Setting Boundaries with Twins and other Parenting Insights from Scott MacDonald – Podcast 264

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - May 17, 2022

Episode 264 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

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

  • Shared parental leave between parents and deciding who would take what time off
  • Scheduled c-section at 36.5 weeks
  • Encouraging fun and creativity at home
  • Starting day care at 11 months old
  • Putting the twins in separate preschool classrooms
  • Speech development differences
  • Why toilet training was a big milestone for making life easier
  • Packing the right gear for the twins when traveling
  • Must have baby gear and books
  • Using screen time to help with learning
  • Giving each twin their own experiences
  • Keeping boundaries in place for the twins
  • Helping twins know when it is time to get out of bed

Podcast Transcript

This is auto-generated so please forgive any mistakes.

Joe 0:00
Today we are chatting with a fellow father of twins. By his experience, raising four year old twin girls, including how he and his wife split up their family leave time when the girls were born. Some of the must have been here that made their life a lot easier, setting boundaries with your twins to maintain your own sanity, and some epiphanies they had about toilet training their girls that are much more today on the show.

Intro 0:27
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 0:42
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the 264th episode of the Dad’s Guide to Twins podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at dadsguidetotwins.com. Today we are continuing our father of twins interview series with a fellow father of twin girls. But before we jump into the chat, I want to let you know that 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 was a follow up to my original book, Dad’s Guide to Twins and Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins will help you through those first several years with your twins from infants to toddlers. And beyond. You can pick up your own copy at raisingtwinsbook.com Once again, that’s raising twins book.com. Today, we’d like to welcome to the show father of twins, Scott McDonald, welcome to the show, Scott.

Scott 1:23
Hi, thanks for having me.

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Joe 1:25
Scott, how old are your twins right now. And what’s something exciting about this age.

Scott 1:30
They’re four, there’ll be five in July. And the most interesting thing about this age really is the level of creativity that they’re getting into one of them, they’re both very, very individual, their personalities, whatnot, but the kinds of things that one of them is bringing out like the drawings and the singing and just everything. It’s really, it’s really kind of crazy. She makes all kinds of interesting. Popsicle stick figures. And she’ll come downstairs and say, Look at my human, my human has two legs, like Okay, great, you know, but now that they’re starting to gain a lot more words and stronger, stronger handle on language, the kinds of things they say is just absolutely hilarious.

Joe 2:16
Is there something that you’ll do to encourage that creativity for them?

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Scott 2:21
Yeah, we’ve, we’ve always had a place in the house where it’s just their stuff. And they always know that basically, we’re kind of where to find their toys. And then we’ve slowly aged up the things that we have there so that it’s not just maybe not just like cars and, and dolls, it switched at about probably two maybe, is when we started adding art supplies. And then from that time on that place that they always knew their stuff would be always had art supplies. And it’s really, really worked out. And especially when they learn about certain concepts, like when one of them figured out what mail was, and how mail worked with cards and envelopes. She was writing probably 10 letters a day. And so we had to buy a bunch of stationery for her. And she would just sit down and draw a picture and put a couple letters on it sealed envelope, and then we had to put it somewhere. So we actually had to buy an a real mailbox to put outside on a tree with her mailbox. So she can put her stuff in it and and then we would give it to her friends if she has, has letters that she wants to send to some of her daycare friends. Like if one of them was sick, there wasn’t at school, then she’ll write out a note and a picture and maybe throw some stickers on it. And then when it goes to the mailbox, and then we can tell their parents, hey, you know, if you want to drop off your kid to pick up his mail, they’ll do that. So that’s been really helpful. And we just when we’re when we have them all day on the weekends, that kind of stuff we consciously try to work in our projects and things like that, like painting on the table and stuff you know, put put on some paper, not just actually painting on the table, but we we use a lot of big format paper like kind of butcher paper, so we can just lay it on the floor and let them go to town or put it on the table if we’re doing the kinds of paints that are a little bit harder to get off that kind of thing and smocks are the most important thing for our project. So you can just fire that in the in the in the washroom you’re done and it’s no no harm, no foul.

Joe 4:33
That sounds like a lot of fun for sure. Now you have two girls, are they identical or fraternal? Fraternal, no physical appearance wise, are they anywhere close to each other? They just complete opposites even remotely?

