Yes, they’re twins. No, they’re not identical. Yes, they can be hard work. But not always.

An open letter to the lovely, inquisitive, people who stop me to talk about the Peas EVERYWHERE WE GO.  You are lovely for taking an interest and I do love that so many people want to chat but please stop for a minute and think before you inadvertently offend ANOTHER parent of multiples.


Yes, they’re twins.

Please stop telling me they’re hard work.  Or that I have my hands full.  Or that they’re double trouble.  I don’t care if your postman, sister or boss has twins or even you have twins yourself.  If you have twins yourself it’s an even more stupid thing to say because you know how bloody annoying it is to hear.


No, they’re not a boy and a girl, they’re dressed head to toe in pink and they’re in a pink buggy.  You do the maths.

Please stop saying it’s a shame we didn’t get one of each.  You’re talking about my daughters here.  Living, breathing, cheeky monsters who I wouldn’t change for the world.  It’s thoughtless and careless and causes more hurt than you realise.


Yes, twins run in my family… not that it’s any of your business.

Please stop asking if they were natural.  They are natural, see above point regarding the living & breathing little monkeys sitting in front of you.  Who cares how they got here, they’re here and they’re brilliant.  If they’d been born a year apart you wouldn’t be asking that question…


I manage to do it because I have to.  As much as I love the compliment, I’m not Supermum.  ALL mum’s are super.  And dad’s for that matter.

Twins are exhausting, elating, damn hard work and absolute joy all rolled into one.  The good times get you through the rough times, the same as they do for every family.  Each family has it different, each family has its challenges and the things they find easier than others.  And I’m not just talking about twin families, I’m talking about ALL families.


Yes, sometimes I get overwhelmed by needing to be all things at all times and sometimes I get it a bit wrong.

Please don’t stare at me with your judging eyes as I try to appease a screaming toddler in my arms while trying to push the other in the buggy and get to the checkout only to realise I’ve forgotten my debit card once it’s all been rung up.


Yes, sometimes the smallest act of kindness from a stranger can turn my day around.

Please do offer to give me a hand when you see me fighting to keep a door open while I wrestle my double buggy through.  Or distract them in the queue while I’m paying and they’re getting restless.  Or politely remove the item that they’re trying to steal from their sticky little fingers.  Or just smile and let me know that society hasn’t turned its back on me for daring to leave the house with toddlers.


Yes, they fight, they’re toddlers and they abide by the toddler rules of possession.

Please do ask about how else they interact with one another.  It’s truly amazing and I’d happily chew your ear off for hours about it.  They hold hands in the buggy sometimes.  They blow raspberries at one another and dissolve into fits of giggles.


No, they’re not similar.  True to their genetics, they’re no more similar than any other 2 siblings despite sharing a birthday.

Please ask about their different personalities.  They’re like chalk and cheese but just as cheeky as each other.  H loves animals and gives hugs with every ounce of her being.  C loves a selfie and squeals with excitement that will make your heart burst.  They both refuse to get out of the bath.  H walked at 11 months, C at 14.  C sat up at 7 months, H at 9.  They do things in their own sweet time.  Nature v nurture can bite me.


Yes, I know.

Please do tell me that they’re brilliant / funny / gorgeous and that we’re incredibly lucky / fortunate / blessed.  They are, we are and I’ll never, ever tire of hearing it.


No, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’ll admit I do have moments where I envy parents who only have 1 baby.  I’d be in more photographs with them, I’d be able to take more photographs OF them, I could have used the sling more, I could be out in the garden more, I’d be able to pop in for a pint of milk and it would take less than 30 minutes… but then I look at those little faces and immediately regret all of those thoughts because we’re just so amazingly lucky to have them in our lives.


And to the person who told me it would be their worst nightmare to find out they were having twins… you’re missing out love.


11 thoughts on “Yes, they’re twins. No, they’re not identical. Yes, they can be hard work. But not always.

  1. How many times have I heard the same comments? I’ll have my two in very gender specific clothes & get asked “are they twins?”, “are they a boy & girl? , “yes”, “are they identical?” “Um no, they’re a boy & girl!”

    Why does the default setting have to be the assumption that they are hard work or some equally negative comment? x

    • steff says:

      Exactly!! If I had a penny for every time I heard “oh, hard work” over the bank holiday weekend I’d be loaded! Why the negativity?? x

      • I don’t get it. I feel like I always have to say how good they which (which they are) & that having two is normal for us. It’s amazing what you learn to do with two babies on you xx

  2. mammaofthree says:

    I used to get asked what the age difference was between my two girls (who were – and still are – almost exactly the same size but not identical) In fact, it still often happens now and they are nearly 9 years old! xx

  3. I’ve LOVED getting to know (and photograph!) so many gorgeous sets of twins (including yours Steff!) and triplets, it always amazes me the stories multiple mums tell me as people genuinely do seem a bit (a) stupid and (b) insensitive and (c) stupid when it comes to twins and multiples. For what its worth as a singleton mum I take my hat off to you all cause you make it look (a) fabulously fun (b) easier than I imagine it is and (c) double the fun, not trouble. On that note I’d best go prep for tomorrow mornings shoot, which just so happens to be another fabulous set of…. TWINS! 😀

  4. em says:

    My BIL’s sister has twin girls, they are 17 now and seeing them together makes me jealous I didn’t have a sister, let alone a twin sister.
    They are so, so close, they are identical and yet so different. Right now they’re applying for uni now and planning such different courses (dancing and physics) and at different ends of the country, but are planning daily phone calls to get through it!

  5. My boys are five months and we are just starting to get out and about a bit, I’ve been surprised how many people have said double trouble etc at me. However, I did have a lovely older gentleman stop me when I was with all three of my children and tell me how blessed I was, it made my day! I’m love hearing about older twins and how they interact, we have so much to look forward too 🙂

    • steff says:

      Aw congratulations!! That’s awesome. Some people are so, so lovely it’s just a shame that so many are, innocently enough, very negative. Xx

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