Yesterday I went to Costco with my mom and the boys to pick up some beef. (Oh, right, the beef! I have to go put that in the crock pot... I have an acute case of mommy-brain today.)
Once we whisked Gus and Jack into the store, we set them up in the double-wide shopping car. They were sitting side by side, neatly strapped in, and taking in the enormity of a big box store with wide and shining eyes. The smiled at passing shoppers, they waved at and charmed the ladies handing out samples. Basically, they were just being their adorable selves.
Then, we passed another twin-mama. Her boys were still in their buckets, set up on a frame stroller. They were watching the world as best they could, and playing with their bottles. They seemed a little sickly, sort of pale, but about the same size as Gus and Jack.
The other mama asked if Gus and Jack were twins. "Yep, they sure are. How about yours?" And thus was the "Yeah, well" conversation started.
How old are yours?
They'll be one at the end of this month, and yours?
They'll be one in early February.
Yeah, well, mine were born early.
Yep, these guys too.
Yeah, well, they were small.
I know what you mean, mine were pretty small also.
Yeah, well, they had to stay in the NICU for almost a month.
Oh, I remember those days...Jack was in for 21 days.
Yeah, well, they were sick afterwards too.
Yes, my boys both had GERD and were so colicky!
Yeah, well, it was nice talking to you. Bye.
Um... does this happen with all mamas, or just those of us with twins? I have had quite a few conversations wherein it seemed like a contest to see who had/has the hardest time. I'm not discounting anyone's struggles, and we had our share in the early months. But I don't let those struggles define me as a mother, nor how I see my children.
The most hurtful "yeah, well" comment happened at a mother of twins club meeting. I had asked for some tips or advice on how to get Jack to cut back on his night nursing-- at 8 months he was latched on pretty much the whole night through. Another mom clarified that I was NURSING my TWINS? I said yes. Her response was, "Yeah, well... you must be a better mother than me. I could never do that."
I wasn't after compliments. Or barbed comments, either, for that matter. Just some help. I ended up raising the question at the Le Leche League meeting a few days later.
I tend to let those conversations get under my skin. I need to learn to shake them off and keep on with my day. I've got beautiful, vibrant, curious, mobile twins to raise.