The moment I became a mother, I subjected myself to comments from strangers. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are basic: “How old is he?” – “Well, SHE is ___ months and in pink for a reason.” Some are just plain silly: “Oh my, where’d she get all that red hair from?” – As they stare at me, very much a red head myself impatiently waiting for an answer, “Must have been from her blonde daddy.”
But these past [almost] 12 months since becoming the mom of twins, the comments have taken on a whole new variety. There are some that directly relate to the twins themselves, some that relate to me as a twin mom, and others that are in relation to my family as a whole. Regardless of the intention of the comments, these ten are things I’d like to never ever have to hear again (but will likely hear today, if not by week end and probably for the rest of my life… Darn, blessed to the max with having amazing children and getting to be a mother but now I’m the conversation topic for all the little old ladies in Target.)
· “Wow, you really have your hands full” Yes, it’s that obvious isn’t it? And it’s not funny, not now that I’ve heard it nine times just since getting out of my car. Maybe hold the door open for me rather than waste my time with your annoying attempt at humor?
· “Are they twins?” Nope, I just happened to find two babies the exact same age, with amazingly similar looks, put them in the same outfit and loaded them into a double stroller because I needed another reason for unwanted attention.
· “You look great for just having twins.” You mean if I didn’t just have twins I’d look horrible? But since I carried two children in my uterus, gained 50 lbs in 7 months’ time, and now that my infants and preschooler take up all my time I’ve still managed to shower and dress myself, I look good? Sorry, this isn’t much of a compliment.
· “Oh, no boys?” OR “Yikes, all girls!” Yes, sorry. I missed the section in biology class where science has developed enough to genetically alter pregnancies to avoid stupid comments like this.
· “When are you going to try for more?” Right around the time YOU start paying for diapers and formula for me. I’m buying some now, would you like to contribute?
· “Oh I have twin ____” Fill this in with nieces, sisters, cousins. I’ve even had someone say puppies before. Unless you physically raised twins yourself, you really can’t even come close to understanding my life. I appreciate the empathy when it is sincere but in most cases, the sincerity is left at home.
· And likewise, “Oh I don’t miss that.” I thought we were on the same team here as moms. Just because your 7 year old child isn’t throwing tantrums like my 3 year old anymore doesn’t mean you get a free pass to pretend like you hated life four years ago.
· It’s not just what strangers say but what they don’t say. Stop ignoring my preschooler. My twins are cute, adorable, I know. But get this, they have no idea that you are complimenting their good behavior, beautiful eyes, or asking me millions of questions. My older daughter though, she knows. She sees that you didn’t once even glance at her. She sees that you are taking her time away from me when the babies are sleeping in the stroller. SHE notices, so stop being rude.
· “I could never do what you’re doing.” You’re right. With an attitude like that, you would never make it. My kids would eat you alive.
· And the last is not a comment at all but that look, the muttering under your breath. The idea that you could never imagine the horrible life I lead. Need I say more?
We all just want to get along right? I love talking to other moms. I love sharing stories. I’m friendly. I smile when people make their comments and I let them roll off my back. But just keep in mind that your words (or lack of words) mean something to us twin moms, new moms, veteran moms, even words to women who want to be moms but are dealing with infertility or women who have chosen to not have children. Be polite, make nice comments or ask friendly questions but do them without judgment.
You can contact Heather by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.