Lifestyle | Parenting

Parenting Twins, I’m So Glad I’m Not You

 

A Parenting Twins Conversation:

‘I’m so glad I’m not you’ – Is there a time when this phrase would be appropriate to say to someone?

A homeless person on the street? A person in a wheelchair? A friend? A person going through infertility? Someone suffering a loss? A Mom With Multiples? … how about not all all …

Today I was stopped by a woman, who asked the phrase that I could not possibly have heard before {sarcasm}, “Are those twins?”. Chuckling to myself I said, “Yes they are” and smiled proudly at the two toddlers smiling back at me.

The lady laughed and said, “I’m so glad I’m not you”. In an instant my smile dropped and my eyes bugged out. She continued, “I’m so glad I didn’t have twins” and looked lovingly at her own 3 children beside her {who must have been 18 months, 3 and 5}.

My mouth dropped in shock as she actually looked at my twins in disgust! She meant it!

Beside the point, but possibly worth a mention: my twin toddlers {at this point in time} were quiet, very well behaved and happy little girls. She, on the other hand had one hysterically crying baby, the middle child rummaging through her purse and tossing items out onto the ground, and the oldest tugging at her coat repeatedly saying “let’s go now”.

Was this stranger beside me, really judging my own children and thinking hers were perfect? Having no previous knowledge of me nor my children, I was shocked that someone could say a phrase like this – for the only reason that I had 2 children, who are exactly the same age.

I’m not going to say that having multiples is easy, or hard for that matter. That’s not the point. Simply put, they are my children. And whether they were born together or 20 years apart, I love them all the same. I would only assume that each parent would feel the same way.

I would never EVER say this phrase to someone, in any circumstance. Sure, there are preferred and ideal lives which we hope to live, such as winning the lottery or never facing death or sickness. Yet to look down on someone’s life, simply because of the age of their children?

There are hard days, hilarious days and fabulous days when raising multiples, just like any other person who is parenting children. Despite those hard days, I see my children as nothing less than a blessing. A double blessing in fact!

After trying to recover from shock, I fought everything in me to not reply, “And I’m so glad that I didn’t have your children”… just to point out the insult and the obvious.

Yet, I forced that fake smile and looked away, literally biting my tongue until it hurt. I tried to keep in mind that maybe she wasn’t just that rude, and might of been having a terrible day. I hope it was the latter, but is that really a reason to speak before thinking?

I’m so glad I’m not you” is not a phrase I would say to anyone whether I knew them or not. In this case I chose to shut my mouth and not respond to the comment, yet I might just put kindness aside next time and not hold back.

Assuming my life is hell just because I have multiples {?!}, well, Hell hath no fury like a pissed off Mom of multiples.

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83 Comments

  1. She probably just meant that you are awesome and she couldn’t have done as good a job as you raising twins πŸ™‚

    Well done on biting your tongue. Sometimes it is just best to assume people don’t mean things how they sound. Not worth the fight and all that right?

    I do that when people say that about me and my son with Autism.

    1. Yes, it was all jealousy, right? lol
      Really, some people and there lack of tact just astounds me… just terrible.

  2. The world is full of interesting people! There are plenty of people who would love multiples!

    I am thankful that you are not like her and rose above the circumstance! Cause I can only imagine how An upset a mom with twice the anger and twice the smarts could put a woman in her place!

  3. I had 3 kiddos under 3 (my oldest was 32 months old, 4 months shy of 3 years old, when my 3rd was born). I was told this same thing more than once. It really offended me. I actually asked one lady who said it to me, “How is that supposed to make me feel?” She was obviously stunned by my question, stammering, “Well, um, I just know that I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes…..” To which I pressed again, “It’s OK to be thankful that you’re not me, but telling an exhausted mom with 3 tiny people in tow that you’re glad you’re not in my shoes can only make yourself feel better. It isn’t at all encouraging or helpful to me. If you don’t want to be punched by the next sleep-deprived, toddler and infant toting young mom, I suggest you keep your thankfulness to yourself.” (It was a particularly difficult day for me, and I was up to my eyeballs in ‘comments’ and sideways glances from people who had a lot of room to judge and no decency to even hold a store door open for me to get through….) The woman exited quickly, eyes wide, and I have no idea what came of that ‘conversation’… but I did feel a little better! LOL! And whenever I see a mom with littles, or multiples (my sister had TWO sets of twins) I always ask how she’s doing and if she needs a hand. It’s how I would have like to have been treated when I was in her shoes!!

