Mothers of multiples, you have a new hero and her name is Annie Nolan.
Like other moms of twins (and triplets and quadruplets, and Kate Gosselin), Nolan frequently finds herself answering questions from strangers about her twin daughters. You would think that having two embryos sharing one uterus is some kind of new phenomenon or worthy of its own circus sideshow, not something that's been around for as long as women have had wombs. (Hello, Jacob and Esau!)
But, no. When she's out and about with her twins, Nolan often finds herself a source of fascination for people she's never met, who then proceed to ask her all kinds of oddly invasive questions.
So to save herself some time, Nolan decided to post the answers to the most frequent queries on signs stuck to her kids' double stroller. She then posted a photo of it on her Facebook page.
One sign reads:
Yes, They Are Mine
Yes, They Are Twins
Yes, Both Girls
No, Not Identical
Yes, I Know They Look Alike Though
Yes, I'm Sure They Aren't Identical
Innocent enough, right? Well, the second sign has caused Nolan a little grief. It reads:
Conceived By F***ing
Born Via C-section
You Have Twins In Your Family? *Great*
They Don't Run In My Family ... Until Now
Yes, I Have My Hands Full (Sometimes With 2 Glasses of Wine Just To Get Through)
Yes, Triplets Would Be Harder
Any mother knows how meddlesome it can feel to get asked personal questions by total strangers. But to be asked by someone who's merely curious whether you conceived naturally? Or to be questioned whether you—the mom—are sure if your own kids are or are not identical (after you've already answered the question) is bordering on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Fortunately there are plenty of moms (and humans) who found Nolan's photo hilarious (it has more than 23,000 likes and nearly 7,000 shares on Facebook so far). Then again, there are also plenty who found reason to be offended.
It's for precisely those nosy people that it actually seems as if the swears are even more necessary.
"Wow—of all the things that people complain about it surely shouldn't be people taking an interest in their beautiful babies in a positive way," said one of the nearly 6,000 commenters on the photo. "No one should be asking those super personal questions but there is no need to put swear words on a child's pram."
"It was mostly about the swear word on the sign, and also that I am ungrateful that I have children, and I am rude for not wanting to talk to people," Noland told ABC News of those insulted by her photo.
Unfortunately, Nolan felt as if those criticisms meant she had to apologize: "I absolutely never meant to hurt a single soul with this photo."
Except it doesn't appear as if anyone who has questioned her knowledge of her own kids has also issued an apology, nor anyone who asked her what position she conceived the twins in or which of her two girls is smarter.
It's not hard to offend anyone—especially anonymous people hiding behind their computer screens. On the other hand, it seems strikingly easy for some to think a stranger should share intimate details of her life for no reason other than to satisfy someone else's curiosity. It's for precisely those nosy people that it actually seems as if the swears are even more necessary. And if there's a parent out there who saw Nolan's photo and didn't think, "Why didn't I think of that?" then they're most likely not telling the truth.
"The sign was meant to be received like 'Wouldn't this just make life easier?' " Nolan said.