Joe Shares His Twin Journey with Twiniversity Founder Natalie Diaz

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - June 1, 2018

Natalie from Twiniversity was kind enough to host me on her podcast. Listen and hear some of my story as a father of twins or read the mostly computer generated transcript below:

Natalie: Welcome to the Twiniversity podcast, a podcast created exclusively for parents of twins. I am Natalie Diaz, mother of twins, Twiniversity founder and best selling author of “What to Do When You’re Having Two“. Our goal with Twiniversity is to make sure that you guys always feel connected, that we figure out ways to laugh at the little things and we teach you a few tricks along the way. And that’s is truthfully what we hope this podcast is about to do. So let’s get this party started.

I am so excited. Today we are speaking with Joe Rawlinson, also known as Twin Dad Joe. That’s how I know Joe is the author of two books just for fathers of twins.

One is the Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare for Your Twins.

And the other is the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.

He’s a blogger, a podcaster, a speaker, and a father of four amazing children, including identical twin girls.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

So without further ado, let’s meet Joe.

Really one of the the dads besides my husband, of course, one of my favorite twin dads of all times, is Twin Dad Joe, who’s joining us today. And not only is he the founder of a great twin dad resource website, but also has a fantastic t shirt company and is the man that literally wrote the book on twins for twin dads. So without further ado, Joe, welcome to Twiniversity.

Joe: Thank you, Nat. Thank you for that warm welcome. I really appreciate it. I’m glad to be here.

(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)

Natalie: Oh, it’s great. Your t shirts. Keep me in stitches. You have a new Harry Potter one, right?

Joe: I do. Yes. I solemnly swear, my twins are up to no good. Which is true. Most of the time, right?

Natalie: So what kind of, you know, what was the inspiration to start your twin dad revolution?

Joe: Well, when we found out, we were having twins. So of course, I freaked out naturally. But then I wanted to figure out what I was getting myself into. So I went to the internet and everything I found was, you know, by moms and for moms. And I felt like I couldn’t find information for some of the concerns that I had as a dad. Since we’ve had two kids before, I kind of knew the basics of children. But the twin thing was going to be totally new to us.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Natalie: Were they a surprise, your twins?

Joe: They were. We went for child number three. And we ended up having, you know, surprise, identical twins. And because I couldn’t find anything for me, I figured, there’s probably other dads just like me, who want some help from a dad’s perspective. So after we got through the first, you know, six, eight months where it’s just sheer insanity with twins, I started to document and write and share on my blog at dads guide to twins. Then kind of snowballed from there. It’s been a fun journey.

Natalie: I love that. And what’s your like, most popular article on your website? Like, how do people find you? Like, what are they googling to find you the first time.

Joe: A lot of people are looking for information about the twin pregnancy or differences between a singleton pregnancy and a twin pregnancy. Of course, anything they search for things about twin dads, fathers, or things of that nature, I’ll will pop up as well.

(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)

Natalie: Oh, you crush it in that regard. Like, thank goodness that you exist, because, well, we do try to cover a lot of dad stuff. Our audience is still mostly women. So it’s tough because you have your, you have to be like, Well, what do I do? Like, you don’t want to ignore the dads. So we kept the dads and also the the people that come to Twiniversity are also same sex dads, we get a lot of same sex families. And they’re like, we have nothing for us. And I’m like, I’m trying. I’m doing my best. Talk to Joe. He’s gonna help you. So when you first saw that second heartbeat, were you there for that? Or did your wife call you? Did you think it was just a routine pregnancy visit?

Joe: I wasn’t there. And that really is disappointing. In retrospect, because we had two very active toddlers, my two sons at the time ages two and one. And my wife had taken the positive pregnancy test. And so I said, sweetie, why don’t you go to the doctor. I’ll watched the boys because, you know, two toddlers running around during the doctor visits. Not a good idea. So I dropped her off at the doctor. I drove around with the boys. And this is on a Christmas Eve. So it’s a slow day at the office. And she calls me and says she’s ready to be picked up. I say great. You know, how did it go? She said it was awesome. She got to get an ultrasound. I was like, well, that was kind of odd, because we were so early in the pregnancy. I was like, Well, how did it go? And she said, it went great. We saw healthy heartbeats. And I said, Well, that’s Wait a minute. Did you say heartbeats, plural?

