We were asked for more twin dad insight on the site and we listened. When we in turn sought out some twin dads to get the twin dad life 101 from, lucky for us Malta-based Thomas Jezequel volunteered. As you know, we think twin dads are superdads and were excited to hear what this one had to share about raising his two adorable twin boys.
Read on to learn about what fascinates Thomas about his twins, how working out is one of his secrets to twin parent success and what twin myth he doesn't think is true.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I'm a 36-year-old French guy from Brittany, married to a Hungarian woman, and I'm the father of two 3 years old fraternal twin boys, raised bilingually (FR/HU). They were born in Brussels, but we just moved to the Mediterranean island of Malta, so they will be schooled in English... I work for an EU institution.
2. What fascinates you the most about twins (especially your own)?
How they can be born at the same time, educated similarly by the same parents, exposed to the same stimulus at the same time.... and be so freakily different. From the moment they were in neonatal care, we could see differences in characters. This has not changed since. It's not one size fit all, we have to adapt our behavior to each child, they're not one package.
It's easy to forget sometimes. It also fascinates me how they respond to each other behavioral change, especially in the early years. If one starts to crawl, or walk, the other follows. If one starts to talk, the other gets to it. It's not always the same "leader" / "follower", but they progress at the same rhythm because of constant exposure (24/24 7/7) to another kid going through the same phases.
Today it is really about language acquisition... they only just started to use Hungarian between themselves on a daily basis after years of French being a bit too dominant... but they respond to each other and progress at the same time now. If one clicks, the other clicks. I find it reassuring, as they can always count on each other to cope with change, and they're going through a lot of changes these past few weeks (international removal, new language, etc)
3. What was the biggest fear you had going into being a twin dad?
Not being able to cope financially. We both had good jobs, but we still took a hit and burned through a good part of our savings to be able to maintain the same standard of living. 2 years of private daycare (almost a second rent) have been really tough on us! But we're out of the wood now. I wonder what would have happened if we had found ourselves in a more precarious situation.
I was also afraid of not being able to cope physically (lack of sleep, having to lift things all the time, including 2 kids) so I took on weightlifting as soon as we got the news, and got considerably stronger. It's become a religion for me and I think it helped me greatly physically and mentally. My wife did the same after a while, she can still carry them at the same time and they're more than half their weight combined. She's badass!
I remember losing weight the first few months, from lack of sleep, no time to eat and constant physical effort... Still, we're quite "damaged" by the last 3 years, it takes a toll on your physical and mental health if you don't have a support system around, which we did not have. But taking care of yourself physically really helps. I did not think it would be so hard psychologically and emotionally though.
4. What has surprised you the most about your twins?
How it becomes your new normal. You have two. All the time. You think always in pair, and the first few months you always have both hands taken and you need to plan every little move (including opening a door). And when you have only one to take care of (sometimes we split to run separate errands), how EASY and relaxing it is to have only one! it's important to give them one-to-one time they really love it, they're deprived of it compared to other children.
5. What is the number one myth about having twins you would like to debunk?
"Haha it's double trouble": no. It's exponential, not double. It's not "twice as hard", it's multiple times as hard.
6. Is there any advice about having twins you wish you had been given?
Do not listen to any advice given by single parents. Always get support and advice from parents of multiples.
Accept these very basic principles: other parents have NO idea what you are going through, even yours (especially yours). Whatever they pretend, it's not the same. Having 2 kids, even close in age, is not the same either. If they keep it at it, nod and smile, no need to offend them, they've been through tough times too, but they know nothing. Reddit's r/parentsofmultiple is a great souce of support.
Meeting with other parents of multiples is a great help as well: they'll make you understand you are not crazy and you are not failing as a parent: they're actually living through the same thing. We only did this after 6 months of being all alone, and I remember the first conversation we had with parents of twins of the exact same age as a ray of sunlight ("ah so it's not just US????")
