Handling What People Say

My twin girls are four. By now, the “You’ve got your hands full!” comments are old hat. The “Better you than me!” comments are still inappropriate, but they don’t cause my blood pressure to rise the way they once did. My canned answer to “Double trouble!” is, “Double blessings!” and I roll right along.

I think that people are generally nice. They want to make conversation. But they don’t always know what to say. And when they do say something, they don’t always listen to what comes out of their mouths.

Once upon a time, when the girls were much smaller, my focus was more on getting through a store during “awake time”, when my girls were content to look around in their stroller. The biggest challenge about comments from random people was that they potentially slowed me down, threatening to get me off schedule.

These days, though, the challenges are greater. No, I don’t want to be in the grocery store any longer than I have to with two curious four-year olds…but I also want to be careful with my girls’ tender hearts. I may overthink it, but I fear too many, “You’ve got your hands full!” comments might make the girls question one day if they’re a burden.

imageThat in mind, I had The Worst Experience last week when I was at the grocery store with Baby B, a rare one-on-one “date” for the two of us. We were waiting (a long time) in the checkout line. We started chatting with the nice grandmother behind us. She was super sweet, and she engaged B right away. I love for the girls to practice their conversation skills…and it helped keep her little hands away from the ginormous candy display.

Everything was going great until the lady asked if B had any brothers or sisters. When she learned that Twin Sister was at home, she said to B, “I’ll bet you’re the pretty one, right?”

My heart sank.

I piped in immediately. “No, both my girls are beautiful, inside and out! And they are super smart, too. And they are so kind and loving towards each other. We’re very blessed.”

There again, I know the lady didn’t mean any harm. I know she was just trying to engage with B, and I’m certain she didn’t THINK before she said that

My responses these days can no longer be geared just towards getting on my way as quickly as possible. My girls are watching. They are listening.

I’m trying to model grace. And I’m trying to protect my girls’ precious tender hearts. I can’t expect the random lady at the grocery store to have that in mind when she makes idle chit-chat. In reality, I know the onus is on me.

How do you handle comments from strangers? What’s the “worst” thing you’ve ever heard?

Keep up with Mandy and her adorable girls at Twin Trials and Triumphs!

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  1. One of my friends with twin boys had a someone tell her, “Twin boys shouldn’t be allowed.” Right in front of her boys!

    I really wish people would think before speaking to kids or in front of them.

  2. I have been asked if my babies are natural or artificial. What kind of question is that?!? I have been very open about doing IVF . But those kind of comments and questions are just rude. How many times do you hear…”do twins run in the family?” We get that one all the time too!

  3. Wow. I know these are things I need to be prepared for…my twin b/g are nearly seven months old and I’ve heard the ‘you’ve got your hands full’ line a LOT already! Most recently I was taking a stroll downtown when the weather was beautiful. I was pushing the double stroller with one hand and eating yogurt with strawberries with the other hand — a pretty nice skill I thought — when an older gentleman gave me the usual line. I immediately replied, ‘but I’m making it work!’ and kept going. I think what’s hard for me about that line is that it comes across (to me anyway) as ‘can you really handle it?’ and it’s just another way I can possibly start doubting myself. I need encouragement, not discouragement! That being said, there are many lovely people, friends/family, who are a great support and let me know I’m doing a good job.
    Tracey recently posted……and I won’t even make it to midnight!My Profile

  4. Hi! My name is Nadine and I have twin 11-month-old girls. That woman was very rude to you and your daughters by making that comment. I have received many comments by strangers that are…odd. I just smile and walk away. My daughters are at the age where they don’t understand yet. I hope your daughter let that comment go and didn’t hold on to it. That is my worry that they will hear things and then believe it is true. At my daughters young age I have had people tell me they have a favorite, one is going to be sporty while the other a ballerina and on and on. I have told them to stop defining them based on assumptions. They will be what they want. I don’t want them to feel like they have to be one way or an other based on others thoughts.

    On my blog I have many comments that have been made to me while in stores. The title is Are these people serious? Posted on Dec 21,2012. Take a look if you have time. 🙂
    Nadine recently posted…First Birthday Party UpdateMy Profile

  5. My worst moment was after the usual “aren’t they cute” comment yet again in the grocery store (about my twin infant boys) my 3 1/2 year old daughter said “Mom, am I cute too?” Whenever anyone asked how old they were I would say “3 months, 3 months AND 3 1/2” and when people asked the obvious “are they twins?” I would say no, they’re triplets. :). She may have been invisible to others but she never was to me and I made sure she knew it.

  6. I guess I’m a mom of twins that agrees I have my hands full and it doesn’t bother me. My girls ARE a lot of “work,” but it’s the best work there is. So i usually answer, “yep, i do! They definitely keep me busy!” I can understand how the pretty comment bothered you though. When my girls were just infants I kissed one and not the other while passing by while others entertained at a party. Baby A was being held, and Baby B was in the stroller. I randomly kissed baby A. Someone said to me, “uh! You can’t kiss just one!” The comment actually offended me. I love both my girl’s equally, and I give them love at various times in various ways. Now, that they are two…if they are both right there I will kiss them both, but it also depends. Maybe baby B has a boo boo that needs kissed…I’m not also going to make a point to kiss baby A’s knee???

  7. My wife and I experience this type of thing all the time. She wrote about it as well on her blog post titled “Are those ALL your kids?!” here:


    Some of the comments are just down right inappropriate and hurtful. However – there are also those that are really uplifting and kind. I was at the farmer’s market the other day and a 87 yr old man approached me and said it was his birthday and then proceeded to point to his twin brother at the stand across from us. He just smiled and said “You are truly blessed. You are going to have a wonderful life!” I gotta tell you – that made my year…
    Chris recently posted…July 4th weekend,My Profile

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