    1. I loved this:
      “telling an exhausted mom with 3 tiny people in tow that you’re glad you’re not in my shoes can only make yourself feel better.”
      that is so correct!! Instead of stating the obvious, which doesn’t help anything, offer to do something about it!
      Great words to live by, thank you!!

    2. This is very nicely put and your reply to that woman is excellent !! I sometimes get in situations where I wish I had this cool answer and .. I just don’t know what to say..haha (of course later at home I’d be like: I should’ve said this and that and grrrr !!

  4. I think someone’s need to say something like that isn’t a reflection on you at all… perhaps her children were hard to handle and the idea of having 2 of them at the same time seemed like a fate she could never work herself through.

    I think having multiples are great, met a women who had triplets just on Saturday, while I can’t imagine her shopping bill when purchasing 3 of the same items, 3 pants, 3 shirts and 3 shoes that wont be worn again next season, I guess that is the best worst case scenario.

    Kids are great,… don’t let someone else’s reflection of their life affect your family… by all means you are happy and that’s all that matters!

    1. Hi Angie, you are right – sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have triplets and not twins. People always wonder how I manage with 2, yet I have 2 arms. lol
      I carried them both as babies and I still do now at almost 35 lbs. Yet, with triplets, you really can’t carry all 3 {I’m assuming}. yet I do know, from experience you adjust, you learn and adapt. I see the interaction of triplets and it makes me smile. Same as twins, good as well as bad days {and yes, always an added expense with each additional child} – but I know I would be just fine. Great point of view!

  5. I always wonder what some people are thinking (or not thinking as the case may be). I also often wonder when I have, in my own way, done the same thing without realizing it (I’d like to think never, but that’s not likely).

    However, it’s comments like this that make me want to ask the person *what are your intentions in saying that?*. My guess is she was more referring to her stress level with her own kids, and trying to imagine having two of THEM at the same time was overwhelming to her.

    I have several friends with twins and all have said, that although it can be difficult at times (but so can parenting one child), they LOVE it and wouldn’t trade it for anything…twice the cuteness and twice the fun!

    I bet your kids are just dolls and if she had any idea what kind of fabulous life you have, she’d think twice before repeating her comment!

    hmph…some people!

    1. Who knows what her life/day was like at that moment – yet I did take it as an insult. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive about some twin-remarks. Sometimes when people see us out, it’s shopping and trying to tackle kids/groceries/rushing. But, YES, they are sweet and cute – and the interaction between them just takes my breath away.

      I am happy to be their mom!
      πŸ™‚

      1. I imagine I would have taken it as an insult too….while I don’t know whether she meant to be so rude, I can’t imagine there were honest intentions with a comment like that – how else could it be taken?
        When a friend of mine got pregnant after her 4th child passed away (he was 16 months old) a lady said to her *Oh, I see you got a replacement there* (referring to her pg belly). I was so impressed with her restraint in saying *Oh, there could never be a replacement for him*….I think I would have lost it and likely burst into tears on the spot. Sometimes people just have NO idea how ignorant their comments are. I got asked EVERY day when I was pg with Jonah if I was having twins, even once triplets. I know I was big (ie, a friend of mine who was pg with twins was smaller than me…lol)…but it definitely got old having everyone feel the need to point it out.

        I think you handled yourself remarkably well…sometimes we are so caught off guard by a situation or comment we aren’t sure how to react. We all have difficult moments, even with the best kids, singles or multiples….but to made to feel like our children or situation is horrible can be just plain mean. πŸ™

  6. Twins are fascinating and such a novelty. Some people just can’t handle not being a part of the action. Their way of coping with that is to dismiss or even discredit that which they envy. Pity her insecurity. Relish that you conducted yourself with poise and grace. Good job !

