The cliché stands true: Twin moms need double the coffee to help them with double the laundry, double the dishes and double the chaos. Moms also may need double the coffee to help with the laughable moments they encounter throughout the day. These moments don’t always include cleaning spit-up off a new rug or accidentally overfilling a storage bag while breastpumping. Sometimes these moments are simply the questions and comments a mama of twins will hear over the course of their day.
Well, over the course of their life is more like it – for a mama of twins, the questions never end.
Even though twins and triplets seem to be on the rise these days, people are still in awe when they see a mom with two babies who are the same age (and sometimes with other children on top of that). People always have so many questions running through their mind because if they have a singleton or if they have had only singleton pregnancies, they are intrigued. It is something unique and something not everyone gets to experience, so it’s natural to have questions.
Even if those questions are unintentionally blunt, odd and, well, a tad offensive sometimes.
20 “I Couldn't Handle Having Twins!”
Well, no - you probably would handle it.
Twin moms hear this statement all the time and even though it’s laughable, more sensitive moms see it as being a little offensive. Having twins doesn’t mean the end of the world is near. Yes, it does mean there will be a lot of work and yes, it does mean multitasking will be necessary – but death is not on your doorstep. It doesn’t mean that if you were pregnant and your ultrasound showed you two little heartbeats that your own would stop.
If anything, your heart would probably grow fuller out of the love you already could feel for them (and out of the shock).
19 “Mine Are Close In Age - So I Get It.”
Even though having two babies that are a year or less apart can be similar to having twins – it isn’t the same as having twins. This popular statement is yet another harmless phrase that some moms don’t always like hearing – even though, again, it is harmless and not meant to be insulting.
If the twin mom had a difficult pregnancy and they hear a fellow mom say this (and they have an outspoken personality), the twin mama may say things like, “Well, you didn’t carry them both at the same time” or “No, you really don’t get it.” Every human being is different – so how moms react to other moms and their opinions can be interesting, to say the least.
18 “So, When You Try For Your Next One…”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.14 persons made up the average family in 2017 - even though every state differs when it comes to family household size and structure. These statistics may be part of the reason people sometimes bring up “the next one” discussion to existing parents – and many new parents just look at those people and laugh.
The question is: Why can’t two be enough? Why must people use sayings such as just two or only two. Having two children is a blessing and something some women would do anything for. So, why automatically assume that a family may want to follow in the footsteps of the Duggars? Having two children is perfectly fine – especially if they will grow up alongside each other.
And if you want more, that’s great as well!
17 “They're Really Twins?”
Most twins do not look alike, but that still makes them twins. Very Well Family states that “fraternal twins will share about 50% of their DNA” just like any other sibling. One twin could look more like their older or younger sibling than their actual twin sometimes. However, this doesn’t make the fact that they’re not a twin any less true.
This statement typically frustrates twin moms because even if her children don’t look alike, they still are twins through-and-through. They were together throughout the pregnancy, together at delivery, and will continue to grow up alongside one another. Twins have a special bond that no one else can truly understand.
And that bond doesn’t have to include physical similarities.
16 “How The Heck Do You Do It?”
The moment a woman discovers she is having twins, she automatically has no choice (if motherhood was something she always wanted) but to, well, just do it. She looks at that ultrasound, doesn’t believe what she sees, and often stares at it in disbelief. However, after some staring and moments staring in awe, the parents will come to the realization that they’re going to have twins.
It often takes an entire pregnancy, and sometimes a lifetime, for parents of twins to really digest that they will have two children who are always the same age – two newborns at once, two toddlers at once, two teenagers at once. So when a twin mom hears someone use that statement, they really have no other response besides, “We just do it!”
15 “Who Is Older?”
No matter what, there is always an “older” twin – and it usually is Baby A (Baby A is almost always closer to the cervix, which is why they are given the specific name). However, every twin pregnancy is different and depending on whether or not Mom has a c-section or not, the timeframe between twins can be dramatically different.
If Mom has a c-section, the babies can be born within seconds of each other. If Mom decides against that, it takes numerous pushes to get both babies out. According to Parents, “with deliveries, most babies are born within ten to 30 minutes of each other. With c-sections, it’s even quicker, with babies being pulled out moments apart.”
14 “Better You Than Me!”
Why? Is there a certain kind of person who would make a better twin parent than another?
