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"I'm a mum-of-four, and sometimes I hide one of my twins when I'm out in public."

Life as a parent to twins can be a logistical and emotional rollercoaster. There is the joy of double cuddles and double kisses, yet also the frustration of trying to get two little people fed, dressed and out of the house.

What a lot of non-twin parents don’t realise however, is that sometimes it’s not the twins causing the issues, it is everybody else. From negative comments at the post office, to over familiar baby-stroking in the supermarket queue; some people do not know when to keep their thoughts or hands to themselves.

Jess Nall, mum to nine-week-old twins Gracie and Harry as well as three-year old Spencer and five-year-old Evie, knows the pleasures and the pains of having twins and a big family only too well.

“The effort of getting myself and four kids to-and-from a 30-minute doctor’s appointment at 10am can take me all morning. There are nappies to change, toilet visits to deal with, I then load us and everything we need into the car before driving there to grab a close enough parking spot before unloading everything and everyone, all in the heat of summer!”

mother of twins
Jess' twins Gracie and Harry. Image: Supplied/Alex Warden Photography.

But logistical issues aside, Jess says it is other people that challenge her the most.

“As it does take so long to get things done with twin babies and two other children in tow, I just want to get from A to B as quickly as possible but when random strangers see the twins they want to stop and chat, touch them or offer ‘advice’!

“Mostly it is just friendly, but I’ve had it all from the ‘double-trouble’ comments to personal questions about how I breastfeed. I get asked which twin is ‘the good one’ and I am constantly asked if they are identical, even when I have told them one is a girl and one is a boy!

“To try and lessen the interruptions to my grocery shopping I layer the capsules in the pram so that one is under the other and if babies are sleeping, I cover the pram with a muslin that creates a little breathable roof. This way one of the babies is hidden from view and I can essentially get what I need to get done before one wakes up for a feed!”

mother of twins
Jess with her children Evie, Spencer, Gracie and Harry. Image: Supplied/Alex Warden Photography
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Fellow twin mum, Lisa, who has identical one-year-old twin girls Lara and Ruby and two older daughters Chloe (aged four) and Lily (aged six), also says she can’t get anything done quickly if she’s out with the twins.

“People mostly just want to stop and admire them and tell me how gorgeous they are. Sometimes people want to stop and tell me their own ‘I had twins’ story which slows me down, but worst-case scenario people say silly or rude things like ‘Oh I feel so sorry for you’ or ‘your poor husband’!

“Last week a woman stopped to say something negative and while I used to just laugh it off, I decided I had had enough so I gave her a short speech about how happy I am to have four healthy girls and that I did not need her pity! Hopefully that will stop her saying inappropriate things to other mums.”

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The strange comments don’t just start when the twins are born, as Helen, a mum to one-year-old twin boys Hugh and Thomas discovered when she began telling people she was pregnant with two babies.

“I was rather overwhelmed at the 12-week-scan but my husband Ciarán was absolutely delighted at the news and now the boys are literally the best thing that has ever happened to us.

“But it was only when I started telling people our twin news, that I realised everyone had an opinion, with the worst one coming from someone I know who said ‘I can’t think of any positives when it comes to twins.’ It really knocked my confidence as did all the comments when the boys were born such as ‘I don’t know how you cope’ or ‘You’ve got your hands full!’”

mother of twins
“People were mostly very happy for us." Image: Supplied/Alex Warden Photography
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Jess and husband Tim decided to tell their friends and family the twin pregnancy news via Facetime and as a bit of fun, she screenshotted people’s reactions.

“People were mostly very happy for us, but there was also a lot of shocked faces and we did get some funny comments like ‘I can’t think of anything worse’, ‘why would you have twins?’ and ‘I guess you won’t have any more kids then?’

“I am not sensitive thankfully as I can imagine those sorts of statements could rub you up the wrong way but it seems people don’t always think too hard about what they are saying.

“For us, having twins after two other children has actually been easier in lots of ways. This pregnancy was actually the smoothest sailing of all three and after having the twins, our older two happily play together so they aren’t always seeking attention from me. As parents we feel pretty relaxed, perhaps more so than if we had twins first time around as we’ve seen it all before.”

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All the mums agree that having twins is a wonderful privilege.

“I love my boys and wouldn’t change them for the world. I honestly wish someone had told me how amazing it is to be a twin mum so I wouldn’t have worried so much,” says Helen.

Lisa agrees. “I feel so lucky now, contrary to the sheer terror I felt when hearing the words ‘it’s twins’ for the first time! Being a parent to twins is an absolute blessing, and amazing to see the connection the girls already share. They bring smiles to people’s faces wherever they go and that is just wonderful.”

Do you have twins? Has anyone ever said anything unexpected or awful to you? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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