Natalie: You caught it.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Joe: And so it was revealed to me on the phone while I’m sitting in the parking lot with my two boys in the backseat bouncing around.

I somehow managed to drive safely to the hospital to pick her up from her appointment.

Natalie: And that’s how this whole crazy story began with a phone call from her doctor’s office. The rest, as they say, is history. Right, as they say, Now do you feel that she needed a different type of support for her twin pregnancy then she did for her singleton?

Joe: Yes. And she had a lot of concerns about what would be the big differences. Like, what would be some of the unique medical challenges of twins, both for the babies and for her. Also what was she going to expect as far as a potential bedrest or how early these babies would come. All of which would be different than our boys. So she struggled to know what questions to ask the doctor. The doctor had handled multiple pregnancies before but it was not common.

And so every answer we got from the doctor was often talking about singletons so we have to reframe the conversation a little bit.

(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)

Natalie: So she did meet you do feel like she definitely needed a different type of support. Was it more emotional? or was it physically different?

Joe: It was physically different. I guess she wore out sooner. Yeah, she had done with each of our boys. And so she was ended up being a partial bedrest for the second half of the pregnancy, where she had to just, she wasn’t in bed all the time. But she had to be down a lot. And so that was kind of came as a shock to us that because we hadn’t had that with, you know, our singleton boys. And I guess we knew in the back of our minds, that that would be a possibility, but until it actually happened, and then we had to adjust logistically of who’s taking care of the house, the boys and everything of that nature.

Natalie: It’s really tough. So how do you recommend that dads support their partners during pregnancy? Like what what advice do you give to other dads and say, you know, these are the things that you really should pay attention to?

Joe: what I recommend that Dad always goes to the doctor’s appointments with his partner, even if you’re just there for the emotional support of the news that’s happening. But you can ask the questions that you have. So you don’t have to play the telephone game. When you get home. It’s like, did you ask this? What did the doctor say? So you get it firsthand. Plus, you know, each of us are gonna forget something to ask the doctor. So you’re there kind of as a buddy system.

Twin Gender Predictor Calculator

I really loved seeing the ultrasounds of my twins. Because it made real for me, because you can see them bouncing around. And I think that by going to the doctor, you’re going to get the information and you can ask the questions that you need.

But another thing is, the doctor can tell your partner or your wife to do certain things, or don’t do certain things. And if you’re there to hear that straight from the doctor, you can kind of keep her honest,

because I know my wife was she was busy with our two toddlers and, and it was hard for her to slow down, which is what she had to do. And so, because I’d heard from the doctor, I could say “hey sweetie, you’re supposed to rest”. You know, this many hours a day, I could kind of help and support her in that way.

But then I had to adjust what I was doing as a dad in the house we had certain kind of roles that we fell into helping with the kids or helping with the house. And so anywhere there was something that she was doing before, I’d have to find a way to pick up that slack. Or maybe we just decided we didn’t do that thing anymore. You know, things fall by the wayside so that she could focus on her health and the health of the babies.

So dads have to find a new rhythm of what they’re actually involved in. You know, many dads are already involved and are very supportive of their partner. But other times, it comes as a surprise, like, okay, now you’re in the game, you’re going to be involved, way more than you were before. The twin pregnancy is kind of like a preparation for once they arrive. Because dad is stepping up and doing a lot more things to support mom and that’s a pattern that’s going to continue once the babies arrive. When it’s all hands on deck.

