I absolutely love featuring Dad’s of multiples on this site. The parenting community tends to be dominated by us MoM’s, so it is incredibly refreshing to get a Dad’s perspective on things. Edwards blog, FatherEd (which is a “triple entendre”, His name, “Ed”, the term “fathered” and a ongoing lesson in parenting, or Father Ed-ucation), is a great resource for not just Dad’s, but parents of multiples, not to mention his boys, William and Michael (WiMi) are seriously adorable!
What made you decide to start a blog?
An avid user of FaceBook (I have over 200 photo albums) I was using that as my platform to share pictures, experiences, and thoughts on raising twin boys. Many friends of mine suggested I start a blog. I was reluctant at first… intimidated by the “blogosphere” particularly with the “parent bloggers” It’s somewhat competitive as you well know and I wondered how my blog would “measure up” Nonetheless I started FatherEd and its original intent was to simply be a place where I documented my time with the boys….shared more in depth stories and experiences as they related to me raising the boys. However months into it… I became bored and unsatisfied… I wanted it to be more than a place for story-telling. I wanted the blog (FatherEd) to develop into a resource for other parents, particularly fathers. Its not quite “there” yet, but it’s a work in progress. I want people to come and read FatherEd and leave with something if not inspired. I said it in one of my early posts… “If I just reach ONE dad… I will feel [it] was worth it”
Were you surprised to discover you were going to be a Dad of twins?
Yes and no. Twins run in my family. And those who know me well, will tell you that if something crazy is going to happen….it’s going to happen to me. When Clara called me after her OB appt. and told me it was twins….. I remember the combined feeling of panic and joy. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe this is my destiny….. raising these two boys to be men.
Your boys MoM is from Zimbabwe, what challenges do you experience co-parenting with someone from a different culture?
Well… anytime you have two people who come from two different backgrounds, styles of upbringing, or cultures… trying to work collaboratively is always going to present its challenges. The challenges increase exponentially when it comes to parenting. You grow up taking for granted that the person you’re going to raise children with thinks “baseball, apple pie, and hot dogs” or have an American mind-set is what I’m trying to say. But that’s not the case when you’re co-parenting with someone from another culture or country. What makes sense to you or me…. what seems custom, routine, or the norm doesn’t necessarily make sense to someone who didn’t grow up in an American/mid-West culture. It’s very easy for one to get on the defensive with even the simplest of things. One of our biggest conflicts of all time was when it came time for the boys to get their first pair of shoes. I was excited and all into the “ceremony” of taking the boys out to get measured for their first pair of “walkers” at the Stride-Rite as I had seen my parents do with me and my siblings. Clara didn’t share my enthusiasm or see the point in spending $50 on shoes. I took big offense to that and interpreted as that she didn’t care about the boys feet or wanted to be involved in “milestone moments” I call them. But as someone else from Zimbabwe later explained to me… typically even the most privileged of Zimbabwe children don’t get measured for their shoes and Stride-Rites simply don’t exist. There of course are other areas that create challenges …. diet, clothing, discipline styles. But what’s key to successfully co-parenting in situations like this is simply respect. Respect and recognize why it is that two people can see the same identical situation through a different lens or have a totally different approach or methodology to parenting. Then its about meeting in the middle. At the end of the day it’s about the boys.
You’re a SAHD, what do you love about having this time with your boys?
Well I wasn’t a SAHD by choice… laid-off when the boys were a mere 5 moths old, I had to make the most of a bad situation. I didn’t even embrace the “SAHD” title for sometime afterwards. But what I love is the rare opportunity that so many fathers have not been able to experience…that in seeing my boys grow. I’ve literally been able to see them go from the “Pack n Play” to sitting up…to crawling to walking…to riding bikes. I have had the time of my life…. The boys are in pre-k 3 days a week now , but I’m still with them two days a week and we make the most of it. I’m first a father…..but they have slowly matured into being my best friends as well.
What is your favorite thing to do with your boys?
Is spending time with them too General? Those who know me well know one of mine and the boys favorite pastimes is going to Target. Being a SAHD I do a majority of their shopping for clothes, diapers, and other incidentals. I love Target because the boys love Target. I’ve practically watched them grow up in that store. Every trip there isn’t about spending money… but simply having fun. There are days when we walk away having only spent $3, and the boys are fine with that, because the emphasis is on having fun…not spending. Another favorite activity of ours is going to the park. Love watching the boys be boys there…. and they love feeding the geese.
What is your favorite thing about being a Dad?
That’s tough because there’s so many things… I guess if I had to single out one thing its simply being recognized as “Daddy” So many titles for me have come and gone but that one is eternal. Whenever I hear the boys call me… at home, at the park, or the middle of a Target store…. its like hearing it for the first time. And you’ll always hear me respond with a “Yes sir” I love my boys but I also respect them as well.
What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?
- I’d like to hear from other parents on how they navigate the challenge of raising two human beings simultaneously but still recognizing and treating them as individuals. I think this is important but challenging at times.
- Also if there are other families or households that had to deal with a laid-off or unemployed spouse/partner. Did you survive? If so how? What were the biggest challenges.
- What are some of the best things about raising twins as well as some of the biggest nuisances?
Be sure to leave your answers to Ed’s questions in the comment section and then head over to FatherEd to leave some bloggy love!