The one comment I still hate to hear

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Categories Mommy Issues, Other people

I had a lightbulb moment when I wrote my rant about the “identical or fraternal” question. Reader Danielle’s comment made me realize when people say ask twin parents about zygosity, it may be a rhetorical question while attempting to show interest in twins. Face it, twins are very interesting to people. I found twins fascinating before I had twins. I still find twins fascinating.

Even the people who know my kids very well still have crazy twin questions for me. And since I have fraternal twins, I still have crazy identical twin questions. And you know you have triplet or quadruplet questions! Admit it!  Danielle’s comment made me rethink my strategy on crazy twin questions, and I now embrace stranger’s questions with a kinder, gentler attitude. I now take the time to stop and answer twin questions. Thank you, Danielle.

That all said, there are still one comment that drives me crazy. “My kids were xx months apart so it was like having twins.”

So dear wise readers, give me insight as to why this should not make my skin crawl.

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14 thoughts on “The one comment I still hate to hear”

  1. Yeah, that’s up there on my list of least favorites. My inside voice screams and wants to slap people. Are you fricking kidding? NO, having kids 13 or 18 or 20 months apart is NOT the same as having twins. In a couple of ways, I’d argue that it’s even harder than twins, but in general, NO! NOT THE SAME!

    My outside voice gives a half smile, mumbles incoherently, and keeps walking. :-)

  2. Oooh, yeah, no insights from me. I HATE that one. Irritates me to no end. Did you have two newborns who ate every 2 hours? For weeks? No? Then I don’t want to hear about how it was “the same”.

    And, no offense to Danielle or you, but I’m also not at the place yet where I can calmly accept people’s stupid comments about whether my boy/girl twins are identical. Think it through, people! I CAN accept that both of you are probably nicer people than I am. Because I’m sure you’re right. People are just interested and curious.

  3. My brother/his wife fostered and eventually adopted boys that are 5 months apart. (unrelated, obvoiously) I’m still pregnant, but family members have already sugested I ask my SIL for advice. The big difference here is that the older one was already 7 months old and sleeping through the night when he came to live with them. Not really the same. Since this is from family, I am going to have to find a gentle way of explaining that it is not the same without making light of what they struggle with in raising boys so close in age. But yes, inside I am grinding my teeth.

  4. Totally agree with you all. It’s *so* not the same. But I guess I can handle that more easily than “better you than me,” or “I always wanted twins.”

  5. I agree with you all, but the comment that truely I cannot get over is people saying “I would have killed myself!”. Who in their right mind says that kind of stuff? My husband and I have gotten that one three times. Also the most annoying comment to me is ‘are they twins?’, I always seem to get it when my girls have matching outfits on.

  6. Some days I feel like I should walk around with a sign above my head with a list of stupid things that people shouldn’t ask me.

    I have boy/girl twins who I don’t think look anything alike and yet I get asked if they are identical. Are you crazy people. Seriously.

    Oh and if one more person tells me they have ‘Irish’ twins (as they call them being born a year apart) so they completely understand what having twins is like… I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll think of something 😉

  7. Yep. I hate that one too. One of our friends recently had their 2nd child when their first just turned 2. When they announced her pregnancy, the husband said that “Now we’re going to know just what Eric’s (my husband) life is like.” It’s not the same at all, so just shut up.

  8. Brace yourself for a long comment! I think about this one A LOT!

    This is a big one for me too! I always hated that comment, so now that I have a son 14 months younger than my twins, I am VERY careful not to comment that it’s the same as triplets! (Although other NON-triplet families make that comment to me a lot) However, I have two viewpoints on this issue now instead of one!

    Having twins is definitely more difficult in the beginning…pregnancy, delivery, possible prematurity, 2 babies in the NICU, feeding 2 infants every 2-3 hours, at least one infant ALWAYS crying, etc. It’s definitely harder to have twins than two close together in those aspects.

    On the other hand, two (or three) born close together can be more difficult. When I brought my son home from the hospital and had two (barely) toddlers to care for as well, I found myself wishing they were all the same age, so they would be at the same stage. Newborns are so unpredictable, but even as he settled into a schedule, it was completely opposite their schedule. Someone was ALWAYS awake and I was ALWAYS feeding someone, which I know would be true with triplets too, but mine were on different diets and had different levels of independence, yet none were independent enough to be of help to me! And I won’t even go into getting out and about with 2 toddlers and a baby without the luxury of a triplet stroller!

