Parenting. It’s a journey that truly starts from the moment one thinks of wanting a family. It’s full-filling, it’s tricky, it’s messy, it’s painful, it’s heart-warming, it’s unequivocally unmatched in its love.
As a brand that stands for all things babyhood, The D.O.M. Family’s Evolur wanted to open up conversations about parenting from the different lenses it encompasses – Moms, Dads, Challenges, Wins, Dreams, Hopes, Failures, LGBTQ+ Parenting, Prepping for Parenthood, Nursery Planning, and a lot more.
The months of May & June celebrate parenting (Mother’s Day & Father’s Day) along with love and inclusivity. So, Evolur sat down with first-time Dads – Adeel & Anthony Mikael – to delve into their parenting journey, challenges, the dreams they have for their adorable twins – Adam & Anya – and their vision for their dream nursery!
What followed was an honest, endearing & eye-opening conversation.
On their journey as LGBTQ+ Parents
Q: Let’s talk about your unique parenting journey. As LGBTQ+ Parents, were there any challenges in your journey to becoming parents?
A: Of course! The biggest challenge was having the babies. As we are two men, we needed to either adopt or have a surrogate.
Our journey was quite special. We had a friend of ours (a nurse that I used to work with) who volunteered to be our surrogate. It did take 3 years from the start of the process to when the babies were born. As a same sex male couple, we needed to have a reproductive clinic doing the IVF, an egg donor, and a surrogate.
Q: As a household of 2 Fathers, you must have to don so many hats. What are they and how do you manage to do it?
A: This is a great question. We both share the duties. One of us is not more involved than the other. For the first 3 months, Anthony was home with the babies; I was off for 1 month. We both do the changes, feedings, and night sleep routines. We also alternate the baby every night (for the sleep routine) so that they both have equal time with each dad. Since we both work, we do have a nanny during the daytime as well to help us out.
Q: What are the funniest questions you’ve been asked about being 2 Dads to twins?
A: Whenever we are out – people will ask, who’s the dad? Or where’s the mom? But whenever we answer that we are both the dads, people have always been supportive. We have not had any negative interaction thus far. When we are out with our nanny, people always think she is the mother.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you think your twins will grow up with in a LGBTQ+ household?
A: That’s an easy one. Acceptance. One thing we will teach our children is to accept others regardless of their beliefs.
Q: There are many parents from this beautiful LGBTQ+ community who are either thinking of starting their parenting journey or have just started – what advice do you have for them?
A: The biggest advice is to start early. It takes a long time, whichever way you do it – adopt, surrogacy, IVF. So, when you think about it and you are in a stable relationship, you should probably start the process.
On navigating parenthood
Q: Let’s talk about your unique parenting journey. How does it feel being parents to twins?
A: It is amazing to have 2 babies at one time. It truly feels like a blessing. There are many who would love to have twin babies, and boy / girl twins is like winning the lottery.
Q: What are the most challenging aspects?
A: Of course, with all blessings come challenges. Sleep training was very complicated, routines and schedules were key to the success. Also, having extra help with family, a nanny, were very important to help reduce the workload. We took the tips from @takingcarababies, and got the babies sleeping throughout the whole night (~10 hours) together by 5 months (10 hours).
Q: We see you love traveling. Is it a challenge with twin babies? What are a few checklists you follow that you think could help other parents?
A: Traveling is our passion. So far, at 6 months, we have done two trips: to Disney and a 1-week trip to Cancun, Mexico. Having an ergo carrier to go through security because the strollers need to be disassembled is a big deal, also having an appropriate bottle sanitizer for the trip is great. Having extra formula and diapers are also key.
Q: How do you manage to strike a balance between parenting duties & pursuing interests? Is there ever a balance? Do you have a formula?
A: We have to make time for ourselves, still have date nights, continue to work, and have adequate help with family and a nanny.
Q: Every parent’s parenting style is unique. How would you describe yours?
A: We have humor and make the babies laugh and try to have them learn something new every time they are awake.
Q: What’s your favorite moment from your day with your twins?
A: When the babies wake up from naps or we see them for the first time in the morning and they turn their heads, look at us and make their smiles.
Q: Describe Parenting in 1 sentence.
A: The only thing that is constant is change.
Q: What was your vision for your babies’ life at home in terms of the kind of environment you wanted to create for them?
A: Their nursery and home needed to be inviting, calming, and relaxed.
On planning their dream nursery
Q: What was your inspiration for the nursery design and décor?
A: We wanted neutral colors since we had boy / girl twins. We wanted a luxurious design for the cribs. We wanted their names above their cribs and an animal theme.
Q: Did the room pose any design challenges?
A: The nursery is not very large and their closet was very close to the crib. We also wanted to have both cribs horizontally, not vertically as we had seen in other nurseries.
Q: Did you and your spouse agree on style, or did you blend styles and how?
A: We both agreed on the shiplap and immediately decided on the cribs when we saw them.
Q: What does this color scheme mean to you? What is your favorite piece/design element in the nursery?
A: For us, the neutral colors mattered a lot since we had boy / girl twins. The cribs and their names above their cribs are so beautiful.
Q: Have you thought of how you will use the nursery pieces down the road and can you tell us?
A: We definitely want to continue to use the Evolur set through toddlerhood and extend the cribs into beds.
Q: What drew you to Evolur over other nursery brands?
A: The style of the cribs are modern, with a French flair, luxurious, and stylish.
Q: How did you hear about Evolur?
Researched online websites and Wayfair.
Q: What one word comes to mind when you step into the nursery?
Evolur is proud to be a part of The D.O.M Family – a company made of ‘industry experts’ a.k.a. parents, making award-winning baby furniture for over 30 years.
And this Pride Month & Father’s Day, we’re even prouder to enable a multi-community of Moms & Dads who are united by the one core value that brings all parents together – love.