This statement often confuses twin moms because when someone is blessed with multiples, they may be in shock, but they will make the situation a good one for their family. If someone wants to be a mother, they will be the best mother they can be – whether or not they have singletons or multiples.
So really, in the end, there is no one person who is better suited to be a mama of twins than the next (unless the individual having twins is faced with other struggles or health concerns that can impact the pregnancy and the safety of the babies).
13 “They Look So Different. I Can’t Believe They’re Twins!”
Plain and simple: Fraternal twins do not always look alike. One may have dark hair, the other may be blonde. One may be a girl, one may be a boy. One may have blue eyes, the other may have brown ones. One can be tall and slender, one can be short and compact. Fraternal twins can sometimes share more differences than similarities – and that’s often what makes it fun.
Believe it – they’re still twins. No matter how different the two little ones are, they still grew inside the same mom together and were delivered together. That makes them twins who will forever have an inseparable bond – even if they grow up to fight more than get along. That bond is always there.
12 “One Is Hard Enough – I Can’t Imagine Two.”
Having one baby is hard, but that doesn’t always mean having two at one time will be harder. Yes, it makes everything a little more challenging at times, but being a mom means multitasking must occur. And with multiples, you have no choice but to multitask.
If a twin mom has a solid routine down, they settle into that routine and learn to be flexible (because Moms have no choice but to be open to change). Moms who can’t imagine life with two need to remember that even with those expected bursts of chaos, it is possible.
11 “Do You Have A Favorite?”
Just don’t. Don’t ask any parent if they have a favorite child. Even though this question is often said as a joke, it can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable to answer. People will often laugh and say, “You know you’ll have a favorite” and automatically, a new mom may grow anxious about having to be equal and fair all the time.
Many parents will answer this question with a response similar to this: They each have their moments. If one twin is screaming and crying, the other may be their favorite at that time. If one is being a fussy eater, the other may be the favorite. The key words are “at that time” because every child has their precious moments and every child has those moments of terror.
10 “How Can You Tell Who Is Who?”
Newborns typically look very similar to one another – even if they aren’t related in any way. Even if twins are fraternal, some people (even the parents) may have difficulty telling them apart right off the bat. When it comes to identical twins, the difficulty in telling them apart can be even harder. However, even identical twins have little markings and specific characteristics that help new parents.
According to Very Well Family, “most parents find that mixing up their babies is the least of their concerns. After only a few hours or days at most, they are distinguishable as individuals.” So, don’t always think that just because parents put different colored bows or different patterned tops on their twins that that’s the only way they can tell them apart. Twins are unique individuals and once you really get to know each of them, those differences are clear.
9 “Two For One!”
Some women have horrible pregnancies. They experience back pain, morning sickness, swelling, and ongoing discomfort. This can be harder for moms who carry more than one baby and sometimes after that pregnancy, they are absolutely okay with hearing the over-said statement, “Two for one!” They feel blessed they only had to be pregnant once – especially if that pregnancy wasn’t the greatest and they don’t want to have any more children.
However, the statement is definitely one twin moms hear quite often and probably too often. After they hear it those first few times, it can be hard forcing out a genuine laugh. Moms should remember, though, that the statement is harmless and if their pregnancy was one from a horror film, laughing along each time they hear it is worth it.
8 “Double Trouble.”
Two babies at once does not always mean trouble. This playful statement can sometimes really get to twin parents, even though it is often harmless. Sensitive parents are much more common than you think, so it is important to watch what you say to moms – especially new ones.
On the other hand, new moms should try to see these simple statements as not being said in a hurtful way. Parents are typically joking and not viewing your babies in a negative light. Taking a deep breath and laughing alongside those who see your little ones as “double trouble” is the best bet.
Because having two at once will probably lead to some entertaining, exciting mischief.
7 “Did You Use IVF Or Are They Natural?”
Though this question is often genuine and out of pure curiosity, it can be a very sensitive topic for many mothers. Twins are twins no matter what, but fertility treatments can play a part when it comes to conceiving multiples.
According to The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “the twin birth rate has increased by over 75% since 1980, and triplet, quadruplet, and high-order multiple births have increased at an even higher rate. There are more multiple births today in part because more women are receiving infertility treatment.”
