Jonathan Blundell on Twins, Surprises, and Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - October 22, 2020

Jonathan Blundell on Twins, Surprises, and Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Episode 93 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

Listen to Jonathan Blundell from JDBlundell.com share the story of his twin journey including:

  • Challenges of having children
  • How they went from not expecting kids to expecting twins
  • Moving during the twin pregnancy
  • Challenges of having mom on bed rest and how dad can help
  • C-section delivery
  • Health issues with newborns
  • Going home with only one twin while the other is still in the NICU
  • Juggling needs of a child in the NICU and one at home
  • Surprises of having infants at home
  • Dealing with reflux issues in infants
  • Why the first year seems like the easiest
  • Work and childcare arrangements after the twins were born
  • Fun to watch day-to-day interactions with boys
  • How the addition of a new baby affected the twins’ behavior
  • Growing the family beyond just the twins
  • Carving out time for “Daddy Adventure Days” with the kids
  • Parenting twins that are really two very different people
  • What has worked in keeping their marriage strong despite challenges of twins

If you want to connect with Jonathan, you’ll find him on Twitter @jdblundell.

Transcript

Joe: Hi there, and welcome to the 93rd episode of the Dad’s Guide to Twins podcast. This is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at twindadpodcast.com, where you’ll find much more information on having and raising twins, along with the show notes for this episode. In fact, you can go back and listen to all previous podcast episodes at twindadpodcast.com.

Joe: I’m really excited to let you know that I’ve made a deal with Audible, so you can get a free audiobook version of my Dad’s Guide to Twins book, and you can get that for free at freetwinbook.com. Once again, that’s freetwinbook.com.

Joe: Now, in today’s podcast, as part of our ongoing series of interviews with fathers of twins, I invited onto the show, Jonathan Blundell, to share his story as a father of twins. So hopefully you can pull out some nuggets of wisdom to help you in your twin journey as you prepare for your twins or as you raise your twins. Let’s jump straight into that interview.

Joe: Okay, on today’s show, we have a special guest, Jonathan Blundell, who is a father of twins. He’s also a blogger and an author and a podcaster. Jonathan, welcome to the show today.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Jonathan: Hey, thanks for having me, Joe. Glad to be on the show tonight.

Joe: Wonderful. As we get started today, can you just give us a quick snapshot of your family life right now and what’s going on so we can get to know you a little bit better?

Jonathan: Yeah, sure. My wife and I live … well, my family, we all live just east of Dallas in a town called Forney Texas, and we both work in Dallas, commute to Dallas every day. We have twin boys who are four and a half right now, and then we have a daughter who is almost two. She’ll be two at the end of July, so getting close there to her two year birthday. But we have a wonderful life, a crazy life with all three, but we are enjoying it, and enjoy the challenges as well as just the joy of having the three kids around the house.

Joe: That’s good. Sounds like an adventure. Our kids are all very close together as well.

Jonathan: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s not something that we had planned. We probably would have done it differently if we tried to pick the perfect plan, but I don’t think anything ever really ends up perfectly when you try to plan it out like that. So, we’re going at it the best that we can, but having a great time as well.

Joe: Well tell us a little bit about your family situation when you found out that you were having twins.

Jonathan: So, my wife and I had been trying to get pregnant for close to … we were getting close I think to two years, how long we had been trying. We had kind of actually given up on the idea. We were doing some fertility treatments and so forth, and trying some different options, and just nothing was really working. And so we had actually kind of thought, okay, well this obviously isn’t the plan for us to have children of our own, and so we actually started looking into adoption and into foster care and so forth.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Jonathan: So we were trained as foster care parents. We got certified, I guess it was in early January of 2010, maybe in December when we were actually certified, but the very first of February, we had gotten a call and they said, “We have two boys for you that we’d like you to consider.” At that time, we had kind of thought, well, we really only want one, but if it is a sibling group, then we don’t want to split up a sibling group. So we said, “Well, we’ll go ahead and give it a try.” So we took in the foster children, two boys. At the time, they told us they were I believe one and two, but really they were just about two and three. They both spoke Spanish, which we didn’t know at all. We found out kind of halfway through it that it wasn’t so much that they weren’t speaking, but the language that they knew was Spanish, and so that kind of brought some difficulties I think along the way.

