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To the unassuming person who is about to read this blog……if you are not a Multiple Parent you may not initially understand this post. That’s ok, just read it over & over until you do. 😉
For those of you who do not have twins, triplets, quads or more, you will have never used the word ‘singleton’ in your life. I know I didn’t either until our twin boys arrived in mid 2012. It’s neither defamatory or rude it is just explaining what is. A single child born into this world via the one pregnancy is a singleton…..it’s a fact and doesn’t get any simpler than that.
I am constantly amazed when I am out and about with the family, or just the boys and myself, and people say to me, “Oh I had two kids born close to together, that’s like having twins!”
Ummm…excuse me? Cue the *Sigh*…..
Now to the uninitiated, there are a few things that parents of multiples loathe more than inaccurate statements when we have conversations with those who have singletons. It seems to suddenly become a contest that we neither asked for, or really want to have. We have bigger fish to fry and you are NOT fish, so, …..have you ever noticed a multiple parent look at you while you converse with us? At first we look at you, nod our heads and smile, then it happens.
*BAM* The dreaded comparison or not-so-funny comment.
Our eyes glaze over, we get sweaty palms and look for the nearest exit. We hope in desperation that one of the kids will just throw up, just this once on cue, so we can escape. Our eyes dart from side to side as the eye twitch kicks in and then we follow it up with a look that says; “You don’t have a clue do you?”
Under normal circumstances we love to do nothing more than to shove a sock in your mouth, cleave you up the middle, chop you into little bits and hide your so called bits in the nappy bag hanging off the back of the pram (ever noticed how big those suckers are?). Why you may ask? Well it’s like this…. We’ve heard it all a thousand times before and it’s like watching a Peppa Pig rerun for the 100th time while you have two teething toddlers, with dirty nappies, screaming at you, you’re fresh out of coffee & SM33 and you’ve had only 4 hours sleep…..over the last 3 days.
It’s just not funny, trust me.
All of the high chairs, bassinets, cots, clothes, wraps, car seats, prams, day care fees, school uniforms, shoes, medical expenses, bottles, formula, mattresses doctors appointments and food were either ‘filtered down’ from one child to the next or done one expense at a time. Can you see the picture I am painting here?
Not sure? Let’s do some maths then on just the basics…
Car seat $500
Total – $1535
The same list for parents of Twins:
Car seat $1000
Total – $3520
You see, it hits the hip pocket….hard. Anyone who says a Multiverse Parent shouldn’t get the baby bonus obviously just doesn’t get it. Take what it costs to raise a child and multiply it by a factor of 2.5 times and you will soon understand why stress, struggle and cringe every time we have to open our purse or wallet.
If we have to hear double trouble, your hands are full, oh what did you do to deserve twins/ triplets, are they ID, how did you have twins,….well you get the picture, one more time we would surely explode.
It is like walking into a car servicing department and trying to talk the same lingo as the mechanics hoping they will service your car better. You just look dumb.
Now here’s the GOOD news…
You can inspire us! Truly, you can. Now I know I can’t see you, yet but I am positive there are a few furrowed brows out there in blogging land that are wondering how.
Try this and watch our faces light up, our eyes twinkle with appreciation and a smile come to our lips, even if we still look like we haven’t combed our hair in a week.
Walk up to any multiple parent and say:
1] You’re doing a great job!
2] Can I help you?
You will have a friend for life or possibly even save a life with one of these two comments (I just don’t know who you’re saving, us, the parents, or the kids…..I’ll let you know when it happens). We don’t mind that our daughters are dressed in pink and you ask how old HE is, we don’t mind you asking us intimate details of how we conceived multiple kids, we don’t mind that our boy / girl twins are dressed differently, one has blue eyes and one has brown and you ask if they are identical….no we don’t mind if you don’t mind the appropriate face pulling in response. We get like that, it comes with the territory of dealing with insensitive and rude people all day.
In the end, I guess all that I am asking, on behalf of any multiple parent, is for a little kindness and to think before you say something. It sounds terrible I know, but it is something you should ALL know.
Like they say, ‘You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken’, well I’m telling you it’s broken. Manners, a smile (even when you feel feral), and a kind word will show you a total different side of a Multiple Parent.
Now this may seem like a rant, yet it is actually said with a degree of anxiousness. We’re not here to compete and I’m not here to lecture either. All I want is to be a parent, a parent that doesn’t have to dread sitting down in a food court surrounded by 20 people shouting questions at you while your food is going cold half an inch from your lips.
We’re not a freak show, we are not models to pose with at amusement parks ($10 a photo if you do!) and if we look like we are in need of assistance, we probably are.
Yes, we are human, yes we are parents so please treat us as such. No amount of banter, smart remarks, stupid comments or unwarranted comparisons are going to make us any more hospitable that doing it to a Singleton parent, we’re just too polite to jab you in the nose and keep on walking.
So with this burden now successfully out there in the real world, ponder on this for the next chance meeting you have with a Multiple Parent, be it in a lift, at the shopping centre or in the park. The chances are we would love to show off our kids, but only at the appropriate time and place. The rest of the time just smile, nod, wink and give us the thumbs up. We hardly get a chance to sleep, let alone be given the acknowledgment that we are just awesome at juggling two or more on a daily basis.
So until next time…..Good night, be well and may multiverse madness cross your path in the nicest possible way. 🙂