Dads of multiples are really the unsung heroes of parenting. For some dads, parenting babies is changing the occasional nappy, sometimes taking over the feeds, dipping baby in a bath every now and then and lots of play time. Don’t get me wrong, there are dads that really take a hands-on approach with babies, but for those daddies that do it more, it’s almost always a choice.
But daddies of multiples are thrust into mommy-hood in much the same ways mommies are.
Daddies of multiples get up in the middle of the night to quiet crying babies, daddies of multiples always bath at least one baby every night. Daddies of multiples change a million nappies a week. Daddies of multiples feed at least one baby everyday – several times.
And daddies of multiples do all this without having a mommies group to get advice from, without having another mommydad figure to bounce ideas off of or get some perspective from. Lets face it, most dads would rather talk about the rugby game over a bear than a baby’s feeding schedule or the contents of a baby’s nappy.
My hubby and dad to twins, does all of this and more. He was at the hospital everyday – several times a day, even with a full time job when the boys were in ICU.
He did night feeds while our boys were growing and took early mornings when they woke at 4am.
There are nights when he sleeps on a tiny cot mattress to make sure that he is up quickly to quiet one of the twins so that the one doesn’t wake the other – or more importantly me – when he cries.
Most days, my hubby takes the hardest (supper time) feed of the day, because I am still at work at that time. The supper feed almost always has one or both of the twins screaming (still have no idea why) and makes for a very trying evening.
Over the last week or so, the twins have been extremely sick and you could say this has been the hardest week we have ever had with the twins. But my hubby has soothed tears, hugged babies, bounced babies, given medicine and generally mommied in a way that only mommies could.
He has muddled along beside me, mostly uncomplaining. He has washed vomit off babies more times than I can count. He has smiled, he has laughed, and he has been our pillar of strength even through the hardest times.
He has never flinched at runny nappies and pops stuff into the washing machine like a pro. He washes dishes, he makes supper and he gives me two nights a week to go to pilates and ballet.
Joss Whedon said it best: “The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.”
I hope my Jon knows that he is our hero.