“Are they twins?”
My response: “Yes they are. This is Audrey and that is David.”
My thoughts: I actually had someone follow that up with the thought that I might be babysitting one or both of them, which actually makes this a very valid question.
A better question: “How old are they?” That way, you can find out the answer without asking of they are twins.
“Do twins run in your family?”
My response: “They do now.” or “In a few months, they will run all over the place!”
My thoughts: This is usually someone’s roundabout way of asking if you have gone through fertility treatments to get twins. Some people feel comfortable talking about this and some would rather not talk about this to strangers. Regardless, this can be a rather uncomfortable and forward question to ask someone you have never met before, and you may want to be prepared to get a smart aleck or rude answer from the MOM.
A better question: Don’t ask it.
“Are they natural?”
My response: “Well, they aren’t aliens or robots.”
My thoughts: Although I can totally deal with the previous question (“Do twins run in your family?”), I actually still become shocked when I get this incredibly rude question. The only exception for me is if I can tell that the asker wants to know because they are facing infertility treatments (which leads to a higher rate of fraternal twins). In that case, I will be much kinder and gentler with my answer.
A better question: Don’t ask it at all, unless you are going through treatments yourself and you can sense that the MOM will be kind with her answer (or take the time to talk to you).
“How do you do it?”
My response: “I don’t know any differently!” which I usually follow with “I have wonderful babies, and I am so blessed to be their mommy.”
My thoughts: This is the truth. These are my first (and second) babies, and I don’t have any experiences for comparison. I follow it up with the second part of the response so that some of the even more negative comments/questions (see below) don’t come up.
A better question: “You are a supermom! How do you do it?”
“Are they identical?”
My response: “No, there is one big difference… This is Audrey and that is David. They are fraternal.”
My thoughts: We usually try to dress Audrey in pinks and other girly clothes so as to make it obvious, but we get this question a lot.
A better question: “What are their names?” (Because, if there is a girl name and a boy name, they won’t be identical twins.)
“Can I take a picture?”
My response: “I’m sorry, but no.”
My thoughts: Yes, we have gotten this while we were taking our babies for their first swim in a pool. I was so taken aback that we quickly left before she could take a picture anyway. I really wanted to say, “Well, I write and blog about my babies, so you can find them online, but I don’t want you to take a picture of them,” but I didn’t.
A better question: Again, don’t ask this.
“Were they planned/a surprised?”
My response: “We found out that we were having twins at our first ultrasound at 6 weeks.”
My thoughts: At first, I was confused by this question, due to the fact that we had so many ultrasounds, and we saw both twins every single time. Then I realized that there are many different stories where women don’t realize they are pregnant with multiples. In the past, that was more common when women didn’t receive any ultrasounds. Currently, that is more often found in higher-order multiples, when a third (or higher) baby could “hide.” Now, most families know that they are having twins by the 12-week ultrasound.
A better question: “When did you find out you were having twins?”
“I always wanted twins!”
My response: “We were really lucky that I had a very healthy pregnancy and delivery. Not all twin families are as lucky as we were.”
My thoughts: While I appreciate this positive comment, most of the people that say this don’t realize the struggles and challenges that go along with having twins, both health-wise and in raising them. Out of all of the comments we get, I would much rather get this one, however, because of the pure naivety and sweetness from this comment. Most of the time, people will say that they want twins because they like the idea of a constant playmate as well as all the cute matching outfits. They don’t realize all that goes into having twins. We just have the constant playmate and matching outfits as a way to reward us for our hard work.
A better question: “You are so fortunate to have twins! What a wonderful experience that must be!”
My response: “No, double the love and laughter.”
My thoughts: My children are not trouble, even when they are upset and clingy and both crying at once. How would you feel if I said that your child was trouble? I’m sure you wouldn’t like it, and I don’t either. Now, my husband and I can joke about our twins doubling-teaming us, as can other parents of twins, but that’s because we are in a special club.
A better question: “Double blessings!”
“You have your hands full.”
My response: “No, I have my heart full.”
My thoughts: Just like with the “double trouble” comment, my kids are not tough or wild. In fact, I go out in public with the twins at really good times, so that I don’t have to juggle two upset babies at once.
A better question: “You must have a full heart.”
“My sister/niece/uncle’s friend has twins.”
My response: “Oh.”
My thoughts: Twins are on the rise in our society. I’m sure you won’t have to look too hard to find some twins that you know.
A better question: Unless you have twins yourself (or you are a grandparent to twins), this is a comment that you don’t really need to share.
“I couldn’t do it.” or “I would shoot myself.”
My response: “It’s a good thing that I am the one with twins.”
My thoughts: It makes my heart hurt that someone would actually think that killing themselves would be better than having twins. I know that this comment comes out of some deep-set unhappiness about children in general, pitying me, the Mom of Twins. There’s nothing I can do but to turn it around and feel bad for them that they can’t see how lucky I am.
A better comment: “You are a Supermom!”
Please note: If you approach a Mom of Multiples to talk about her kids, please know that we will try to be as kind and patient as possible. If we aren’t, it’s probably because we get approached all the time. We are trying to juggle paying for our merchandise, making sure our kids are happy, and that some stranger isn’t touching them or getting too close to them.