Saturday, August 31, 2013

so helpful.

Since I shared my twins news, most have been supportive and excited. Some have understood my anxiety. A few have said really annoying, strange, irrelevant, or unhelpful things. I found it therapeutic to compile these comments as one big list. Together, they are funny and easy to deflect.
  1. I know a lady who had twins. One of them died.
  2. How do you really know there are two? I mean, maybe you're just really big.
  3. So you're going to quit your job, right? Because working at a church while they're little wouldn't be fair to anyone.
  4. Oh. I didn't know you guys were having fertility issues.
  5. It'll be easy because you have family in town. My sister didn't.
  6. Is it possible for one of them to come out fine and the other one to get into trouble in there? Because I was watching a TV show about baby eagles the other day and that's what happened to them.
  7. Better soak up every moment you've got left with just Jasper!
  8. Well, you won't be able to breastfeed. That would be crazy.
  9. This is so typical of female pastors.
  10. Sleep while you can!
  11. Wow. And Jasper's not potty trained yet? He's totally going to regress when they're born.
  12. Are you going to keep your job? (x10) Then I try to decide whether I'm going to launch into a feminist tirade about how no one is asking Matt if he's going to quit his job.
I'm just lucky that my closest friends and family don't say this stuff. And my congregation is wildly supportive. In fact, most of the people expressing their unhelpful opinions don't know me all that well. 

And that is the grace that makes deflecting this stuff easy.

The best ways to steer clear of the Unhelpful List? Just laugh with me. Help me carve out space for these vocations to figure each other out, like bumper boats, for awhile. Lie to me about how fabulous I look, but shoot me straight when I really next an eyebrow wax or a new shirt that is not made of Lycra. Leave a oven-ready meal on my front steps in late February. Be very good to the moms you know well. And be kind to moms you barely know, who have not asked for your two cents about their uterus and career and parenting plans.

Because they just might have a list floating around out there, too.  ;-)


val said...

Oh my goodness.

Between you and me, the big family comments AND the twin comments?

We will never be without laughs.

And yet, sometimes, too many comments too close together, I'd actually feel kind of persecuted and sad.

I am not someone who ever wished for twins, instead held them in some kind of awe. So if you feel anxious, yes, I am there with you.

I have nursed a newborn and a toddler a couple times, but not two same age babies.

But people told me what I did was impossible too, and yet it wasn't.

Back in the day I had a neighbor with a child who then had twins 18 months later. She nursed them all. She was funny and fantastic when I met her when her twins were two. They were identical twins, but no so much. If you knew them very well at all, they weren't that hard to tell apart.

(Shoot, there are many people who can't tell John and Dan apart, confuse their names, and they're not even twins.)

Sigh. Glad for you, excited and scared for the adventure. And Jasper? Will be FINE. If my kids survived their siblings, Jasper will survive his too. xo. Val

Becca Groves said...

I'd like to add a #13

Today we went to get the eggs out of the coop and one was twice as big as normal. We took pictures and I asked Rory if he thought it would be a double yolk. We cracked it and sure enough, there were two yolks in there. I said to Rory, "oh dear, Meta is going to get very, very big."

I hope that makes you laugh. If not, just add it to the list of unhelpful things people say...

And once again, I can't tell me how excited, thrilled and delighted I am for you. I have a feeling there is a special double joy you get to experience with twins, that the rest of the world will never fully understand.

Meta Herrick Carlson said...

I do laugh. And yes - I will get very, very big! :)

Jill said...

Meta, you look beautiful and I AM SO HAPPY for you and Matt. We will help in any way we can, because yes, you will have your hands full, but full is good.

P.S. Remind me to tell you the horribly awkward and embarrassing story about the woman who asked me when I was expecting my third. Sometimes people don't turn their brains on when they go out in public...I know because I frequently leave mine at to something else important like baby wipes.