By Sarah from Sarah in the Suburbs
Being a mother of multiples has thrust me into a unique situation. I had my own preconceived notions about what having multiples would be like, but I couldn’t even imagine the comments and questions I would receive from other people about my multiples. You see, my girls don’t look anything alike, nor do they act anything alike. At. All. One twin is very much into princesses, makeup, and ballet. The other twin loves the Avengers and can’t wait to take her first karate class next year. It blows people’s minds that they are not the same person or have the same interests. I, on the other hand, couldn’t be more thrilled to not have carbon copies of the same person.
I appreciate our society for trying to move in the right direction when it comes to gender neutral toys, clothes, and accessories, but I still think we have a long way to go. Too many times my superhero-minded twin is forced to request the “boy” toy at certain fast-food chains or go to the “boys” section at a toy store. It hadn’t really bothered me until this year when she began to question me about it. “Mommy, do I have to get the girl toy since I’m a girl?” “Why do they only have Wonder Woman shirts for girls? I want an Iron Man shirt.” These innocent questions have been answered to the best of my ability, but I still hate that I have to answer them at all. Why can’t toys just be toys and clothes just be clothes? Being into a certain genre is not going to “make” my child turn out any certain way, but at the same time, I don’t want to fill either of my girls’ heads with preconceived notions about how they are supposed to “be.”
These conversations are made all the more difficult by the fact that I have two children of the same sex that are the same age. From the moment they were born, people wanted to shower them with “traditional” girly gifts and colors, and as a woman who loves “traditionally” girly things, I was all for it. But lately I’ve come to appreciate my girls’ abilities to be their own person and be comfortable with it. I hope that I am raising my girls to be confident in their choices, even if they aren’t always “popular.” Freedom of choice is such a beautiful thing. I hope our society continues this upward trend of breaking down barriers and allowing our children to flourish instead of being thrust into prescribed roles and choices. At the same time, I hope my makeup-loving, princess-gown-wearing twin knows that her choices are valid too. Just because society sees her choices as more “girly” doesn’t mean she is boring or ordinary.
I think what I love most about being a mom of twins who are vastly different is how much they are teaching me about myself and my preconceived notions. “Just play, Mama!” You know what, baby girl, you’re right. I will throw caution to the wind and just play.
Sarah is the mom of 4 year old twins and the owner/editor of the lifestyle blog Sarah in the Suburbs. Other than wrangling her two minions, Sarah loves to read a good book, indulge in some dark chocolate, and prefers traveling to the beach when the chance to vacation arises. She loves writing and traveling and hopes to one day turn her passion for writing and travel into more than just a hobby. You can find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.