    1. Thanks Tara, everyone does handle things differently. You never know, she could have had a bad experience herself to feel so strongly. I only know my side, just as she only knows hers. Some are so quick to judge though….

  7. I can’t believe someone actually said that to you! Come on. Everything that pops into someone’s head doesn’t have to exit their mouth.

  8. I had a fear of being a parent of multiples. This is right up there with, “oh, your child (children) are, well, ummm, very interesting to look at”.

    I have a low tolerance for ignorance and while I applaud your self-control, I would have handled things very differently. VERY differently. But, that’s my hangup, my shortcoming. I believe the ignorant ought to be, let’s called it, enlightened. πŸ™‚ Some folks just need a kick to the head.

    1. As an ‘ignorant’, I would entreat you not to jump to head-kicking, please. I totally agree that this sort of of comment is completely inappropriate and definitely doesn’t come across as a compliment (although it’s possible she meant it as an insult to herself – like, “I don’t think I could have handled that” not that it’s any better that way) but I come from a family of people who seem to have no ability to stop the phrases they think from flying out of their mouths – ignorant? Definitely. But because they are ignorant (as would be the definition of ignorant) they really don’t know better! And growing up like this has made it more of a challenge for me to learn what is ok, and what is not ok to say to people. There really is no ‘common sense’ when it comes to things like this. Correct people for their rude conduct, but please don’t kick them in the head…

  9. We would get a lot of stares when we went out with our 5 children and not just because their where 5 of them but because their ages also. You see I had 5 children in 4 1/2 years and all single births. I never had any rude comments but some would be wowed by the fact of the closeness in age. We took them for the first time to a sit down restaurant when the oldest was 6 and had a lot of stares and very nice compliments. We drilled them before we left on how to act and they did very well. I am sure some people thought we were crazy with the children so close in age but looking back 26 years later I would never change a thing. I agree with Tarasview.

  10. She probably meant she couldn’t handle two of one of HER children… lol…

    A friend of mine with twin babies said she thought my one baby was more work than her two were. I didn’t mind because I knew it was true… My daughter had acid reflux (that went undiagnosed for a while because of drs. ignoring my concerns) and so she was having problems sleeping and cried a lot.

    I’d take this lady’s comment more as a reflection of her own kids than yours…

  11. I get dumb comments too all the time as a mom of 3 kids — one is 17, one is 5 and one is 10 months. Stupid stuff like wow, that’s a huge age difference! Or are you even old enough to have a 17 year old?? Why don’t you have your children closer together? Now that my kids are big enough to understand what these rude strangers are saying, I respond appropriately and stick up for my kids. Yes, I was a teenage mother — not that it is any of anyone’s difference. I worked my butt off and raised the most well mannered young man by myself. I’ve also lost two pregnancies between the 5 year old and the baby. Pregnancies that were very real to our surviving children. When strangers assume something, they literally make an ass of themselves. My 5 year old daughter has told people on more than one occasion that I tried to give her brothers and sisters closer to her own age but they died. People need to mind their own f’ing business in my opinion!!
    If I wanted people’s opinions, I’d ask them for it:) Good on you for not taking her to task but remember that you’ve got those two sets of (adorable I’m assuming) ears listening to those strangers comments and how you respond to them. I wouldn’t want two of a loud mouth woman’s poorly behaved children either!!

    1. So you relate then, Paula! Even to ask ‘why didn’t you have your children closer together’ is an odd comment. Having kids isn’t sometimes by choice, and there can be so much involved in life – really, were they expecting a simple answer? If anything, for me, it would be a, “Smart woman – you have a babysitter {your oldest}!!’ lol

  12. Ok, so I guess I’d never walk up to some complete stranger and say that UNLESS for some reason we were engaged in conversation somehow. BUT, mine would be in reflection of ME, not you. I have four kids and after having those four kids, I can’t possibly imagine having 2 the same age. Yes, I can open my mouth and insert my foot, but it’s about me and not about you. No clue what this woman was like and from what you said she actually meant it! I like hearing about these situations because I can learn from them. I’m not a total schmuck, just a human who can do and say stupid things. On behalf of this lady, I apologize!

