Raising One Introverted and One Extroverted Twin with Robert Wheatley – Podcast 259

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - March 9, 2022

Episode 259 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

Today we continue our father of twins interview series with Robert Wheatley, father of twin girls. Listen as we explore his twin parenting journey, including:

  • Becoming a stay-at-home dad to twins
  • When Mom’s blood type caused a serious pregnancy complication
  • Mom worked 4 months into pregnancy and then had to stop due to doctors orders
  • Wife had itchy hands and feet late in pregnancy due to Cholestasis
  • 32 weeks delivery of twins after pre-term labor
  • Local hospital couldn’t handle twins so had to go to big city 1.5hours away
  • Had to wait 36 hours for c-section after Mom’s water broke
  • Bubble CPAP in NICU 2 weeks for 1 and one week for the other
  • One twin coming home before the other
  • Moved back to parents house after birth
  • Keeping twins in same room as parents
  • Why bottle feeding worked for them
  • Surprises of being a stay at home dad
  • Potty training the twins at 3
  • Typical day-in-the-life schedule of 4 year olds
  • Making one-on-one time with each twin
  • Expressing individuality, becoming different people
  • Raising one introverted and one extroverted twin

Connect with Robert on Instagram

Podcast Transcript

This is auto-generated so please forgive any mistakes.

Joe 0:00
What happens when your twin pregnancy hits a series of complications and challenges? Well, you rise to the challenge and you make it through and we’re going to share a story of a twin dad today whose family did exactly that. Plus, how he decided to move to become a stay at home dad with his twin girls, today on the show.

Intro 0:17
Welcome to the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast, the podcast that will 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 0:32
Hey everybody, and welcome to the 259th episode of the dads guide to twins podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at DadsGuideToTwins.com where you can find a whole host of resources to help you along your twin parenting journey. Today we are continuing our father twins interview series with a father of twin girls. But before we jump into the interview, I want to let you know that today’s show is brought to you by TwinTShirtCompany.com. We’ll find dozens of T shirts with fun and creative designs made specifically for you. Fathers of twins for your families as well for moms of twins, twins themselves, and the grandparents. They make perfect gifts and are fun to wear. As a family you can see all of the shirts over at TwinTShirtCompany.com. Today I would like to welcome to the show fellow father of twins. Robert Wheatley, welcome to the show, Robert.

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Robert 1:17
Thank you, Joe. It’s good to be here.

Joe 1:18
Robert, how old are your twins right now? And what’s something exciting about this age?

Robert 1:22
They will be four in march right now they’re just starting to express their individuality. As you know, no, I don’t want to wear the same thing as my sister. You know, I’d rather eat something separated. So they’re they’re starting to become different people now, which is is fun and interesting to see them do

(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)

Joe 1:38
besides like, clothing or food, whether challenges have you seen because of that individuality?

Robert 1:45
I have one very introverted child, which is the, you know, take as my child and one very extroverted child, which is much more like my wife. So a lot of times, you know, one, Addison is my introvert. And she will, you know, be like, Yeah, let’s let’s hang out here in the, in the living room with a book and, or coloring book or whatever, and hang out. And my daughter’s like, Hey, let’s go outside and chase the deer. So it’s, it’s always interesting to try to wrangle the two of them, especially being the stay at home parent, you know, try to balance out the, you know, getting outside and doing stuff and being active and the other one who just wants to chill.

Joe 2:23
So they’re like pulling you in two different directions. Basically, let’s talk about being a stay at home dad. How long? Have you been doing that so far?

Robert 2:29
Just over a year and a half? I guess that was kind of a due to COVID Timing situation, which worked out well, you know, better than it could have anyways, for a lot of people.

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Joe 2:37
So how did you come to that decision? Was did your work situation change? Or you just talked through with your wife and like, Hey, this is what we want to do?

Robert 2:44
Yeah, it was, it was a work situation, I was working as a building maintenance for an apartment complex. And with COVID regulations, and then everybody trying to figure out, you know, how to handle it going into other people’s apartments, you know, masks and sanitizers and, you know, biochemical warfare suits, and whatever else, they decided just to reduce the staffing to reduce the, you know, potential liabilities and issues with it. And then, at the same time, my wife’s work, she just did his part time, I think for only three or four months at the time. Last their manager, and they’re like, Hey, do you want to step up to full time and be the manager? About the same time that the apartment complex was like, Hey, we’re looking to, to, you know, cut some, cut some people. So I was I was unhappy with the job at the time anyways, so I was like, Cool. Tag me. I’m out.