Natalie: Yes, it definitely doesn’t end the moment of their birth date. It’s hilarious. Because in Twiniversity classes, I always feel like I’m actually teaching to the dad. I rarely feel. And the thing is, is the moms are learning, just as much. But when I wrote the curriculum, I really wrote it from How could she get the support that she needs? And how could we, how can we make this happen. And I always say, like, there’s guys who walk in and they walk into to literal class or I could see them online. And it’s almost like a frying pan to the back of the head. Sometimes it’s like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Because, you know, your, your wife feels these babies growing every day. So like, we can’t get away from it. But if you go for a drive or go out for a night, or even go to the office for the day, not saying that it’s not on your mind, but it’s not you’re on your mind. Whereas with somebody who’s the, you know, incubator for these little babies that are growing, it’s kind of a on our mind, and then everything else is secondary. So yeah, it really is it and having dad’s go to the doctor. I don’t think people realize how important that is. And really, you brought up such a great point about that whole almost like you have to you’re your partner’s babysitter, like, What did the doctor say the doctor says to drink this. It’s great. Now, we always say that if you can’t make it to the visit, like at least do a conference call in or even FaceTime. Like right now, there’s so many video chats that you could do, but it really is so important. I’m so glad that you did that. And that’s why you’re one of my favorite twin dad.

Now with your twins on delivery day, did you have a scheduled c section or is it really like super surprise?

Joe: It was a mix. We knew that we were going to have a C section. Each of our Singleton boys had been born via c-section. Our first had been an emergency c section. And then the second was planned. And so with the twins, my wife knew she wanted to just have a C section which turned out okay, because our girls were in the wrong position that it wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Okay, so she went in for her checkup. And by this time, my wife was like, you know, I’m done with these babies. They need to just be here. So she went kind of went into the doctor’s appointment with the mindset of I’m going to convince the doctor that it’s time to deliver these babies. Okay, I was not ready for that. I had like work to go to after the doctor’s appointment, you know, all my stuff, overnight bag, everything was at home, still. So we go into the appointment, they hook her up to the machine to measure contractions, and turns out she’s having contractions. So the doctors, like, Okay, well, today’s the day so. So we went, we went straight from the doctor’s office over to the labor and delivery and then we waited most of the day because other moms who were more severely in labor were coming through.

So it was kind of a surprise, I’d left work, thinking I’d go to the appointment, come back to work. And I ended up at the hospital for the entire day. Surprise.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Natalie: it’s not the worst day that you can have. Now. You wish you said that you had your bag packed, so her bags were packed, too. Did you pack something? Did you have your own bag for your hospital trip? Or did you just throw your stuff in her bag? What was your sense now this was your third time around, and your’re an experienced Dad, what did you bring to the hospital with you for yourself?

Joe: I had stuff to sleep with. I treated it kind of like a camping trip I took a sleeping bag and a little air mattress because they have the couches in the rooms, but are hard as sleeping on the floor. So I just prepared like I was gonna go camping. And also, you know, change of clothes for me. toiletries, stuff for that. But also some snacks. I was also in charge of, you know, spreading the news of the twins. So I made sure I brought audio visual equipment and my camera and my laptop and my chargers and everything to make sure I could communicate out the good news to everybody.

Natalie: But you had your own separate back than her stuff?

Joe: I did.

Natalie: Okay, good. I always think about that. Did you have the opportunity to have skin to skin contact in the hospital? Or was there anything that you learned from your first two deliveries that you’re like, Okay, this is a deal breaker. This is something that I want for me and my twins, to be a part of like their story. So what what what things in the hospital occur that you were the one that took the lead on to make sure they happened?

Joe: Well, one thing I wanted to make sure I saw them be delivered in the C section and operating room. And so we had many conversations leading up to that with our doctor, I wanted to be able to see what’s happening because with with the boys, the doctors had this veil covering the lower half of mom. So I’m sitting, I’m sitting next to my wife’s head and the anesthesiologist waiting for the green light from the doctor to say, you can stand up and see what’s going on, because they’re really afraid, you know, dad is going to see too much blood and pass out or whatever.

