It’s time again for the Multiple Mayhem Carnival. This time it’s being hosted by the lovely Rebecca from Here Come the Girls. It seemed like a good time to do a post about the annoying things people say when they find out you’ve got, or are expecting, multiples.
These are all REAL things people said to me when I told them I was expecting twins:
What did you go and do that for?
Hmm, because I obviously had a choice about how many babies my body was going to produce.
Oh dear, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
I try to block out this comment from somebody who I have to see on a regular basis. I bet now she can’t even remember saying it to me when I was pregnant, but I’ll never forget it. It was followed by, oh you’re at the stage where you look a bit fat rather than pregnant. I never liked that phase. Smack.
Ohh you’re in for some hard work. Double trouble!
Blah, blah, blah. Anyone with twins hears this all the time and it never ceases to sound boring an unoriginal. I’m usually tempted to put my fingers in my ears and sing loudly until the person gets the hint and goes away. Unfortunately I’m too polite to actually do this.
Are they natural?
As opposed to what? Unnatural? Are you trying to say my babies are freaks?!
Rather you than me!
Yes, actually I would rather it be me blessed with this rare and special treat of having two babies thank you very much. Do these people actually thing they’re adding something useful to my life by saying these crazy thoughts out loud?!
Having one baby is hard enough, but two – wow!
Actually no, having one baby is pretty easy. You have time to put your feet up for the odd coffee break, you only have one waking you in the night, you only have to manoeuver a skinny single buggy through shops, you can take your baby swimming and you have a lot less washing. Get over yourself and stop complaining or I’ll invite you around to mine and show you what hard work really is.
OMG, can you even imagine having twins, what a nightmare! *a lady in town whispered loudly to her friend as I walked past them with my double buggy*
Firstly, parents of twins are NOT, repeat, NOT deaf! We hear those sneaky comments you say when we walk past. And no, having twins is actually pretty awesome, not a nightmare at all. I feel a little sorry for your poor child for having a judgemental parent like you!
I know how you feel because I have a baby and an older child, and it’s just the same as having twins
No. No. No. This one winds me up the most. You have different challenges that I couldn’t begin to understand, but it is not the same. Just different. Two babies at exactly the same developmental stage, with the same time-consuming needs, aren’t the same as a single baby and child who can walk, feed themselves and play on their own. The lady who said this to me had a seven-year old and a baby. I was struggling through a shop with my double buggy while my boys both had a screaming tantrum. The lady on the other hand was walking with her narrow single buggy (while her seven-year old was in school) enjoying her relaxing shopping experience. If I hadn’t gotten my buggy jammed in an aisle full of displays as she swished past me I might just have lamped her one.
Are they twins?
This is cute at first but gets boring when you’ve answered it a million times. Sometimes it’s even easier to dress them identically just so that people don’t bother to ask. Or start to make things up (no I stole one of them because it looked remarkably like the other etc) Jason Manford is usually a pretty good source of witty come back lines. If you see somebody with what looks like a set of twins you could always just ask how old are they, then you’ll have your answer without having to drive the poor mum nuts by asking that age old question!
You’ve been busy!
I never know how to respond to this one – people often assume my boys are siblings born very close together in age as opposed to twins (T2 is a couple of lbs bigger and is a bit taller than T1). A good response seems to be “yes, having twins means I’m always busy”, then they looked dumbfounded and confused and don’t quite know what to say. At which point I make my escape before they ask anything else stupid.
My friend’s postman/aunt/cousin has twins
Really? Wow! What a small world. Only one in eighty people has twins so it’s amazing that you actually know somebody with a set, given the size of the planet and all! People always feel the need to have a reason to introduce themselves and have a look at you babies. I’d much rather people just came over and said hi, what lovely babies etc. That way the conversation doesn’t have to start off with fake smiles at my end.
I’ve got xx year old twins
Phew – it’s so lovely to meet someone else who has gone through the same thing. Please tell me it gets easier, please please please. It’s lovely to commiserate about what hard work it is and the fact that we’re obviously supermums to be able to survive it.
I could go on, but to be honest, there aren’t really many more original ones – I just get rehashed version of the above (usually with the words double trouble in there somewhere because people seem to think we’ve never heard it before).
If you see somebody in town with twins, or triplets, don’t be afraid to go up to them and say hi – just be friendly and avoid any of the above comments and you’ll be greeted with a genuine welcome because you’ll probably be the only person in the whole town to not approach them with a negative comment!
Do you have multiples? Can you add anything else to my list?
When I get asked if my girls are twins (dunno what on earth gave it away, was it the identical sets of eyes glaring up at you?) I am seriously tempted to say no they’re not twins my husband got me pregnant and the woman he was having the affair with pregnant at the same time and I got landed with her baby but my mummy usually puts a hand on my arm almost to hold me back and she answers for me, thankfully.
Ooo I like that one, I’ll make a note of it!! x
My Mummy is brilliant at putting up with all the comments we attract, her favourite reply is ‘having twins is special, how many do you have? oh, only one? well never mind’, that usually shuts them up but she only reserves it for people who are being mean but are saying it in a ‘kind’ way
Ha ha, love it!
Are’nt you clever? No it was mother nature
Ready made family – no just additions to and already made family
One for mum one dad, no 2 for mum and dad.
