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The Top 5 Things To Say To Moms of Multiples

Welcome back to our series on Life with Multiples! Some of your favorite posts in this series have been If You Were Born With Your Siblings and Ahhh, Those Newborn Days…x 3!!!.

And read through to the end for a special deal for you!

The Top 5 Things to Say to Moms of Multiples GrowingUpTriplets.com #multiples #twins #triplets

Being a mom of multiples (MoM), I am no stranger to embarrassing and, oftentimes, challenging questions while out with my family. It comes with the territory: I remember the day we first tried to go to our local Farmer’s Market when the babies were really little. There were three adults with me and we did not have enough fingers between us to count the stares, looks, points, questions and whispers. No joke. (I did get some free cheese for having triplets, though, so I guess it was all worth it. Ha!)

We are a spectacle wherever we go. As the babies have gotten older, we have learned some tricks for escaping some of the spotlight that seems to follow us everywhere. For example, my husband usually has one of the babies and I’ll have the other two (or vice versa). People don’t notice us quite as often this way.

We also include extra time to be able to accomplish an errand. Talking to people throughout the errand takes a lot of time. And thought. It’s like having 15 mini-conversations in 45 minutes while trying to shop for everything on your grocery list. It is unusual that I don’t discuss how the babies sleep, how we do it, how they were conceived, whether I used fertility assistance or not, no you cannot take their picture, when I found out, they were a surprise, that I have family in town to help, that we are actually blessed and our hearts are fuller than our hands, that they are triplets, yes this is a big stroller and no it doesn’t fit through doors/on sidewalks, that the girls are not identical, that we actually don’t know that we are done (we hope to adopt!), yes we do get stopped a lot, and that they do all sometimes cry at the exact same time. Etc.

This is every neighborhood walk, every trip to Target.

Most people, I believe, are well-meaning. Many don’t mean to say hurtful things like “I’d kill myself if I had triplets”. And most don’t set out to embarrass themselves – like the Customer Service gentleman who asked, “Wow, so did you, like, do that fertility thing?” Generally, the people who say, “Having three kids close in age like I did is just like having triplets” are just opening their mouths before thinking. And I’d venture the majority of them don’t realize they are the 13th person that day to stop me about the exact same thing.

I get that. It just doesn’t make it any easier, less exhausting or less hurtful.

And I’d like to say I take every opportunity to interact with people about the blessings God has given me and David. But I don’t. Sometimes I even avoid eye contact. But I’m learning to tell the difference between rude gawkers and sincere encouragers.

And when the sincere encourager comes along with a comment that is supportive? Well, it’s like a fresh, cool breeze. It’s encouraging to know that this person, in this moment, does not think I’m a freak for creating three persons at once. It’s refreshing to hear that they don’t want to hear about my sex life and how the babies were conceived. It’s a relief to see their joy at finding I have triplets and not disdain.

So what are these comments that can be so encouraging?

The Top 5 Things to Say to Moms of Multiples

  1. You’re doing a great job! (Ohmygoodness! What mother wouldn’t love to hear this? And a mother who’s handed three babies from the doctor with a parting “have a great life; call if you have questions”? She may kiss your face. And it’s especially meaningful if you say it even if all three are screaming and tantruming.)
  2. What a blessing! (Right? Because they are! And so much nicer to hear than “I’d kill myself if I had triplets.” Triplets are super-duper challenging. But they are blessings. They are little lives. Little people. Tiny souls. And we have the privilege of moulding, shaping and growing their hearts and minds. What about that isn’t a blessing?)
  3. So fun! (We know it’s lots of work. Trust us. We do. There’s no need to tell us that because we’re doing it: hard work is right now! But it’s a lot of fun and we love to talk about that. It also helps us focus on those things that are fun in a particularly challenging season of their lives.)
  4. Incredible! (Only one in 8,000 bodies creates triplets spontaneously. And however they were conceived, we had 30 fingers, 30 toes, 6 arms, 6 legs, 3 heads and 3 hearts being sustained by our one body. God is amazing!! He created our bodies to do a phenomenal thing. There’s nothing freak-ish about it!)
  5. Can I help you? (Yes. Oh, yes, please! Holding the door open for our mammoth strollers? Bless you! Pray that we all sleep tonight? Oh, for sure! Push the cart to the car while we push the stroller that weighs as much as a small elephant? It’s not likely we’ll turn away help.)

So the next time you see a mom with multiples, say something like the above and you will knock-her-socks-off bless her! Seriously!