So I wanted to make sure that I could, I could stand up and see the delivery of my babies and also record that because my wife was like, you know, she’s laying flat on her back. She’s looking at the ceiling. And she said, You better get video delivery, because I want to see those babies be born. And so I was, I was like, I’m going to stand up. Even as a doctor didn’t say, stand up. You have to get this video. Yeah, so that was a big thing. I wanted to make sure we captured that moment.

One thing my wife did that was interesting to me was she wanted to see the placenta after the fact, because she wanted to see those two umbilical cords come out of this thing.

So I had already left the room at that time with the babies. So she was able to see that after the fact, which was pretty cool.

Natalie: Oh, that is, that’s really, really awesome. Yeah, I I don’t necessarily know if that’s like a first time thing. I think people are always to, like, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But by the third time you’re like, Yeah, I got to get into this. Like, I’m, I’m shocked. You didn’t try to scrub in and be part of it and be like, that’s it. Scrub me and doc. So that was on the delivery day. Now, when the babies were here, and you were still in the hospital? Did you have a lot of family come to the hospital on delivery day? Or was it just you and your wife.

Joe: My mother in law had come in town just earlier that week. But she was home with watching our two boys. And so, I mean, she came in later that the first night to see the babies. My parents live in town. So they are able to come and see. But that was it. So it was towards the end of that first day after the girls were born. That’s when a couple of the grandparents came through to visit. Fortunately, our girls were really healthy. And so they didn’t have to be in the NICU. So they were just in the room with my wife during her recovery.

Natalie: That’s excellent. How did you introduce the boys to the girls?

Joe: So we had done a lot of buildup of anticipation leading up to their birth. So they knew mom was pregnant. They knew mom had two babies, they knew that we’re, they’re gonna have sisters, we’d already picked names out for the girls. So they were already calling their sisters by their names while they were still in mom’s belly.

And so we had my mother in law, bring them to the hospital after a day, maybe. And so by this time, my oldest was, you know, barely three and the other 18 months. So they were still firecrackers. And they showed up.

But what we had done was we had wrapped up little gifts for the boys and pretended they were from their sisters. Like, hey, we’re really glad to be in your family now here are some gifts from them. So they were kind of excited to get those gifts. But as soon as we brought the boys into the hospital room, they were it’s like an amusement park, right? They’re bouncing off the bed, they figured out how to move the bed, up and down, and all the switches and everything in the hospital room. So it was it was kind of crazy.

And that’s when we realized that we were in for a big, big surprise because we not only the twin babies, but these two very active toddler boys that was going to be a challenge.

Natalie: Listen, that that’s a lot on its own toddler boys that the twins thrown into the mix. Just it’s the cherry. It’s the cherry on the pie. So I have another question. So I have a lot of questions. Because I’m just intrigued by your entire website. And I do stalk you fairly often. I don’t know if you could tell. You can tell when we stop you. Because we always like your pictures. I don’t know if you’re trying to say is, but I am. I’m very outward about my stalking. But when it came to, like, I’m really trying to make sure that the dads know how to support their partners. I always imagined. It’s going to be the majority of the dads are going to this once they see that it’s you. They’re going to get super excited. But did your wife end up breastfeeding? The twins?

Joe: She tried to I mean, she had breastfed both of our Singleton babies. Okay, so the plan was to breastfeed our girls as well. But we had some challenges with that, because, we didn’t know at the time, but we found out that they were kind of tongue tied. So they were not able to get a good latch. And so it was, you know, several weeks of kind of frustration of trying to get the kids to breastfeed effectively before we realized that’s what the problem was. Yeah, but by that time, we had started to migrate off to pumped milk, and eventually the formula full time.