Joe 3:44
Yeah, chance to be home with your girls. That’s exciting. So do you just have the girls or do you have any other children?

Robert 3:49
The the girls are our only children currently? Yeah, for that’s our first and only set of children as the twins.

(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)

Joe 3:55
Let’s go back to when you found out that you would be having twins, like what was your situation like at that time? And what was your reaction?

Robert 4:01
We’d been trying to get pregnant for a while, somewhere between eight months to a year I think we’ve been trying. And we knew that she was pregnant, but we hadn’t been to the OB or had any ultrasounds done. I think at that point, that’s pretty early on. And she had had some unexpected bleeding. And so we ran her down to the ER. And as they’re, you know, checking everything and looking at everything. And the nurse walks in and goes, How did you guys conceive? And we were just kind of like, what, what does that mean? Like, what are you what are you talking about? She’s like, What was it like, in vitro or naturally and like, Well, naturally, she’s like, oh, there’s two of them. Were just like, What? What did you just say? She’s like, Yeah, there’s too. Like, Oh, okay. Well, let’s Yeah, adjust quickly figure that out.

Joe 4:54
So that was during an emergency trip to the hospital because of the bleeding.

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Robert 4:58
Yeah, yeah. And they they decided It was like some late implantation bleeding. Nothing to be worried about. But yeah, we were we were shocked to because we’d known you know, we’d gotten the positive at home tests but we hadn’t been the doctor yet. We had an appointment for a week or two hours from the time we found out at the ER,

Joe 5:15
now are your girls identical or the non identical fraternal?

Robert 5:19
Fraternal. Yeah, yeah, Arya the is two and a half to three inches taller than Addison, and different hair types and slight different facial structures. When they were little, it was hard to tell. But as they’ve grown, they’ve definitely become distinguishable from each other.

Joe 5:34
So that size difference was not apparent at birth, they were big difference.

Robert 5:38
No, they were really until about three years old, they were pretty similar in size. Addison was a little bit more roly poly, but two and a half to three years old is when the the height difference really started to come in. And same with the hair.

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

Joe 5:51
You knew you’re pregnant. And then the news of twins was kind of a surprise. How did the pregnancy progress from that moment forward?

Robert 5:58
We had lots of little, you know, little issues here and there. And eventually we she had some more bleeding issues, and we slowly got some doctors to get in there and do some more work on it and found out that my wife was RH negative blood type. And there’s not one say it’s like 15% of the population is Rh negative, it’s not super common. But it can cause an issue where her body was trying to reject the fetuses as infections. Because the blood types weren’t aligning. So we ended up she had to start getting a what’s called a RhoGAM shot, which is antibodies that keep the body from attacking the fetuses once a week during the length of the pregnancy to keep her from having a miscarriage, which we wish we had known earlier on because we had had a couple of miscarriages before and basically we thought that if if we had known and been getting those shots the entire time we were trying that we probably would not have had those miscarriages

Joe 7:07
Yeah, cuz it might have been probably the same issue before then.

Robert 7:10
Yeah, exactly.

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Joe 7:12
So what were the kind of logistics did she have to go into the office once a week, how did that impact work and such?

Robert 7:19
Yeah, she Yeah, it was a once a week trip to the doctor’s office to get the the shot and I was I was working full time she was was working full time. She got taken off of work, I think for about four months into her pregnancy just because there was lots of little complications and the stresses of work and moving around she was working as a retail manager at the time so walking around you know, a store a lot and the doctor took her off of work at about four months and just because we kept having you know, lots of is weird we had lots of little you know, bleeding during pregnancy which was it wasn’t normal and they could never find a after that first time when they’re like oh, just implantation bleeding they couldn’t find a real reason for it. So they’re just like it’s time for bed rest you know, lay down don’t get up as much as possible. So she was she was down for the majority of the pregnancy

Joe 8:14
Yeah, yeah. Being on your feet all day is really rough for for moms let alone when you’re having some complications like your wife was so Dr. orders bedrest after about four months. How much could she do at home? Or like how are you needed to support her during the bitterest timeframe?