I’ve found these comments can really open doors for some meaningful conversations. We’ve talked with complete strangers about battling infertility, struggles with raising children, experiences with a sibling/friend/co-worker who had multiples, high-risk pregnancies and the challenges of having special-care, preemie children. All intense, serious stuff!! …and in lines at Costco and by the swings at the park.

MoMs what would you add? Share your story of the nicest thing someone’s ever said to you!

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Comments

  1. Francisco, Adriana, Luna, Maya & Nicole says:

    Congrats for the post…. We pass through the same problems here in Brazil. No matter the country, the culture, having triplets (identical in our case) made us almost a freakshow to some people. We do get some nece words from time to time, but having 3 little smiles at once is AWESOME!!!!

  2. betsy huhn says:

    All babies are blessings from God. Whether 1, 3 or 6….enjoy every minute of them cause its alot of work but will go by so quickly. Remember to breathe every once in a while and take it all in….<3

  3. Virginia Gerhart says:

    I took my twin boys to breakfast by myself when they were a year old. When I went to ask for the bill the waitress said someone, who wanted to remain anonymous, took care of my check! Random acts of kindness are awesome!

  4. You are really doing a service for other MoMs and those of us who stand in awe of them by posting real life insights and advice. Just another way that you are doing a good job, Jennifer! Thanks for giving us more tools to be ministers of grace—I don’t know how you find the time!

  5. My triplets are now 19 and all in college! I have identical girls and a boy. “Natural”
    So far, so good.
    Best suggestion I can give is, just don’t make eye contact when you have the stroller. Once we didn’t need that monstrosity anymore, the comments subsided because its not so obvious.
    People are just waiting to say something, and most will not, if you just don’t look at them….it’s a bit rude, but it saved time on my many excursions with the triplet stroller. My favorite question was – “Are they identical”? With an obvious boy in the mix, I replied “no, he has a penis”

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      19? Wowwwww! I can only pretend to think that far ahead! :) The identical question is ALWAYS funny with a mixed gender set…though, I don’t know that I would have thought about this myself prior to the trio. Haha!

  6. Yes. YES. YES!!!!!!!

    We only have twins, not triplets, but we feel like a freak show too! The same questions are asked EVERY TIME we leave the house. My girls are 10 mo old and we went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and when my husband and I got to the minivan we tried to count how many people stopped us and just eventually lost track.

    Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it! ;)

  7. Kristina says:

    Great post! The nicest comment someone made to me was while I was pregnant. She simply said “God must think very highly of you to bless you with three babies at once.” Talk about making my day!

  8. I am a triplet myself, and I know my mom deserves to be told every single day what an amazing job she did. We are all grown now and living productive lives. Let me tell you being a triplet was (is) FUN! Bless you for viewing your children as the blessing that they are, and I am sure you are doing a wonderful job as their mother!

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Taylor, wow! How awesome! :o) Please don’t be a stranger around here! What a blessing you must be to your mother! Thank you for your encouragement! =)

  9. The greatest thing I hear is what joy my g/g twins bring to people. We go to the same place for breakfast most Saturdays, and all the “grandparents” who talk to them, hug on them and take care of them is AWESOME! It makes all the freakshow stuff fade away.

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      YES! So true! We recently went to Cracker Barrel and a whole table of grandparents oohed and ahhed over them for quite some time. It definitely was worth the rest of the stares and pitying glances we received that day. =)

  10. We are parents to 14 month old spontaneous identical triplet boys, and a 5-year old girl. I had to laugh while reading your post, especially about the picture taking. A lady approached me at the park the other day and asked to take the boys picture. Before I could even answer, she was snapping away! I have had many negative comments, even a few from doctors and nurses, but I always answer with a positive about how incredible it is to be given this gift! The most recent one that comes to mind is, “triplets huh? That’s a lot of work” said with a very negative tone. I just tell myself that we were chosen for this because we can handle it where others can’t! Mostly people are very positive and encouraging, and just want to know our story because identical triplets are so rare! I do agree that splitting up is the best way to go incognito, you just have to make sure you’re helper is in on the plan! I have been out with my parents and someone will say, “Twins?” At which point my parents (doting grandparents ) will say, “No, Triplets” and really draw the attention! I also have a blog, but am not very good at updating it….I commend you for staying on top of yours! Our is bkreddickfamily.blogspot.com, so feel free to stop by!

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Nice to meet you, Kristin! =) I really don’t understand what people plan to do with the pictures they sneak of trios!!! Hahaha! Busting up “incognito”, huh? Ha!