Natalie: Joe, I really wish you would have taken a Twiniversity class because we speak a lot about this, you know, it’s I wish that I never heard that. I wish that I never heard anybody say that. We struggled for weeks because of a tongue tie, or lip tie. or another issue that occurs and it’s so frustrating because you like as the breastfeed, or you take it so personally, that you’re like, I can’t get these babies to latch and it’s me and my nipples are wrong, my milk is not coming in. You make all these these excuses in your head. And it’s something so simple, and I don’t feel that it’s the negligence of the doctor because it can’t always be diagnosed so early. Sometimes it takes some time, but it’s, I really wish that that didn’t happen for you. And I’m sorry, I’m even more sorry for your wife. Because I totally can put myself in her shoes with that struggle of the weeks and God bless her for trying that long. I mean, that’s really, really good. But yeah, a lot of people do become exclusive pumpers because of latch issues and other issues, or just discomfort or tiny babies and there’s a million things that end up happening. But during her pumping time and her breastfeeding trials, how did you support her? Because that’s always a big question. Because feeding is always, you know, one of those things that’s all hands on deck. But if somebody is, you know, exclusively pumping, right, still will require all hands on deck. But there’s so much more that goes into it. How could dad support breastfeeding mamas?

Joe: So I guess I did everything but the actual breastfeeding would have been my role as a dad, because we had the two boys, what would happen is, if my wife was trying to get the girls to latch on to feed, the boys would kind of run circles around her. And that would distract the girls from eating because they wanted to see what was going on. So sometimes I was on kid duty trying to keep our other boys distracted. So mom could have some quiet with girls to feed them. Other times, like during the night, I’d be Johnny on the spot as far as delivering baby to mom and taking baby to burp baby or change, baby while she would help the other girl finish up feeding.

Eventually we moved to pumping and formula which kind of had a silver lining for me as a dad, because then I could participate in the feeding.

Natalie: Absolutely.

Joe: So then each of us would take turns with the two girls. So in the middle of night, we’d wake up, she’d take a baby and I would take the other baby. It was something I really enjoyed even in the middle of the night. Even though I sleep deprived it was great to just have one on one time with one of my girls, you know, talk to her, see her expressions and feed her.

I did not really get that opportunity with older boys because my wife had breastfed them. So in the night, you know, I was sleeping getting ready for work the next day, and she would wake up and feed them. And so that was kind of a privilege of the twins even though we weren’t able to breastfeed. Bottle feeding worked out just fine for that regard.

Natalie: Oh, that’s really, really true. And I don’t I think moms realize what a critical time it is for bonding for dads and their babies. And feeding is when everybody’s quiet now that you can bond during Other times, but bath time and feeding time. I mean, they’re super content. So you’re like, Okay, I got this. It’s also less nerve wracking too because you have a task, right? So dads are like, here’s the job instead of just like playing with babies. It’s like, here’s your job. So yes, it’s it’s definitely fantastic. And we always say like, I always recommend to moms that even if they are exclusively breastfeeding to, you know, do one pumping session so that dad could always have some time for feeding. So that’s, that’s a huge deal.

Now, as the twins got bigger, do you feel that they perhaps favored your wife? And how did you if you do feel that, what did you do as a dad to really get yourself in there so that it’s not just Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, that you do hear the word daddy every once in a while.

Joe: I wouldn’t say they exclusively preferred her. But depending on the day and their mood, they would where they would just want mom to soothe them or to play with them, interact with them. So we had a few strategies to cope with this. There’s some things that as dad I just always did. Like I always did bath time or so we got in routines, I would have a chance to spend more time with them. So it was like either bath time or help them with, you know, story time or bedtime, getting them ready in the bedtime routine. I was highly involved in that each night. So I knew that even if the girls were finicky, and they didn’t want me during the day, you know, I would still get time with them at night. And other times, my wife would deflect them. They she would say, well, Dad’s going to help you with this right now or go see your dad or I would just swoop in and, you know, pick them up and just run with it.

So, you know, sometimes they would only be consoled my mom and, you know, that’s, that’s okay. That happens. But I didn’t take it personally. I think that is an important thing is that they didn’t hate me or didn’t want me forever. Right? It was just a temporary thing. Yes. And I saw it as such. And so that made it easier to manage through that.

