My public interactions with strangers have certainly changed since the twins came home from the hospital. Especially when I take them AND my one year old out. Some days, I can just take a deep breath and let it go. The rest of the time I just want to punch everyone in the face.
I love it when people ignore me. Everything goes faster in the store when people ignore me.
No here’s the rub. If you’ve made it this far, you are probably thinking one of two things: (1) That I am being overly sensitive and should welcome the attention or (2) That I’m full of shittake mushrooms and secretly relish the attention.
I’m sure most new moms welcome the occasional comment on the adorableness of their cherub(s). Maybe some do get off on gushing over and over about their offspring. I mean it’s certainly nice to know your genetic material doesn’t suck. I’m also sure that most new moms don’t appreciate intrusive questions about their personal life. I sure as crap don’t.
I am not a confrontational person. I don’t like to make people upset. I try to be level-headed, to cap my road rage for example, and to think of others before I open my mouth and speak. I’m not perfect though, so I screw up. I’m also not an idiot and I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO BE NICE when they approach me in a store.
Do you see where I’m going here?
I know that fellow shoppers don’t stop me to be mean.
I know that pushing a carriage with a one year old and pulling a double stroller behind me with two six week old twins makes me a bit of a spectacle.
I know that questions are asked out of curiosity and/or concern, and not to be purposefully intrusive.
But before you stop a CLEARLY BUSY TWIN MOM in the store, PLEASE consider the following.
Know that we’ve heard it all before. We know our hands are full (and guess what, our hearts are too) and we know that we are blessed.
Know that there are some questions we don’t mind answering. For instance, I don’t mind telling you how old the girls are, or that they are identical. People are curious! But there are other questions that make us cringe. You don’t need to know how much help we have at home or if we planned on having kids this close in age. You don’t need to know their names, how they sleep, what they eat or if we are planning to have more of them. I mean while we are at it, why don’t I just tell you my name and address so you judge me after seeing the whole picture.
Know that our time is precious. My time when all my kids are not crying, whining, eating or pooping is VERY precious. Know that I have planned for this shopping trip all morning. I watched the clock like a hawk and made sure to have everyone fed and changed by a certain time so that I could get out and get back home before the next feeding and nap. I had their clothes, hats/headbands, and diaper bags laid out in order so I wouldn’t forget anything. I made sure to pack extra bottles, water and snacks just in case. Any delay could screw up my carefully planned trip. Please be considerate when you stop me or call me back to you in a store by asking questions. To be plain, I need to get my shit done and get home before someone craps their pants or starts screaming.
Know that although we may be smiling we have a lot on our plates. For me, I’m just recovering from a difficult pregnancy, an early delivery, complications from surgery that requires twice-weekly in home nurse visits, and a month-long stay in the NICU that really took a toll on our family. I’m still smiling because I managed to get three babies in the car and into Target while being fully dressed and having my hair brushed. And because I have a Dunkin Coolatta waiting for me in the car. And because I’ll probably hit the drive through so the one year old and I can share some French fries for surviving this trip.
Know that just because we have twins does not mean we are super moms. We screw up and drop babies too. I may look put together (yes, I manage to shower every day). I may have coordinated everyone’s outfits and I may push and pull this carriage and stroller like a beast. But at that moment, you are seeing my family at our best. Three quiet angelic faces and a put together mom. You aren’t seeing me at 2:00am falling asleep in the middle of a feed, or wiping poop off my hands. You aren’t here when I’m so busy that I forget to eat and drink when I should and then pay the price with a poor pumping session. Which doesn’t matter when the one year old is awake because she pulls the tubing out of the machine. You don’t experience the meltdowns I have over knowing I am supposed to return to work just four weeks after the twins came home from the hospital, or on the flip side, knowing the financial strain I put my family under if I choose not to return. You see a fraction of what I am.
If I ran into another mom pushing twins I will certainly give her a smile and take a peep at those babes. I may toss out a question or a comment on their adorableness. But I won’t stop walking, and I won’t cause her to stop walking. Because I know she’s got shit to do too.
Your friendly smile and your kind comments certainly are appreciated. But I also appreciate it if you let me get on my way before all hell breaks loose.
Because you know you are thinking it.
You are thanking your lucky stars that at this moment in time, you are not me.
And that’s fine. But I wouldn’t give this chaos up for the world.