Am I overreacting internally to the general public’s acts of kindness simply because I don’t understand why they do it?
It’s been overwhelming the generosity and love that family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and people in the street show you after having a baby but I think even more so with twin’s. Around my friends I’m not shy and retiring but generally speaking I would say I’m not an extrovert and generally quite shy so getting attention from the public has been very bizarre but lovely and taken some getting use to.
Since the birth I have the same questions/statements over and over so here are some answers I give them and then what I’d like to say:
Public: Wow that’s big for twins
Best behaviour me: Yep. I was pretty uncomfortable by the end
In my mind me: I felt fucking enormous, I was extremely uncomfortable, I hatee everyone around me and would quite happily not want to be around anything because it irritated the life out of me.
Public: A boy and a girl?
Best behaviour me: No two girls
In my mind me: They’re two girls just because they’re not wearing pink does not mean they’re not a girl. If you’re not sure just ask rather than label what you think they may be.
Public: *Sticks head in pram*
Best behaviour me: *Smiles and looks*
In my mind me: What the fuck are you doing???
Public: Are you going to have anymore? Next time have a boy! You could have twins couldn’t you?
Best behaviour me: We couldn’t really afford anymore but would have been nice to experience a boy. And yes having twins again would be hard work.
In my mind me: Erm if I won the lottery I’d have more. I don’t know if you know how genetics works but without intervention you can’t just pick the gender you want to have, it really doesn’t work like that. Also the idea of having twins again is literally my worst nightmare, don’t get me wrong I love my girls but two sets of twins – no fucking way are you insane?! Yes yes you are.
REFLECTIONS AND QUESTIONS POSED
I think the thing is maybe I’m being judgmental but to me I wouldn’t go up to someone’s pram and stick my head in – yes look and say ‘awww’ or ‘well done’ or ‘gorgeous’. Sticking your head into my babies space is just bloody weird. Why? People deserve personal space, people carry diseases, newborns are vulnerable. I wouldn’t come up to you and invade your personal space, you’d think I was being aggressive so why do it to an infant?
The gender thing also upsets me and I don’t know why. I think the thing is that deep down I believe it’s because I ultimately don’t care what their gender is but the fact you have presumed annoys me because why does gender even need to be a thing, can’t they just be two babies? Why does gender matter? I’ve even angered myself at times with ‘yeah two boys, phew’. What would be so wrong with having two boys? I guess it’s because boys have a reputation of being lively and ‘boisterous’ (no pun intended) which for an overweight mother may be difficult to manage but why did I assume that I would have a child/ children like that? I may have girls who are boisterous, which actually I do think Luna will be. My point is that we make these assumptions based on preconceptions or gender stereotypes which is wrong and so I get angry with question, the person whose asking it, and myself for the stereotypes we label each other with. So I think when they ask I’m angry at myself in part.
So here is the question I pose to you, am I overreacting to the general public’s acts of kindness simply because I cannot understand it? Why do they do it? Just because its not something I wouldn’t inherently do does it mean I’m at fault or are they over stepping boundaries with people they don’t know because society has created a culture of baby cooing or are both parties slightly at blame? Tell me your thoughts and as ever thanks for reading.