Jonathan: So we had them for about a month, and right towards the end of that month, I think it was about February 20th, if I’m remembering correctly, it’s been four and a half years now, we discovered that we were pregnant. And so it was a complete kind of 180 shift of we had kind of gone from okay, we really want children to this is obviously not in the plans for us, so we’re gonna go with the adoption route, and all of a sudden we’re pregnant. It wasn’t long after that that we discovered we were having twins. So that was an even bigger shift.

Jonathan: So at the time, we were actually living in Red Oak Texas, which was probably about 20, 30 miles south of Dallas, which is further away from our family, and we had kind of considered moving closer to our family, to the east side of Dallas, and getting a little bit closer to them. But once we found out we had twins, we said, “Okay, we definitely are gonna need to be closer to family.”

Joe: That’s right. That was a good choice.

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Jonathan: Yeah. We joked several times when we were there that we were at a good place, we really loved the community that we were in. We had some really good friends that we had made there in the community and with our faith community and so forth, and so through that process, we really enjoyed where we were at, but I think Laurie, my wife, was getting a little more homesick and kind of wanted to be closer to family, and we joke that we were far enough away that they didn’t want to come visit us necessarily, but we were close enough that they wanted us at everything.

Jonathan: So we felt like we were always making the drive. You know, that’s not necessarily the case, but that’s kind of where we joked about that, that sometimes we had to make the drive a lot more. And when we realized we were having twins, we were like, okay, we really need to get closer. So we luckily were able to sell the house pretty quickly after that, and we moved to Forney a short time after that in May, and then the boys were born in October that year, October 28th.

Joe: So how was it moving while your wife was pregnant?

Twin Gender Predictor Calculator

Jonathan: That was a fun time. We actually … it was kind of interesting because we had just … the foster children had just left, and if I remember correctly, it was early March maybe, maybe a little bit later, my wife had gone with her mom to kind of look at some homes in the area, and she had gone with a realtor, and she came across this neighborhood that her brother was living in at the time, and they were doing some new building, new homes and so forth, and so she found an actual home that was here that was not quite specked out, but was probably about 75% of the way built as far as everything done. It just needed some custom. You know, we needed to decide carpet colors and tile and some things like that.

Jonathan: So we kind of really looked into that, and so we went ahead and put a contract on that house with the idea that we were gonna sell our house. It was kind of an iffy situation of are we going to be able to sell our house, get this house, and so forth. So luckily, we moved into a house that was kind of move-in ready. I think my wife was definitely ready to start painting as soon as she could, but we moved in in May, and she went in on bedrest in June. So there was a lot of things that probably she would have changed right away, but being on bed rest, she was watching a lot of HGTV and getting all sorts of ideas of what she wanted to change, but not necessarily able to complete them. I was like, I really don’t have any desire to do any of this right now.

Jonathan: Anyways, it was probably a bit of a challenge, but with family and friends we were able to make that move not too hard, and got moved in and got settled in. And we had enough time to get things set up. I painted the nursery and put things together and so forth, and she continually surprised me throughout the whole pregnancy that she would start doing things. I’m like, “No, lay down. You’re supposed to be resting.”

Joe: What are some of the things that you did to help her out during that bedrest time?

Jonathan: You know, helping put the cribs together, putting rockers together. Just trying to keep her off her feet as much as possible. So, doing dinner, dishes and so forth as much as possible. Hopefully that’s not the case it was just a pregnancy thing that I did that. Hopefully that still continues to an extent.

Jonathan: But just doing everything I could to make sure she was comfortable. Another thing too, like I mentioned the HGTV, we actually bumped up our cable package just so she had something to do during the day ’cause she was at home by herself most of the day with not a whole lot going on. So, trying to make her as comfortable as possible and trying to take care of as many of those odds and ends things that we could. She still wanted to be very involved in purchasing things like car seats and strollers and so forth, but just trying to keep her as comfortable and off her feet as much as possible.

