Parenting twins is, quite simply, a team sport. From day one, you as a father will forever be in the starting lineup. There is no sitting on the sideline for a twin dad. You’ve got two kids now, and you are going to have to play a big role.
You will need to be a leader and a pinch hitter from the get-go. There will be diaper changes, feedings, and sleepless nights for you too—not just for your other half. But there will also be moments that will be the proudest and most defining of your entire life.
For any parents (whether brand-new ones or ones preparing for an empty nest), it is important—critical even—to remember that you are part of a team. You are co-captaining your very own championship squad, and they will need your coaching, encouragement, and guidance along the way. And you and your partner will always need to have each other’s back.
Here is our list of in-play rules for parenting twins:
- Respect yourself, your partner, and your family.
- The co-captains are always the leaders. Never let your children lead you. The family unit begins with the parents and the proper following of rule #1.
- Timeouts were invented for a reason. If you need a break or you see that your co-captain needs a break, call for a timeout. Get back in the game as soon as you have gained your composure.
- Expect to get dirty. The sport of parenting is messy. Dive in without hesitation. Never be afraid just because you have not done it before. It will eventually come naturally.
- Keep your eye on the ball. You’ll have to stay focused. This is especially true for the first 90 days. Be present and live in the moment, and things will progress as they should.
- Have a well-thought-out game plan. Work with your co-captain to create a winning strategy that combines both of your wants and needs. But …
- Don’t be afraid to tweak the game plan. If the strategy isn’t working for you or your co-captain, shift things around until you both feel comfortable with and confident about the plan.
- Be efficient. Think of ways you can do things faster or more efficiently so that your time is spent in better ways. For example, have a tray in the nursery so you can carry several bottles or other items to the kitchen in one trip.
- Rest up whenever you can, and work with your co-captain to make sure she is rested as well. Block out time so you both can get some sleep. Take one or two feedings if you can so that your co-captain can get a solid chunk of rest.
- “Good game” comments are always encouraged. Praise each other when you do things right as a unit and every night when you go to bed. This is also known as the Football Players’ Butt Smack Rule; if that feels appropriate, go ahead with that too!