As a parent of multiples, I’m allowed to rant sometimes. You have been warned.
As you may know already by reading my about page, I am a parent of multiples; one-year-old twin boys to be exact. From the day we announced our news to the world, we noticed that things changed. People started treating us differently. At first it was really cool because we were excited, people were excited for us, twins are cool (and I had secretly always wanted twins) so we welcomed the new attention with open arms. But after a while, things started to get weird.
***Disclaimer: If you’re reading this and I know you or you know my family, wife, if we’re friends, etc, this post isn’t for you. We’re friends, it’s different, we have history, we love you. This is also not meant to make anyone else feel bad about having questions or occasionally putting their feet in their mouths – we all do that. This is about people who chose to be thoughtless. Put yourself in our shoes and imagine what it felt/feels like to hear these comments. The opinions expressed are those of frustrated parents of multiples everywhere***
What I am talking about is all the unwelcome & unfiltered comments that have come from the mouths of complete strangers. We couldn’t go to the grocery store with our double stroller or walk our dog without every single person and their mother stopping to ask questions or throw in their two cents. And I get it, you see a pregnant woman and for the most part the onlooking female will think back to when she was pregnant and naturally she’ll inquire. I’m also not talking about these people, I’m speaking to and hoping to educate the people who just spout off the first thing that comes to their mind when they find out, no, she’s not ready to “pop” any day now but in fact we are having twins and we’re only 5 and a half months along.
I’ve put together a list of some of the most outrageous questions and statements that have been thrown our way in the last nearly 22 months. Another disclaimer: I have used the words penis and vagina to describe one specific scenario. If you are offended by such language please close the browser window and read no further. Oh and I apologize for making you read the words penis and vagina already, without warning, two times now.
Here’s my list of the top 5 things not to say to a parent of multiples.
Were they natural?
When you say natural, do you mean like was there penis in vagina sex (#sorrynotsorry) where sperm fertilized an egg and then two tiny babies began to grow inside my wife’s womb or are you trying to avoid asking about the potentially gruelling process that is IVF or IUI treatments that brings so many couples around the world to tears each and every day? Please stop asking this question. It’s none of your business and unless we have a relationship prior to this, it doesn’t concern you 🙂
Do you think you’ll have more?
Maybe. But like anyone else, that’s between me and my wife. But hey, give me your number and don’t worry, when and if we decide to conceive again we’ll let you know for sure. This question is almost as bad as asking the married couple of 5+ years when they are going to have a baby already!? You never know what people are going through. Besides, for all you know that couple who just can’t seem to “settle down and start a family” may have been trying for years to get pregnant with no success. Please stop asking this question.
Get it over and done with, eh?
Get what over and done with? Being a parent? Experiencing the joy of seeing my children brought into the world? Sharing the amazing honour and responsibility of fostering, growing and influencing the choices decisions and future endeavours of my child? Yeah, I’m in a real hurry to get that out of the way. Why would anyone say something like that? And what if we did have more kids, then what? Being a father is single handedly the greatest event of my life thus far (right up there with marrying the love of my life of course). My boys will know what it is to be loved and see love lived out. What about any of this would possess a person to want to get it over with?
Better you than me!
Just what exactly is that supposed to mean? I never know how to take this one. Even now, if I am understanding correctly, you’re saying that from what you have witnessed in the last 7 seconds is that you don’t wish to have my life impressed upon you? Trust me, it’s not as bad as you think. Besides, they’re my kids and you love your kids, right? What’s the difference? Oh, what’s that? You want to give me parenting advice now? Let me get my notepad. But you’re right, my kids are better off with me than you. Thanks for pointing that out.
Do they have different personalities?
It’s the craziest thing. There is this new method where you can train your kids to do the exact same things. They think the same, laugh the same, have the same facial expressions, it’s really quite remarkable. Different personalities??? Are you kidding me? Of course they do! They are different people with different bodies. Different amounts of hair on the heads and different brains that make choices and complex decisions each and every day. No, they do not have the same personalities! That would be like asking…nope. I’ve got nothing. There is simply nothing that I could ever compare that to. Please stop asking this question.
