The next question comes from a wife who asks, “How can I support my husband during the twin pregnancy? He’s under a lot of stress with supporting me financially and soon two more, helping during the pregnancy, and preparing to be a father. Do you have any advice for how I can make things easier for him?”
Working Together for Twins
First of all, this is a great attitude that you have of how you can help your spouse through the twin pregnancy and prepare for the twins. While this question comes from a mom and is asking about a husband, some of the same concepts apply both directions, the dad helping the mom or the mom helping the dad.
In this case specifically for the dad, here are some thoughts that I have for you. First, make sure that he has some alone time to do whatever it is that he would like to do that isn’t twin related. This could be going out with friends, this could be a hobby, whatever he has interest in doing or maybe something that he was used to doing before the pregnancy started. Keep in mind that this time won’t always be available, so make sure that you both discuss that reality when you agree to him having perhaps one night a week that he goes out to be with his friends. As the pregnancy progresses, the demands on both mom and dad will increase and so you may have a small window of time where you can have extracurricular activities before the twins arrive.
Number two, set aside regular one-on-one time as a couple to keep your relationship strong and take advantage of the pregnancy time that you have together before the twins arrive. I’ve talked about this previously on the site. Think about things like taking advantage of downtime that you have, scheduling specifically time to be together so that it doesn’t get overlooked, and resetting or lowering expectations towards the end of your pregnancy and with newborn twins. If you do not make a conscious effort to maintain your relationship as a couple, it will suffer because the realities and the stresses that you’re going to have physically, emotionally, and mentally will start to affect your relationship.
The third thing is don’t make your husband guess what you need or what you want. You need to have frank conversations about what you need help with and what you can do yourself, especially as the pregnancy progresses and it becomes more and more difficult for you physically to get things done. Discuss and agree on the fact that you can change your list of what you need help with as the pregnancy progresses.
Number four, plan something that you can do together, something that you can experience together before the twins arrive that will be a fun time together. This could be an overnight getaway, it could be a day trip to somewhere near where you live, or just a picnic at the park.
Build these experiences and this will also reinforce and foster a stronger relationship between the two of you. So as long as you’re thinking about your spouse and planning things that he can do to help you and he can do to have a break, then hopefully the opposite is also true. He should be planning things that you can do to relax or that you may want to do by yourself. You should be in great shape together.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 56: Good Sleep During Twin Pregnancy, Supporting Your Spouse, Twin Interactions.
Picture by Jenny Bowler.