    Now that the youngest is beginning his toddler years, I think maybe I have more similarities to families with triplets. I have 3 toddlers who eat mostly the same meals at the same times, take naps at the same time, and like the same toys and activities. I have 3 toddler car seats in my van, LOVE the choo-choo wagon for getting around the neighborhood with 3 small children, and still have to consider logistics for 3 little ones everywhere we go. Also, my husband and I are outnumbered with 3 unpredictable toddlers in large, open public spaces like parks and small get-togethers like parties.

    Having two (or three) children close together is NOT the SAME as twins or triplets. There may be similarities at certain stages, but, I think, it can be easier at times and other times it’s more difficult!

  9. I totally agree that its just people making small talk and showing interest. And it doesn’t bother me when people say their kids are close in age so they know what it is like to have twins, because, like many responses said already – in some ways having 2 close in age must be harder (although good point Rebecca made about two newborns constantly breastfeeding – that was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through). And that is how I respond – “its probably HARDER to have irish twins than true twins!”
    Also, in RARE instances, boy girl twins can be identical (I don’t know the science of this but know this can somehow be true – maybe someone here can write about it?) So that question about fraternal/identical in boy/girl twins is trickier than it first appears!
    It also doesn’t bother me when people say “I always wanted twins”. I reply “ME TOO!” We are blessed, blessed, blessed and I truly feel that way.
    When people ask “Are they twins?” It isn’t a big deal because my girls do look different, one has more hair and for some reason does appear older at times although she is the younger of the two and they are virtually the same weight and height. I also rarely have them in matching outfits.
    The only comment that has ever bothered me, and I have heard it twice, is “Better you than me!” In which case I have replied “I’m glad its me, too!” Which catches the person of guard, and is also a true response. But it does leave me in a bit of a snit!
    Although now that I think about it, just last week at the library lapsit program I heard one mom remarking to another “I’m glad I only have one!” To which I just smiled and shrugged, because I DO have one child that insists upon milling around throughout the program rather than sitting cooperatively upon my lap. But I have no doubt that would be the case whether she was a singleton or a twin. She is just a busy, curious girl on the go.

  10. Emomily,
    Just curious – why is “I’ve always wanted twins” a bad comment? I said that to twin moms all the time before I had mine – ooops! :)
    ~Maren

  11. Maren—if it makes you feel better, I actually love it when people tell me that they “always wanted twins!” Typically I respond with a “Oh! Then I hope you get them, they are a joy! (Although sometimes it’s pretty easy to discern the commenter is far more interested in the “cute” factor as opposed to the sleepless for three months factor!)

    Interestingly enough, (and maybe guessing Emomily’s perception…she may chime in later) most of those comments occured for our family when Darren and Sarah were cooing, spit-up and poo-scent-free, and peaceful in the double stroller. No one ever said it when I was holding one under each arm trying to sprint a tantrumer and their wailing (confused because they were being well-behaved) away from the train table and out of Barnes and Noble!

    Maybe the naivete that it’s all “precious pairings” and never double the duties is what triggers the less-than-welcome response. :)

  12. I always get sick of the comment..oh you must have your hands full. To that I reply, “I would rather have my hands full then empty”..

  13. michelle, and leah, and whomever else has grace for those who just are trying to make small talk, and aren’t offended.. thank you for your insight.. i have no idea how i ended up on this site, but the more i read the more discouraged i’ve become. many of the people really set everyone up to fail, they ask the wrong questions, do the wrong things, assume, don’t assume, try to relate, etc. many people seem incredibly bitter. would the majority of you prefer that people completely ignored and didn’t acknowledge your children? again.. cut people some slack, especially those who are trying and mean well. they aren’t stupid, they just don’t have multiples. neither did any of you until you had your children. you have the opportunity to educate people and many of you are wasting it. those who are honest, and transparent, but still respectful are much more appealing.
    i think some of the comments mentioned like i’d kill myself and sucks to be you are just stupid and would make me mad, but asking if your twins are identitcal? come on.. you are the only one who stares at them for hours at a time.. what seems obvious to you may not really be that obvious to others, and even if it is, cut these people some slack.

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