Thanks for the blog
Ah thanks for those. The ‘at least you only have to do it once’ brigade can be kept quiet now – I just have to show them my bump. Maybe I should lie and say I’m expecting quads this time just to freak people out! x
I dont know if it’s because I grew up in a small town but I constantly get asked if they were born on the same day…. I also get the “you have your hands full” … while there screaming through the grocery store along with many questions about their behavior.
The worst was when I was yelled at by a mother in the NICU unit for touching 2 children saynig I better not touch hers next and she would warn the mother of the other child when they came in. It was difficult when the nurse explained they were both mine!
Seriously – are they born on the same day?! I’d be tempted to lie and say they were born a month apart to see how they react! Ah, I completely forgot the ‘you’ve got your hands full’ – an old favourite. I can’t believe that comment you got in NICU – it’s bad enough that you were in there let alone being treated like that by another mum. I hope she apologised and felt really bad about it. xx
I do empathise (I have 2 year old b/b twins) but I’ve received some cutting comments from other mothers of twins in the past (whilst waiting in A&E with a v poorly baby – nice) and I do think that some people can be a bit mean spirited about it. It’s great having twins and it’s nice that people are interested in them. Personally I just smile, nod and carry on walking…. Unless its someone with two kids of different ages telling me how much harder they have it in which case I do have to bite my tongue. Hard.
I’m with you there – having two kids of different ages is very different, It may also be tough, but that parent made a choice to have two close together whereas with multiples it’s out of our hands. We are really lucky, and the majority of people out there don’t say stupid things to upset us, so like you I tend to just smile and grit my teeth and walk on. Can be hard sometimes though! Thanks for your comments. x
Hey, I don’t know why any of you bite your tongues!:-) I usually get ‘ready made family’ and the like, also ‘are they identical?’ to which I reply, ‘no, because only one of them has a pee-pee’. Maybe I should say penis?
Once I was stopped by a woman who said, ‘You’re lucky you have twins. My daughter can’t have children’. Wasn’t sure what to say to that..
Yeah, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to react to that other than to say yes I know I am very very lucky. I wish I could comment backto some people rather than biting my tongue – I always think of the best come back lines after they’ve walked off!
I was at the drs once and was telling someone (who worked there!) about how my little girl was poorly when she was born because she was early – she then asked if my little boy was early too. ??????? I was utterly flummoxed… I do hope she didn’t actually think I popped one out then held on to the other for a little while longer??!! I was also asked by the girl washing my hair in the hairdressers if I thought my boy and girl would ‘turn out to be identical’… Sometimes there just isn’t a response available…
Sorry for the delayed reply to this one, I missed it! Ha ha, I love the idea that twins get people so confused. These crazy comments make up for any negative ones, don’t they?! Almost. xx
Oh you have to tell people you’re expecting quads. Thatd be brilliant. I just had you’ve got your hands full. Even twin Mums said that when they found out I had three.
Thanks for linking to the multiple carnival.
I almost posted a triplet scan picture on my Facebook page on April Fool’s Day. I was soo tempted but couldn’t be bothered spending months explaining to people after that I really was only expecting the one. Nobody believes me as it is and they all think they’re so funny when they say maybe one was hiding behind the other during the scans. I must sit down with a cuppa and read through all of the other posts when I get a minute. Well done – you got loads of links! xx
Katriina (@headspaceblog) says
A close friend has twin boys, and when we lived near them we spent a lot of time together. I now have IMMENSE respect for parents of multiples, but on the other hand it was fascinating to see the special and close relationship that these two boys had from very early on. They would touch each other reassuringly, and speak their own special language to each other even though they were very small and were not speaking “intelligible” words yet. It was beautiful to see.
They are adorable. Last night the boys were half way upstairs when T1 turned around and came back down again, ran into the living room and picked up T2’s favourite cars (which he’d forgotten to take to bed with him) then he climbed up the stairs after his brother shouting “Roo Roo, purple car and orange car” and handed them to him. It was the cutest thing I’d ever seen. I know I am very very lucky to have twins. xx
I can relate! I enjoy positive well-meant comments, but these are just plain ignorant & irritating.
Ah if only people thought a bit before they opened their mouths! Alas most of the time they don’t! xx
My Mummy works with a few Romanians and they help ease all the silly comments I get because they consider twins to be a blessing because they don’t see many successful multiple births so every Monday they ask my Mummy how her little blessings or God’s gifts are doing. Thank goodness for them, it’s great to hear positive and well meaning words from people instead of the silliness a lot of us are unfortunately used to hearing.
To be fair, people don’t mean to be negative most of the time do they, they just aren’t thinking about what they’re saying. I love the idea of people seeing twins as the true blessing that they are! Thanks for the comment. xx
Hi, I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. My partner and I are currently 23 weeks pregnant with identical twin boys and found this post very funny!! It is so nice to read that other parents (and parents-to-be) are driven loopy with peoples reaction to the news that it’s twins 🙂 xx
We have boy/girl twins and the one thing that people ask that just drives me up the wall is
“Are they identical”?
I think one having a penis should kind of answer that.
Do people seriously ask that?!! I love how confused it makes people. The other day I was talking to somebody about my pair of three year olds and she looked at me in complete confusion – she obviously assumed I was a quick worker and had two babies in one year! Doh. x
I have identical twin boys they are 22 months and to this day i get asked are they twins? Then if we have all the kids with us ppl just look in amazement lol we have a 5 yr old two 4 yr olds and two 1 yr olds… i jist love the questions we get… its so funny when ppl ask how old they all are…