Natalie: I always feel like I’m curious how other dads always deal with that. I feel like sometimes I’m yelling at the twins. You know, you have a father. Do you know that man? Let me introduce you, his name is dad say hello. Make friends. Shake hands. I feel like all the time they’re coming to me. Although my husband sitting literally right next to me. And I’m like, I feel like there’s like some secret component that we missed when they were toddlers that my husband should have done. And I’m like, is there something missing?

You have your two older boys and then your twin girls. Do you have a different relationship with your kids? Because of their gender? Like, do you feel like, Oh, those are totally Daddy’s little girls. Are you into everything? And do you feel like, like, because you’re in such a unique, you know, position to see that? Do you feel that your relationship is different with your kids?

Joe: There is a difference there. They’re not just girls, but they’re my babies. Perhaps because of this, I don’t know if we treated them like babies longer. And like once they were born the boys, had to grow up early. And so I look at the boys having to be more self sufficient and more responsible and then we have the babies of the family, the girls. Maybe we let them be babies a little longer.

One thing that manifest in was their speech patterns, because I think a remnant of their tongue tie. And even though they got snipped early on, they had problems with their speech. And we kind of let that roll longer than we would have with our boys because they were babies of our family until eventually we got them into some speech therapy for that.

But, you know, I try to involve my girls like mowing the lawn, fix the car or work in the garden outside, or, or maybe those could be considered traditional boy tasks. You know, I want to get them involved in everything.

I’m a nerd, and geek. So I want to get them to learn about computers and technology and stuff too. So they have different interests, you know, they want to dress up and dance and do karaoke my girls do. And my boys, you know, they don’t want to do that at all, they want they want to do something different.

Natalie: So I think I don’t think it’s just boy, girl. It’s like their individual interests and personalities. And would you do anything for the girls since they are identical? And probably there’s, you know, it’s not a bad thing. But I’m sure that a lot of people just bolt them together and call them the twins more than fraternal twins. What do you do as a parent to really nurture their individuality and their independence? So, is there something that you do specifically, because the whole world, always wants to group them together as the twins?

Joe: Yeah, something we were really conscious of, is fostering that individuality. Because you’re right, most people group them as the twins, or refer to them as the twins.

So made a conscious effort to never use that phrase, really, like, we always refer to them by their names. And, or at least the girls, you know, like, we have got the boys, we’ve got the girls.

And so using that kind of vocabulary, it kind of rubbed off on, you know, the grandparents and family members and friends that refer to them by their name, or by the girls instead of the twins.

We also tried to create one on one time with each of them, even from an early age, I would come home from work for lunch. And I would take one of them, like on a lunch date. So just like one on one time with, with each of my girls. And we’d kind of rotate. I mean, I did this with each of the kids, all four of them. But that helped foster individual unique experiences where one by one the twins were having an experience and the other one was not there. So she was building her own memories and an experience and relationship and they weren’t always grouped together or not always having to do everything together at the same time.

Natalie: I think identical dads would definitely have a little bit more of challenge I think than with for fraternals. Because sometimes all they have in common is their birthday. They don’t even look remotely like each other, the world could easily just be like, That’s you. And that’s you. But with identical is, it’s, it’s definitely a challenge. I always think about that with our identical families. How did you tell them apart when they were little?

Joe: So we color coded the clothes that they wore so one of our girls was in warm clothes, so like pinks and oranges and reds and stuff like that. And the other girl in cooler colors. So purples and blues and greens. So that was not just for our benefit but for everyone else’s benefit. So they can tell which girl was which but also for pictures. And I mean, we look back at pictures. Now we can really know who was who because of what they were wearing.

Our girls did have a slight weight difference when they were born. So if you studied them long enough, you could tell who was who. But they were really, really similar one was a little heavier, and a little more flush a little redder than her sister.

So after a while, of course, as parents, we could tell them apart.

I mean, I still confuse them today. And they’re almost 10, when I look across the room. And I still use the wrong name because they still look so similar.

