Today I want to start by referencing a poster that came along, that I came across by another father of twins. He blogged at Dad2Twins.com and shared the Twin Dad Ten Commandments. It’s an interesting article, and I want to talk about a few of the commandments that he shares and add a little bit of my own as well.
In No. 3, he writes that you need to buy two of everything for them in exactly the same color, size, shape, and dimensions. If you fail to do this, expect the consequences. And one thing I would say is that you can likely get away with giving two different variants of this same thing, for example, different colors of the same clothes. In our home, we didn’t necessarily get the same exact thing of everything for our twin girls. Of course there are some toys or outfits that are identical. But oftentimes they wear two different styles of the same or similar thing. Twins learn early on how to share, and there’s not always going to be identical things for identical needs throughout their entire life. There will be variations, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And they’ll learn to share early on.
For example, each of our girls had a blanket. The blanket was the same style, but it was in a different color. One of our girls had a pink blanket, and the other had a white blanket. And so this made it very easy to tell whose blanket was whose. If everything is the same design, the same color, same style, you’re going to get into more fights when one of those items goes missing; and the twin assumes his or her sibling has his or her toy or blanket or outfit. So, you can go ahead and get a lot of the same exact things, and it will eliminate some of the potential consequences. However, you can probably get away with having variations of everything.
The No. 9 of the list of the Ten Commandments here was, when people say to you, “It must be hard work but it’ll be worth it all in the end,” you will grit your teeth, smile at them, and wish them a good day. This makes me smile a little bit, because people that make these types of comments don’t have twins and they don’t fully understand the reality of what it means to be a father of twins. And so they may be projecting their experience with the children that they’ve had in the past, or observing twins in their family, or friends. But the reality is most people who make a comment like this don’t understand that it is hard work. You, and only you as a father of twins, are going to understand the difficulties that lie ahead. So I think this is a great response to people, because if you get into an argument about how hard it is, they’re not going to fully understand you and then they’ll just think you’re kind of cranky. So I would totally agree with number nine on this list; just smile and go with it.
I would add a No. 11, and that is, “Thou shall accept help from others.” It makes life so much easier. You know, there’s nothing in the Twin Dad Ten Commandments that says you have to do it all by yourself. You can definitely accept help from others, so dads, you do need to humble yourself and understand that you will need to get help from others outside of your immediate family.
This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 71: Twin Dad Commandments, Helping Dads, Gender Secret.