What Twin Moms Are Tired of Hearing
Every time I take my boys to the grocery store, I hear these at least once. Probably twice, or three times. I know I am not the only twin mom who does. So, world, here are the things twin moms are tired of hearing. Answers included for free so you don’t feel the need to ask these every time you see children who look like they might be the same age 🙂
(note: I know most people are genuinely curious and come from a good place. Really, I do. This post contains extreme sarcasm and is meant to be funny. I mean no harm to all the strangers or friends who have asked these questions; please consider this a furthering of your education.)
- “Are they twins?” My all-time favorite response: “no, they’re triplets, we leave the ugly one at home.” As soon as I answer “yes”, I get either an “aw, cute” or one of the following questions. This single question and it’s answer apparently decides whether you want to be interviewed by a stranger or not. Spoiler alert: we don’t! Another thing we hear all the time, “Your hands are full.” Yes. So can I please go buy bread before one of my toddlers starts screaming? Thanks.
- “How do you do it?” How does any woman push a watermelon-sized baby from a lemon-sized hole and then keep it alive? You just…do. Yes, it’s hard to have 2 mouths to feed, 2 diapers to change, 2 different humans who sleep and cry on their own schedule. But believe it or not, the hospital sends them both home with us JUST LIKE they send a single baby home, or triplets. You don’t get to hit a ‘return one’ button. So, you keep them alive like it’s your job. Because it is. You’re a mom.
- “Are they identical?” I know oh so many moms of fraternal boy/girl twins who get asked this question. Y’all. Think about that. Let me just be really clear: a child with a penis and a child with a vagina cannot have identical DNA. No matter how many minutes apart they were born.
- For me, I usually get a bonus question, “are you SURE they’re fraternal? they look so much alike!” which leads to me launching into a biology 101 lecture of a fertilized egg and sperm splitting vs two fertilized embryos and number of amniotic sacs/placentas and sometimes identical twins have their own placentas and I DIDN’T GO GROCERY SHOPPING SO I COULD TALK ABOUT PLACENTAS IN PUBLIC.
- “Are they natural?” Hello, personal question. You are asking if I received IVF treatments. Which would mean I wanted desperately to have a baby but struggled with infertility. Which is a hard, long road that many families go through. Let’s all agree on not asking questions about a stranger’s deepest, hardest struggle in life.
- “Do twins run in your family?” Alright, I’m going to settle this one right now. There is no simple determination of whether you will have twins. There are many factors, both genetic and environmental, that result in twins. It sort of feels like they are fishing for a security question answer so they can hack my bank account, if I’m honest. . . like, “what’s your favorite elementary school teacher’s last name?” or “what city did you grow up in?”
- “Which one was born first?” Why? why does it matter? Do you want my entire labor story? We already broke the ice talking about placentas, so let’s dive right in!
- They aren’t all questions. “My second cousin’s friend from church is a twin!” Okay, good for them. Most people know twins somehow. So, no offense, stranger in the grocery store, but I do not care about your relation to a pair. I have no choice but to respond: “oh!” and then it’s awkward.
- “How did you breastfeed?!” Alright, biology 101, again: women have two breasts. They both produce milk, EVEN when you only have one baby. Some twin moms are not able to make enough milk for both, some prefer to pump & bottle feed, some nurse one at a time. Just like any other mom, this is a personal decision that we don’t really want to explain to strangers.
You can take the initiative to go ahead and answer the questions before they’re asked, like this mom!