Scott 4:45
No, it’s it’s really kind of funny. Everyone that interacts with them and my wife and I say that one of them looks like me and behaves like her and the other looks like her and behaves like me, but they’re you the way that they interact If you would notice your sisters, but certainly not from by looking at them at all,

Joe 5:03
let’s get I have identical girls. So the challenge with them was always telling them apart and hoping other people tell them apart. So was a little bit jealous when I talk to dads like yourself to have very, very clearly distinct twins like okay, yeah, that would have made things a little bit easier for sure. Um, you mentioned that your girls are in, in some preschool or school activity, like what’s their current situation, are they together, they separate.

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Scott 5:27
So we started them in daycare when they were 11 months old. They were allowed in. And so when last year, they switched from just a daycare type program into a preschool kind of program, we were lucky that we had the opportunity to separate them into two different classrooms. And we decided to do that because we thought that it gave them really just a break from each other. They still interact all the time at daycare, but really, it is kind of a distinction that they have their own classes. So it we we want to give them an opportunity not to be in each other’s hair. And it’s really, it’s really worked out as well. One of them has really strong emotional intelligence, and she just wants to be a helper. And so she’s actually in the class that has, I think, threes and fours, and then the other one who is was much quicker to get language and is just kind of generally the more analytical thinker and whatnot. She’s in a class with only fours and the the late five year olds that haven’t gotten into school yet. So kind of the activity wise, they’re really working out well. So the one that’s got all of her letters and numbers and whatnot is working with slightly older kids that work well for her. And then the one that would just rather be helping out the babies in the baby room or, you know, helping her friends and helping the teacher whatnot, she’s in the room that gives her more awkward opportunity to do that.

Joe 6:51
That’s great. You’ve mentioned language and speech a couple times has there been any any challenges with their speech development over the last couple years?

Scott 6:59
It’s interesting, we thought, just in the first year, you always kind of peg things, right? You kind of say, Oh, you’re gonna be this one, and you’re gonna be this one, or, you know, I think that you’re gonna develop in this way or the other, but it really kind of went the opposite to what we thought one of them definitely picked up speech and letters and, and just kind of the nuts and bolts of language. Allah, I wouldn’t know a lot earlier. But but certainly earlier, the but she’s one that has a little bit of a speech impediment. So she has the difficulty with errors and w’s kind of thing. Whereas the other one has perfect, like functional speech, the mechanics of talking, she’s fine. But she just it took her just a little bit longer to get up to the point where she was using slightly larger words, or, I guess, experimenting more with sentences that you could use and that kind of stuff. And so I’m not really sure if she’s the one that’s in the in the group with the younger kids as well. Now, so kind of hoping that when they do move into school school, that the the having the younger kids with her won’t have kind of held her back a little bit, I’m hoping that when she gets to all kids their own age, that then she’ll be a little bit more of going as far as trying to try new words, or, like I said, trying to build a little bit more complex sentences, I guess, I don’t know. I mean, I’m making it sound like, you know, these are kids doing their PhD dissertation or something in it. But it’s funny, you really can see the ones that are more likely to, to experiment in different ways, like the girl who has stronger language and letters and that kind of thing. Like, physically, athletically, that kind of stuff, she is not interested in taking a chance until her sister has done it first. And once she seen that it’s possible, then she will go all out. But as far as you know, taking those kinds of chances, the one with the emotional intelligence is just way ahead. So it’s really interesting to see the mix, you know, you kind of when you think you’ve got twins, you initially just think, okay, it’s going to be to have pretty much the same thing. And you’ll see the same thing, not a lot, but you’ll learn pretty quick that that is definitely not the case. Like I basically just have two kids that happen to be the same age, but their other than that they’re 100% different.

Joe 9:22
And that’s a good realization. There comes a point as a twin parent, where those early days where the logistics are really challenging, because you have two that are totally dependent on you, but you reach a certain point where it is just like having two kids the same age. So when do you think you reach that point? From you cross that threshold from a little overwhelmed with with really young twins to just having two of the same age?

