From the moment you see that pink line on the plastic stick, you begin to dream about the future with your sweet new babe. Then when you learn that there is more than one in there, you know life will definitely never be the same. Once others find out that you’re expecting twins, you are highly likely to hear one of the following comments. Brace yourself for ten of the most common things we’ve heard as the parents of twins. “If I had a dollar for every time…” and all that business.
- Are they twins? You will get this one every single time you take those littles anywhere! I’m not really sure why, because if you have two infants that are clearly the same age, what else would it be? I suppose it is possible that it could be a cousin. Or a foster child. Or a friend or neighbor. When my twins were 3 weeks old, I went to Target. It was our first public outing that didn’t involve visiting the doctor’s office. I had both carseats mounted on the double stroller and was walking down one of the main aisles. An old lady spotted us and she ran halfway through the store to ask me this question!
- Are they identical? Now if you have 2 boys, or 2 girls, then it certainly makes sense that this may be a valid question. However, if like me, you have a boy and a girl, there is absolutely no way for them to be identical. Most of the time, I smile and just say no. The inner dialogue is not so kind. Ha!
- Double Trouble! Hahahaha….ha…. Yeah, this is totally not funny and totally unoriginal. Every time I have heard this, the person who is saying it acts as though they are the first person to ever think it up. Oy! I could happily live the rest of my life without hearing this one.
- Who was born first? Really, who cares? Why does this matter? One came out and a minute later the other one did. They are literally one minute apart. My twins do not know who was born first and it has never occurred to them to care. Quite frankly, as twins are siblings and experience normal sibling rivalry, why would I add this as a possible source of contention? They will have plenty of things to argue about as they grow up. No thanks.
- Are they natural? What does this even mean? They are babies. Human babies. So, yes, they are natural. Actually, what they are asking here is how they were conceived. Um, thank you stranger, for violating my right to privacy. Whether my twins were conceived in my bedroom or my doctor’s office is nobody’s business but mine. Feel free to tell them that this question is inappropriate and to MYOB!
- Do twins run in your family? This one is not so bothersome. I always feel a little like I’m teaching a genetics lesson when people ask this question. Identical twins are not hereditary; it just happens, it’s a fluke. Fraternal twins can be hereditary through the mother’s side of the family. Some women have a tendency to release more than one egg at a time, and this is the hereditary part. This can also happen when pregnancies are spaced too closely together which does not have anything to do with heredity. And, of course, with the increased use of fertility medications, twins, triplets, and more are more common.
- Do you breastfeed them both? Um, again, NOT YOUR BUSINESS! I’ve even had people ask me if I breastfeed them at the same time and how that works. Wow! Use your imagination!
- Better you than me. Yep, you read that right. And, yes, I’ve heard this one often enough to include it on this list. Not the kind of thing any mother ever wants to hear. “How awful. Two babies. I could never stand to live with this atrocity.” Yes, twins are hard. A twin pregnancy can be difficult. Two newborns who need you around the clock can be one of the most difficult things to manage. No matter how hard it is, there are some benefits that more than make up for the hard times. Double the smiles, double the giggles, double the hugs, double the love, and double the fun! I wouldn’t trade one minute!
- I know exactly what you’re going through because my kids are a year apart. As they grow, you will have two infants going through the same stages at the same time, forever. All of the fun stages. And the annoying ones, too! Think teething…. Teething can be hell with one baby. Now imagine 2 babies teething. And potty training. Think you can manage one that has to go potty at Target or when you’re driving down the highway with a moment’s notice? Now imagine 2 except the second one will always have to go 10 minutes after the first one. Hint: Just make them both go every time, it will save a lot of wet pants later on. Our older children are all 2 years apart. It has been our experience that it is not the same thing to care for two children at different stages. Not like twins at all.
- I always wanted twins. The idea of twins has been romanticized. Maybe because twins used to be a rare occurrence. With all of the advancements in fertility science, twins (and more) are much more common today. Now that my twins are 6, life is much more manageable. However, when they were newborns, and people said this to me, all I could do was stare. Trying to get through on an hour or two of sleep every night was hard. Whew!
Please note: Sarcasm and humor were used liberally in the writing of this post.