For some reason pregnancy and motherhood open you up to all sorts of unsolicited comments and questions from complete strangers. Most of them leave us wondering if they can actually hear the words that are coming out of their own mouths. The dumbfounded looks our faces don’t give them the hint, so we are obliged to answer their all-too-personal questions.
Even though I’ve heard all the stories of the outrageous things people say to mothers and pregnant women, I was not prepared for the onslaught of comments and questions that would be coming my way as a pregnant woman/mom of twins.
“Are they twins?”
This is by far the most asked question I receive. And if you’re asking the question, I’m pretty sure you already know the answer. But I get it. It’s a way to start the conversation with the mom scrambling through the grocery store, just trying to get in and out without a blowout or a tantrum. Of course this little question will lead to several more questions, finally ending with the whereabouts of twins in the stranger’s family tree. And by no means is this the only random person in the grocery store who needs to know the 411 about your two, identical-aged children. But let’s set the record straight about one thing: identical twins can only be boy/boy or girl/girl. Fraternal twins can be any combination of the two sexes. But boy/girl twins cannot be identical (except in the case of an extremely rare birth defect, so it’s more than likely that boy/girl twins you’re seeing in the grocery store are NOT identical).
“Are they are natural?”
I get it. You want to know if they were conceived spontaneously or through fertility treatments. But 1. It’s none of your business, and 2. It’s none of your business. I also think there is this view that spontaneously conceived multiples are a phenomenon. Don’t get me wrong, it really is astonishing and mind-blowing and incredibly amazing. But twins aren’t THAT rare. And in some way this attitude minimizes the miracle that is conception through fertility treatments. Because the reaction I get when answering the “natural” question, is not that the reaction I think I’d get if my answer was fertility treatment.
Twins conceived spontaneously are no more special than twins conceived with fertility treatments. Or single babies. Or babies that were waited on and prayed for for years. Or the surprise fifth baby to the mom and dad that decided four was a good number. Or babies that were sought after and traveled halfway across the world for. Or babies that came to a mom and dad who weren’t quite ready to be parents. Or babies that were born with a deformity or a disease or a deficit. All babies are special miracles that are NATURAL human beings.
Stop asking about my sex life.
I have honestly had people ask me if my husband and I did anything special to conceive twins. I’m not sure if they’re wanting to know what TO do or what NOT to do, but my only answer for that would be sex. Because that’s all we did. Just like almost every other parent on the planet. END OF STORY.
Stop saying “Two for the price of one.”
Twins are very much two for the price of TWO. The only things they’ve shared are their birthday and my placenta. We didn’t buy one crib or one car seat. There wasn’t a BOGO at the hospital. Imagine buying TWO kids ONE bicycle for their birthday. I really wish this one could be true because KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE.
And don’t forget:
“Do twins run in your family?”
“Your hands are full!”
“How do you tell them apart?”
“Which one is the aggressive one?”
“So two and done, huh?”
“Are you sure there’s not three in there?”
I’m sure the questioning will continue as my twin boys grow up, athough the questions will probably be directed at them. Sorry kids! I know I am not alone in the mother-interrogation line of questioning at the grocery store. Every mom has been there. And I think we can all agree that many of the questions and comments we receive as moms cross the line. So instead, just tell us that our kids are cute and that we’re doing a good job, because that’s what we really need to hear.