      I’m headed over to check out the blog now!

  11. Rebecca says:

    As a mom of a 6yr old sibling and 4yr old triplets, I had given up on being invited to folks houses or for play dates but have found some great other families outside my old circle of friends. My family lives far,far away.
    On the bright side. My husband’s new employer welcomed our family. And one employee arranged for 3 hours of childcare so we could spend time together to pcik blueberries and take a hike. I admit that this little offering to watch the kids went by quick but it will not be forgotten.
    I have to agree that random acts of kindness are the best!!!

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Rebecca, that is so tough. I am sososo sorry! That is very hard. =( But yay for berries, hikes and childcare!! =)

  12. I have 9 month old BBG and LOVED this!!!! I love when peopled say something nice, and I make sure I tell them – thank you for saying that!

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Thanks, Chenoa! =) Yes, usually I thank people two or three times for their kind comment(s). Sometimes I’m so taken back that it was a “nice” one that I just keep thanking them. Hahaha they probably think I’m weird. =)

  13. How blessed your children are to have such loving, capable parents. Wishing you and your family a wonderful journey. God bless you one and all.

  14. angusandthetriplets says:

    A woman saw me in the mall with my triplets and my older children and said, “God must have thought you’d be one spectacular mother by giving you so many wonderful babies. You’re truly blessed.”

  15. We have 10 month old trips and a 7 year old daughter. When people stop us they tend to completely ignore our older one. I know it can be hurtful to her, so I love when people actually acknowledge her first and tell her what an amazing big sister she is.

    She always keeps a count of how many people stop us or say something when we go out. It’s her little game to cope with all the attention. She will say, “ugh, mom, that’s number 7!”

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Tiffany, that is soooo tough. Thank you for sharing this! That should be number 6: please acknowledge the other children first. :o/

  16. Though my mom never had multiples (and it’s totally NOT the same to have three kids close together and three kids at the same time) we often felt like a “freak show” going out. 7 kids in 13 years, including a 2 y/o, 1 y/o and a newborn was always highly interesting to everyone.

    “These aren’t ALL yours, are they?”
    “You’re done now, right?”
    “Do you mean to have this many?”
    “Are you done yet?”
    “Do you know how this happens?” [ba. ha. haha. nope. No idea where people come from. No idea how this keeps happening. Care to inform me?]
    “I’d never want that many kids. I can’t even handle two.”
    “Are you Catholic?”

    Mom usually answered the “Boy, your hands are full” comments with “Yes they are! I’m so blessed!” We especially loved the people who would essentially argue with us that we loved being in a big family. Mom would sometimes get a bit more testy and say “Which one do you think I should get rid of?”

    But you’re right: some people are just genuinely curious and amazed and just want to communicate something kind, even if it comes out a little weird ;) And it made a world of difference.

    “Wow! It must be a party all the time! I bet that’s so much fun!”
    “You’re lucky you all have each other…Some people have no one.”
    “Your mother is incredible, I hope you guys know that.”
    “You just made my day – what a beautiful, full family!”

    It really was so lovely to have the good pointed out and fawned over.

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      I loved this. =) Your mom IS awesome – even though I’ve never met her. Thank you for sharing this! =)

      Yay for being married to twins…well, a twin. Cuz we both are – married to a twin, that is. Ok, that’s sounding weird. But you know what I mean. :o)

  17. Thank you for writing this! just reading it alone brought my stress level down knowing that someone else knows EXACTLY what I’m thinking & going through!

  18. The #1 question I get is “Are they sleeping (through the night)?” And they aren’t!!! So I HATE that question! :(

    Just twins though.

    PS – You are doing GREAT Mama :)

    • Jennifer Fountain says:

      Ugh. The sleeping question. :) Yep, that is sooo hard!

      How old are your twinsies?

      And thank you! =)

      • They will be 7 months on the 19th. Any sleeping tips? They are EBF and wake up anywhere from 1-5 times each per night!! :(

        • Jennifer Fountain says:

          Oh, I remember that stage! :o/ It’s really tough. I really like this article (http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html) for helping to sleep, though it’s geared towards 12m +. Is your hubby able to help you with the middle of the night feedings at all? That was soooooooooooo helpful!

          By the way, around 6 months they really began waking for only one feeding before sleeping a good long stretch. And then I had one begin to sleep 12 hours at about 11 months and the other two STTN at 15 and 16 months.

