Having any number of kids can be tough for an introvert – especially if any of them are extroverts (shout out to my 7-year-old!). I’m a SAHM (stay at home mom), so it’s basically my job to never be alone.
I already had two kids when I found out I was pregnant with twins, so I thought I would be somewhat prepared, then, for having two more. It’s just two more of never being alone, right? You’d think having kids around All. The. Time. would be the most challenging element of being an introvert with multiple babies, but there is another aspect that no one warned me about: Multiple Baby Fascination.
Other people with twins gave me a lot of great info, advice, and encouragement before my twins came, but no one could have prepared me for “Multiple Baby Fascination”. MBF is the fact that people lose their minds (and sometimes sense) when they see two or more babies at once. The attention we get just by going shopping is crazy. Ordinary people become interviewers and commentators when they spot that double stroller rolling in the door.
Questions people probably wouldn’t ask a relative, they somehow feel free to ask me.
Some questions are harmless (gender?) or curious (names). Some questions are of concern (getting any rest? Answer: lol, of course not). But some are invasive (cesarean or vaginal birth?) or outright inappropriate (are they “natural” twins? Answer: Nope. Robots).
And this isn’t just one person per shopping trip. This line of questioning could happen MANY times every single time we leave the house. I had to start factoring in at least twenty extra minutes per shopping trip just to allow for interviews.
As an introvert, at first MBF was surprising and often overwhelming. I had no idea people could be so interested in a total stranger’s babies just because there were two of them. As a social introvert, though, there have been times that the attention was fun and a much-needed boost of adult interaction on a day where the only people I had spoken to were under 5-years-old.
Overall, I think I’ve handled myself fairly well. Sometimes my answers are short and sweet. Sometimes I’m feeling a bit feisty (hence: Robots). But there are times I just have a tired look on my face that says “please don’t ask.”
I go home and hope for a good naptime to re-energize.
My twins are 20 months now – toddlers, instead of babies – so I feel we’re finally moving out of the MBF zone. I don’t get stopped nearly as often and the questions are less intrusive. It’s usually someone asking if they are, indeed, twins, and not just two random kids in a double stroller. They aren’t identical, so I guess it’s a fair question. I’m still unsure of the fascination.
Why are people so interested if babies grew in the same uterus at the same time? I’m only interested because they’re mine.
Thankfully, I don’t have to give as many interviews these days, but people still like to stop and comment. The most common is “You’ve got your hands full.” After much practice, my response has become either a simple “yep” – which gets me out of conversation quickly, or “full of love” – which still gets me out of conversation quickly, but adds a lovely awkwardness as the person commenting has to think about how I “got my hands full.” Serves them right.
My favorite comment recently was from a kind, older lady who simply said “Twins? How exciting!” Instead of sapping this introvert of energy, it invigorated me because I got to respond positively with the answer, “Every minute!”
Photo Credit: Pixaby.com
This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.