So again, I’m sorry if you were offended by this post. You’ll be happy to know that whenever we are out in public and do receive any of these comments from strangers we are always as sweet as a fresh pack of Oreos. We usually do the nice thing and smile and nod even though we want to just tell them how we really feel. This Unfit Dad just needed to blow off some steam. Thanks for reading. Let’s educate one another on the dangers of “multiple shaming”. Not a real thing, I just made that up.
The Unfit Dad
Yes people always wonder about our family planning like ” you have a millionaires family (with one boy and one girl) I guess your done!” We also get “oh double trouble”, “are they identical they look alike ” (no they are different genders one very different body part!!). There are a lot of nice comments though too that make me feel special. But it’s always a party with twins!
The Unfit Dad
Haha. I should have included a list of all the other questions we’ve received. You’re right. There are nice ones but they seldom come our way. It’s too bad and yes, it is always a party! No two days are ever the same.
This is perfect and so true! People assume since we have multiples that we are open to being asking any and all questions and personal things no longer matter. With triplets, we are asked these questions all of the time. It’s ridiculous.
The Unfit Dad
I don’t understand where the thought process comes from. There are so many questions that can be asked and then jump to the most personal and intimate ones.
Love love love!! This is too perfect. Everything that goes through your head as you smile and nod for the thousandth time. ?
The Unfit Dad
Glad we’re on the same page here! Thanks for reading and I’m sorry you have to go through that! haha Twin Parents Unite!
?? Thank you!
The Unfit Dad
Thanks for reading, Gillian!
I’ve read a few of your posts already but this one hits homes. I’ve been a twin mom for 3 years, 3 months and 8 days and all of these have come up so many times for us. And I have to say after being through 7 years of TTC the first and second question hit my emotional strings every time. I smile and make something up but inside I want to say “please don’t ask about the most painful time of my life, please”
I also don’t like the question, “were you surprised you were having twins and does it run in the family”
Being a twin parent is literally the best part of my life. I’m crazy for saying this, but if it were easy for us, i’d welcome another set. It’s hard, crazy, beautiful and amazing but I love it ?
Thanks for the read.
PS your boys are adorable.
The Unfit Dad
Adrienne – you shared so much. Thank you! I had no idea. That’s why I wrote the post. Our story was one of many that we had come to know about when trying to get pregnant. We found out just how many other couples were in similar situations and still receiving all the “when are you going to have kids?” question.
I agree with you that being a twin parent is the best thing to ever happen to me. I feel blessed every single day.
It makes me so happy to see your little family growing. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Great post. I loved reading this from a dad’s perspective. I can’t relate to having multiples, but I definitely remember some odd questions and statements made when I was pregnant. Your boys are beautiful.
The Unfit Dad
Thanks for the comment and nice words!
Though I told it from a twin parent perspective all parents at one point or another received all these and more. Just the sad truth.
My boys are not biological twins, but are considered virtual twins (4.5 mo apart) and they’re the same size and people state to us and ask us the dumbest most hurtful things. Loved this post.
The Unfit Dad
I’ll never understand that! Whatever happened to not saying anything at all if you don’t have something nice to say??
Thanks for reading, Natalie!
Thank you! I follow your wife on Instagram and i enjoy reading her blogs as well. This is so true! We have twin boys as well, and people often stop by to ask if they were natural or ivf..? In fact today i finally told someone that it was not her business. Thank you for sharing!
The Unfit Dad
You’re very welcome! Good on you, it’s not anyone’s business to know those private details. Thanks for reading!
I just found you because we’re using the same blog theme. 🙂 But I think you have a fantastic blog! I always wanted twins and I’m amazed at the rude things I hear people say to twin parents. We were at the store the other day and one lady said (to the cutest, nicest dad carrying his 8-month-old twins), “Oh that looks like a nightmare! One baby is more than enough.” I immediately spoke up and said I thought they were adorable and I’d happily babysit any time.
In the parking lot I asked him if he heard rude comments like that often. He replied, “Every single day.” So sad. Also, my daughter’s friend who has a twin brother, told me that people ask her all the time if they are identical. ADULTS! Seriously, it’s not that hard to figure out the difference between identical and fraternal.
So funny how you found us! Glad you did 🙂 Also, thanks for reading! It’s crazy the things we hear. Yours was a perfect example of things that people will often say without thinking! Blows our minds every time! As far as the boy/ girl twins, I will never understand that. Hahaha. Maybe one day people will get it. Thanks for reading, seriously! -M