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'I'm a mum of twins and these are the 5 things I'm sick of hearing.'

As a mum of four, I have a pretty good idea of the daily juggle of multiple kids. I still vividly remember the days of trying to feed a newborn whilst doing school pickup, with a toddler clinging to my leg like a koala. It was brutal. 

And yet when I see mums of twins, I can’t help but stop and stare in awe and wonderment. How on earth do they manage, I often think to myself. 

And it seems I'm not the only one.

Watch: Millennial Mum takes you through five top tips to prepare you for a life with twins. Post continues after video. 


Video via That Chick Angel TV YouTube Channel.

So, here are the five things people always say to mums of twins, according to mums who have heard it all.

"You’ve got your hands full, haven’t you?"

Not a question but a statement. Of fact. Cheerfully said by any stranger who manages to make eye contact.

The expected response may be a polite smile and "I sure do!" 

But having heard the same thing day in, day out, for what seems forever, what mums of twins really want to say is, "Jeez, I’ve NEVER heard that before".

Image: Supplied. 

Of course, the question is most often asked as mums are wrangling twins into car seats or crossing the road with a double pram and an older toddler in tow. 

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Having stated the obvious, mums of twins then await the standard follow-up question...

"Just how do you do it?"

Parents of twins find it bizarre to be asked this by other parents raising children just like them. 

From the outside, it might seem like double the load. But for parents of twins, it’s just their normal. Albeit a very exhausted normal.

The first thing mums of twins want you to know is that it might be extra work, but it’s not quite twice as much work. Like other parents, they make dinner once, run the bath once, and go food shopping once. There are just more little people to dress and feed.

Not convinced? Me neither. Looks a LOT harder than simply changing a second nappy and putting on another onesie. Just the thought of finally getting a baby changed, fed, and back to sleep at midnight only for the second one to start crying makes me feel tired.

After digging deeper to try to understand the secret to surviving twins, it seems there are three 'rules' that consistently emerge, especially in the baby and toddler years:

1. Staying one step ahead: You must always be ready for what comes next. The fruit and veg need to be chopped, snacks good to go, meals cooked, and bottles sterilised hours before required. When the wheels fall off, they fall off, and you don’t want to get there! 

2. Routine. Routine. Routine: There is no feeding on demand or baby-led napping when it comes to twins. Strict sleeping and feeding schedules are needed if parents hope to catch a few hours of sleep themselves. 

3. Lowering expectations: Mums of twins all seem to agree you need to set low expectations and relax. That way you can never be disappointed or agitated. Everything takes way longer than you think, so not stressing keeps everyone happy. 

"Are they identical or fraternal?"

It seems our fascination with twins extends to wanting to know what type of twins they are, even when we don’t appear to understand it. 

A mum of twin girls was constantly asked if they were identical. When she would reply yes, the next question was always, 'Is it a girl and a boy?' (Umm, not possible). 

A dad tells me he is still often asked if his twin girls are identical, even when they look nothing like. Just one look, and you’d have the answer for yourself. 

Image: Supplied. 

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"Are they natural, or did you have IVF?"

I was pregnant four times and wasn’t ever asked if I conceived naturally or via IVF. Yet parents of twins say that this is one of the first questions people ask, both when pregnant and after the birth. Along with, "Did you have them naturally?" 

Let’s all agree these are inappropriate questions to ask, especially to a stranger. Enough said.

"Who is who?"

The most frustrating and loaded question of all to ask a parent with twins, and indeed the twins themselves.

Frustrating because they see so many obvious differences, as do the twins' friends. It’s just adults who never seem to pay enough attention to notice. 

And the twins? They hate it! "We always get asked who is who. It’s so annoying because we look nothing alike."

Plus, it's a loaded question because it often leads to twins being treated as the same person and being called 'the twins' rather than by their names, being given one Christmas or birthday present to share, and assuming that the kids must have the same friends and enjoy all the same activities. 

As one mum of twins told us, "They are just siblings who happen to be born at the same time; they aren’t one person in two bodies."

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Next time I meet a parent with twins, I will stop myself from asking the obvious. 

Instead, I’m going to ask what’s the most incredible part of having two children born at the same time. I’m going to find out what different hobbies and friends each child has. And I’m going to make sure I pay razor-sharp attention to learning who is who, so I will be sure to call the kids by their name and not as a collective.

P.S. To parents of twins. I want to apologise on behalf of all of us that ask seemingly ridiculous questions to you all the time. And I want you to know it's because we think you are superhuman to raise two little people of the same age when we sometimes struggle with one.

Angela Eves is a mum to four crazy humans and two even crazier golden retrievers. Requires coffee to function. Believes everything is better when coloured, from hair to walls, and anything in between.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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