Joe: Yeah, that’s good. That’s not always an easy balance. My wife was similar. She was on partial bedrest near the end of the pregnancy with our girls, and same thing, very eager to get things ready, to do things, and I had to keep telling her, “Nope, nope, you need to rest.”

Jonathan: Right, well and my wife was technically on what they called I guess modified bedrest, so anytime she wanted to do something, she was very quick to point out, “No, I’m on modified bedrest. It doesn’t mean I have to stay in bed all day long.” I’m like, “Okay, all right.”

Joe: How far along in the pregnancy were y’all when your boys were born?

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Jonathan: We were 37 weeks exactly. We had kind of planned … the hospital that we delivered at, we had kind of planned that at 37 weeks, that would be probably when we would have the C-Section. At 37 weeks we went in for a checkup that morning, and he basically told us, he said, “The babies have stopped growing at this point, and so we need to, we really need to go in today and have the C-Section,” which was good. I mean, we already had that planned. That was scheduled, but he was like, “If it wasn’t scheduled, I’d tell you to go ahead and go in today.”

Jonathan: So, it was 37 weeks I believe to the day that we went in, and it was definitely a … to kind of hear that you have to do this today, we were like, “Oh, okay,” at least from my standpoint, the nerves definitely shot up at that point. But it was a smooth operation. Everything went well. Once the babies were born, the boys were born, [Hayden 00:10:56], the oldest, had a little bit of trouble breathing and was having some issues kind of with his lungs and so forth, and Ian was as well, but not to the extent that [Hayden 00:11:05] was.

Jonathan: Laurie’s actually a respiratory therapist, so she kind of noticed those things a little bit quicker than I did, even while she was under the influence of some nice medications I’m sure. So she noticed that, and for the most part, I assumed everything was going good other than I noticed that they were kind of monitoring the babies fairly closely with the so forth … so, right after they were born, they took both of them into the nursery. They took [Hayden 00:11:35] specifically, he went almost straight to the NICU where he was there for seven days. They kept Ian under observation, but he was able to come out a little bit quicker.

Jonathan: So, [Hayden 00:11:47] ended up developing a pneumothorax, and so they had to do a small procedure for that. Not surgical necessarily, but just a small procedure there in the NICU to help with that. And then he had what we called our astronaut helmet that he wore for five or six days I believe, to kind of help him just develop his lungs and make sure he was getting enough oxygen and so forth. So, that was definitely a hard part of the boys, seeing [Hayden 00:12:18] there in the NICU hooked up to these machines, and seeing this big astronaut helmet on him.

Jonathan: At five days, Laurie was … they said, “All right, you can go home and Ian can go home,” and so we were going home with Ian knowing that we were leaving [Hayden 00:12:33] behind at the hospital. And as a brand new dad, that was very hard for me, thinking I’m supposed to be taking my son home so I can take care of him, and yet I’m leaving him here in the hospital. So, we were able to visit him throughout the day, but it was definitely difficult to leave your son there in a NICU knowing that you’re going to be going home with the other son. It was just a hard process overall, because trying to go down and-

Jonathan: It was just a hard process overall because trying to go down and see him while also spending time with Ian and we had guests coming in and out. That was a difficult balancing act. We had to say, I believe it was the second day we were there, we said no more guests. We can’t have any guests today because we need to go down and see Hayden and we need to spend some time with him. And we couldn’t do that with the guests coming in and family coming in. Not that we didn’t want to see them, but we just had to put some limitations on it and say, “Look, Laurie hasn’t had a chance to go out on the NICU to see her son. So, we need to put some boundaries up.

Jonathan: That worked out really well. Everybody was understanding and it worked out really well. But-

Joe: Did you and your wife both go down together or did you take turns going to the NICU?

Jonathan: The first day … They were born at 2:36 in the afternoon. I don’t remember the exact time of when we actually got a room back, but it was probably right about dinnertime. We were getting settled in. They brought Ian back into our room because we hadn’t really seen him much since the birth. They brought Hayden in really quickly and said, he’s going to be I the NICU, we’ve had him under observation for a few hours. We want to take him to the NICU.