    1. Love your honesty, Mimi!!
      Believe it or not, friends have said the dumbest things, but I guess we take those with a grain of salt and not word-for-word like strangers.

  13. I can say that I can’t imagine having two little ones, same age – a blessing no doubt! Maybe it’s because I haven’t walked that mile. My kids are 4 years apart and even then they were a handful. But as you said, they are mine.
    When I see parents with multiples I grin inside and out. <3

    Last week I had a company that I'm considering working with comment and ask me, "Wow, how old were you when your oldest was born … you had to be like 11!"

    Seriously? 11?
    No, I was 18. Couldn't you have used just a LITTLE more tact when asking me that. I was and still am flabbergasted by her remark.

    Some people really should signage assigned to them to forewarn the rest of us that they're on the way ….

    Hell hath no fury like any woman scorned, be it a mother and you're in a lot trouble.

    Hug your cuties from me!

    1. Hi Rose!
      11 ….. wow. I have no remark except to shake my head at that one!
      …Maybe because you look so young!!! πŸ˜‰
      Take it as compliment!

  14. People will go to great lengths to justify their own choices…and sublimate jealousy with a put-down. I’m sorry this happened to you! It sounds like you handled it in an amazingly mature way.

    Congratulations on your sweet and happy babies! πŸ™‚

  15. Wow! I can’t even imagine. I have to hope that people just don’t realize how terrible things sound when they say them, because what a nasty thing to say. Obviously she doesn’t have a clue. Kudos to you for not snapping back. I hate to say it, but I imagine I wouldn’t have been so nice.

  16. Unreal! Unfortunately, those of us with tact will always be surrounded by those without…the aunt who asks “have you gained weight?”, the neighbour who asks “are you expecting” when you SO are not!, and the people who (with a saddened look on their face) act disappointed that you’re having a second boy and not a girl, as if that makes your family imperfect in some way.

    Many people are born with their foot in their mouth, and I think that for most, they have no clue of the damage they cause with their words. And maybe one day that woman will say the wrong thing to the wrong person and learn a lesson.

    Continue being a proud mom of your three beautiful girls and ignore any negative comments that may come your way!

    Great post, by the way πŸ™‚

  17. Its so sad to me to hear things like this. Like so many people have said, this woman’s comments are more about herself—- but what a tragedy to think! The disgust you saw directed at your precious children is a pretty good indicator that she truly, in her heart-of-hearts, disgusts her own children and is bitter about the difficulties of having to raise them. Prejudice, judging—- they all come when we’ve already made that judgement in our hearts against ourselves.

    Its so unfortunate when we (as in anyone) can’t find the strength to love others more than ourselves.

    Thank you so much for doing that! The way you talk about your children makes it evident that you do! πŸ™‚

  18. Like Rose I had my first as a teenager, people have made comments to me all my life…so what were you a child bride, (actually yes I was) was it concentual sex? WTF? Uhmm none of your f****** business) I would of given it up for adoption (nice really really nice) and many more.
    I now have 6 grandchildren, and now I get – you are too young for that, are you sure? Ah, yes I am!
    They are stupid, rude, hurtful comments from adults who should know better.
    No excuses can ease the hurt, embarassement, or frustration from these types comments.

  19. Aren’t people strange! I am sure she did not mean harm by her comment but she also probably did not think twice before it came out of her mouth! I have a son with feeding issues and he had an n-g tube taht had to be taped to his cheek, I was out with him one day and woman stopped us to say “what is wrong with your baby?” in a very non-concerned way. I was shocked, and started telling her his story. After the fact I thought to myself- it was none of her business why was I so nice?!?! i guess I was just brought up that way!!
    Cheers,
    Laura

  20. hey tammi

    i just remember god gives us what we can handle and obviously you can handle more than others πŸ˜‰

  21. May have been a nervous moment and she just blurted it out. With 9 kids in our family and multiple sets of twins.. my mom always got looks with us all in tow.. we were all around 18 months apart. I applaud you on not snapping back!