Scott 9:47
Yeah, yeah. So that that switch between when it was just a management issue 24 hour management thing to more of like having two neat little kids following you around I’d probably like, around three, I think for us would be it. The toilet training was huge. That’s a really big gateway. As far as I’m concerned, once you can rely on them to at least even tell you that they need, it makes a really big difference. What else was really big and sleeping through the night, too. So being toilet trained, and then not not needing to get up at night, when I think of the logistical stuff of the very early kids like managing to car seats, and managing the amount of other equipment that you need to take with you when you go or whatnot. I really, I remember that happening. But there’s sort of like a gray area between now I’ve got like two little creatures that follow me around and ask me silly questions. It’s kind of that that crossover it’s a little bit of a gray area, but some of those markers I think we’re, we’re and then again, you’re talking about the how different they are one girl poetry herself. She said one day, like I don’t want to wear diapers anymore, like okay, well, this is what you need to do need to go to the potty. She’s okay. And then basically, and not even a joke like pretty well, from that time on. She just we put her in panties and gave her a chance to you know that the the advice that we heard was put them either let them go with no underwear for a while and just see how they learned that they need to pee and need to go somewhere. We just put her in panties the next day. And she’s been like bombproof ever since the other one entirely different, like six months down the road. She was thinking maybe she’d get out of diapers. And even after that she’s had a couple of ups and downs. But, you know, it’s things like that, I think are the real markers, like the real turning points.

Joe 11:53
Let’s talk a little bit more about that. During the training. So what So one of them? This was around age three, I take it from what you said earlier? Yeah,

Scott 12:01
two and a half. The one that that just decided I’d say like, pretty close to three, but before three.

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Joe 12:08
So how long between when the one girl decided, yes, you wanted to potty train. And when you started helping her sister do that.

Scott 12:17
So we tried to get the sister involved right off the bat. And she liked the pageantry of going to the bathroom, she thought was great, you know, but she just had no ability to, I guess, like, know that what what her body needed? So, you know, she would she was very clear about the fact that, you know, nope, I peed, okay, it’s no big deal. And so it just didn’t, it didn’t seem like that important thing for her to learn. So it was like six or eight months between them potty training for sure. And like I said, even there have been a couple of minor setbacks with the second one. Nothing, nothing that lasted long. But the first one has just been like, absolutely bombproof. And one of the reasons why I think that that’s such an important kind of marker for the change, and the more independence and whatnot is because really, it lets you get out of the house for a longer period of time. And it gives you the tools to kind of do that too, because I feel like when you’ve got diapers, and you’ve got all that other stuff, you need to know, you have access to everything that you need, when you have to change them, right. You don’t want them to sit around and in wet diapers and that kind of stuff. So you can’t get too far away from like a house or a bathroom or whatnot. But once they’re starting to potty train, we just kept to bodies and wipes and all the stuff we would need in the car. And they would you know, they tell us they need a party. So pull over the side of the road out to go sit in the party’s watch, leave the truckers going by and off we go. So we’ve got some funny pictures of going on three hour drives to a vacation or something where they’re just sitting on the side of the road, both them chatting it up sitting on parties looking at each

Joe 14:10
other. A portable potty, I love it. It’s

Scott 14:14
funny, just like on the on the gear side of things. We have a Dodge minivan so we have room to carry. Basically all of the things that we own and my wife is very good at basically keeping a gear set in the van at all times for whatever age range we’re at. So there’s like a summer and a winter one. If they have first aid kits, they’ve got extra clothes they’ve got depending on the time of the year, they’ve got different clothes, and they’ve got you know, we still do keep a potty in in the car or in the van but we don’t really use it like we haven’t really used it probably in the last six months. It’s more like if there’s a serious emergency but now they can kind of hold it a little bit better. But yeah, like kind of planning ahead and having that set up stuff has really been been big for us.

Joe 15:07
So speaking of gear, what is what are some of the other items of gear that were really lifesavers? Regardless of when they’re newborns or to know what’s worked really well for you?

