone I’m sure was miserable. So this little baby in her pink beanie that the you know the hospital gives you with her, her arm wrapped up. And I just talked to her. I just spent a long time talking to her. And it was cool because in our other births, you know, Sarah Moore would hold them and stuff in the room which I would too but it wasn’t that I just had the baby to myself, that was the experience at the hospital I mean in that that or that was definitely just a different experience than the other two. You know the other two. There’s just a few nurses around and it’s just this barbaric but beautiful experience of seeing this, this miracle your wife can do and you’re like, oh my, wow, to then being in the OR with multiple doctors multiple nurses, and it just, it was fast right they came two minutes apart. It was fast, it was a little wild, but uh, but it was memorable.
Did you have to do any special treatments for the collarbone or how did you take care of her when you got her home?
It heals so fast so they just pattern a onesie with it with her arm, you know, tuck tied to her body. So we got to take her home after three days, and then it just, you know, be gentle with her but it after the three days it wasn’t a big deal.
That’s huge because so many dads are afraid of breaking literally breaking their babies right like I’m gonna mishandle baby accidentally and here’s an example where your daughter broke her collarbone coming out. And it was just fine.
It was just fine. Yeah, your first kid, your first kid you walk around like, just so careful and then by your fifth kid, you know, they’ll be okay. They’re fine they’ll be okay I mean, you’re not dropping them on purpose but they will be okay.
Yeah, they’re a lot more resilient and then mom and dad are probably.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Yeah, I mean my first kid Brooklyn, I would just be laying in bed at night, and I was 22 and we had Brooklyn. And I would just go listen to her ear. Is she you know laying in bed I think oh gosh, she’s definitely not breathing anymore. Go in and put my ear down her little mouth. Okay, she’s breathing I can go back to bed. So then you get, you know, a few kids down the line and those fears go away.
Well, tell us about the decision to have another child after the twins.
I thought I’d have two kids so I just grew up with a brother, so I thought I’d have two kids. I thought I’d have kids at 28 years old, my wife, I think originally thought she have no kids, and because she didn’t have a great experience with her own mom. I should have known. God showed me a sign. I was 18 years old playing drums at church, and it was Mother’s Day, and this girl, small town small church this girl walks in the back door and I see her. And I’m just, I need to talk to that girl, so that summer we met that summer we started hanging out, and then I just knew she was the one so we got married at 21. Then on my on our one year anniversary, because our anniversary is July, 10. It was around her anniversary and my birthday July 4. She comes into our room, and she hands me this, this little case, and I’m, I’m 22 years old I’m thinking she’s giving me a bracelet. You know the size of the thing I thought it’s a bracelet so I go. Okay dude in my head I’m mentally we’re standing in our bathroom I go just be excited about it because you know she got you a bracelet, trying to pull myself up because I don’t wear jewelry and I open the box and it’s this thermometer looking thing, and I just have no clue, you know, and because we weren’t trying at the time, I was 22 she was 23, and then it hit me, man, this is a this is a pregnancy test. So that’s our journey of parenting right I meet her on Mother’s Day year into our marriage okay we’re having our first. So you know, I probably could have reacted better. You know, but that ended up you know we had our first it was amazing and then we wanted to be the normal family who has them two years apart so let’s go ahead and have another. So we get pregnant with violet have violet, and then violets four months old, we have twins. And so we go from, you know, two to four. Life is upside down, we call it the dark year I had three jobs at the time was trying to build my business. We’re getting free cheese and milk from the government, just grind and just hustling. We thought after after that year. We call it the dark year. We thought maybe we should have one more, because we want we love babies we love having babies I’d probably be the guy who has you know the 19 Kids and Counting. If I didn’t have to go to the weird van and like our kids, only wore hand me downs and I couldn’t have one on one time so that’s for me where the breakdown is so anyways, I like to spend time with my kids you know and even now, this year before COVID I had been doing every Friday morning breakfast with the kids so take a kid late to school and have breakfast with him right there that’s gonna take me five weeks to get through, through one round. So if I had you know the 20 I just take one a year out to breakfast, I don’t know, we decided let’s have one more, because we want to remember having kids is fun and we want to remember this baby thing and we got this thing down now so what’s one more.
