Don’t Say This to a Twin Mom…

This week we’re celebrating moms of multiples with special twin content! To see all of our Twin Week content, click here.

twin-moms-585

Being pregnant tends to draw comments from strangers. Sure, sometimes they’re nice, letting you move up the line in the bathroom or letting you jump ahead in the cab line (yay for a recent kind soul in NYC!). But sometimes they’re all judgey and overly personal. Having a child also opens the door to fun conversations, like when people had me freaked that my daughter was uncomfortable in her carrier. People are generally well-meaning, but sometimes an exhausted mom just doesn’t want to hear about how someone else’s freak baby slept through the night at two weeks old.

But even if you’re the queen recipient of stranger comments, I can pretty much guarantee a twin mom has heard it all—and then some. If a single kiddo grabs the attention of strangers who will reach out and squeeze cheeks during cold and flu season, you know that two adorable babies will bring double the stranger love. I was actually at Home Depot one day, loading my daughter into the cart to go inside when I saw a dad loading up two infants into a cart. Being friendly, I said, “You’ve got your hands full!” And then I immediately smacked myself because I knew that he probably heard that all the time. Like I hear that I’m “not in Kansas anymore” whenever I say where I’m from originally. I immediately asked my twin-mom neighbor about the comments that annoy her, and yep, that’s one of them! Oops. So for the sanity of twin moms everywhere, I polled some moms of multiples for things not to say to a twin mom.

Avoid Saying This to a Twin Mom

Courtesy of Jennifer P., mom of 18-month-old identical twin boys

Oh my GOD, twins?! How are you going to manage that? I have two arms and two legs, and I manage 25 children at a time at work. Why is this so difficult? Besides, I’ve never had one baby, so two isn’t that hard to me.

Do you know how expensive diapers and formula are? Yes, just as expensive for everyone else. They don’t charge extra for twins.

Did you have in vitro? Not all twins are born this way, and I don’t like that people think in vitro is taboo.

Do you ever sleep? Uh yes! Do you? I hate the idea that two children means I am a zombie.

Are you going to have more children? Asked as if one is judging, too personal for me!

 

Courtesy of Rachel B., mom of 4-year-old fraternal girls

What Rachel loves about twin comments: Since they are both blonde-hair, blue-eyed girls that look a lot a like, everyone assumes they are identical. They even like to argue that they must be identical. So funny. I’m blessed, I know they get a lot of attention, I don’t mind everyone telling me their twin stories, “I’m a twin, I have twins, etc.”  It is the twin connection, no problem.

Could do without: Double trouble. Can respond with “Double blessings!”

 

Margie, mom of 16-month-old boy/girl twins and my dear neighbor

Double trouble!
Do twins run in your family?
You have two boys! Please check the color of coat before making comments—just because my daughter has no hair doesn’t mean she’s a boy!

And Things You Probably Shouldn’t Say to Pregnant Women in General

  • When are you due? There’s always that possibility that the woman is not actually pregnant. Or just delivered her baby.
  • Is it twins? What are you implying?
  • Are you sure it’s not triplets? That’s just what a twin mom wants to hear!
  • You must be due any day! I’ve actually got 8 weeks to go. But thanks for the implication that I’m huge!
  • Here’s my pregnancy/labor/delivery/recovery/breastfeeding/sleep deprivation horror story. Pregnant women are worried enough!
Hopefully most of the people that say these silly things are coming from a good place. For example, while I’m sure some people who asked if twins run in the family are really asking if you had fertility treatments, others are probably just trying to gauge their likelihood of ever having twins!

What twin comments annoyed you? And what should just be off limits when talking to moms and moms-to-be? —Erin


Comments

  1. Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine says

    When I was pregnant over last summer we were staying in a hotel and this random woman opened her big mouth while we were waiting for an elevator and just would not quit, went a little something like this…

    Her: Oh wow, you must be due any day…twins? (mind you I still have another month or so to go)

    Me: No, haha, not twins

    Her: Oh, a boy?