Robert 8:30
she was still mobile, you know, she could get up and you know, make food use the restroom, whatever it is, basically, you know, as much as you can stay off your feet, you know, stay sitting or preferably horizontal. So that was it wasn’t too big an impact the time because I was only working less than a mile from that where we were living at the time. So I was coming home for lunch every day, you know, during my one hour lunch break and you know, check it up on our taken care of anything she needed taken care of, and helping her out around, you know, taking the dog out stuff like that, after after that the real kind of complication came in, is we started noticing that she was getting she was starting super itchy. Hands and feet especially were just itching out of control like could not stop, like the point where she was making herself bleed, got an appointment, got to the doctor’s office and found out that along with being RH negative, she had colon stasis, which is a fairly rare side effect of pregnancy which is almost like a temporary liver disease. And it caused a causes a backup of bile into your bloodstream which causes the itching and it can also cause jaundice and some other issues and stressors on the on the babies. So then she had to go on a pretty nasty medication to combat the bile acids along with having to go get her rugam shots every week. She also had to go in and get blood draws every week to make sure her bile acids were staying in check in the bloodstream.

Joe 10:07
Wow, it’s like one thing after another, unfortunately, did the medication and the treatment their work to help control that? Or was it just kind of misery through the rest of the pregnancy?

Robert 10:15
The medication helped a little bit. It got rid of the jaundice, and it kept the, you know, on the charge, the levels were going to control. But she was generally pretty itchy and miserable through the rest of the pregnancy, because of it,

Joe 10:30
and how long did the babies last until they decided to come out?

Robert 10:34
I want to say 32 weeks. And I think we’d had a plan C section for 34-35. Because they were getting so big.

Joe 10:41
Just one day, did she go into labor? Or did the doctor say we have to take them early?

Robert 10:45
she was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. So we were back and forth at the hospital a few times for those. And then she started going into labor, you know, actual contractions, and our local hospital doesn’t do twins or high risk pregnancies. So they shipped us down to the big hospital in the city. And we were there for a week or so with them trying to control the contractions and keep everything in because they were you know, it’s not time yet we want to get as far along as we can, obviously. So they thought they had finally gotten everything under control. They gave her medication to take home to help keep the contractions under control, like got home at you know, 11 o’clock midnight, got to bed and about 2am Her water broke. So we ran back down to the local hospital. And they said, Yep, the waters broke. The doctor reached up and he’s like, Yep, I feel a foot setting you back down to the big hospital. So ambulance ride back down to the big hospital. And then it took them about 36 hours to get us into a C section after that.

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Joe 11:52
So we so the babies one of them was coming out already. And he’s still the way 36 hours for delivery?

Robert 11:57
Yeah, yeah, the doctor kind of reached up there and pushed the foot back and was like, Yeah, that’s the water is broken. We’re gonna, we’re gonna get you down there. And they got us down there and other hospitals like, Yeah, well, you know, you’ll, you’ll be fine. Well, we’ll schedule a C section for the morning. You know, and then the morning became the afternoon, afternoon became tomorrow morning. And then finally, there was some fetal distress on one of the girls. And so that, okay, we’re going now, and of course, that happened is as we were, you know, like, Oh, we’re gonna do it at 5pm. Tonight, we’re going to get you to get the C section done. Blah, blah, blah. And I think that was at two o’clock in the afternoon. I was like, okay, cool. I’m gonna walk down the street to the grocery store, grab a bite to eat, I’ll come back and then we’ll, you know, be ready to go at five o’clock. And I was probably five or six blocks away from the hospital on foot, and got a call in there like we’re going to see section now get back here, the sprinting back down through the through city down into the back into the hospital and back up the elevator to get there in time. And I got there just in time to get suited up and get into the C section room.

Joe 12:58
That’s crazy. So you spent like a week in that same hospital before he got sent home for a few hours, basically.

Robert 13:03
Yeah

Joe 13:04
before you sent right back and the adventure continued. So did your girls have obviously they had a kind of a rocky pregnancy but when they were born, do they have any complications at birth?