So, and, and I’ll tell you the other reason why we had three girls and a boy, and with our brilliant math minds, the statistics were boys or some have a brother. Well, that didn’t happend, we had a fourth Girl. She’s almost eight. So we did, wait a few years, but it was, I mean it was probably the most fun year of our lives, because we had four little kids who were so excited to have a baby in house, and we were pros now. And we just enjoying the heck out of that year, and then she became a toddler.
they always go to the toddler phase.
Yeah, she’s still there at eight years old. We’re working on it.
Well they say that the toddler ages are like foreshadowing the teenage years, and I’m starting to see that with my with my kids now. Yeah, that makes sense.
Luckily I ran into one of my really good friends in the parking lot of Home Depot one Saturday when Stella was about three. And he had four older kids who were 18 to 24 or something and I was just in the parking lot kind of sharing. This is how it’s going with Stella right now and he just motivated me man you go shut that down right now, this, this and this, you’re experiencing go shut it down now before she hits Middle School. So I came home with some authority, like, hey, this isn’t just our fifth kid when she’s up at the dinner table which we would never have let her first kid do because, you know, it’s your first kid you’re trying real hard. So I came home with a vengeance and so a lot of this stuff GOT GOT nipped, but uh, yeah, she still tell you she’s the baby of the family.
How’s the relationship between all your children? Did having them together so closely impact your our relationship.
Our family’s really close. our 14 year old. She’s the one who wants to be older you know she’s the oldest she’s the first she’s kind of wanted to be more mature and not necessarily do kids stuff as well. So, last night you know my wife and I just had a rough week so just a little bit of time just to be together so our 14 year old so Stella. They went plates played some games so our family’s close and I’ll tell you, one of the things that I think has helped us be close is, we moved into a small house I built five loft beds in one room. So you walked in and it was like a summer camp, so it was a three bedroom house, and I built loft beds so they had their dresser and a little makeshift desk I made underneath the loss. My son’s was made out of skateboard decks so his was a fort and different and then the girls had. But they all shared that room. And that I think I built this really cool foundation for them at the beginning, and then we had one room just full of dressers, so we had another room that just had actually yes so we moved all the dressers into the other room so they just had a desk under their loft and their toys whatever they had, and then the big changing room and then summer camp bro, so that was cool. I think that helped us stay close.
Another couple ideas we read together, so like we’ll pick a book and read it as a family, which is fun, and I think what really set the tone for that was that book “Wonder” that I mean a lot of people might have seen the movie but the book fantastic so we’ve read as a family.
RVs, we got an RV so I kind of forced my kids to go and be stuck in the RV for a week or two every year. So you just go around and be in the old crappy family RV, which just forces us to be together. Do they fight every day, all day, they fight. But, but I think they’re close.
So you mentioned RVs. How have you enjoyed traveling as a family of five (pre COVID)? Families our sizes like you got five I’ve got four, like not everything accommodates are size family size – how do you work around that?
One, is I just have this mindset that almost anything’s possible. And I think four or five years ago I saw the writing on the wall that my kids were going to get, you know, eighth, ninth grade and they’re not going to want to hang out they’re gonna have their stuff and I kept saving for an RV I hate debt. I hate debt. I kept saving and then something would come up. And it’s funny because my parents were the ones who just put beat it into my head and debt is bad, which is fantastic to me this comment to me. You know, maybe you should just, you know, and it was almost like that one thing. Okay, I just got the okay on this. So you know went out and I got an RV, then planned a trip. since then we’ve been to Yellowstone we’ve been to Canada we’ve been to Yosemite last and a lot of national parks and the idea with that too is. It’s just less expensive than renting a hotel right because I got to get two hotel rooms, and then renting Airbnb. So a lot of times we’ll just go to a town, you know, we like to experience town so rent an Airbnb, and negotiate with them.
