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