Seriously. Generally moms of twins or more have a fairly good grasp on what twin parenting is like. I would say typically they are happy to commiserate, but they are also quick to build up another twin parent and be encouraging. Yesterday, not so much.
It had been a trying day already. I had finally gotten brave enough to try the library story time. It is for 0-12m olds, but they ask you not to bring your child if they are 'having a hard day' or 'leave the group if they become upset'. Well, what are the chances that both of my children will behave 'correctly' for the same 45 minutes? I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone and just try it- if we failed miserably I gave myself permission to never go back. After making the decision I raced around the house trying to get us ready to be at the library by 11. Finally as I was sweating and putting the boys into their car seats I have the grand idea that I should double check the time-- 10:30, not 11. There was no way we were going to make it, and now that we were ready-ish to leave the house there was no way I was just unpacking them and staying home.
So, we skipped story time and headed to an outlet mall that is pretty close by. We spent the early afternoon shopping and the boys were fantastic. They both napped, chattered and easily took their pouch of food on the go. Our day had been redeemed!
Until I decided to make a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home to buy some coffee and cream. They boys again were perfect in the store. H spent his time growling at the passers by and A gnawed on a teething ring. When we got to the register to pay, the checker immediately told me that she too has twins. I smiled and asked their age, thinking this would go similar to many of my positive interactions with twin parents. It did not. From that moment on she said the following things to me.
- Mine are 14 and AWFUL. Soak in this time, it only gets worse.
- When I found out I was having twins all I cared about was that one of them be a girl because I would have never survived.
- You have two boys, I am SO SORRY.
- I'm not kidding, it really is horrible.
- Do you remember how absolutely horrific the first 3 months were? Didn't you just want to give them back?
- They are really cute, but that wont last.
She then just tried and tried to get me to bad mouth my children and my experiences with them thus far. Which I obviously did not give into. I just kept saying things like I can't imagine life without them, they've actually been really easy and I guess preparing ourselves for it to be really difficult paid off.
I do not understand people like this. Especially mothers. Are we not supposed to build one another up and encourage each other to do the best we can? I know motherhood doesn't look the same for everyone and judging by this woman's age she was likely pretty young when she surprisingly became pregnant with twins and may not have been blessed with many of the things that have made twin motherhood easier for me, but here is the thing... encouraging another person doesn't cost a thing, and often it is the best gift you can give.
So even though this lady obviously left a bad taste in my mouth, she also served as a reminder of the mother I want to be. The one who tries hard to see the positive, the mother who doesn't speak poorly of her children (especially to strangers!) and the woman who builds up other moms.