Let me begin with a very honest admission; I never wanted children. I never pictured myself as a father and assumed that I would live a life of supercars and solitude, until I met Anna. With a cliche worthy of a chick flick from the 90’s, my entire outlook on life changed when I realised that I had found a life partner that I wanted to share everything with. So we decided to get married and shortly after, begin trying to have children. A few weeks later, staring at the “+” sign on the test, we were in shock. So Anna headed off to get a scan while I was at work. The new life that was growing inside her was referred to as “sweet pea” (if you use the pregnancy apps, you’ll know why). The phone conversation that followed was a moment that I will re-tell for the rest of my life:
Me: “Hi Darling, how was the scan?”
Anna: “Yeah, all good”
Me: “How is the sweet pea?”
Anna: “Well… you know how peas come in a pod?”
Anna: “Yeah, there’s two of them”
Anna: “Hello? You there?”
Me: “……..uhhhh….. yeah?”
That’s right, we were having twins.
After an amazing pregnancy and the healthy arrival of our two boys, Anna has kindly asked me to share my experience of becoming a dad of twins. So here are my three tips to new dads. An honest few pointers that made our start of parenthood a positive, fun and exciting part of our lives.
- 1. Take time off work
Nothing will prepare you for the life changing moment of having your first child, let alone two. The good news is that you have time to plan. And I planned to take all of my time off work from the moment Anna was due. I ignored the fathers that said I would be “useless” during the first few weeks and focused all of my attention on our family that just doubled in size. Not being at work for the few weeks after the birth meant that I could do night shifts so Anna could get some sleep. That’s right, sleep is best thing you can give her. Your wife will be recovering from the birth and giving her the chance to get a decent amount of consecutive hours of sleep is priceless.
- 2. Get domesticated
Anna was lucky that cooking is how I like to unwind, but after the arrival of our boys, it became a responsibility. Your wife will be busy settling into motherhood and a nutritious meal is essential to getting her back on her feet (especially if she is breast feeding). So while your take outs may seem an easy option, they aren’t doing her (or your newly acquired “Dad Bod”) any favours. Helping around the house sounds simple, but it goes a long way.
- 3. Learn the ropes and get organised
Twins are a little different in that you rarely say “it’s your turn” to your better half. With two human beings that need to be fed, burped, bathed and changed, it’s all hands on deck. Get organised, get into a rhythm and learn how to do everything that your child will need. Not only are you supporting your partner with all the responsibilities of becoming a parent, but you will connect so much more with your children. It is a real blessing to become a father, so don’t take it for granted.
Be prepared for the most exciting adventure and be a good dad.