dad life part 2.

Larkyn SmileIn my last post I was really honest with what we are going through as a family but I feel like I made it sound like our lives are nothing but struggle and we have no fun around here. Let me just say, the days can be long and hard but our family still is having fun. Not the same kind of fun we had when it was just MaK and I, or just MaK, Maebyn, and I, but it’s still been a great time of life. So, with that said, I thought I’d share the brighter side of what three kids just one year a part is like.

After we got the diagnoses that the twins had TTTS our lives shifted in a dramatic way and it hasn’t been the same since. MaK and I really relished the time we had before the twins got here because we knew we’d be confined to our house for an unforeseen amount of time after they arrived. With having 2-4 doctors appointments a week and a one year old, our time was still limited in what we could do but we decided we were going to go out to eat while we still had the opportunity. We frequent Mexican restaurants and one time while walking into one of our favorite Mexican joints a woman stopped us (as was the usual with MaK’s huge belly and a not-quite-one-year-old). She asked us what we were having, how old was Maebyn, are you guys nuts, and this that and the other. Upon finding out that we were having twin girls, the elderly woman stopped talking leaned into me and said “Ya know, it takes a real man to blast the balls off.” I was honored by the comment but thought if she only knew I actually wanted to keep the balls on.

Mom and GirlsAnother thing that has been fun to see is how Maebyn has assumed her role as the second mother in the family. If one of the twins is crying, she’s right there with a paci, blanket, or bottle. She may not know how to use them or where exactly they should go but she knows one of those three things usually stops the crying. She already loves her sisters very much. Any time she can get to them, she wants to kiss them and hold them.  She does most things in series of two. Someone’s crying? Two paci’s are needed. If we’re blessed with another child and only one shows up next time, we’re gonna have some serious explaining to do. Also, she got two baby dolls for her birthday and all day long she carries one or both of her babies around saying “baby, baby” all the while rocking, burping, and pushing them around in her shopping cart. We love seeing how Maebyn has adjusted to the craziness of our life and how she already loves her sisters at such a young age.

cousinsAnother perk to being outnumbered by babies is the response we get when we’re out and about as a family. We went to Chipotle last week and not only did the cashier insist on carrying our food to the table but when we looked around the restaurant for a high chair and all were conveniently being used, a sweet family immediately lifted their little boy out of the high chair and brought it to me. The husband gave me a pat on the back and said “you guys need this way more than we do”. It sometimes feels like there must be a huge “HELP!” sign on my back when I take the girls out judging by the response I get.

We are finally starting to enjoy being a family of five. Yes, our lives are much different and mostly about our kids, but the joy that has come from having children and being parents is unmatched to the struggle. It’s taken 2 months to get out of the haze of bringing home 2 tiny babies but seeing them smile, snuggle each other, and get kisses from her sister have started to ease the daily frustrations. MaK and I both want a big family and are thankful for the three kids that the Lord has blessed our family with.

– Ross

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11 thoughts on “dad life part 2.

  1. Hi Ross,

    I came across your blog some time ago looking for other stay at home dads. Then I read about the struggles with your twins. We too have had our own struggles with our twins, but our challenges came after birth. Ours are 2 now, and we also have a 4 and 5 year old. Yes, you can live through it!

    I am moved to read your testimony in every post. I can relate to what you share in so many ways. I too, am learning to be a better person, a better christian everyday.

    I wanted you to know, for me, Part 2 was nice, but not necessary. I know in between the daily challenges, there are these wonderful moments of joy! Sometimes though, it would be nice if they lasted more than just a minute or two….

    Don’t worry, it gets better and better my friend. You are doing a great job.

    -ken

    • Hi Ken,

      Thank you for your comment and the encouraging words. I love hearing from other twin parents because they’re the only ones who truly know how hard it is. How do you like being a stay at home dad? I’m always interested to hear from others in the same situation. Hope all is well. Thanks again for the encouragement.

      Ross

      • I thought your post (part one) was describing my life late 2011, when our twins were born, and everything was normal. I was working then, as was my wife, and we had home daycare for the big boys (who were 2 and 1 at the time) and a nanny for the twins. But, it was around the clock childcare every single night and seemingly every minute of every weekend! I actually looked forward to Monday’s at times.

        We moved to Houston in June 2012, and there my tenure began. I had visions of all things fun, with some childcare in the mix. No big deal, right? Right. I did not know how difficult it would become nor the emotions involved. You are very right when you mention feeling isolated.

        The moms don’t ‘really’ want to talk to me, and the few dad’s I see, I have little in common to make conversation.

