How we deal with all the questions that come along with having multiples

My husband and I are blessed to have four sons. The oldest is four, and the triplets are almost 2 years old. Because of the amount of work, we don’t really go out together many places yet. We haven’t tackled a restaurant. The park is for us – lots of wide open spaces to run, laugh, and occasionally cry when your brother pushes you over.

We have ventured out to the new HEB by Katy Mills Mall and to the mall. Perhaps you’ve seen us shopping for groceries. He’s pushing the big four-seater stroller. I’m with the oldest son in the cart. We are really going as fast as we can. We don’t mean to block the entire aisle. We have a lot of fun zooming around the store pretending to chase each other.

Most shoppers are great. They smile or ask how old the boys are. Sometimes we find out that there are twins in their own families. It’s nice, short, and pleasant.

But now that we’ve been parents of multiples for awhile, we also know that there are inappropriate questions or comments, too. Yikes – if I hadn’t been through this, I may have asked such questions, too.

  1. Were they planned?
    Ours weren’t. They surprised us, but other multiples you’ll see were planned. There is a lot of emotion that goes into “planning” your pregnancies. It’s a personal question with a lot of complex details.
  2. How do you do it?
    We do our best. It’s a really long answer if you want to know. Take one child and multiply the amount of work by three then add a toddler’s needs. It’s tough, but they are our children.
  3. Do you have help?
    This sounds innocent, but if I say, “yes,” I feel like I need to explain that the help that comes is sporadic. We gladly take what is offered, but with four children a nanny is not in the budget.
  4. Are they all yours?
    Yes, we’ve actually been asked this frequently.
  5. Why are they so small? Do they have special needs?
    Many multiples were preemies. Their age doesn’t reflect their size, but they’ll catch up by early childhood. We know they’re small for their age. Asking us about size and special needs is a really personal question – too much for the grocery store.

That being said, please continue to smile, to make a funny face to get them to laugh, and to say things like, “Beautiful boys.” All parents want to hear those kind of comments, and when we get to know you a bit more, we’ll be happy to share more.

I know I can’t be the only parent in Katy to hear these questions. How do you deflect some of the more personal ones? I’d love to know and use your tricks!

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