Scott 15:16
Yep. For us, the first thing that just changed life right off the bat was a Brezza. So we breastfeeding was kind of encouraged in the hospital and whatnot. And so we were going to try it. And but after a couple of days, it was not going to happen. So we were home. And we were trying to boil a bunch of bottles. And we were trying to keep the the, the formula mixed. And the sterilization on its own was just such a model, that when we found the Brezza, it was just such a big deal. And so if you’re not familiar with the Brezza, it’s basically like a current machine. But for formula, depending on what formula brand you have, you set a dial, and it basically puts the right amount of formula into warm water and mixes it and then you just take it, shake it and off you go. It’s cleaning. It is not super fun. It’s not bad. But it’s a whole lot better than doing all the boiling and stuff the way that we did, originally. So it was just an absolute life changer. We actually went through three of them. We bought the first one used that one died, we got a replacement from the manufacturer. And that one oh yeah, then we put that one at the at the in laws. So again, you know, on the on the gear and my wife being just an absolute amazing woman, she always had organized that we the major places that we were going to be we’re here and at my in laws. And so all of the important stuff, we’ve got duplicates up there. And it kind of seemed kind of funny at times that we had six car seats we had, yeah, six. So we had two and a van two and another car that where she and I and then we had two at the inlaws. So if anybody needed to pick up the kids, their car seats, stuff like that. But having having a Brezza out there meant that we didn’t have to do any kind of crazy business with boiling and whatnot. And then I guess we also have a microwave, a microwave sterilizer which so we didn’t have to boil the bottles that right off the bat just made things a lot better. The next couple of things are related to sleep. We the two books that we relied heavily on early on was yours. Actually, I read it and kept it pretty handy for a while. And it really was a really a super helpful book to have around and help plan the kinds of things that we were going to need. So that would be your first one. And the other one that we had was the baby whisperer. Tracy hugs book and he talks a lot about sleep and about routine. So when it came to sleep, the things that we really wanted to to get rock solid really quick. Were making the sleep environment comfortable, and inviting and just perfect. Right after that. So basically like when a kid goes in there, it is everything that you want to be asleep. So that means the windows have blackout curtains. So anytime a day in the go, it is night they go to sleep. We had a a white noise machine again, you know, they turned it on, they never really did music, white noise, we thought it was always just kind of the ocean white noise. That was really big deal. And this is the sort of thing that we had duplicates out of the inlaws so that we could spend a couple of days there. Then when we kind of transitioned out of the bucket seats, and we got one of the

Scott 18:57
car, the Bob’s strollers. The side by side BOB Revolution is what it was really easy folding down and we had the van so it was easy to carry it and whatnot. So that really opened up mobility, which was super great. And we actually, so I’m in Canada, and we had nine months of shared parental leave that we could take. So my wife took three months and I took the back six. So it was really neat that we had a chance to each get a lot of time with the kids. But then the gear that we used in the different phases was different. I mean every like, I felt like every month there was enough change. You needed something slightly different. You know, we went through at least three different styles of baby carriers. The Baby Bjorn was the first one that I really liked. Forget the second one we tried the we tried two different kinds of double carriers. Because when I was on my own, I thought hey, this would be great for me to get out to carry babies. Oh You know, paternal instincts and whatnot. But on your own, they’re really tough. Like, they’re great. If I had somebody to help me get them set up, I was able to do it once or twice, but it just was too much of an aggravation. So I didn’t really use those as much. But then then we switched to the backpack carriers that they worked out really well to when we started trying to do a little more hiking and that kind of thing. So that yeah, there’s been a couple of things that we really relied heavily on, very useful. And then it being a technological age, we recently just switched over to each of them having their own tab, which is absolutely amazing deck, another total game changer. They got their little headsets, and we have a set of games that they each have that are like the Khan Academy for kids. And there, there’s a couple of Sesame Street ones and one of these games that we’ve had for educational value, but that they can connect with some of the shows they’re watching. And I 100% believe that it has really pushed their language academy skills. And they they really reference their games for some of the really neat stuff all the time. Like, you know, when when your four year old tells you you listen to it, Gala, Mimas is definitely smaller than Brack yes or no, that’s, that’s coming from these things. So I 100% support that kind of stuff, too.

