The top 13 things heard as a parent of multiples

Top 13 things heard as a parent of multiples :: New Orleans Moms BlogAs the mother of identical triplets, I get a lot of questions and comments from strangers. They are five years old now, and in that time, these are the things I’ve heard the most.

1. How do you tell them apart?

What do you mean, how do I tell them apart? They’re my kids! They’re three separate individuals! How do you tell YOUR kids apart! I’m appalled. Okay, not really. I get them mixed up at least once a day. But I’m not going to tell you that.

2. You got your hands full!

Why don’t you help me with that door, then?

3. Are those triplets?

Okay, I recognize that this is more of an opening gambit than a legitimate question, but three kids that are the same size, that look the same, that are dressed nearly the same…seriously? How about “your triplets are adorable/extraordinarily well-behaved/geniuses” instead?


4. Do you watch Jon & Kate + 8?

My kids were born in 2007, right at the height of the Gosselin fame. You people with younger multiples don’t know how lucky you are not to be asked this question. And for the record, no, I didn’t watch it.

Corollary: Hey, you’re like the Octomom!

Don’t even go there.

5. I feel so sorry for you!

You feel sorry for me? Why? Because I was lucky enough to have three gorgeous children at once? Because I only had to go through pregnancy and infancy once?

6. Are they natural?

Also cunningly disguised as “Do triplets run in your family?”


In other words, we’re going to ask an intensely private question about the conception of your children. And if they’re not “natural,” what are they? Artificial?

Corollary: Did you nurse them?

In other words, I’m imagining three babies and your two breasts right now.

7. Which one is the oldest?

You really think that one minute difference between them makes a difference? I especially love when someone says, “oh, that one’s taller, so he must be the oldest.” Because that one extra minute allowed him to grow an extra half an inch.

8. Are they identical?

I get why people ask me that. My boys are identical. But I can’t tell you how many parents of boy/girl twins get asked that as well. I suppose a biology lesson is in order for the people that ask them that.

9. How do you do it?

You just do. How else?

10. Oooh, triple trouble! (Or double trouble, in the case of twins)

And triple the fun, you nincompoop. Oh, and by the way, my kids can hear what you’re saying about them.


11. Now you have to try for a girl!

Since I have triplet boys, I hear this one a lot. But parents of mixed sex sets instead hear “instant family! Now you don’t have to have any more kids.” Thanks for taking care of my family planning. Personally, I don’t need another child to feel complete, thank you very much.

12. Did you know you were having triplets?

This one confuses me. Do they think this is the 1800s? I was in labor and babies kept coming out, like my uterus was a clown car? Have they not heard of ultrasounds? Or do they imagine I placed an order for two babies, but got three instead? Or is this another sneaky way of asking if I did fertility treatments? (See #6)

13. You’re so lucky!

Well, finally, you got one right!

I understand that when some people are confronted with multiples, common sense goes out the window. Next time you see a set around town, remember no parent ever tires of hearing how sweet, adorable, and well-behaved their children are.

My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


  1. hahahaha Pam! Awesome!

    And I know I am guilty of telling you “I don’t know how you do it!” – I’m so sorry! Please forgive me.

    • As the mother of identical twin girls I get, “they look like the Olsen twins” a lot! I also hate hearing, I have 2 that are only 18 months apart, it’s just like having twins…. I’m sorry but for the first EIGHTEEN months, it was not like having twins!

      I do have a confession though. As a mother of twins, I know how challenging raising 2 at a time is, I’m in awe of mothers of triplets and quads who still have their sanity!

      My favorite part of having twins is being in great company of other moms of multiples. I always tell new mothers of multiples, welcome to the club! I love how we instantly get it and help each other out! Great post!

  2. As a mother of twins, I found this post quite enjoyable (and accurate). I especially appreciate your comments about #10. I wrote a blog post about “The Words They Hear” last summer in response to some potentially hurtful anti-children/anti-twins words that were spoken in their hearing.

    I try to remember that most people are well-meaning, albeit insensitive; but I think all people need to be aware of the impact that words–both positive and negative–can have on others… especially children.

    Oh, and just for the record, I get SO tired of the “you have your hands full” comment. Somehow it doesn’t ever feel like a compliment….

    Thanks for sharing such a relatable post!

    Blessings to you and your family,
    Angela Squires (Des Moines Moms Blog Contributor)

  3. Pam, you are fabulous!!! I love how you address the words children hear. I know I need to be more conscious of this with other’s children as well as my one little one.

    PS – I’m still laughing about your uterus being a clown car. Needed that one this morning!

  4. Hilarious! You tell it like it is, so refreshing. The “are they natural?” Question confused me too. Before you even wrote it I was thinking “as opposed to artificial?”

  5. Once again you made me laugh out loud. This is just SO darn funny. I think you make good points about considering the children’s perspective, too. Brilliant post!

  6. I have twins and just for the record – I like when people tell me that they don’t know how I do it. I appreciate someone making a note of it not being easy. 🙂

    So it’s okay with me if you ask the other questions as long as you say something about how I’m amazing. I guess all moms like that though.

    (Love all the posts about your triplets! And by the way…I don’t know how you do it. ha-ha!)

  7. I laughed out loud at this – I’m not a mom of twins, but I’m a (fraternal) twin myself and I cannot tell you how many times people hear that I have a twin brother and immediately ask “so do you guys look alike?” I can’t help but wonder if that means they think I’m a manly looking girl or that he’s a girly looking guy 🙂

  8. # 12 is my favorite… Pam, you crack me up!! Also, I apologize for saying, “I don’t know how you do it.” For me, it’s really a statement of admiration. I have one and barely survive some days, and I just have so much love and respect for people doing it with 2 and three at once!!!


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