As a mom to two-year old, identical twin girls, and an active member in many “Moms of Multiples” groups, I feel qualified to say that there are some things that we all are simply tired of hearing – Ok, I hate generalizations so let me rephrase – there are some things that many of us would love to never hear again. Sound better? My girls are so accustomed to being fawned over by strangers that they walk into rooms like Oprah and leave waving like Miss America.
Having twins is an incredible thing. A marvel, really. In fact, I’ve been a messy ball of confusion since hearing my OBGYN say (in a rather blasé tone), “well, you’ve got two in there.” (His bedside manner wasn’t the best, but he was one hell of a surgeon). Honestly, my OBGYN is the only person who treated my twin pregnancy like an everyday occurrence. The truth is, the number of twins are increasing – some sources say by 70% over the past 30 years. Even so, it still seems to be a bit of an anomaly. I say this because of the things people say to me whenever I’m out with my twins. I’m not kidding – every time I go to a public place with my twins, I hear at least one of the following, and I’m over it. Please excuse the harshness – I get it, believe me, I do. The thing is, this is my everyday life, and my time is already constrained (see: twins), so it would be really great if I could just buy my milk and cheese like everyone else. Here are the things we twin mommas are tired of hearing (I include other mommas because we talk. We commiserate over the funny/awful/monotonous things we hear constantly).
- “Better you than me!”
You’re right – better I have these amazing blessings than someone with such a sour attitude! Is my day-to-day hard? Yup. But so is the day-to-day of all parents who love their kiddos and are trying to do right by them. Our struggles are just different. I understand the sentiment – you are trying to empathize with me, but the end result of your words is just plain hurtful. Especially to mommas who underwent painful, emotionally-wrenching fertility treatments to be blessed with the angels you so quickly labeled a curse.
- “My uncle’s cousin’s niece had twins.”
Cool story. You must really understand my life. Now, can you please stop blocking my basket so I can continue with my shopping? I understand the need to relate. It’s human nature. We want to feel connected. Here’s the thing – you kinda sorta knowing someone who had twins doesn’t connect you and I. It’s more likely that we’re connected by a favorite sports team, beauty product, or other random detail about me that doesn’t include my twins.
- “Are they natural?”
Now, I know what you’re asking, did I use fertility treatments (which is rather personal, I might add), but I want you to think about the phrasing of that for a second – are they natural. What’s the other option – alien life form? Aside from that being way to personal for me to discuss with a total stranger, it’s weirdly phrased. This one needs to stop. You know what, go ahead and include these two right here with it: “Did you deliver naturally?” and “Did you breastfeed?” No further explanation needed.
- “Two for the price of one!”
Actually, no. It’s two for the price of two. Twice the diapers, twice the wipes, twice the clothes… I didn’t get any kind of deal for having twins; however, if there is one, can you please tell me about it? Our budget could use some kind of discount!
- “Can I touch them?”
Absolutely no. My children are not a freak of nature, and I don’t want your germs on them. I don’t know you, and I certainly don’t know where your hands have been. Yes, they’re pretty. Yes, it’s cool that they’re twins, but NO – YOU CANNOT TOUCH MY CHILDREN!
I love having twins. I love that I get to experience this really cool, unique thing that so few parents get to experience. I know that it’s something that tends to intrigue, but this is my life. This is my everyday life. So, if you absolutely must strike up a conversation, here are a few suggestions. First of all, if my twins are crying/fussing/whining – just don’t. Avoid the urge. Otherwise, go ahead, but consider something more positive – “You’re twins are adorable,” “I bet it’s really cool having twins,” “[insert some other positive message of reassurance].” Just please, please avoid any of the aforementioned “no-no’s.”