I read about this while I was pregnant, and now I know it is true. People just don’t understand what it means to have twins. Anyone who has had or has a baby thinks they get it. But they don’t. Having twins is the best things that has ever happened to me. But no one gets it. No one gets what it is like to have twins. Most people give me a smirk and say something like double the work or everything times two. But this doesn’t really explain it. For the most part, I don’t care if people get it. In general, I rarely care what people think or say. And I really mean that. What bothers me is when my family doesn’t get it. Or they pretend to and get it completely wrong. Or they think they get it and create expectations and standards that they expect will work with my life. I would rather they just admit they don’t get it and trust me.
This is going to be a rant about my family, so just bear with me. It needs to happen.
Ever since I was old enough to spend time with friends, my family has acted like I choose my friends over them. This may have been true at times during my teenage years, but I am far from my teenage years now. I am adult. I live my life. I love my family, but they are very demanding. They expect a lot from me, but they act like their expectations are completely reasonable. I am constantly “in trouble” with my family because I decided something a long time ago. They are impossible to please, so I stopped trying. I live my life. It’s happening right now. I live my life and I am happy. Sometimes that conflicts with the expectations or standards of my family. To that, unfortunately, I have to say I don’t care. This sounds harsh, but it’s not as if I am choosing to go party with my friends instead of spending time with my dad on his birthday. Though this is how they behave whenever I do anything that does not involve them, as if I am choosing something else over them.
I go visit my mother in law. Why didn’t you visit me?
I bring my babies with me to the store. Why didn’t you bring the babies to my house?
I go out to dinner with a friend. Why didn’t you go out to dinner with us?
They of course don’t see it this way. Just like a crazy person never knows they are crazy, my family does not see how demanding they are. You can’t just stop by my parents’ house. It turns into a 6 hour visit. You can’t break plans with my family, unless they think the reason is good enough, and it never is. You can’t be “busy” with other things, when they want to come over, because that is just rude.
This is the way it has always been with me and my family. Periodically they make me feel like a jerk because I fall short of what they expect of me. I bounce back and remember that I didn’t really do anything wrong. They again start collecting petty reasons to be disappointed in me, or examples of my selfishness, until they can let me have it once again. They tell me all about it and give me an opportunity to beg forgiveness. I don’t. They remain unsatisfied. A natural cycle.
I, like an idiot, thought maybe once my twins were born they would lighten up. I thought my family would realize I have something really important and all-consuming happening in my life every day. I thought my family would finally accept that I have a reason good enough, so I wouldn’t have to explain or make excuses for not coming over or not making plans. But no. That was foolish of me. The expectations and standards are exactly the same. They were impossible for me to meet and live my life before I had twins. It is even more impossible now. And they just don’t get it. Why can’t they have whatever they want? Why can’t they see us whenever they want? Why can’t they come over whenever they want? Why can’t I bring the twins over all the time? Why can’t we show up nice and early on holidays? When I tried to explain that last one, I was asked how long I would use my twins as an “excuse”. Wow.
I have decided that like before, I am going to live my life. I am going to do what I have to do to be happy. I am going to take care of my girls, love my husband, and live my life. Of course I love my family, but they always make it seem like it’s a choice: Do it their way or I don’t love them. Well, I am doing it my way AND I do love them. They are going to have to learn to live with that.