Joe 21:23
That’s great. Do you have any speaking screentime Do you have any kind of limits or restrictions you put on them with those

Scott 21:28
when it comes to the educational games, the only time I I guess these are more like functional limits not because we are trying to try to keep them away. We we use them when they’re in the van. And they really only associate being able to use their tabs when they’re in the van. So that’s, it’s not because we are intentionally keeping them away. But they have the there are desks with all their art supplies. And they do a lot of the same stuff with anyway. So there’s that but as far as TV and stuff, we haven’t really worry too much about that either. They’ll snuggle in on Saturday and Sunday mornings. So they’ve been they’ve been absolutely phenomenal sleepers from the get go. So really from about month 10, we can guarantee that they are asleep at seven o’clock at night. And they will wake up almost on the dime at 6am. So they’ll roll into bed with us at 6am We might watch some cartoons for half an hour or something and then they’re hungry and they go downstairs and we go from there. So it will leave a TV on so it’s not a it’s not a novelty. You know, it’s not something that they think of as like a treat or anything, it’s just kind of normal. So it’s not something that they they attach value to. So they they’re not grumpy if you take it away or anything like that. So

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Joe 22:51
well let’s let’s rewind back to when you first got the news that you’d be having twins, like what was your family situation like at that time? And what was your reaction?

Scott 22:59
My wife and I had recently changed careers actually, we we both have a bachelor of education degrees. And we had been through a couple of careers before that. And we spent some time working in education, and we’re having trouble finding full time work with education. So she moved into a moved into adult ed and I moved back into technology which is something I had been doing for a while. So we let me just put it all together. Yeah, we had moved out to the country and had decided that we wanted to try we had one miscarriage a few years beforehand which was fairly traumatic. And so we finally decided we’re gonna give it a go again and weren’t having any luck at all. Went to doctors doctor said nothing seems to be wrong, but you can try IVF so we decided to give it a go IVF my wife didn’t really react very well to it. She had all kinds of minor issues and so we finally had just decided I guess this is not going to be we had a boat, boat a month and a half after all of the IVF stuff had worked its way out. And we had settled into the fact that we were we were going to be you know the aunts and uncles instead of parents. When Sure enough pure recreation on came these girls so we we found out that she was pregnant her gynecologist that she had been with through the whole the the from the miscarriage up through the IVF and all that kind of stuff. She had my I called her and said look we’ve got this pregnancy test looks like it’s positive. What do I do from here? It’s about five weeks, I guess at this point and she gynecology was on she was on Beauty in the labor and delivery. So she said, Well, why don’t you just come in? We’ll do a quick hand. Ultrasound and you know, just to kind of make sure everything’s working well. So in she went, and you know, the gynecologist looking around, go, here’s one. And there’s the other one versus the other one. So that’s, that’s two, you’re gonna have twins. She’s like, 2212 out when? Okay. Yeah. So it was quite a surprise. I’m sure there’s there’s nobody that that gets that news and isn’t surprised. But yeah, it was, it was really interesting that we we knew. Actually, at that point, we weren’t 100% sure that the IVF stuff wasn’t still in play. So we called them up to find out as anything we needed to know or we had to do. And they basically said, Nope, you’re done. It was too long. Goodbye, find other means to whatever. So then we just went through the, the normal appointments and stuff. So my wife was 34 at the time. And that, I guess, meant that she needed to be observed a little more closely. So she had more more appointments than normal, but everything they the entire pregnancy was just absolutely textbook. Amazing. Any issues that we had, were just worth, I shouldn’t say just but there were problems that with my my wife, you know, and sleeping and stuff like that. But everything inside that, for the babies was absolutely perfect. We scheduled a C section and delivered at 36 and a half weeks. And the girls were five, nine and six, five, I guess was their way to when they come out. Everything just was tickety. Boo was just perfect.

Joe 26:49
It just goes to show every twin pregnancy is a little bit different. Every delivery is different. And we hear a lot about some of the more complicated pregnancies and deliveries. But it is possible just like you say to have just a normal pregnancy, mom, of course is uncomfortable. And there are some complications there. But it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy delivery.

Scott 27:09
Oh, exactly. And even you know where she was 3435. I mean, that doesn’t sound like that’s very old to me. But that is a risk factor for a couple of different things. But she was just an absolute Trooper putting a recliner in the living room for her to sleep in. And then she we have a two story house. So she didn’t have to worry about the second story. And that that was you know, her last two months or so we’re not off and on. And it just went really well. She did a really good job.

