What not to say to twin parents

what not to say to a parent of twins

One thing I didn’t anticipate before having Sam and Leo is how much attention twins attract. They are well known in our village and people will often smile or say a word or two about them. We were once mobbed by cooing old ladies in our local bakery. This can be tricky when I’m running late to collect Sofia from school.

People can be unbelievably nice (I wrote here about The Kindness of Strangers) and have said some really lovely things to us.  My favourites are people telling me that they are a twin, that they have twins or have twin grandchildren. I guess these are people who generally see twins in a positive light.

Then there are the really annoying comments………here’s a little round up of what not to say to parents of twins.

You’ve got your hands full!

This is top of the list of annoying things I hear pretty much daily. One it’s stating the obvious. Two it is often said in a smug you’ve got it harder than me kind of way. Three (and this is absolutely the worst) it is often said at moments when things are going a bit wrong. If one of your kids is having a tantrum or you are struggling to navigate a shop with loads of shopping and a double buggy what you don’t need is someone gleefully saying this. Unless it is followed up by let me help you, don’t say it!

Was it buy one get one free?

It’s not original. I’ve heard it a million times. It’s not funny anymore! Having three kids (I have an older daughter as well as twins) is incredibly expensive – there are no buy one get one frees. The food, formula, nappies and childcare costs are slowly bankrupting us.

I’d hate to have twins

This really upset me when I was pregnant with my twins. I took it really personally. I interpreted it as a person saying I wouldn’t like to have a family like yours. Now it just annoys the hell out of me! I guess people looking in from the outside only see the hard work and don’t necessarily think of the massive blessing that I’ve found twins to be.

Double trouble!

I hear this pretty much every time I leave the house. Why are you saying my kids are trouble! I think with this one people just want to say something but is this really the best you can do? I will smile but inside I am groaning!

Did you have IVF?

I think IVF is an amazing thing and a subject that people may be or may not be comfortable to talk about.  But think about it people – you are basically asking a total stranger to tell you about their fertility.  This could be a really sensitive subject to bring up in the queue at Tesco.  You wouldn’t ask a person in the street about any other personal aspect of their health. It’s not appropriate.

Phew rant over!

Are there any twin comments that you find a bit annoying? Let me know in the comments section below.

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17 thoughts on “What not to say to twin parents

    1. It is fab if a bit manic! I love seeing them become each other’s best friends and the little twin quirks that they have like falling asleep in exactly the same position.

  1. Some people can be nosy and not everyone needs to know everything about our children! Although Sylvia is not a twin I get the IVF one because of the difference in skin colour and I’m like…… None of your business! The truth is was 100% my egg, but I did have assisted treatment to get pregnant and yes it is not something you need to be asked all the time!

    Angela x
    Angela at Daysinbed recently posted…Getting Published On The Mighty For the First TimeMy Profile

    1. I used to get asked when my daughter was little if I was her nanny because she looks nothing like me! I guess it was a genuine question but it did upset me the first time.

  2. I’ve almost said some of these to twin mummies (strangers) but thought, I bet they hear that all the time! I would never ask whether they were the result of IVF, I can’t believe people actually do!! They clearly haven’t thought through what they’re saying.

    That’s so cute that they fall asleep in the same position!
    Helen | Wonderfully Average recently posted…Me and Mine: October 2015My Profile

    1. The majority of things people say are lovely, some comments have truly made my day. But a bit of a mean “I’d hate to have twins” if I’m having a bad day does get to me.

  3. Heard all those but best I’ve had,from another mother at toddler group, is “” you always get one twin who is prettier” also “which one is your favourite”
    Some people don’t think before they speak,the mind boggles. I was mortified!

    1. That’s terrible! Can’t believe someone said that one is prettier! I’m always asked who is the naughtiest.

    1. I did used to get a bit confused when they were babies – we had to write down who was dressed in which clothes.

    1. I’m not too grumpy honest! It is lovely that people want to chat and talk about the twins. I think they sometimes just maybe don’t quite think through what they’re saying.

  4. Mine are grown now, but I had a boy and girl and people used to ask if they were identical, I got so mad with someone one day I stated the obvious, poor lady, bet she had wished she had never asked lol……loved every minute of being Mum to twins though x

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I love hearing from people with grown up twins, we are very much in the thick of the preschool age at the moment. I love being a mum of twins it is so special. I think it is hearing the same (not very logical) things over and over again that starts to grate!

  5. The double trouble comment always annoyed me when my twins were little (they are 9 now) and I used to always reply, “I am sure you mean twice as nice!”

    1. Some people say it in quite a mean way that realy annoys me. I like your reply I’ll have to try that one.

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