Since this blog is open to all readers, we wanted to take a minute to address some of the perceptions that we find are floating around about MoMs, and families of multiples in general. The object of this post is not to create an “us versus them” situation, but to shed a little light on our position as MoMs so maybe a greater understanding can be reached. I should also preface this with a disclaimer: 99.4 (yes, that’s scientific) percent of people mean well when commenting on your children/situation. However, there are just some questions that should stay where they belong- in your head.
1. “Were you on fertility treatments?”
After having our babies, it was obvious from the beginning that going anywhere in public would elicit all kinds of comments from strangers. It was especially hard for me, because I am a fade-into-the-background kind of person. Since the use of fertility methods is so prevalent and somewhat controversial now (thanks, Octomom), I think people are used to discussing it freely, which in many respects is a good thing. I didn’t give it much thought until I became pregnant with triplets, and was constantly asked about it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a personal decision it is. If someone wants to be open and discuss a personal topic with you, all the better; but they should be allowed to make that decision for themselves, without being forced into a potentially awkward situation, yes?
And as a follow-up.. “Do twins/triplets/etc run in your family?” After hearing this about 89 times, it becomes obvious that’s its just another way to ask question #1.
2. Not so much a question.. but a comment. “Wow- you have your hands full!”
This one is not so much offensive, but boy, oh boy, does it get old. The first five times I hear it when I go out, I smile and nod. The next five, just get a nod. Eleven through fifteen, I might pretend to not hear, or be talking on the phone, say with an invisible bluetooth. Number twenty and beyond, I’m trying hard not to roll my eyes. It’s something I have to work on.
3. “Oh, wow, bet you’re done now, right!?”
Maybe we are, maybe we’re not. Again, it’s a personal decision and most of us don’t necessarily have time or inclination to explain our future childbearing plans to complete strangers. I mean, how do you know? Maybe I’ll win the powerball jackpot, and have enough money to hire eight nannies and have six more kids? I’m just sayin’.
4. “Whoa, and I thought one was bad!”
Bad? Really? I think what people mean by “bad” here is “a lot of work”. But it sounds strangely like an insult when you refer to our kids as “bad”, so… rethink your choice of words, and we’ll be ok.
5. “Are your (boy/girl) twins identical?”
No. Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina, and there’s nothing identical about those anatomical structures.
6. “My cousin’s friend’s sister’s neighbor who lives over in Winchesterfieldsville had twins etc…”
That’s awesome. Really, it is, but I have several small children with me that are about to have a meltdown, so maybe you could tell me about your cousin’s friend’s sister’s neighbor’s twins later?
7. “Have you seen that show.. Jon + Kate?” or worse “Wow a couple more and you could be Octomom!”
No, no we couldn’t. I would never be like Octomom, because she’s a nut. And actually, it is a little offensive being compared to her. Just refrain. Thank you.
8. “Can I take a picture of your babies/kids?”
Amanda and I get this one ALL THE TIME. Some say we ask for it, going out together in public with our twins and triplets to places like Disney. Really, it’s a fact of life whether we are together or not. But the point is this: they are children, not animals at the zoo, not a Disney attraction, and not celebrities. They are people that deserve respect, just as adults do. We all have the right to enjoy the same activities that everyone else does, without the comments, questions, gawking, and picture-taking. Maybe if I was a celebrity, with all the benefits that go along with it, it would be easier to swallow. But I’m not. So just put that camera right back in your pocket, please.
And for the record, it’s completely inappropriate (ok, creepy)for a total stranger to want to take pictures of your kids. There are a lot of wackos out there. Enough said.
9. “I bet it gets annoying when people ask you all kinds of questions when you’re trying to get stuff done, huh?”
Ok, it felt pretty good to get that out of our systems. It just has to be done every once in a while, or we’re liable to flip out one day on some unsuspecting inappropriate commenter. Picture Britney Spears flipping out with the umbrella and the shaved head; you don’t want that, now do you? I apologize if we came off as jaded or negative…but if one inappropriate question was avoided by the writing of this blog post, then it was all worthwhile.
Did we forget any? What’s the craziest question/comment you have ever received about your multiples?