The color coding of clothes worked great. In the beginning I was so worried about mixing them up that we had a rule. No two naked babies at the same time. Like, because that way. We always knew who was who and could keep them straight.

Natalie: Did either have a mystery birthmark that if you did mix them up, you would be able to find out who that was?

Joe: No, there’s no mystery birth marks. So we did find out later we think there may be a mirror image twins because their hair kind of parts on opposite sides and the favor different hands and stuff like that. But we came to that realization a little later.

Natalie: Oh, that’s that’s really, really, really interesting. So you bring up something you know interesting about dad jobs before that you have like your dad jobs. And you do, you know, feedings when you can, and bath time as they’re getting older, are your dad jobs different for you now?

Joe: they are. I mean, our kids are self sufficient now but frankly they still need me to crack the whip on them to make sure that they’re actually washing their hair in the shower, actually cleaning up after themselves. So now, as they’re getting older, like I said, the girls are almost 10, it’s evolved to where I’m kind of trying to coach them along, right. And so they know how to wash dishes or they know how to, you know, make a simple meal or mow the lawn or stuff like that. It’s where I’m working with them side by side instead of doing the job for them. As an example, story time has evolved into encouraging them to read by themselves instead of me reading to them, although we still read together occasionally. But helping foster their own self sufficiency in that regard. Homework is same, same thing where I’m helping them with homework when they have problems or trouble.

Natalie: Now speaking of evolution, so as the kids evolved, so does your relationship with your wife? How, how do you make sure that you stay connected with your partner, because so many families, I’m Joe, I wish to say that it never happened. But I could tell you like we talk a lot about, you know, relationships in Twiniversity. And we actually try to put a spotlight on it as much as possible, because everybody prepares their home and packs the diaper bag and, you know, does all these things. And people forget that you have to really kind of buckle down and prepare your relationship as well. Having the benefit of having two previous children before the twins. What do you do as a father and a dad? What do you do as a man and a husband to make sure that when these kids grow up, because you’re teaching them the exact skills that they need? What are you doing to ensure that you and your wife don’t look at each other and say, Who are you when they’re of to college?

Joe: Yeah, that’s such an important thing. Because you’re so hunkered down with taking care of the kids that you can very easy to neglect your partner. And the relationship deteriorates. If you don’t nurture it over time. So, my wife and I have been very aware of that. And it comes down to scheduling, like, we will schedule, you know, date night, or I mean, we both work out of the home. So it’s easy for us to schedule a lunch date when the kids are at school, we can, we can go out and spend time together. One thing that we’ve been very sure that we’re always doing is having very open and honest communication with each other. And oftentimes, that can’t happen in the heat of the moment. If there’s something frustrating us or something’s gone crazy. But it may be, you know, at the end of the day, or even if it’s on that date night, we can sit down and say, Hey, this is what happened this week, you know, what are your thoughts on this, and what can we do to do something different next time. But not taking things personally or getting frustrated, personally, particularly in those early years. First of all, you’re sleep deprived, because the kids are not sleeping properly, and you’re worn down, physically separating the physical drain and not associating that pain or, or trouble with your partner. And we had to make that conscious decision. No, it’s not her fault this is happening. Yeah, or it’s not my fault. We try to go to bed at the same time at night. So that gives us opportunity to be together or to talk to each other, or to decompress. And so we’re not always running in our own circles, you know, away from each other. But even if we haven’t seen each other all day, because of kids, or work or whatever we’re doing, we’re able to make sure that we we still see each other and are able to talk honestly and openly about what we’re struggling with what’s going well, but if we don’t schedule things, it doesn’t happen.