Joe 27:39
You mentioned that you had shared leave. And you decided how to split that, like three months and six months, how did you decide who would take more time off,

Scott 27:48
I definitely wanted to take time off. So it wasn’t really there was no fight for me the the reason why we ended up doing it, the way that we did was that so my wife was in, she works at a university. And so the kids were born in July, and the university year obviously starts in September. So what we wanted to do was try to get her back involved as early in the school year as we could, so that she wouldn’t miss out because really, her job at that time was what I think she was working in the Accessibility Center, or basically a student success. So helping students with their study practices and planning and all this kind of stuff. So again, like if you don’t get the things rolling early in the school year, then it’s really hard to pick things up later. So we wanted to get her back as soon as she could but also give her all the time that she actually wanted to be home with the girls and whatnot. She had paid fully paid maternity leave. Mine was just the government maternity leave so or family leave. So that meant that her getting back to her. She maintained her full salary the whole way. But then I went down to 75% I guess, which wasn’t a huge financial strain for us either. So that’s kind of why we did is that

Joe 29:17
standard in Canada for 75% rate for a certain amount of months.

Scott 29:22
Yeah, yeah. So it’s basically our our employment insurance program is what it’s tied to. So if you are if you are on some kind of employment insurance leave you it’s 75% This is the the highest the most money you can get out of it, basically. So they use that for maternity and actually, the year after the girls were born, they made a change so that you can choose. If you want to do nine months great, you get your 75% or whatever you’re gonna get, but you can choose to take 18 months, and if you do that they just gear it down so you get to a mountain money that is spread it over a longer time. And depending on your family situation, you know, that really can can work out, we have some friends that had had one a singleton, the age of the girls, and then she got pregnant again. So when she went off, she was going to basically have two kids that were very young. And so it just worked for her to do to do the ad months. But

Joe 30:22
yeah, that sounds pretty generous. I mean, I, my, my leave was a couple of weeks paid, and that was paid by my employer. But then it was went back to work again after that, and I talked to lots of dads who get even shorter time off. So let’s create the URL, spend time in those early months with your girls, it’s such an important thing to be able to bond with them and build that relationship. So I’m glad you’re able to have that time together.

Scott 30:49
Kind of funny too, because I had to go find your general support groups and stuff to do during the day, you know, you can’t just sit there and watch them to go and then go back to sleep. So I had to journey out into the world. But all of the groups really are geared towards women, you know, it’s it’s just still the norm for the women to be the ones that are taking the leaves and holding the kids. So there were a couple of different groups that I would go to off and on throughout the months. And it was always very funny for me to like, trudging with my two buckets and plunk them down and have all the women and you know, everyone thinks that I’m some kind of superhero, right, like, Oh, look at that dad, he’s doing so good. Imagine, you know, how hard it is for him and whatnot. And really, it’s the same thing. You know, my wife does all the same stuff. I’m no, it’s not. It’s such a weird thing, sort of socially, to have the, the that the husbands are the heroes if they take care of the kids, but the wives are just expected to it’s, it’s bizarre.

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Joe 31:53
Yeah, that is a weird social norm. I mean, I’ve talked to lots of dads that are, you know, stay at home dads, and just like you trying to discover those groups. Or they may be you know, the only only dad there or maybe there’s just only a couple in those groups. Were parents, moms, moms, parent, dads apparent and we each do our part to lift the load across. With the twins at home, you name it. So it’s a team effort,

Scott 32:19
that’s so important to like, you know, what we from from day one, you know, we realized that it was really a man demand defense, right, like, everyone’s got a kid all the time, nobody gets a break, you know, you you offer the support that you have to offer, but like everybody’s going through the same trenches. So you know, from from day one, even in little things like overnight, in the early the early months and whatnot, when we have to get up to feed my wife just when she wasn’t breastfeeding, but she just wanted to get up to do do more night feedings. And because I was going to work in the first three months. So she would get up during the night. So we worked the schedule. So basically, like, you know, now even now, in the morning, she gets to stay in bed for an extra half an hour. That’s you know, it’s the schedule rewards from all the work she’s done before but like we each kind of give and take and so that we can everybody gets what they need.

