There is no doubt that twins are the best but there is also no doubt that they are (more than) double the amount of work. The energy a new twin parent would normally use to politely smile at silly comments is gone and not returning until those babies are sleeping. So, I’m going to help you out here, when you meet a new twin mom or someone pregnant with twins, don’t do anything but give her a hug and whatever you do, do NOT say any of the following things.
- Anything that would result in using the word “naturally”
Do not ask if she got pregnant ‘naturally’ or if she gave birth ‘naturally’. If you do not know this person well enough to know their story, you do not know this person well enough to ask if she was inseminated by her partner or a tool in the doctor’s office and whether she has a 4thdegree vaginal tear or a c-section scar that still burns when she laughs too hard. It’s none of your business.
Instead: Offer to send over dinner for the night. After all, she has grown two humans in her body, the least you can do is save her a night of making dinner too.
- “You look tired. Are your babies sleeping yet?
If you’re not just going to come out and tell someone they look like shit, don’t tell them they look tired either. Of course she’s tired, she has not one, but two new babies who need her 24/7. Unless she comes in with hair and makeup done, assume her babies are not sleeping and don’t bring up such a sore subject.
Instead: Tell her how great she looks with her new mommy glow.
- “The trick is to sleep when they sleep”
It takes work to get babies on the same schedule and for a while, there is going to be at least one baby awake at any given time. She can certainly sleep while one baby sleeps but chances are, she will be neglecting the other baby in the meantime. In the beginning, there is always a baby who needs to be fed, changed and rocked to sleep. That mama has instantly learned all of the tricks to survive her new twin life, so avoid giving her useless tricks unless asked.
Instead: Let her borrow a book to read or recommend a good movie so she has something to do at all hours of the night
- “Better you than me”
Twin mamas are strong and resilient; they adapt easily and can multitask like no other. Why wouldn’t you want to be her?
Instead: Tell her how amazing she is, how lucky her babies are to have her and leave it at that.
- “I totally get understand, I have Irish Twins”
Irish twins are kids who are born within a year of each other so I am by no means going to pretend like that’s easy but that’s definitely a different type of chaos. While I understand that not every baby is planned (I got two that way), I will say that it’s much harder to choose to have twins. I didn’t choose this life, it chose me.
Instead: Offer to buy the first round of drinks while you both drink away your day with a house full of screaming children.
- “I only have one, I cannot imagine doing it with two”
All you’re doing here is reminding her of how hard two is. Twin moms can’t say they wish they had one because that would be wishing one of their babies away but she often thinks, especially in those early days, what she would do with all of the free time if she just had one.
Instead: Ask her what you can do to help her out
- “You have your hands full there, huh?”
What gave it away? The double stroller with two screaming babies, the huge double diaper bag falling off of her shoulders or the wet spot on her shirt from where her boobs are leaking because she desperately needs to pump but has no time?
Instead: Don’t speak, just hold the damn door and take a bag to carry for her.
- “When are you due?”
Not pregnant, just fat. Who has time to work out when you have twins?
Instead: Say nothing at all.
- “You’re so blessed”
This is on the same level as “I’ve always wanted twins”. Of course, twins are a blessing (come on, you’ve created TWO little lives!) but while you’re in the thick of the poopy, screaming chaos, it’s hard to remember that.
Instead: Tell her she’s blessed to be given the strength for twins.
- “Just wait”
If you are going to ask anyone something, such as “how are you feeling?” or “how are the babies?”, expect to get a genuine response which usually implies that she’s so tired and doing everything she can to just keep her kids alive. In no circumstance should you ever reply to her answer with “Just wait” and continue on about how much harder it gets. To tell someone who is going through a tired/tough time that they better strap in because shit hasn’t even hit the fan yet is NOT the appropriate reaction.
Instead: Tell her that you’ve been there but it will get better and she will come out stronger on the other side (leaving out the part that she will need to be because it does in fact, get worse).
- “Twins! A 2 for 1!”
The only thing that is a ‘2 for 1’ is the twin pregnancy and boy, I can’t tell you how fun it is to measure 42 weeks pregnant at 28 weeks. She doesn’t get a 2 for 1 on diapers or wipes. She doesn’t get a 2 for 1 on baby food or clothes. She definitely doesn’t get a 2 for 1 on the price of daycare. It’s not a 2 for 1, it’s a 2 for 2. End of story.
Instead: Offer her some of the lottery if you win.
If you find yourself guilty of letting any of these comments slip, have no fear! Get that mama some wine and hold her crying baby to erase any memory of it and put you back into her good graces. (You’re welcome!)
So, anyone want to tell me how Christmas is only 5 days away? I still have shopping to do..
Wish me luck…