These kinds of in-depth medical treatments definitely impact multiple pregnancies, but it’s also important to remember that twins are occurring much more often without being associated to any treatments at all. Every pregnancy is unique.
6 “One Pregnancy, Two Kids – Instant Family!”
For many families, having two children is what they’ve always dreamed of having. If someone has had difficulty conceiving and they discover they will be having two babies after having trouble conceiving one, they instantly feel a sense of family. They have gotten what they’ve always dreamed of, despite the struggles they’ve had to overcome.
Having twins does change the overall family dynamic – especially if twins are the first children in the family. Since many couples do not want more than two children, when twins happen it does create an immediate family. The bond the family has immediately changes when babies come into the picture and twins can definitely turn a new couple into an instant family.
5 “I Don’t Think I Could Do It?”
This is a statement many twin parents find laughable. Once you find out you’re having twins or triplets, you have no choice but to just do it. You may think you can’t handle the additional chaos that comes with having multiples, but when that time comes – you do it and learn to embrace every second of it.
If twins are your first babies, you don’t have other babies to compare your experience to. Sometimes this can make the transition a little easier. When you do have other children already and then twins come into the family, it can be a bit of a transition since there are other little ones to tend to and care for.
No matter how difficult the situation – Moms can and will do it.
4 “How Are You Going To Breastfeed?”
Even though breastfeeding can be tough for any mother, it does come with additional challenges for twin mamas. Some twin moms will try to tandem feed their twins, but while one baby may easily latch, the other sometimes may not. Every baby is different and every breastfeeding experience is different as well. And sometimes, breastfeeding just isn’t for everyone – and that’s okay.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “reasons for not starting breastfeeding multiples were that the mother simply did not want to breastfeed in 36%, maternal or infant illness in 7.6% and 9.1% respectively, physician advice against in 9.1%, insufficient milk supply in 7.6%, and not enough time in 10.6%.” There are many reasons mothers of multiples decide to supplement breastmilk and no matter the scenario, if the babies are fed and healthy, that’s truly what counts in the end.
3 “Do Twins Run In Your Family?”
The conversation involving a genetic link in twins or multiple pregnancies is always a popular one. It is also a discussion that seems to be ever-changing. The Genetics Home Reference team through the U.S. National Library of Medicine states “the likelihood of conceiving twins is a complex trait. It is probably affected by multiple genetic and environmental factors, depending on the type of twins.”
Many people automatically assume that if there are twins in the family, there's likely to be more on the way. Though this may be the case for some families, it isn’t always the case for all. If a woman drops more than one egg during ovulation, they have a higher risk of fraternal twins occurring and identical twins are typically just random occurrences. Research and evidence-based case studies are still scattered when it comes to how genetics play a part in the conception of multiples.
Whether or not twins run in your family – you still have the chance of popping out two at once.
2 “I Really Hope I Get Twins.”
Some people have always wanted twins. Some people have always wanted a big family and would be okay with even getting more than one set of twins (something many twin moms can’t imagine happening, but an occurrence that does happen to many). Especially for couples who have difficulty conceiving, the hope for twins can be even greater. Seeing a family who has twins can either be tough or inspiring.
Whatever the situation may be, it’s important to take the situation into account. You don’t want to get too detailed about your specific family dynamic if the woman or couple you’re talking to has had trouble conceiving, unless they are open to discussion. If the person you are talking to already has children and seems on board with having more, they may be ready to hear those nitty-gritty details some moms keep from others.
1 “They’ll Always Have A Friend.”
When a new mom finds out they’re having twins and their brain is boggled with overwhelming thoughts, one thought seems to typically stand out from the rest: They’ll always have each other.
Many people say this to twin parents and it is a comment every mother enjoys hearing again and again. Even if their twins are not old enough to really have that relationship or if the twins aren’t as connected as parents may have hoped, they still do have a bond.
It’s nice watching twins interact with one another – no matter their age. Once they start recognizing there is another human being there, they begin smiling, laughing and entertaining each other. This doesn’t only make it easier on the parents, it provides the siblings with a companion for life (or at least until they are older and begin having their own social groups and interests). Even as twins age and become individuals, they always have their twin to lean on if need be.
References: U.S. Census Bureau/Statista, Very Well Family, Parents, Columbia Fertility/The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, U.S. National Library of Medicine/Genetics Home Reference