Joe 33:21
When you think back over your twin parenting journey so far is any are there any other experiences or things you’ve learned along the way that would be helpful for the dads that are listening?

Scott 33:31
We’ve we’ve always so far, kept the girls together in like a bedroom has always been together. And they, we we only recently started doing like individual adventure. So sometimes we’ll split them up so that one can go to the grocery store, while the other one stays home and whatnot as those things those personalities really start to open up. So I think that that’s, that’s important to kind of, to know that number one, you know, you you can split them up if you want to, right when the time is right, definitely go and do your own thing. But that it’s us use the room that you have to like for our house and our size, the size of the house, it was always going to be they’re always going to be in the same room for a while. And we’ve had to work the beds, a couple of different ways to make everything fit. But the room that they’re in is the best sightlines from our room and the closest and whatnot. So So you know, that was really, really fine. The other thing too, we oh, yeah, we never let them sleep with us. We’ve always kept a very clear like, This is your room. This is where you sleep. And I guess we’ve done that with a lot of different parts of the house and like parts of their lives like this is your stuff. This is where you do art. You know, if you’re going to do art somewhere else, then we will come with you and we’ll set that up but you can always go here to do your thing. but that is where you sleep if you wake up in the middle of night and you’re have a have a nightmare or something, and we’ve had a couple of issues with one of them, where he had some nightmares and things, sometimes they might come in, lay down have a five minute snuggle. But besides that, we really clearly set that boundary. And I think it’s made a big difference for us, because I think sleep is the the number one sort of important thing so far across the board for us, for them and for us. So, you know, when when they were very young, it was making sure that they were comfortable sleeping. And that meant that we got the sleep we need. And so now it’s making sure that they know that they that we still need sleep, and yes, now that they’re more independent and whatnot, that doesn’t mean that they can come and disturb us, you know, just because you’re smart. And you got funny things to say, if it’s 530 in the morning, that’s too early, you know, oh, that’s another neat thing that we use that I forgot about the girl clocks. So this is a once the girls started to figure out when they wake up and that, like they’re trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do when they wake up. So like I said, six o’clock at 6am, they’ve always been very, very good to wake up at six. But one of them started to wake up a little earlier might be 530, then a couple of times it was five, and we really didn’t want that. But with their blackout curtains, they have no idea really what time it is or how close it is to when they’re allowed to get up. So these girls grow clocks are a clock that has used some kind of color system to give them an idea of how close it is to wake up time or is it wakeup time yet so the current one that we have, has got stairs that go around the outside and it’s blue. So the stairs slowly disappear as it gets close to the time that you tell them or that you set it to, to wake up. And then when it’s wakeup time, the clock will turn to a son. So basically, the girls know that if there are any stairs. Now if there’s one star left, they can get up and they can go to the art room. And they can play quietly. And when there are no stairs up, sun comes out, that’s when they can come to our to our beds. So that again is huge. Whatever you can do to set up a strong sleep schedule and maintain like good sleep boundaries. I think you’re gonna be you’re gonna be golden. Like it’s just such an important thing for us anyway.

Joe 37:29
Well, Scott, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. We really appreciate it.

Scott 37:32
Oh yeah, I’m just glad to be here.

Joe 37:34
hope enjoyed the conversation with Scott about his adventures as a father of twins and a lot of things that they’ve learned along the way that have made their life a little bit easier in their twin parenting journey. If you’d like to share your story like Scott did today on the podcast, I would love to hear from you, you can reach out to me. I am on Instagram and Twitter at Twin dad Joe. Also facebook.com/dads Guide to twins. Or you can drop me an email Joe at dads guided twins.com If you’re still expecting twins or in the early months with twins, I recommend you pick up my book dad’s guide to raising twins that will guide you through the first several years in raising your twins. You can pick up your own copy of that book at raising twins book.com If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, would you do me a favor and please leave a rating and review on your favorite podcast player. If it’s Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you enjoy listening to podcast. And if you know somebody who’s expecting twins or raising twins, they would benefit from this podcast and these conversations I’m having with other fathers are twins. Please share this podcast with them it would mean a whole lot to me. Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll see you next time

 

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