Guest Post from Seeing Double: Life with Twins
I remember when we found out that we were pregnant with twins. Let me say that a little bit more accurately: I remember when Jenn was pregnant and we found out that we were going to be parents of twins. With singletons, dads know that a zone defense will get the job done. In other words, the singleton is continuously outnumbered. Creating opportunities for alone time and one-on-one time shouldn’t be that difficult. We, twins parents, laugh when we hear our singleton parents complain about not having time (and by the way, my triplets mom friend laughs when I complain, so it’s all relative). Our twins are toddlers now and, though we’ve certainly gotten a solid game plan in place, we’ve struggled to create opportunities for really high-quality one-on-one time with our kids.
Since my wife and I both work remotely, we’ve essentially been like one big, beautifully-connected and blessed blob going through life together. That written, we know how important one-on-one time is, so here are five ways that we have made that happen. (And whether both parents work from home, both parents work outside the home, or one parent is home while one parent is away at work most days, these strategies will work for every pair of parents.)
Pick A Day, Any Day
We have designated days with dad and days with mom and the boys love it. When one of the boys gets his solo time with dad, he knows that we are going to run around like crazy and probably look like we walked through a mud-spitting wind tunnel by the time we get home. With mom, he knows that he will likely eat something tasty with a lot of butter in it and come home with something new.
Another thing we do is something called Handy Helpers (they are almost through their Mickey Mouse obsession, I hope). One of the boys will go with mom to help her run errands and the other will come with me. Sometimes that just looks like the two of us running through Costco sampling everything and seeing how comfortable the mattresses are, but they feel like they are helping, so it all works out.
Solo bath time is really great. We don’t do this too often because of how much the boys enjoy their baths together. They laugh and splash and make bubble hats. Every so often, though, one of us will hang out and talk and read to the one in the tub and the other parent will do play doh or puzzles with the other. It’s another easy way to create that precious one-on-one time.
As the boys get older, it’s fun to watch their interests develop. Right now, for example, one of the boys can’t get enough dinosaur time (plastic dinosaurs, a big stuffed dinosaur, books, songs,… you get the idea) while the other one is crazy about trains and trucks. Their special interests naturally create special time. I might take one of our boys to the train museum while Jenn stays at home and sings “Baby T Rex” for the millionth time. One day that song will make me cry because of how much I will miss that chapter in our lives, but for now it’s painful in a completely different way (even though it’s adorable to hear our son sing along to it).
This is another super simple way to have one-on-one time when you have twins. One parent plays with one of the kids inside (books, blocks, trains, etc.) and the other parent plays in the backyard with the other kid (water toys, sand box, scooter, sidewalk chalk, etc.). Then you switch. It works great, and the boys love it.
Having twins is the most beautiful thing in the world to us and it certainly keeps life interesting. It has made us get extra creative with how best to use our time, too, so we don’t miss things we say are important to us as parents. One of those things is finding one-on-one time, and we have found some fun ways to make that happen.
Guest Author: Peter Daskarolis
Peter Daskarolis is a boots-on-the-ground, work-from-home father of twin boys who gets up before the roosters and edutains his sons most of his waking hours. He loves being a Dad more than anything else in the world, so do check out his blog at Seeing Double: Life With Twins