So here’s an example, our son. This is the first time we’ve ever so this year is the very first year we ever took our kids on an airplane, and that was in January. I had a really busy work here, and was working a lot for for quarter of last year, so I said just book a trip to Mexico. So, first time to call the kids on an airplane. That was an expense. And then we came back and our son can’t breathe very were very well, where we live. We actually had this idea we live in California to go see what it would be like and so when COVID first head before. Everything was shut down. I got this text one Friday from the school saying school and sports are closed. I called my wife and I said, Hey, when do something crazy. Let’s fly to Hawaii next week because we could get tickets for like 100 bucks apiece. And she said, Okay, let’s do it so that weekend we negotiated with people on Airbnb, because we knew that they couldn’t negotiate. And we bought one way tickets and we rented a house in Hawaii for a month and we went and just quarantined there, and then we ended up staying for one more month, because we were able to get an Airbnb for like 20%, and that’s something just as a little side trick, you could go to where places I mean, this was clearly because of COVID, but you could go to places where it’s the logo or offseason. So go to the offseason somewhere and message people on Airbnb and try to get their places for cheaper because in the offseason they’re not rented. So, a little trick of big family.
We’ve got the goal of going to all 50 states as a family. We have just two more to go.
Dude. Congratulations. That’s awesome. And have you done it in an RV or how have you done it?
It’s been a combination of flights and road trips. Sometimes both. It’s been fun, because, like, it’s like you mentioned, you feel like you only have so much time with your kids before they’re like I’m not going to go on this dumb family trip again.
With that is there like this one thing that you want to do in each state that you kind of check off is it like see the Capitol or find one unique thing or. What’s up?
You know we’ve done a little bit of everything. Sometimes it’s like you know stereotypical tourist stuff like we’ve always seen this on TV or movies let’s go do that.
Yeah, shoot, I love that stuff.
Other times, like we were at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota and we’re like let’s drive four hours north just across the border into North Dakota, just to say we’ve been there and we’re gonna turn around and go back.
yeah, check it off the list.
Just check it off the list. So we’re not, we’re not above, you know, just a quick border run somewhere.
See that’s really cool too though because it doesn’t always have to be, I mean that’s my problem i think is I want everything to be so epic. So I’m trying to tone it down like that’s still cool because that’s a fun memory right i mean you’ve been to almost all the states you share that thing and that’s a cool thing, you know.
Our kids are gonna grow up and thinking, knowing that you could you could travel with a family, and get to come up with creative ideas of how to get there, but I think like with parents with young children particularly think I’m stuck at home I can’t leave. I can’t do anything. When your kids are really really little they’re actually pretty portable and, you know, pick up and go.
Yeah, just teach him young, I think so you know teach him young Take him camping take them backpacking whatever it is that you like you don’t have to do what everybody else does find out what you like and then just do that with your kids. I think that whole lot of your life’s over you have kids is your life begins when you have kids you It’s such an adventure, so fun. It’s hard but it’s fun.
it’s a hard fun adventure, for sure. So now you’ve written a book and produced a journal for fathers, would you tell us a little bit about this?
I grew up in the church, and being, you know really being told that you have a purpose for your life which is fantastic. That’s great. But I think I tied a lot of my identity to that so I had this dream of this thing I was going to do. And in 2015 it came to a crashing halt, and I really had this identity struggle. And at the time I had five kids. And I, you know, I had this realization. I’m out in the world regularly jockeying for people’s attention to like build this legacy this this thing. And the desires I have as a man to be wanted respected valued needed loved right like these core man desires. I realized, because now this this thing of building this enormous youth center that was my dream. I got those rewards when I put all this extra energy, because I had more time into my family. Now my wife Sarah would say as a great dad, but I didn’t give them my best time and energy and creativity, and when I started to do that the fulfillment that I began to feel as a man was like oh my gosh, I don’t have to just focus on building a career I don’t have to like my name isn’t about Ned Ned who built this skate park net who built this youth center net who did this because there’s these five humans, and my spouse who desperately want my time and it wasn’t they weren’t getting my time but they weren’t getting the best. So in 2015 realized this I had this epiphany of. Wow. Our world is just so obsessed with happiness, and we’re looking for it in so many places because we see thousands of ads every day, or we’re told thousands of things every day I could get this in my home, and now it’s not so much. What do you do for a living, Joe, you know this idea of that my identity is wrapped up in that. And so I thought, I want to rebel against that, I want to rebel against the idea that my standards my, you know, the expectations for me are wrapped up in that I want to create something else. I’ve realized, so I thought you know what i want to share this with other dads because I think there’s so many dads who wake up their kids or. Let’s just say this, they they wake up and their kids are gone, and they’re looking back, realizing at you know 50 6070 that man. I just, I missed I missed out on that. And so I realized that, you know, my kids were young, so that that was super valuable so I wrote a book called rebel and create for dads, and it’s about my discovering my role as the Father, and I wanted to share that with other dads. So that’s the book that I put out and I put that out a year ago actually last Father’s Day
Yeah that’s a good mantra, Rebel and Create. We don’t have to follow in the footsteps of our father if we wanted to do better than he may have done with us. We don’t have to follow in the footsteps of maybe what some outside pressures may be putting on us you know it’s up to us to choose how we’re going to do as soon as fathers, so it’s a wonderful motto and slogan, Rebel and Create.
