My Family – The Museum Exhibit

Over the past few weeks I haven’t ventured out with all three kids by myself much. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t become a hermit, my personality wouldn’t allow for that! I have gone to meet people for coffee or soft play dates. I have spent time with visiting family and met my brother at the arcade. But I realised last week I hadn’t taken all three of them out by myself in a quite sometime.

With Christmas approaching I decided I wanted to spend time with Finlay making Christmas crafts. So a trip to the craft shop was needed to stock up on supplies. To set the scene I was having a good day. Taking all three kids out by myself was not stressful. I unloaded everyone and set off into the shop. Fortunately the shop had automatic doors. But after entering I realised this was the only double pram friendly aspect about the shop. The aisles were too narrow and any vacant space, perfect for manoeuvring a double pram, was filled with displays. Upon Finlay’s request I went upstairs using the awkwardly narrow lift. Somehow we all managed to fit in perfectly but the pram got stuck while exiting the lift. I had to pull and tug at it so hard I thought I had ripped the hood. Upstairs was more of the same : poorly laid out displays and very little space to manoeuvre. I may not have entered the shop stressed but by the time we made it back down in the lift I was most definitely stressed!

What annoyed me the most were the people who kept staring. I’ve seen the stares before. Having twins makes you something of a museum exhibit so you quickly get used to the different types of stares. And yes there are different types of stares! People were judging me for having so many children. It was either a judging stare or a pity stare, like having twins is a choice, a pact between you and your ovaries to release two eggs! I internally lost it when we got to the checkout. A woman on an electric wheelchair turned to me and told me she was glad she wasn’t me as she would be “tearing her hair out” having to mother that amount of kids (it’s three children, THREE not ten!) and especially twins. As I was brought up well I just smiled and walked away rather than word vomit all my not very nice thoughts onto her!

Leaving the shop I was hurt. Hurt by that woman’s comments, hurt by the stares, hurt that the shop wasn’t very accommodating to my circumstances. I spent nearly two years trying to conceive and hold onto a baby. I spent countless nights crying myself to sleep as the one desire of my heart had died before I even met them. I spent my whole twin pregnancy checking the toilet paper every time I wiped, terrified I would miscarry two babies. So to be made to feel like my twins (and Finlay) are a burden and something to be pitied really hurt.

It made me think that we instantly judge others in life without even knowing them or their circumstances. Every time we leave the house as a family of five we are judged by others because we have two babies the same age. And I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who feel judged, it’s just highlighted more as people think they have a right to tell you their thoughts because you have twins.

My experience last week had made me more aware of how I view others. It hurts to know you are the focus of others stares. So I’ve decided I’m going to try hard not to instantly judge people negatively. What is it they say? A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. I’m already practising mine in the mirror!

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