Robert 13:12
They were they were born fairly healthy for for brain as premature as they were. Aria did end up on bubble CPAP for two weeks in the NICU, and Addison ended up in the incubator. You know, a little bit jaundice with the UV lights for a week. So we did spend a total of two weeks in the NICU and my wife spent five or six days in recovery from the C section. So we were we spent a lot of time in that hospital over the duration.

Joe 13:40
So you said one of your girls, was there for a week do they do they both stay for the whole two weeks or do one come home early?

Robert 13:45
So they it was it was actually a frustrating and interesting situation because it was obviously pre COVID. This was March of 18. And it was cold and flu season. So when Addison was released after one week in the NICU, we were told that she had to leave the NICU floor and would not be welcomed back onto the NICU floor, even with parents for visitation of the other child, because nobody under the age of 12 was allowed on the NICU floor during cold and flu season. So they kind of were like, here’s one kid, get out. Don’t bring her back. So it was interesting to try to juggle exhausting my wife because she just needed recovery for you know, only two days at that point. You know, and we were unfortunately the hospital is an hour and a half hour and 45 minutes from where we we live. And we were actually able to get our social worker from hospital was able to set us up with the Ronald McDonald House, which was just down the street from a hospital. So we were able to stay there while the kids were in the NICU. And so is my mom came down and stayed in the room with Addison after she got released and I was taxi driving, basically, taking her back to the wrong mcdonald house, my wife back there to, to, you know, feed Addison and then immediately driver over to back over to the hospital to get back into the NICU and try to feed Aria. And we did that basically, for the second week of our NICU stay just back and forth between the Ronald McDonald House and the hospital,

Joe 15:27
well, that’s a crazy couple of weeks for sure, after birth, but eventually they got the green light to go home to your place, what was what was life, like, in those first couple of weeks and months with newborn twins?

Robert 15:36
it was, it was interesting, you know, I was definitely not prepared for the sleep deprivation that that entails, you know, and we had, we’d actually just moved out of our, our apartment, back into my parents house with the, you know, with the stress of having twins, and being first time parents, and there was, you know, all that stuff going on, my parents were like, hey, you know, let’s take a, take a load off you guys, there’s room in our house for you, you know, cut your rent check, you’ll be able to save some money, you know, have some some onsite help and babysitting and whatever else. So it was kind of a mash of taking care of newborns. And trying to move us out of the, you know, out of the apartment and into the back of my parents house. And just, you know, all the questions of what happens now. After the after your kids are born.

Joe 16:35
So you were trying to move with newborn twins, this would this didn’t happen before they were born, right?

Robert 16:39
We had we had started weeks, we you know, we were planning on them staying in for an extra couple of weeks. So we had moved a few things. And there was no there was a an extra bed in the guest room. So you know, when the kids were born, they went straight back to my parents house with my wife. And then after the a few days of getting everybody settled in, then I started, you know, getting the U haul, packing up the old house, cleaning up all that fun stuff, you know, so that was, it was an interesting, interesting time. It wasn’t, you know, bad it was, you know, just it’s just during the adjustment period, you just kind of in shock and stuck on it, you know, just trying to figure out what’s going on. Plus, you’re sleep deprived. So you’re just a little bit, you know, dazed and confused for the whole event.

Joe 17:25
How did you juggle, let’s say nighttime routines, and making sure you got some sleep?

Robert 17:30
Well, thankfully, I was I was able to take paternity leave. I’ve been with the company long enough that I had, whatever it is, I think it’s six weeks of time off or something like that for it. You know, granted, I had burned you know, three of them by the time we got home, stayed with the family for another two and a half weeks and then went back to work and wasn’t really asked ever really was a timing thing because we were the kids were staying in, in the same room as us. So you know, if, if they were awake, we were awake, you know, some of my wife was was really good about you know, once they were you know, settled down and being taken care of and she didn’t need me to you know, run to warm up a bottle or anything like that, that I could you know, hop back in bed and try to go back to sleep for you know, until the next wake up your next feeding time because from the NICU I think they were on a feeding schedule of every three or four hours they were it was their feeding schedule. So we were up a few few times a night to feed them

Joe 18:31
and you’ll have success with with breastfeeding or bottle feeding, what worked for you?

