As an introvert, I often feel misunderstood. Contrary to popular belief, being introverted does not necessarily equate to being shy or antisocial (although I do admit to being awkward!). By definition, being introverted simply means that I am energized by being alone. I crave solitude and time to reflect. I sometimes avoid social situations because I feel drained by being around other people.
This poses quite the dilemma when I’m also a twin mom. Below are some of the reasons why.
1) People always stop to talk to me
Gone are the days when I could quietly waltz through life unnoticed. Now that I have twins, people treat me like I’m a walking freak show. It starts with the curious stares as I unload my gigantic stroller from the car. Then the delighted gasps and comments like, “Awww, twins!” inevitably follow. And before I know it, a small crowd has gathered around me to interrogate me about my twins.
Some days I pretend I’ve made it in life and these people are my adoring fans. I’m tempted to do the queen’s wave and smile demurely, half expecting everyone to whip out their phones to take a selfie with my girls and me. (In my defence, blasting two watermelon-sized babies out something the size of a lemon is worthy of stardom.)
2) Complete strangers ask me very personal questions
As a twin mom, I often feel like a suspect on C.S.I. I have to be prepared to answer very intimate questions down to the last detail. Did I have fertility treatments? Do twins run in my family? Am I able to breastfeed? Do I plan on having more children? (Although most people give me a knowing wink and nudge and say, “Bet you’re all done now that you’ve completed your family in one go, eh?”)
And then there are those lovely people who want to discuss my vaginal birth in great detail because they’d always assumed all twins are born by C-section. Yes, it’s true. I stand on the sidewalk discussing my vagina with complete strangers. It’s every bit as wonderful as it sounds.
3) I’m constantly on the phone
Like most introverts, I hate talking on the phone. Yet I find myself on the phone all the time now to the jaundice clinic, lactation consultant, doctor’s office and my mother who calls to remind me to dress the twins warmly or to check whether they pooed today.
4) I can’t mentally prepare for a social situation
As an introvert, I’m selectively social. I carefully choose the social situations that I want to attend and then mentally prepare myself.
However, when I’m out in public with my twins, strangers will suddenly descend upon me like vultures without prior warning.
5) Everyone wants to visit the twins
My home is my refuge; the one place where I can shut out the rest of the world and recharge. But these days friends and family constantly want to visit the twins and my home is usually flooded with visitors. So instead of regaining my energy, I find myself even more drained, especially since they also cheekily expect me to feed them and make them tea.
6) People say stupid things
We all hate stupid people. But none more so than the introverted twin mom who has little patience for small talk.
“Aw, a little boy and girl,” people say to me despite both girls being decked out in full pink gear with little bows in their hair. Or, “My neighbour had twins. A boy and a girl. They were identical.”
It takes all my willpower not to run these people over with my huge stroller.
7) I’m never alone
Introverts need time alone to recharge. But as a twin mom, I’m hardly ever alone. I always have at least one brat hanging off me. I often can’t even pee by myself, for crying out loud! The only time I’m ever truly alone is during my very rushed shower. This has become the time that I most look forward to every day.
Sometimes, even though I’m completely sleep-deprived, I purposefully stay up late once the twins are asleep just so I can get some alone time.
And of course I curse myself the next day.
8) People ignore social cues
Most people are able to recognize social cues that attempt to discourage conversation. But for some reason, twins appear to be the antidote to this. Avoiding eye contact or burying my head deep in a book has no effect on the quickly approaching masses.
9) Personal boundaries? What’s that again?
My personal space is a distant memory. It began in pregnancy when people felt the constant need to rub my belly. And it just went downhill from there. Strangers will actually scurry across a busy street to peer invasively into my stroller. Even my car seat covers are no deterrent to them. They simply disregard them and eagerly shove them aside to get a glimpse of the twins.
10) I’m no longer the observer
I like to silently observe and reflect. It takes me a while to process my thoughts. I prefer to listen rather than talk. But as a twin mom, I’ve gone from being the observer to being the observed. I can no longer silently watch from the sidelines. I’m always in the spotlight, whether I like it or not.
Maybe if I didn’t always have vomit in my hair and had time to tweeze my eyebrows, I’d quite enjoy the attention.
I realise I love complaining in the manner of a grumpy grandfather. But the truth is, I actually don’t really mind all the attention on most days.
Just- please- don’t make me talk about my vagina.
I’m a twin mommy who will make you feel better about your parenting skills. Sign up for e-mail updates at the bottom of this page if you want to follow my journey into insanity. You can also follow me on Facebook.