It's going to be tough, there is absolutely no way around it. Support each other and take care of yourselves. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But don't think it will be all rosy and cute, at first it's war in the trenches. Don't think in terms of being perfect, doing everything perfectly, don't feel peer pressured by other parents, nurses, by facebook posts: it's about survival for a while, and it's important that you don't forget yourself and your well-being.
Thank you, Thomas. You are true super dad and we are so grateful for you taking the time to answer our questions.
We love getting to know to know twin parents and their journey, and this is our latest interview in our twin parent series (check out the others, including with the twin mom behind Simple Chic Brunette here and Twin Z CEO here).
Twinning Store was established by twin sisters K & E in Los Angeles in July 2017. We sell clothing for twins and twin parents, because we rule!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR ORDER:
WHAT DO I DO IF I ORDERED TO THE WRONG ADDRESS?
If your item has not shipped yet, we can still change this the mailing system. However, once you have received a shipping confirmation from us, it is unfortunately not possible to change. We strive to make you happy so please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com and we will do our best to accommodate you. Make sure to include your order details (including order number).
We hope that you love your purchase from Twinning Store! If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase we accept returns within 21 days of the original purchase. Merchandise must be unworn, unwashed and in its original condition with all tags attached.
Refund will be made in the form of the original payment within two weeks of receiving the goods back in our warehouse. E-gift cards and final sale items cannot be returned or refunded.
You will be required to pay the cost of shipping the package back to Twinning Store via a tracked service. We do not reimburse for the postage required to return.
We DO accept take refunds and exchanges when:
If you meet the above criteria, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For our quality assurance, please include the reason for returning the item.
We DO NOT accept take refunds and exchanges when:
If you feel as though the product you received was defective, please send detailed photos of the unused item and a brief explanation of the defect to email@example.com so we can look into it right away!
We do not offer exchanges at this time. If you’d like to make an exchange, simply return the original unused order back to us for a refund and make a new purchase for the item you want through our site.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: We ship all over the world. For questions or issues please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goods will be imported on behalf of the consignee/buyer. The consignee authorizes Twinning Store to import the goods on his behalf. Further, the consignee/buyer agrees Twinning Store may delegate the obligation to import the goods on his behalf to a subcontractor (e.g. customs broker). The consignee will pay the taxes & duties in addition to the purchase price of the goods.
International Returns and Exchanges:
We accept returns of unworn items within 21 days of delivery. Merchandise must be unworn, unwashed and in its original condition with all tags attached.
If you would like to move forward and return all or part of your order, please email us at email@example.com. You will be responsible for shipping the item back via a tracked mail carrier. Twinning Store is unable to provide international return labels at this time.
All refunds will be credited back to the original form of payment. Shipping costs are not refundable.
WHAT IS YOUR CLOTHING MADE OF?
Most of our clothing is made of 100% cotton. All product pages list the specific product material. For any specific questions on this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHERE DO YOU SHIP?
We ship worldwide! Our shipping rates vary based on destination and are calculated at checkout. Please note that Non-US customers are responsible for any duty or customs fees which may be collected upon the delivery of your package.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE AN ORDER?
Please allow3-5 days processing time from when we receive your order.
Then add an additional shipping time as listed below:
3-5 business days via USPS
3-8 business days via FedEx SmartPost
5-10 business days without tracking
10-20 business days without tracking
QUESTIONS ABOUT TWINNING STORE:
WHAT IS TWINNING STORE?
Twinning Store is a fashion store for twins by twin sisters K & E with products for men, women, girls, boys, toddlers and babies. We are based out of Los Angeles. You can read more about us here.
WHAT MAKES TWINNING STORE PRODUCTS UNIQUE?
Our company was created because we couldn’t find twin fashion products that matched our sense of style. We have created a range of products that are comfy and chic enough to wear for every occasion. Our mission is to make sure everyone can flaunt their twin-ness year round.
In addition, we pride ourselves on quality and therefore choose top materials.
HOW DO I CONTACT YOU?
We are available per email (email@example.com), Chat (see Turquoise button in corner), or through ourcontact form.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A QUESTION NOT ADDRESSED HERE?
We want to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For any order related questions, please include order details (including order number).