          It is really tough and seems like it’s going to be forever. And, ultimately, you do what is best for your family. =) But it really doesn’t last sososo long. And then they’re big kids and don’t sleepy-nurse anymore. :( :sniff:

          • Thanks for the article I have actually read this before, but I am saving it now!! I am trying to enjoy the sleepy-nursing :) I know it doesn’t last forever! It’s already much easier and more manageable than it once was! I would NEVER want to go back to the newborn days! UN-manageable!! Thanks again :)

          • Jennifer Fountain says:

            Yes, those newborn days were craaaaaaaaaaaazy! I miss tiny babies, but NOT the intensity and sleep-exhaustion. :o/

  19. Very nice article, I got every single question. Now we are two dads with triplets, we don’t have a mom in our family, it would nice to replace the word mom with parents ;) because we dad feels the same way. I want to share this with my friends and I will replace some of the words to apply to our family :)

  20. I loved reading this. Especially since I am prone to saying stupid things! Thanks for sharing your experience. ;)

  21. Leslie McCoig says:

    I absolutely love when people tell me how my babies are going to be the best of friends ♡♡♡

  22. I loved reading this. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant with natural triplets, and already getting the crazy rude comments. I can only imagine what people will say once they are here.

    • Leslie McCoig says:

      Brandi congrats on your pregnancy! Have you found the 2014 triplets group on fb yet? I would love to add you if not. so much support there from other women also expecting triplets.

      • I did not know there was such a group, Leslie. Hopefully, if all goes well with my cerclage next week, we will announce to everyone and I will try to find the group.

        • Leslie McCoig says:

          It’s a secret group. No one outside the group can see any posts. There are a few other girls who also have cerclages and somevthat are on hospital bedrest. Feel free to private message me. Its really good to connect with others in the same situation and hear about different experiences. There have even been babies lives saved by the collaboration of medical intervention methods done on 1 side of the country that hasn’t been tried on another.

          -Leslie McCoig

          • I sent you a pm on facebook, I think. I would love to connect with others that are going/have been through triplet pregnancies.

      • I second these fb groups!! ^ :)

    • Congratulations! So glad you’re here! ❤️❤️❤️

  23. Vickie Benson says:

    Vickie Benson says:
    February 25,2014

    My triplets are now 32 years old. It may have been alot of work, but I wouldn’t change a thing! So many rewarding memories and many more to come. God bless you and your family, and all MoMs.

    • Vickie, that’s awesome!!! I’m 33 and never met triplets my age before – it’s hard to imagine since all the ones I know are babies/toddlers. :) Thank you for your encouragement and advice!! <3

  24. I have spontaneous 9 month old Triplet boys (don’t know if they are or not identical) and i agree that it is really nice when people are supportive. We are also a military family and i really hate when people ask if we have help with our boys because it makes me miss our family, But i think the best comment i have gotten so far is ” Your a super mom and have such calm babies”

  25. Sonia Hill says:

    I can also say that life does go on. My triplets are 18, in their last year of high school and the looks of the young days are long gone. Many people see them together and know they are siblings but not triplets. They look like siblings (2boys and a girl) but they are not identical. One is a red head, one a dirty blond with curly hair, and the girl is a strawberry blond so they look different enough. The comments you mentioned are great. I wish people would have said those to me in the early years. I was a young mom with a Navy husband who was gone more than he was home, so I did many things on my own. You are doing a great service for multiple moms. Keep up the great work! You are doing a great job with your blessings!!
    ~Sonia Hill

    • Sonia, thank you so much for sharing! And thank you for sacrificing so much for our country! Your encouragement is great – it’s helpful to know we *will* get through these young years. :)

  26. love this read- when i read the title– the first answer i thought of was “you’re doing a great job!”… then when i got to it and saw it was #1, i honestly teared up.

    long day….. glad to have stumbled upon your page. keep it up! :)

    -cara (20 month old gbb & 6yr old g)

  27. You really hit the nail on the head. I have 4 year old spontaneous triplets. When people ask if triplets run in my family, I tell them that I am a twin, but I have always been an overachiever. I also have a 7 year old. I worried that the comments would upset her, especially the ones about killing themselves. She was old enough to ask her own questions. And many people do indeed speak without thinking. You would think that there are enough triplets around that we would be less of a circus attraction. I did get to the point where I avoided eye contact, and even coming to a complete stop while shopping. Now that we don’t use the strollers, I pack the in the shopping cart, we get less questions. One of mine is bigger than the other two. They know they are siblings and often think twins plus two. I still get the you have your hands full a lot still. I just wish people truly understood just how busy things can get…otherwise they wouldn’t be stopping you so much :)

    • I have heard from other moms with older singletons they worry about what they hear. That is soooo tough! :( I’m sure she’s learning a lion’s share of self-control and politeness! :)

      {hugs}

  28. SomEone said the nicest thing to me today at the dr.Their response to me verifying that they were triplets was “they are beautiful”. It was like a breath of fresh air like you said. Much better than”I am sorry”.