        The universe is somewhat upside down with me being at home and Rebecca working. I believe in my heart Savanna has done as well as she has because I assumed primary caregiver through the calling of our Father almighty.

        I am now following my faith filled heart more closely than ever in this world. While difficult at times, I feels right. It is very rewarding.

        Here we are two years since the twins have been born, and God has shown us the miracle of faith. I have no doubt been blessed to be chosen to be the primary caregiver for our Savanna. She is our Angel.

        One day soon, my tenure as COO of the house will end (according to my wife!). I am already mentally preparing for the happy new beginning in the workplace, but also the sadness when I will just be Dad on nights and weekends, special occasions, etc.

        Enjoy every day, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

        Warm regards,
        Ken

      • Hey Ken,

        I really enjoyed reading your response. I too think I will be heading back to the work force with in the next year. I’ve enjoyed taking care of my kids more than I thought possible but God has put something on MaK and I’s hearts that I think will change our situation over the next couple of months.

        My wife has always been very career oriented. She has gotten one promotion after another since graduating from college. My story was quite opposite. My career did nothing but decline. MaK is very creative and loves working. I never really thought she would ever want to stay home with the kids but her heart has changed since the birth of our twins. We have no plan, I have a crappy resume, and we have no idea what life will look like, but even though I love watching our kids, I have something deep with in me that wants to go out and provide for my family. I think before this last year, I thought of provision only in a financial way. God has used this last year to teach me that a fathers provision for his family is far greater than just provision financially. However, the job of the man is to provide. I think it would be my greatest joy to provide for my family, as my wife’s greatest joy, to care for the kids. They are the fruit of a long hard labor and part of me feels like by being home I’m robbing her of something that God gave her as hers.

        God is the author of our story and we have walked through this season for many different purposes. I only share this with you because I was curious if you ever felt these ways as well, and how The Lord has walked you through them. I’ve enjoyed communicating with you and look forward to your response.

        Thanks,
        Ross

      • Ross,

        Well said. Rebecca has a desire to be at home too, which sometimes increases the tension around here. If you have some extra time, you might check out some of our testimony over at my blog. I am hesitant to share this with you, as you little ones are right at that age…

        I am looking forward, to reading more about your journey as it unfolds. Would it be okay if I ‘re-blogged’ your most recent post some time on my blog?

        http://www.savannalininger.wordpress.com

        -ken

      • Yeah that would be more than fine. I look forward to reading your blog. Sorry I should have done that sooner. My wife is more social media savy. I just write the material.

  2. Very encouraging Ross, thank you! My wife and I are currently going through the same situation as you all did. You spoke some words that I personally feel is going on in our lives. God is showing us many things and making us stronger while dealing with TTTS. Long story short my wife is 23 wks pregnant diagnosed with TTTS at 20wks. Conditions have stabilized or slightly improved we have been to Cincinnati 3 times and live in Louisville. Can’t say enough how much I enjoyed reading your blog brother!

    • Justin, praise The Lord! If you ever want to talk, text or email please feel free. 513-659-0206. Rossdykstra@gmail.com. It was a very long pregnancy for us but The Lord gave us strength to get through it. It’s a lot of doctors appointments and sitting around in hospitals and that in and of itself was difficult. I’m glad God has encouraged you through our story. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. I’d love to hear what you’re going through and pray with you. God is good and he’ll see you through this season. I’m not an expert but I would love to share what we went through in the hopes that it helps just a little. I hope you and your wife are doing well.

      Ross

  3. There are very hard days, but they are so worth it. It has been very hard for us, too, with our 1-year-old and the twins, and I look forward to Mondays. And although the frustrations sometimes outnumber the joys, the love far outweighs everything else.

    You guys are awesome. I love reading about someone going through what our family is going through.

  4. Hi Ross,
    I came across your blog as I too am a Dad that is on the TTTS journey. We also have a little girl (about to turn 2) but also a much bigger one (about to turn 12). It was great to read your journey through your pregnancy and to see such a fantastic outcome for you and your new girls. We reach 25 weeks tomorrow and the doctors see 28 weeks being our goal with anything more being a bonus. Your story has given me hope that our “bonus” could well be up to 8 weeks *fingers crossed*.
    Pete

    • Pete, thank you for reaching out to me. It is always so encouraging to see how God encourages others through what he has done in our lives. I know how hard the TTTS road is and our family will begin to lift you up in our prayers. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you. If you ever want to talk please feel the freedom to contact me any time. 513-659-0206. Please keep us informed on what happens and how your doing. Look forward to hearing about the births of your twins. They are double the work but I think that’s just because they are double the joy.

      Ross

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