Robert 18:35
We really wanted to do the breastfeeding thing but because of the trauma of the C section my wife actually lost a lot of blood during that she unfortunately shut down production pretty pretty early on and because of the membrane premature and the NICU stay they were already accustomed to premature baby formula so we were we’re still trying to do some milk if we could but it was mostly formula you know bottle fed

Joe 19:09
is one thing is twin parents scenery we just have to be flexible I mean and change course when needs be and just do what works for the twins and for mom and dad. So hey, we had to change course to on that with our girls. Because just was just wasn’t working. So yeah. So when when you went back to work Did did you have to put the girls in daycare or or were the grandparents able to watch them how was the childcare situation?

Robert 19:34
So actually, I actually during the middle of my maternity leave, I switched jobs. My the company I was working for didn’t want to relocate me to a closer location from moving from my old apartment back to my parents house. So I switched jobs and went back to a previous employer from a couple years prior to that, and then my wife actually had a issues with her employer. And they ended up laying her off after her maternity leave expired. Even though the doctor had written, you know, continuation, basically saying she’s not medically fit to go back to work, they just laid her off. So she wasn’t working anymore. So she stayed home with the kids. For the first two and a half years, basically, like I said, about the time they were two and a half is when she started working part time on the weekends when I was home. And then in early August, the middle of 2020, then we switched roles, and I became a stay at home parent and she went to work full time. And so the the kids have never been in a daycare or preschool or anything like that yet,

Joe 20:49
what’s good, you know, you have at least one one parent with them all the time. That’s, that’s good situation for the kids. So we were able to do similar where I was, I was at work and my wife was able to be a stay at home mom. Well, what have been some of your biggest challenges as being a stay at home dad, maybe some things we didn’t expect?

Robert 21:05
The workload. Definitely, you know, and we, you know, spitball the idea of, oh, yeah, you could be the stay at home parents don’t go back to work at the, at this job. You know, full time, I was like, Yeah, that sounds great. And I was thinking, you know, the kids still nap for like, three hours in the middle of the day, they can’t make that much of a mess, I’ll get to work on my hobbies, looking to, you know, play the games more, like, you know, they’ll be super relaxed. And that’s not, you know, obviously, that’s not the not the case, when the laundry never ends, even at when I jumped in it, you know, they were three years old, two and a half, three years old, but somebody jumped in as a parent, they’re, they’re mobile, they can get into trouble, you know, you got to watch them. They always run opposite directions. It’s not as much, you know, it’s not like you see in, you know, TV or movies where the kids sitting in the middle of a perfectly clean living room playing with a couple ABC blocks, and you’re reading a book, you know, they’re, especially with twins, because there’s two of them. So they’re, you know, they both want the same red block, even though they’re surrounded by red blocks. You know, they’re, they’re, you know, trying to jump off the back of the couch, or, you know, attack the cat, or whatever it is. So it’s definitely it was definitely a wake up call. You know, I was always like, you know, staying at home, the, you know, being the stay on parent can’t be can’t be that hard. Right. And it’s, it’s definitely one of the harder jobs I’ve done, but it was more mentally hard than I was prepared for. I’ve always done physical work, you know, I’ve done I’ve worked on cars, I’ve built houses I’ve done, you know, work. I wasn’t prepared for defusing, you know, small domestic disputes between two year olds.

Joe 22:46
Yeah, that’s that’s good perspective. It is. It’s this combination of physically, they run you ragged. And then mentally, it’s exhausting for sure. Thinking back on some kind of milestones your girls have hit? Like, let’s talk about a potty training. How did that experience go for your girls?

Robert 23:01
We’re still, we’re I mean, we’re mostly potty trained at this point. We still have, you know, few accidents here. And there. They took it pretty pretty well. It wasn’t the hardest thing was to get them out of the out of the pull ups during the day. Even though they weren’t having accidents anymore. Really, it was, you know, they still wanted the extra padding or the comfort of the feeling of the the diaper like materials switching to real underwear was was a tough one for them. Yeah, I mean, potty training wasn’t thankfully for us. It wasn’t too too traumatic. You know.

Joe 23:36
how old were they when you started that process?

Robert 23:39
About three. So if about, you know, about a year ago, we we started the potty training process. And it was because they were, you know, they they had shown interest in finally being ready to, you know, use the big kid potty. So, we had we tried introducing it, I think at about two and they weren’t really grasping it. So then we tried to get two and a half and they were like, kind of there but weren’t getting the timing down. Right. So yeah, about three is when they really grasp it and it went by pretty quick.