  29. How about just hearing “God bless you”? because he surely has… my fraternal twin girls will be 13 this June. If I can make it thru teen years with these 2, im superwoman!

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. I am a mom of triplets too, and the RUDE, INSENSITIVE comments we receive from COMPLETE STRANGERS just boggles the mind. (The first time I took them grocery shopping, it took us 5 HOURS) Right after they were born, I was looking for a shirt to buy for my mom, and I found everything from Exhausted (fill in the blank) of triplets, Stressed (. . .) of triplets, Tired (. . ) of triplets. I contacted one company and asked if they would change the wording to BLESSED, and they did! So I bought one for my hubby and myself as well. I recently heard a story about a MoM who was in the store and a pregnant lady came up to her and started talking to her. The 2nd lady told her she had been pregnant with twins and didn’t want twins so she aborted BOTH of them, and got pregnant again with the baby she wanted. It broke my heart. People have just a bad misconception of multiples. Yes they are a lot of work, but all children are.

    • Ohhh, that’s horrible, Gayle – how sad! She will live with such regret over aborting her own children. I hope and pray she finds Christ and His forgiveness.

      I still haven’t gone grocery shopping alone with them. ;) Five hours, though – you’re a rock star! :)

  31. Annmarie says:

    Can I also join the group? I’m 11 weeks with triplets! Would love to be able to talk to others!

  32. I have a singleton and twins who are 2 months apart and I can relate to the millions of questions when you’re out and about. I learned to avoid eye contact. Once an elderly woman approached me when my oldest was throwing a tantrum and my twins were crying in the checkout. I steeled myself for her comment and was shocked when she said what a beautiful family you have. I just love seeing little ones, even of they’re crying. No judgement. She made my day.

  33. When people say, “you have your hands full” after being unkind … my smart Alec self usually replies with, “yes, but that is better then empty arms and a broken heart” … that usually makes them stop ;)

    For real though, kind comments make going out in public more bearable. Now that my girls are almost 5, I like to find MoMs in public and tell them they are doing a great job and it does get easier!

  34. I love this article! I have four year old spontaneous triplet girls two identical and a fraternal, I also have a 13 year old daughter. We have heard it all. When they were little we split them up for outings too, it kept the crowds down!! My oldest daughter gets annoyed by all the people and comments mostly because she is shy, and it slows us down!! But she is a great big sister. Every day is a new challenge, but the giggles and the smiles are worth it all!!

    • Vickie Benson says:

      I know how you feel.I have triplet fraternal girls (natural) that are now 32. Their older sister is now 36 When they were young, my oldest was always pushed aside by onlookers. I made a point to introduce her first and included her in all conversations. We just had our last 2 triplets get married within 9 months of one another! So keep in mind this too shall pass, and with each passing phase,a new one begins with it’s own challenges and joys. Enjoy!

  35. Sounds like you’re doing a good job! I can relate a bit but I’m a triplet, not a MoM and I’m also now in college: the question of how expensive that must be is common and also if we get along and such. Even to this day I also still get asked who’s the oldest.

    When I was younger, my parents always put me in the back of the stroller (we had the long kind) because I hated the attention and people. My brother usually got the front, he loved people.

    • Thanks, Alicia! And wow – it’s always so fun to “meet” a multiple. I sometimes pester my ID twin hubby about what it was like. And now that the kids are older (3 years) it’s funny seeing things from their perspective. I recently had to explain to them why *everyone* immediately launches into guessing which of the girls is which. It must have been pretty confusing because to *them* they are obviously…who they are! :)

      And we always put them in birth order so now they automatically do things in birth order which is kinda funny. In our Valco stroller, Noah rides front and center. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!!!! I’m curious what your mama would think of this post. :)

  36. My Aunty had triplets and she said she used to get nasty comments all the time. Instead of pushing around a huge 3 person stroller she wore one baby in a carrier which she switched each child around and just used a twin stroller. She said it was way easier and didn’t get as many strange looks.

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