Jonathan: Laurie got to see him to see him, we got to see him in the OR and then also see him for a brief moment in the room and then that was it. I was able to go down to the NICU later that night to see him. I got to see him a little bit the following day a couple times. But we weren’t able to go together at that point until we were able to get a control on who was coming in, and who is going out so forth.

Twin Gender Predictor Calculator

Jonathan: I was able to see him a couple times before Laurie did and I think that was hard for her too knowing that she was unable to go see her son down in the NICU.

Joe: How many days after birth was everybody back home and settled into your house?

Jonathan: It was right at seven days. One week after their birth, they gave Hayden the okay and the clear to head home. He was able to sit up in his car seat correctly without his heart rate jumping up too high, or his oxygen levels drop into low. And so he passed that test and we were able to bring them home.

Jonathan: We came back up to the hospital, put him in the car seat and brought him home excited. Definitely, I say seven days is really tough to have your son in the NICU, but compared to others, I know some of your listeners probably and maybe yourself, sometimes it’s weeks or months. I can’t even imagine just the strain on that. Seven days was a blessing for us.

Joe: Once you get the boys home, what did you find surprised you the most about having twin infants?

Jonathan: It was a shift. I think just fatherhood in general is a shift. It’s a shift in mindset and a realization that, okay, there’s someone else that really is truly dependent upon me. Whereas, my wife we’d been married for three years at that point. While we’re somewhat dependent upon each other as a married couple, we’re still completely independent for them if need be. These are two people who need you for absolutely everything.

Jonathan: It was definitely an adjustment in that mindset. But then also I think, one of the issues that we came home with was both of the boys had issues with reflux. So, we were trying to struggle with finding … And I guess it came on probably about two months in. it wasn’t right away that we realized this but they were real content, they were real happy and everything was going great. All of a sudden, these reflux issues started flaring up.

Jonathan: They didn’t want to eat, they would scream when they would eat. It was a really hard time to figure out what was going on before we narrowed it down to the reflux and got them on the right formula and the right medicine. I was surprised at how much they slept I think for part of it. I was kind of surprised, other than the reflux issues, at how easy it was to begin with. Because I just always thought that twins were just going to be this huge ordeal from the get go. When we look back on it, I think the first year was actually probably the easiest year so far, because for the most part, they weren’t very mobile. We could pick them up, take them places, it wasn’t a big deal to put them in a car seat and go somewhere, then take them out, go to a restaurant.

Jonathan: Yeah, they would cry, and we had to feed them and we had all those late nights of getting up and feeding them and so forth. But for the most part, it was a lot easier than I thought. I think that’s what would be the surprising piece.

Joe: Yeah, we found that true as well in the first year. In retrospect, it was easy to take them places because they’re very portable and they don’t runaway in different directions.

Jonathan: Even with two of them, it got to a point I guess where they’re getting big enough that was kind of hard for my wife to carry them plus the car seat. Even with two of them, I could still on a day that I was home alone, I could still put them in the car, carry them around. It wasn’t a big deal for me to carry both of them. I could go to Chipotle and eat dinner, subway, or whatever it might be. It wasn’t like I was trying to chase them down or anything. It was just set them down in the booth next to me and enjoy and smile at them, and that was it.

Joe: What was your work situation like, you and your wife? You mentioned that you’re both working. Was that the case when the babies were born, and how much time did you all get off for that?

Jonathan: So, my wife went on short term disability before they were born. She believes she took eight weeks off. It may have been six but I believe it was eight weeks off that she took after they were born. Continuing on disability, but also because of the C section, she was able to take a little bit more time. I took a full month off, which was great. I had been able to save up some time, and I have a great employer that was totally cool with me being home for a month.

Jonathan: My other co workers may not have been as much, and they may have not told me but my boss at least was very cool. At that point, she was like, “Family is first and foremost. So, if you’ve got the time, take it.” I was blessed to be able to take a month off. We did an interesting thing too with the boys because we were trying to figure out okay, how are we going to do childcare after they’re born? Where I worked during the summers, traditionally, we’ve done a four day workweek. So, usually someone in the department will work four days and they may take Friday off, they may take Monday off. Just because I work in higher education so the campuses aren’t as busy, and there aren’t as many students around and so forth. So, it was easier to do a four day work week.