  22. This is the first time I have been here and this happened to be the first post I looked at….. Personally I would not have bit my tongue at all! Some people are just so rude. I have 5 children all together (2 are step daughters), and they range in age from 13 – 2. And there have been so many times that I get looks of disgust that a person my age (I am only 25) would have so many children, and I have gotten the same comment time after time and each time I speak my mind. My children are everything to me and there is no one out there that has the right to judge me, ecspecially when they don’t know me! Having 5 kids is a handful, but they all have their good days and bad. I give you kudos for handleing twins…

  23. Hi Tammi, after reading your post, it reminds me so much of myself when I leave the house… if it’s a comment about our kids, or ourself.. believe me I came to the simple conclusion that #1 not all people are as educated as we are #2 some people think they just HAVE to say something.. not realizing they’d rather really be better off not saying nothing at all !!! Good Job at biting your tongue and stay calm.. How many of us would’ve really reacted in such a respectful manner.. definitely the best way out, also the hardest and again the most rewarding afterwards !!

    the 2 cents from a mom with 3 little boys,
    God bless, Myriam

  24. Though I definitely think her comment did lack tact, I think she might not have been saying at all that she didn’t want to have YOUR children. But rather she couldn’t imagine having two of her OWN at the same age – which from your story, her children seem hard to handle and a little misbehaved.
    I have to say, I’ve thought about twins myself, and while I know many mothers of twins and KNOW that they can’t imagine NOT having both those blessings, I’m hoping not to have twins. I would never tell someone I’m glad I’m not them, but maybe she just expressed herself poorly. I think mothers rise to the challenge of twins and really don’t even see it as a challenge (well, not always). But I think some people handle child rearing much better than others.
    Regardless, I think that sounds like a horribly difficult conversation to have had,

  25. WOW! Maybe she was just realizing how hard it was just doing hers one at a time and how you must have it double hard. Who knows? Sometimes people are just insensitive jerks and sometimes they’re just ignorant enough to not realize they’re being insensitive jerks.

    Good job biting your tongue! Not sure I could have done the same.

  26. Oh my word! Who on earth says something like that? I cannot believe that lady! Good for you for holding your tongue. I have no idea what I would have done in that situation. You handled it very maturely and kindly. It’s amazing how things just fly out of peoples mouths and they don’t think before they say something. But, even upon further reflection, she may not realize that what she said was totally rude and uncalled for.

  27. I got the same types of comment a few times when my twins were babies (perhaps the fact that I was also attended by my three older kids didn’t help- ha!). One in particular that stung and dumbfounded me was, “I’m so I glad I don’t have twins.” It was all I could do not to say, “I’m glad you don’t have twins too.” They are a gift, and I’m glad *I* got them.

  28. Perhaps maybe what people feel has nothing to do with you and your kids, but more to do with the fact that they couldn’t have had more than one of their own kids. I know I couldn’t imagine having 2 of my daughters at the same time, but I also can’t imagine how families with 5 kids manage either. I have 3 kids and I get comments from friends with only 1 about they couldn’t handle 3. I don’t take offense I just say, you deal with what you are given and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    having multiples must be very hard and trying at times, but there is also twice the hugs and snuggles too.

  29. You know, it’s like the ‘look’ I used to get when I’d go shopping with my five children. Like I didn’t have sense enough to know when to stop… the thing about children is, though, they are right for us as parents and we are right for them. I would feel absolutely empty without even one of mine… and I’m sure you’d feel that way without one of your twins. It wouldn’t be right. Congratulations on maintaining your composure!

  30. some people really don’t have the the brain power to think first before talking. >.<

  31. Wow, it’s amazing anyone could be that rude. And to think she’s raising 3 children. Heaven forbid they learn it form her. Although I know twins can be a handful, I would have loved to have a pair or two!!!

  32. I know this is a little late for commenting on this blog post.
    I live in an area where alot of mothers on assistance live, and some woman decided she had a right to make rude comments about my 18 month son throwing a tantrum. I walked up to her and asked her to repeat herself louder so I could hear her. She wouldnt, I walked away after telling her to grow up.
    People are a-holes no matter where you go. I think it was completely out of line for her to even make a negative comment about your twins. Only low lifes insult children. She was just miserable and trying to make her life seem better than it is by insulting you.