    Me: Nope, we’re having a girl.

    Her: Oh wow, she is going to be a big one.

    My husband and I just kept looking at each other and smiling, but when we finally got out of said uncomfortable situation I could not believe how far her foot was in her mouth, I mean people just have no filter whatsoever around pregnant women haha.

  2. Erin says

    Katie – HA! Makes you want to carry a game show buzzer around so you can push it when people are wrong. (Although she still may not have gotten the hint!)

    -FBM Erin

  3. Kristin says

    6. Which one is the boy?? When you clearly have 2 girls. I love putting pink dresses and bonnets on my boys.
    7. When they get a little older— which one is the smart one? I don’t know, which one of your kids is the idiot??
    8. Who was born first? Does it matter???
    9. Who is the leader or who is the bossy one? Many twins are equal partners- don’t put labels on, they may stick.
    10. What kind of fertility drugs did you use?? Uh… A. none of your business B. None!! Not all multiples are the results of infertility.

  4. Melissa Bruno says

    I think people are still just so fascinated with twins that they ask a lot of questions. Twins are an enigma. I know; I am a 43 year old identical twin. My mom and my twin and I have been asked every seemingly dumb question in the book, but you know what? We love it. People are genuinely interested. Especially those who are not twins or don’t have twins in their immediate family. We learned early on not to be annoyed by it but to take it for what it was – interest in the special people that twins and moms of twins are.

  5. Debbie says

    I don’t know how my Mom handled two sets of twins plus a bunch of us singletons- while working in the family business. 1 set and two singles in diapers at the same time.

    family lore is that my oldest brother called the first set Two – ones instead of fwins. And my sister has been asked when she said she had a twin brother, “are you identical?”

  6. Midori says

    The two worst comments I had were: 1) twice the cost – cars, prom, etc.; 2) it gets easier. The last one was from a twin mom. Her twins were toddlers while mine were newborn. I’ve always wanted to go back to her and say “No it doesn’t. The issues just change over time.”

  7. Denise says

    Great article!!! I have 7 year old boy-girl twins. It’s funny, it depends who says those things. If an old person in a store says “your hands are full” it’s sweet – if it’s a younger person with no kids it’s annoying. Strange, but true. The worst: “are they identical” no! they are a BOY and a GIRL and then often, “are you sure, you can have them tested”. Pretty sure I don’t need a blood test for that! And “wow, a boy and a girl – so you’re done – that’s great!”. I wanted a bunch of kids, I’ve been pregnant 1x, but because I have “one of each” I feel socially pressured to be “done”. Once, in a pizza place the owner came out and was super sweet to my kids, then, as she walked away she leaned over to me and said “if I had twins I would have committed suicide”. Well, at least she was nice to us – lots of restaurants see us coming and shudder. Truthfully, my twins are well behaved and we always clean up after ourselves! But if you look at us crossways your tip will be effected! A waitress once openly complained that she got our table – before we had even ordered!!! The end of your article is right on – I’m pretty easy going but stories about how you were pregnant with twins then one or both died – or they were born and then one died tragically…not comforting to a pregnant mom AT ALL! The reality of being pregnant is tenuous enough – everyone has those dark thoughts of what could happen, you don’t need to share your horror stories! My grandmother had several sets of twins in the 1940s, none of them survived…yes twins run in my family, but there are none to show for it, please don’t bring it up!

    • Denise says

      I almost forgot! The odd and insensitive questions about how you ended up with twins don’t stop when you walk through the door of the OBGYN…one of the doctors in the practice asked what fertility drugs we had been on…and if we were having twins now because I was getting older. I was only 29…and I had never been there before, so they didn’t have me on anything! Weird!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Fit Bottomed Mamas recently shared some similar mom experiences by nosy strangers and too-interested neighbors. Here are some things not to say to a twin mom. All you curious souls out there — take note! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>