Jonathan: We were actually doing that during the summer when my wife was on bed rest and so forth before the boys were born. As we were trying to think through how are we going to handle childcare, luckily, because we had moved close enough to my parents, both of our moms agreed to help with the kids two days a week.

Jonathan: So, one came one day, one came the other day. Then my wife because where she was at respiratory therapy, she was already working basically a four day work week. So, she just solidified that. Then I talked with my boss before they were born, I said, “Is it possible for me to continue this four day work week after the boys are born just so that I’m not having to pay an outrageous amount to do childcare?” Because it’s really odd I guess how healthcare is. You’ve got to do usually three days a week, or you’re still paying for three days a week. Most of the places that we talked to, they wanted you for at least three days a week.

Jonathan: So, we we’re like, if that amount that we’d be paying for two infants, three days a week, my wife might as well just stay home because that would suck half of her salary away. We got very lucky that my wife was able to work four days a week, I worked four days a week, and then our parents watched them two days a week. Then I worked from home one day a week. So, on Wednesday, in fact, that’s basically still what our schedule is. I work from home one day a week. I’m off one day a week, and then my wife is now working just three days a week.

Jonathan: So, I’m here one day with our moms and help if needed, but its worked out really well for us, and we’ve been really lucky in that situation.

Joe: Yeah, that does sound like a good arrangement. It’s always nice to be able to see your kids during the day when you might have otherwise not been able to experience some of those things as well.

Jonathan: Yeah. It’s fun … This is jumping way ahead, but our boys have a huge fascination with garbage trucks and garbage men, especially Hayden. So, Wednesday’s garbage day. It’s always fun because I’m here on Wednesdays, and I get to just see him just go ballistic when the garbage truck comes down the street. A lot of times, I’ll go out there with them and we’ll wave to the garbage trucks and stuff.

Jonathan: It’s fun because both of the boys especially, and now even Harper have built a relationship with the garbage men as they come by. For Christmas, they made them some cookies. Then not long after that, the garbage men brought them some little toy garbage trucks that the company had given them and said, “We got these.” And gave them some coloring books and so forth. But it’s very cool to be able to see that even though a lot of times I have to hunker down in my office and try to tune things out. But it’s great to be able to be a part of that.

Joe: Let’s talk a little bit about, you mentioned your daughter is almost two. Here you’ve had the boys, and a couple years later your daughter comes along. Tell us about that transition from two, and adding another to your family.

Jonathan: We weren’t planning Harper as quickly as she came. We assumed it was going to take a long process like it did with the boys. We thought when we started thinking about having another, that it was going to be at least another year, maybe a year and a half, maybe two. Our mindset was, the boys are going to be three and a half, or four and a half when Harper’s born. That didn’t quite work out like we planned. Like I said, plans never quite work out like you expect.

Jonathan: She came a lot quicker than we expected. The boys were a little bit younger than we had planned for. I think as we’ve looked back on hindsight, I think her coming into the picture, we started to see that’s when some of their behavior issues started popping up. We just attributed it to them being three, but as we’ve looked back, we’re thinking, that was probably about the time Harper came along. So, there’s probably some grasping for attention. There is probably some issues of, I need some attention, I want some attention and now there’s new baby’s coming in and taking my attention away when I already had a fight for mommy and daddy’s attention with my brother.

Jonathan: As we looked back, we’re seeing that and realizing that may have been some the case. Because the boys I guess they would have been two and a half or so when she was born. They were kind of reaching that three year old point and so I think that’s when some of those behavior issues came about. It’s a whole different game when you’re going from two kids that you can, if need be, one parent can take one, one parent can take another, which is how a lot of times we did things. Now, all of a sudden we’re outnumbered.

Jonathan: That was a big shift and it wasn’t that we had … When I grew up, I had two younger sisters but I was five or six when my youngest sister was born, and my middle sister was in there. So, we we’re a little bit more spread out. It wasn’t like I was completely dependent on my parents where they had to care for me and work on potty training me, and all this stuff along with care for my sister, who is a newborn.

