12 Twin Comments That Shouldn’t be Offensive, and a Couple That Are
When it comes to people commenting about my kids, questions/comments about twins seems to take the cake. Since they were babies, and I was pushing around a double stroller with my 2 year old standing on the back, I felt the stares and got the questions. After reading what seems like too many articles on “What Not to Say to Twin Moms,” and continuing on from my last post, here are some things that really shouldn’t be considered offensive. I know that some twin moms hate getting these questions. I am just not one of them. Like I’ve said before, I enjoy meaningful conversations that are about more than just the latest NFL game or the snow. If you are one who takes offense to being asked about your kids, please consider just appreciating that you and your family make people curious, and don’t be overly sensitive to the admiring onlookers who want to dig a little bit deeper.
“Are they twins?”
While this question doesn’t bother me, I know for a fact that this one bothers some moms. My oldest son and his cousin look a lot alike, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were mistaken as fraternal twins someday. If you see two kids in public you really may not know if they’re just cousins/siblings/friends who are just close in age or size, or if they really are twins. And what does it hurt to ask?
“Are they identical?”
This question is also very understandable (unless it’s obvious- i.e. boy/girl twins) I know fraternal twins who look identical and I can’t tell them apart. I also know identical twins who don’t look so much alike. You really don’t know unless you’ve had a DNA test. (or you might know they’re identical, if they both have an extra tooth in the exact same spot…I mean really! How does that happen?!)
“Did you deliver them naturally?” “How big were they?” “How long were you pregnant?” “Do twins run in your family?”
I don’t quite understand how any of these questions can be insulting or too personal. It’s not like people are asking for their birthday or social security numbers. I personally have the same type questions whenever I run into other twin moms, just out of curiosity.
“You’ve got your hands full.”
This one I’ve heard most from…wait for it… OLDER MEN. Yes! That’s right. Sweet old men who might be standing next to me in line at the store, or at church, or a ball game or wherever. This comment is normally made as a funny comment. Please don’t be offended by it. Honestly, with twins, you literally have your hands full (2 kids, 2 hands), so this comment is actually a TRUE one! This one is also usually said out of admiration and not out of rudeness.
“How can you tell them apart?”
Ahh when I get this, I just laugh. My answer is this: Sometimes I can’t. I do think that lots of twin moms have figured out the “little” differences, in case they actually get them mixed up. EX: one of my twins has a double crown and the other doesn’t.
“Is he the good/bad one?”
This one could be insulting, but just take it with a grain of salt. People aren’t trying to be mean, they probably really want to know if there is a good or bad one. Mine seem to switch roles on a monthly basis. There will be one month where Twin A never gets in trouble and obeys most the time, while Twin B might have an ornery streak. We can have every combo you can make. Both will be “good,” both “bad,” and everything in between.
“Bless your heart.”
Again, how is this rude? Some people use this saying when they run out of things to say. Just take it lightly and say thank you.
“I’ve always wanted twins,” or “I think I’m having twins.”
I’ve gotten these A LOT also. I think this one is when someone looks at you, and applies it to themselves, which is pretty awesome! Twins are fun, and I don’t blame anyone for wanting them.
“I have 2 that are (insert small age gap) months apart, so it’s just like having twins, except it’s harder.”
I’m not sure why, but I have gotten this comment mostly from dads. Maybe it’s their competitive side coming out. I don’t know. But I do know, that after my husband experienced his wife’s twin pregnancy, newborn twins who had reflux and colic, crying non-stop every night, and watched his wife also cry every night due to lack of sleep and trying to learn to tandem nurse, he would probably disagree with any dad who mentioned twins being easy. Honestly though, some twins are easier than others, and some singletons are harder than others. It should not be a competition. And it really doesn’t matter, because having one or having five, hard or easy kids doesn’t make you more or less of a parent. So usually when I get this comment, I just go with it because it really doesn’t matter.
*These next two are questions I personally wouldn’t ask someone unless they brought it up first.
“Were they conceived naturally?” “Did you do fertility treatments?”
Now these “factual” questions might be too personal or offensive for some, so I wouldn’t recommend asking either of these. It understandably might bother someone, and I would probably consider this to be a none of your business type question.
I would also like to add that it may be unwise to ask a pregnant woman if she’s having twins based on the size of her belly, if she’s not, then you just set yourself up for an awkward situation and probably hurt her feelings. It’s very much like it wouldn’t be too wise to ask a larger woman if she’s pregnant without knowing. Same concept.