Joe 24:16
You mentioned that your girls have really different personalities to notice a difference in their in their potty training like desire to do it and success and stuff like that between the two of them.

Robert 24:25
Yeah, I mean, you know, Arya the more the more extroverted outgoing one, she was definitely all about, you know, doing the, the new exciting thing and Addison was just kind of like, yeah, that’s, that’s cool, but, you know, diapers work fine. Why would we change it? You know, just like the status quo is fine with me. You know, but she, she got got used to it and it’s, I think for Addison, she’s definitely more intellectual. She thinks a lot and you can see the gears turning in her head. And I think a lot of the time was she wasn’t picking attention to the signs, you know, oh, I need to get up and go to the bathroom. So she would get up and make it two steps towards the bathroom and then it was all over. So it was for her I was getting, you know, kind of doing the the reminder, you know, every, you know, 30-45 minutes, whatever be like, Hey, you guys, you guys got to go potty, you go to the bathroom. And I think that’s what kind of started to to get her especially to, you know, pay attention to those signs and signals that oh, yeah, I do need to go the bathroom. But yeah, I was definitely definitely interesting seeing them both grow, go through the same life events at the same time, and how the different personalities take it, then I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that there’s a lot more nature than the nurture that I ever would have thought, you know, prior to having kids.

Joe 25:52
Did you notice that same difference like with, with crawling or walking and talking and things like that?

Robert 25:58
Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, Addison was, you know, very much into, you know, the crawling, and is a little more hesitant to get up on two feet. You know, and Aria was basically once she was on two feet, she was she was running before she was walking. You know, she was lean forward, and just keep stepping until you can’t step anymore. Then Addison was much more like I’m gonna hold on to the side of the couch and kind of boot around until I get the feel for it. There’s a much more cautious personality, I guess.

Joe 26:30
Yeah, that’s fun for me to watch my girls. I’ve got identical identical twin girls, but they still have very different personalities like like you’re describing your girls and it’s fun to watch how they handle the same situation very differently between the two of them. When you look at kind of your daily routine and schedule now that your girls are almost four what’s what’s a typical day in the life as far as what time you’re waking up? And if they’re still doing any kind of napping and bedtime? What’s that look like?

Robert 26:56
Yeah, we don’t the napping ended. Probably about three and a half ish. They just we, you know, you put him down for a nap and they just would, you know, start wandering around the room hanging out talking. So we kind of tried to do quiet time for a while and eventually that was just like now they don’t they don’t need a quiet time or nap most days anymore. Today it’s usually they get usually get up somewhere between seven 730 Addison’s definitely an early riser. Arya will sleep till eight or 830 if you let her will get up you know get get breakfast cook in you know, hang out, maybe do some coloring or drawing or you know, watch a watch an episode of something, you know, mildly educational on on TV or a tablet or something like that one cooking. And so we’ll do breakfast and then we’ll just hang out and then it’s usually we we just we don’t have a whole lot of you know, structured time. It’s a lot of just, you know, playing around whatever the the mood of the day is, you know, do we want to do letters or numbers or colors or do we want to go run around outside for a while, you know, maybe we’ll go down the street to the park. You know, we don’t I don’t have a huge hard set schedule for them anymore. We’re just kind of up at seven in bed around 830 ish. See where the day takes us right now. We are starting to try to you know have some more structure in their time as we’re getting closer to that kindergarten age. You know, cuz I think we have one more until they’re five before kindergarten starts. So we’ve got one more year to get them prepped and ready to start that new adventure.

Joe 28:42
Do you have kind of a bedtime routine that the girls really like?

Robert 28:45
Yeah, yeah, we do. You know, do bath time. Around 730 we get out of the bath. They take their vitamins brush their teeth, and then we usually move into their bedroom, get their beds, you know, ready and get them all tucked in and whatnot and then we’ll read a couple of storybooks and, and send them off to to sleep. I will say having a video monitor is a game changer. We didn’t do a video monitor for a long time. But yeah, once they’re once they’re out of cribs video monitors definitely a nice thing to have.

Joe 29:19
So there’s still the same room just in different beds.