Yeah, thank you. Yeah, thanks. It’s been super fun so then you know after that I have journals since I was 18 years old. I’m 30, I’ll be 37 this weekend. I have journals in their lack of time machine so I can look back in and learn from myself and see where I’ve grown and where I haven’t and whatnot. And as I started to go down this fatherhood journey and wanted to, you know, continue to speak into men’s lives. Because journaling was so important to me I thought, I’ll just make a journal kind of take the best practices of what I’ve learned and make a journal. And so we I created that in September October launched it on Kickstarter in November I think and then we shipped it out so people could have it by January 1, so that was pretty fun.
I enjoy journaling, as well. It is very therapeutic to get your thoughts out on paper, sometimes we feel we may be feeling like there’s nobody we can talk to about things or struggling with things trying to think through and talking that out basically through the pen and paper is very powerful method.
Yeah, and the journal is like it’s it’s kind of set it up in the 90 day journal, but there’s no dates in it because shoot you know life is just like you’re not going to get in there every single day, probably, and it’s kind of setup where you could continue to do it or you could just get your own journal and take what you like and use it but it does have prompts. So every day when you go in there there’s questions that kind of prompt you to be in tune with yourself. And so that you can be better in tune with your family,
We always use a little bit more structure and guides to help us with that.
Yeah, especially if you’re gonna first start off with journaling it’s like you open it up and you go, what am I gonna do here so it has a structure piece, and then it leaves it open for you to journal about some other things and then once a month. So there’s three of them in there, there’s more of a like dive in which the one that I like which you know super cool this mentor of mine had did this with me one day is, you know, right align and right how old you are today and make a guess at the other end, how old you think you’ll be when you, when you die. And, and then, how old are your kids be company grandkids, will you have at that time maybe how many great grandkids, will you have at that time. And it’s like you see that on a sheet of paper, it’s like, Whoa, you know, I mean, shoot for kids, you might end up having eight kids right because maybe all your kids get married and then what if they each have 234 kids, and then depending on you know how long you live like all of a sudden you have this pretty big responsibility there’s like 3040 people at the end of that line that how you live today matters. And it’s just cool because I think you know as men, we really want to know that that our life matters. You know that that I’m leaving a mark on this world, and that can be done in just right inside your own home.
That’s a fantastic reminder. Our primary responsibility is to our family right. Worldly achievements and accolades don’t really matter. In the long term is building a legacy through our children and our posterity. So Ned, if people want to connect with you what’s the best way to reach out and touch base?
Instagram. You can follow me @ned_schaut, or @rebelandcreate more the website is rebelandcreate.com And that’s where you can find the book and the journal and see what Rebel and Create is up to.
Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us today. We really appreciate it.
Yeah, thanks for having me on.
I hope you enjoyed the conversation with Ned about his journey as a twin father, and how to improve everyday as a father of twins. If you want to connect with Ned, I’ll link up to all the resources he mentioned over at twindadpodcast.com
Again today’s show is brought to you by my book, “Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins”, you can learn more about this book at raisingtwinsbook.com
If you’d like to feature your twin parenting journey on the podcast, please reach out to me @twindadjoe on Instagram or Twitter or you can email me [email protected] and I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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