Jonathan: I think that was more trying than we expected because we’re still trying to get them out of diapers, still trying to handle the two year old, three year old issues, plus the infant. So, it was a lot harder than we really wanted it to be, or expected it to be.

Joe: Yeah, your story’s a little inverse of what we had. We had two boys before our twins were born. But when our girls were born-

Joe: -before our twins were born, but when our girls were born, our boys were three and not even two yet, so about the same age as your boys were when your daughter was born, and you’re right. It was beyond just the challenge of having a baby, in our case, babies. It was still handling these very young children and all the overhead that that entails as well.

Jonathan: I think that’s also true when we really decided that we wanted to start making some more designated time, especially for them right now. But, that’s kind of when I started initiating Daddy Adventure Days. And, then my wife does Mommy Adventure Days. We try our best. It’s doesn’t work out as often as we’d like to, but at least every few months I’m taking one of the boys somewhere with me. It may be running errands, it maybe going to grab donuts and running some errands. It may be, since our boys love trains, sometimes we’ll go grab donuts and we’ll go hop on one of the trains and go downtown or something. Just something random to kind of spend some individual, dedicated time with each of them. That’s part of … Part of that came out of after Harper was born. We’re like, we really need to be sure we’re dedicating some time to each of our kids especially as they get older.

Joe: Yeah, I think it’s a wonderful habit. Daddy Adventure Days. I even like your tag line there. That’s great.

Joe: We try to do one on one time as well, but as you mentioned, unless you planned for it, put it on the calendar even, it doesn’t happen as often as it should happen. So, when you look back now at, as your boys are now four and a half, what do you think was the best piece of advice that you had received about raising twins that you’re glad that you received?

Jonathan: I don’t know if this was a necessary, someone just sat down and gave me some advice. But, I do have a good friend who has twin boys. They are, I wanna say, going into the fourth grade now if I’m not mistaken, maybe going into fifth grade now. They’re a little bit older. As we kind of talked through just some of the different issues and some of the different things that were coming up, he’s always been one that points out your boys are different, they’re gonna be different, they’re gonna behave different. They’re different people, don’t think that their going to respond the same way. Just kind of … Also, just him sharing his stories of this son loves this, this son loves that and they are two completely different people. I think that’s just, that’s been reassuring because a lot of times we get frustrated because they do have different personalities and we want them to … We wanna have a one-stop solution as far as parenting sometimes, I think. We fall into that trap of, well, if this worked for one kid, it should work for all three of the kids.

Joe: Yeah, if only it was that easy, right?

Jonathan: Yeah. That’s definitely not the case and parents, just parents that have more than one kid, whether they’re twins or not, or multiples, I think you kinda go through that process of having to realize, okay, timeouts work great for this kid, they don’t work so great for this other kid. We gotta figure out something else. This kid is gonna want to go everywhere with me. This other kid would be completely happy sitting at home and playing with his cars.

Jonathan: So, I think just that realization that they are two different people and we have to adjust our parenting style even though they were born on the exact same date. Many people look at them and think they’re identical, but they’re not. Even though they are similar in so many ways, they are still two completely different personalities, with two completely different desires and dreams and ambitions. How we work with them is gonna be completely different as they continue to grow.

Joe: Yeah, that’s one of the things I love about having twins as well is how different they are. Our girls are identical, but they’re not identical in personality and, like you mentioned, what they like, dislike, how they react. That leads also to how they talk and their facial expressions and all the ways that I, as the father, can recognize their differences physically even though they’re identical. It’s one of the joys of being the father of twins is seeing all those differences.

Joe: If you can give one piece of advice to another father of twins on how to keep their marriage strong through the twin pregnancy and the challenges of raising twins, what would you tell that dad?

Jonathan: You know, I was actually listening to a podcast this week that kind of drove some of this home as well, but we specifically come from a faith background, a Christian faith background, specifically. So, we may come at marriage a little bit differently than some people. We walked into this marriage with a covenant vow that’s ’til death do us part is really … We’re making a covenant vow between each other and between God. So, there are days that sometimes you just have to remember, I am in a covenant vow with this person because you’re just … We’ve talked even just recently, within the last six months, some days you are just surviving. I don’t know that that’s necessarily just … I don’t think that’s just the case because we have multiples, I think it’s just parents in general. Some days you are just simply surviving and you’re good to get everybody in bed, in pajamas, including yourself, and make it to the next day just because it’s just life. It’s just everybody’s got their own wishes and ambitions. Not everybody’s gonna be in sync.