Robert 29:23
Yeah, yeah they have the little pink toddler beds in the same room so they yeah they we don’t have the we don’t have the space for them to have separate rooms right now and I don’t I don’t think they would like having separate rooms they’re pretty pretty attached at the hip. We are that’s another thing we have probably since they were three started working on is doing things with them. You know individually away from you know away from the house or whatever. You know before it’d be like you take one kid in a shopping cart and I’ll take one kid a shopping cart and we’ll do our our Costco or Sam’s Club run like that. But around three We really started to, you know, just one of the parents will run to, you know, the local grocery store or a couple errands or whatever, for a couple, a couple hours and take just one, you know, and we’ll try to rotate back and forth, you know, between the parent and the child and started giving them some more one on one time with either mom or dad, you know, and away from each other. So that they, we don’t want to encourage any kinds of separation anxieties that might form as they’re getting older spending so much time you know, with each other all the time,

Joe 30:34
it’s great, you can make one on one time with them. And like you say, it doesn’t have to be super complicated, it can just be when you go run an errand, just take one of the twins with you, it’s that’s a good practice to have for sure. Now, you’ve had from like a bumpy pregnancy, all the way through to very active young kids right now, how have you been able to still strengthen and maintain your relationship with your wife during this time?

Robert 30:57
That’s, I mean, it’s, it hasn’t always been easy, you know, the, you know, having having kids puts a whole new dynamic into your relationship, because, you know, you’re each other no longer you’re each other’s number one concern, you know, it’s the kids now become before anything or anyone, but I mean, we’ve been, it’s been good, you know, it’s we’ve had, you know, a lot of stress with the pregnancy, and early on with the kids. You know, with all the even after birth, you know, some more, you know, complications with them, and all that fun stuff, taking the time to hear each other out. And, you know, especially with parent when it comes to parenting decisions, you know, when you’re like, Oh, I think we should do you know, X, Y, or Z. And the other one’s like, oh, I don’t, I don’t know how, you know, X, Y, or Z doesn’t quite fit what I was thinking. Yeah, this communication is honestly the key is communication is, is probably the most important thing is being able to have open and clear channels, and, you know, being able to, you know, express to each other, what, you know, what’s eating at you, what’s bugging you, what the what the deal is,

Joe 32:11
That’s true communication, open honesty with each other is vital. Because, like you said, parenting could put a lot of stress on a relationship in any marriage. So it’s important to keep those channels open. Because eventually, the kids grow up, and they leave the house and you’re still, you know, you want to make sure you still have a good relationship with your partner, for sure.

Robert 32:31
It’s all learning. It’s a learning curve, the whole the whole bit of it, you know, it’s especially for, for me, I know, I had a harder time grasping the concepts not being, you know, I’m no longer the most important person in her life, that was a harder change for me than it was for her because, you know, obviously, she, you know, carry them and gave birth to them, they were already more important, you know, in utero. And once they popped out, that was when it kind of finally hit me, I was like, Oh, hey, you’re not you’re not the you’re not number one anymore, but he got two others ahead of you. And that was that was a another kind of a culture shock and adjustment to Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, yeah. Gotta get, you know, get get adjusted.

Joe 33:11
Well, Robert, as we wrap up our conversation today, if listeners want to reach out and connect with you, what’s the best way to do that?

Robert 33:16
Best way to do that is I have a couple of public accounts on Instagram and Facebook, under wastelander creations, those would be a good place if anybody wanted to reach out and contact me @wastelander_creations on Instagram, and then just wastelander creations on Facebook.

Joe 33:37
Excellent. I will link up to that in the show notes for the episode today. Robert, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We really appreciate it.

Robert 33:44
Thank you for having me.

Joe 33:45
I hope you enjoy that chat with Robert about his adventures as a twin dad, overcoming those series of complications during the pregnancy and delivery to thriving as a father of twins. And now as a stay at home dad. Again, today’s show is brought to you by TwinTShirtCompany.com where you’ll find dozens of T shirts designed specifically for us parents of twins. If you haven’t already checked out those shirts, I invite you to head over to TwinTShirtCompany.com and get one for yourself and your family. If you’d like to share your story like Robert did today on the podcast. I would love to hear from you. You can connect with me on Instagram or Twitter @twindadjoe. I’m also on facebook.com/dadsguidetotwins and I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next time.

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Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

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