  33. I don’t have twins but one time at swimming lessons a woman asked what my daughters name was I answered “Reilly” she turned to me and said “that’s a dogs name” I couldn’t believe it. I was furious I had to walk away but under my breath i said “b##ch”

  34. it amazes me daily just how rude people can be. truly. The one thing I try to remember is there has to be SOMEONE who keeps the median IQ at 100, that means half of the people have an IQ below the 100 average and this woman would be one of them!

  35. I know that you are the better person for bringing up twins in a healthy , happy atmosphere and enjoying the journey.

  36. You are a far better person than I am. After I got past the shock, I would have had to say something…like what do you mean? I think your girls are adorable and you must have so much fun. People just don’t think and I am constantly surprised and yes, annoyed at what comes out of people’s mouths. Makes me think hard before I speak, though. πŸ™‚

  37. People say the weirdest and sometimes very hurtful things, often without thinking before they open their mouths… Anyway I don’t personally think there is a “good” time to say to someone “I’m So Glad I am not You”…

  38. Some people say the rudest things. My grand daughters were born 11 months apart. When they reached the same “size”, my daughter was almost always asked that question: “Oh How Cute…Are They Twins?”, my daughter without skipping a beat said:”Go and ask their father…he was there.” (My daughter has a weird sense of humour…she got that from her father).

  39. That was mind of rude for her to say, but I am sure of it was her twins, she wouldn’t be thinking that. I recently babysat my nephew who is a few months older than my 14 month old daughter. Let me tell you, it was a handful!!! But it was so much fun! I felt like I had twins too lol. It seemed like they needed to eat and be changed at the same times. When one woke up in the middle of the night, the other did too, or right after.This was also at the time of the Alberta flood last week, my nephew had just gotten dropped off at our house the night before the flood, so here we were with 3 young kids and nowhere to go! Luckily he is back home safe with his parents and we are still not allowed back into our home. But I love kids and it helped make the situation a little better, kids always have that effect! πŸ™‚

  40. Tammi, i always wanted to have twins!! i just love them! plus one pregnancy for 2 kids! bonus!
    i’ve had my fair share of insensitive comments and looks as i am a mum of 4. i even homeschooled for several years!
    i’ve found the best response is to smile and say/think something like, i love my kids, they are precious and a blessing and i’m so happy i’m me!
    us mums need to encourage each other, not tear each other down!

  41. My friend had twins and she says it was because she is super efficient. She got the whole family she wanted in one go!

  42. That was kind of rude, as a mother I don’t know why she would even say that out loud!!!

  43. I wouldn’t have been able to bite my tongue, I woulda had a snappy comeback, if I wasn’t sleep deprived!

  44. Pure jealousy.

    Think of how many people have told you “I wish I had twins!” She was clearly trying to convince herself otherwise. We’re some special moms!

  45. Thank you for not losing it with that woman. She seems to have enough problems. It’s not as if you may choose to have multiples !! My daughter has twins and they are such a joy, boy and girl, now 27. They are so close to each other and always were.

  46. Wow. That was rude of her, but who knows maybe her kids
    We’re driving her crazy lol. But she still had no right to say that
    To you.

  47. People are so rude all the time that they don’t even realize they are being rude. It’s disgusting. I would have definitely scolded her on her rude comment lol

  48. What’s up, the wholle thing is going fine ere and ofcourse every one
    iis sharing data, that’s really good, keep up writing.

  49. Take everything people say to you with a grain of salt, if you dont like what they have said throw it over your shoulder and continue on

  50. As a twin mommy, I have heard some pretty weird things from people.. But I think the worst always is “better you than me” usually said as they walk by with some smirk on their face. I always think, yeah your right.. much better! Once someone asked me.. and very seriously, which of my identical twin girls was the bad one. Sheesh. Can you imagine walking up to someone and saying that?

  51. I have MS and walk with the aid of canes and I have had this said to me a few times….I can only feel pity for them

  52. Sometimes, like you mentioned, people are having a rotten day so their mood shadows that. Then there are those truly rude people who just don’t think before they speak. Either way hopefully that woman with the 3 crazed kids has an epiphany later on and realizes that was not the thing to say.

    Way to be the bigger woman who took the high road!

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