Jonathan: For me, I think it’s finding those ways that y’all can still make connections happen. Realize that, yes, the kids are of the utmost importance, but your spouse is also … You’ve got to treat your spouse well. You’ve got to love your wife well. You’ve got to care for her. And, that goes even more so, I think for me as a dad with boys, that I want them to see this is how you treat a woman, this is how you love a woman. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but at some point they’re going to be emulating me, which they already are, but someday they’re gonna be looking at their wife and trying to think how do I do this and hopefully they can refer back to me and say, okay, this is what my dad did or this is how my dad loved on our mom. So, really trying to find ways to care for the other person even when you’ve given all you can.

Jonathan: The best marriage advice that I was given when I was married, and I’ve actually shared this at a friend’s wedding and I had the privilege of proceeding over and marrying them, we often times think of marriage as a 50/50 relationship or a 50/50 contract that I’m giving my half, they give their half. That’s how a lot of times contracts are signed. We sign contracts in business of you’re gonna do this, I’m gonna do this. It’s a 50/50 partnership. But, in reality marriage has to be 100%/100%. It can never be 50/50. You have to give 100% regardless of what else the other person’s doing.

Jonathan: That comes to me especially from my faith perspective that I believe Jesus gave 100% for me, so I take that lesson. I love with 100%. So, even though there’s gonna be times where my wife is unable to give more than maybe 20%, you know, she’s gonna be completely on the brink, I still give 100%. I don’t look at her and say, “Oh, well, you’re only giving 20%, I’m only gonna give 20%.” Luckily because we are in this covenant relationship, there’s days where I can’t give anymore than 20%. 20% is my 100%. We just have to push through it together, but we still keep 100% towards the marriage and towards each other.

Jonathan: And, then, try to find ways that you can create unique experiences together. Find ways that you can do things on your own. Find those … Schedule those date nights. We get into slumps where it’s three or four months since we’ve been out and we’re just like, we have to get away. It may just be going to Chipotle and getting some burritos and going to Target to buy some diapers, but just getting away by ourselves makes a huge difference in just bringing the relationship back together again.

Jonathan: You’ve gotta give 100%. It’s not something you can just cop out on. And, then also find unique ways to continually create new experiences together.

Joe: I think that’s great advice and great perspective on how you should treat your wife and the example that that is to your children. So, thank you for sharing that with us today.

Joe: So, Jonathan, as we wrap up today if listeners wanna connect with you, what’s the best way they can get in touch?

Jonathan: Probably the best way to get in touch with me is on Twitter. It’s jdblundell. That’s pretty much any social media network you can find me jdblundell. Also, jdblundell.com is kind of a blanket site for me. You can find out information about different things that I’m working on and so forth. But, I always prefer Twitter. It’s quick and easy and jdblundell on Twitter.

Joe: Wonderful. We’ll include links to those as well in the show notes so it’s easy to find. Thank you again, Jonathan, for your time this evening and for sharing your story with us. Appreciate it.

Jonathan: Sure. I enjoyed it and hopefully, to all the dad’s out there, best of luck. #dadlife. Keep it real. Love your kids, love your spouse and it’ll all work out.

Joe: Well, that wraps up our show today and our interview with Jonathan. If you’ve enjoyed the show, will you please do me a favor and leave a review on iTunes because it will help other parents of twins, like yourself, find the podcast. I would greatly appreciate it. Remember that if you’d like to have your question answered on the show, call my voicemail number at 521-222-9325. Don’t forget that you can get a free audio book version of my Dad’s Guide to Twins book by visiting freetwinbook.com. Thank you for listening and I’ll see you next time.

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Father of twins Jonathan Blundell shares his twin journey including having twins in the NICU, balancing work and family, and making daddy time for each of the kids.

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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