Thomas Rhett Opens up About Daughter Willa's Role as Big Sister

Thomas Rhett’s life is no longer just country tunes and tour stops. Now, his career as a hit country singer is carefully balanced with his role as a new dad of two young daughters.

“To have two children under the age of 2 has been pretty challenging for me and [my wife] Lauren,” the country singer told PEOPLE. “But at the same time, I feel like if we can handle this, we can handle pretty much anything.”

The couple first welcomed 22-month-old daughter Willa Gray in May after adopting her from Uganda. In August, Lauren gave birth to another daughter, Ada James.

“For two weeks, [Willa] was like, ‘Who is this person who came in and took some of the attention away from me?’ ” Thomas Rhett says. “But now she’s super protective of Ada and is just turning into an amazing big sister.”

So this is about 17 hrs post delivery & after I'd slept for the first time in about 58 hours so I'm still a bit zonked in the video, but this is when Willa Gray met Ada for the first time 💗💗I know everyone is wondering about WG & AJ and how they're doing together 😘 honestly it's taken WG a little bit of adjusting and she's been staying with family and friends off & on especially when Thomas Rhett leaves because I think it's impossible for me to recover, take care of our 2 pups and a newborn and a 21 month old all at the same time 😂 soooo Willa Gray hasn't been around a ton the last week but don't worry! There will be LOTS of sister time soon. And she LOVES Ada now. We're just working on being "gentle" right now haha She's home today and so is daddy so all is right in our world at least for a little bit :) p.s. The fact that WG was showing AJ her bug bite meant she wanted to be friends with her right off the bat so we knew that was a good sign 😂 (sorry for the novel)

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While adjusting to life raising two daughters, Rhett also released a new album, Life Changes, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and he’s in the middle of an international tour.

Still, he makes time to witness as many of his children’s milestones as possible — like Willa Gray’s first day of school earlier in September.

“It was sad for me and Lauren, but she didn’t care,” Thomas Rhett said of his daughter’s new adventure to school, which is only one day a week. “I don’t think she even turned around and looked at us before we left.”

how we feel about Willa Gray's first official day of school 💙💙💙

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And though Thomas Rhett and Lauren brought their eldest daughter home this spring, the relatively new dad says he feels closely connected to Willa Gray.

“I feel like I’ve known her for forever,” he continued. “I feel like she’s so much older than she is, but she’s still so young and so to watch her in [the school] environment and watch her play with other kids was just really cool for me and Lauren to see.”

As for dealing with life as a dad of two, while being a rookie in the newborn department, the 27-year-old is just trying to figure it all out.

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“When you step into immediately having a 16-month-old — I feel like I know how to deal with 2-year-olds pretty accurately now, but an infant is a whole different story, because when they cry, you don’t fully know why they’re crying,” Rhett said, as reported by The Boot. “And I have not been a very good ‘make you stop crying’ dad. It’s been a huge adjustment, but we’re having a blast. We’re very blessed to have two beautiful girls.”

Photo credit: Instagram / @laur_akins