Natalie: Time could slip by weeks can slip by and we haven’t gone in a day or are seeing each other. So, gotta do it. It’s so crazy. Like everybody, nobody thinks about it until it’s almost too late. Right? Right. until it becomes like this big snowball that comes down the mountain. And then you’re like, I have no idea how to fix this. You know, I have no idea how to talk to you. I have no idea what we’re going to talk about besides the kids and what happens next. So if you don’t stop talking, it’s a lot easier to keep the conversation going. But of course, we both know that’s much easier said than done, right? So we could say I could give all the advice in the world. And so could you about things that we do. But when you’re literally in the eye of the storm of, you know, the Whirling Dervishes of twins, plus bonus children, plus visiting family members, or household help that you hired. It’s really, really, really tough. But it really I can’t stress enough. Like, we teach our kids like you teaching your kids how to mow the lawn, right. That’s like an important skill. It’s so important that people teach their kids that this is what a supporting and loving relationship looks like. Like I it drives me crazy that nobody ever talks about that. I see all like these, you know, Pregnancy pilates classes, and all this other stuff. I’m like, Guys, guys, like, we gotta have a talk here. Don’t go to that, you know, newborn care class. Go away for the weekend, while everything is still quiet, and you know where they are, because they’re in your belly at the same time. But Joe, this is really why I love you so much. One of the many, many reasons because you really are a fantastic twin dad, and I’m just in awe of what you’ve done for the dad community of twins. And I personally thank you because I feel like not that I have been. I can do less. But I can do less because you’re doing it. So if we want more information, like give us like your book, like give us the information about if people have dads are out there now and they’re listening. What do you recommend they do? buy the book? First, go to the websites? Follow you on social. What’s the order of twin dadness that you think is best to follow?

Joe: Well, you can find everything about me at DadsGuideToTwins.com my site where you’ll find the latest articles. I have a podcast as well that you can access through there or on iTunes. I have written a couple books for dad’s. Dad’s Guide to Twins was my first. So if you’re expecting twins, that’s a great place to get started with that book. I also wrote Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins, which takes you from newborns through the first couple years. So based on where you are in your journey, one of those books me be a better fit for you. You can find those books at DadsGuideToTwins.com/books, or they’re on Amazon. Pretty easy to find.

Natalie: And your shirts, which I really feel is kind of like dad wardrobe.

Joe: So I was kind of disappointed by all the shirts I saw out there for twin parents. They seem like they were made, not by twin parents. We needed to make some shirts that have the inside jokes that we think are funny as we as twin parents reflect our reality as parents are twins. And so I started TwinTShirtCompany.com where you can find dozens of different designs. And I’ve done them for dads and moms and for grandparents.

So it’s always fun for me to come up with some new ideas and see how they are received, like you mentioned the new Harry Potter shirt I did.

So it’s fun to wear those out in public and see people’s reactions and the double takes that they do. Yeah, that’s TwinTShirtCompany.com

Natalie: Well, I absolutely love it. And thank you so much for joining us today. I’m as always really, I’m truthfully excited to see what you do next. I never know what you’re going to do next. And always know that I’m a big fan and I love it. And I really do I know that my husband follows you on Instagram. He follows literally like four people. So that’s a big deal. I think it’s me, you and his cousin in Hawaii. I love that you made that cut. So keep really keep up the good work for a twin dad’s everywhere. And thanks so much for joining us. Joe.

Joe: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Natalie: See you later my cats and kittens. That is another episode of our Twiniversity podcast.

That was Mr. Joe Rawlinson or Twin Dad Joe. You can find him online. His t-shirts really are the best I have to tell you the truth, and thanks so much for listening.

to not forget this is one component of a giant Twiniversity revolution. You can find us on social @twiniversity everywhere. So, Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest and everyplace else.

Natalie: And don’t forget, we have our book what to do when you’re having to if you were expecting it is a must read and do not forget Twiniversity.com/classes. If you want to join us online for even more information.

So, my friends, until next time, have the best day ever. make each day count. And never forget that you are a rockstar. All parents of twins are rock stars. And for my singleton parents listening. We know you’re listening. We know that you’re spying on us to see what we’re doing. But you know what, you deserve some good information, too. So have the best day. Thanks for listening. See you online over at Twiniversity, over and out, guys.

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.

Leave a Comment