or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › "Is She Yours?"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Is She Yours?" - Page 2

post #21 of 73
This is a tough question because there are multiple ways "Is she yours" can be interpreted, with accompanying uncomfortable racial baggage.

option 1: she thought you were the babysitter/nanny. You are fair-skinned (and young-looking?), your daughter is tan/dark-haired. Annoying but not necessarily coming from a negative place.

option 1a (not applicable in your particular situation): You are the tan, dark-haired one and your daughter is the fair one. The woman is still assuming you're the nanny but this time the woman may be asking based on assumptions about race and childcare--a person of color with a fair-skinned child? She must be the help. Not necessarily a conscious thought by the woman, just some ingrained prejudice.

option 2: she thought your daughter was adopted. Pretty clearly offensive in my mind, since even if you didn't give birth to your daughter, she's still your daughter. (Yes, she followed up with "Oh, not the babysitter then" but who knows if that's what she was thinking)

And regardless of where the woman's question was coming from, it's going to hurt that protective mama bear instinct to have people doubt that your baby is yours.
post #22 of 73
Thread Starter 
I'm 26 and haven't ever been carded while buying alcohol, so I assume I look somewhere around my age

Thinking on it more, I don't believe I was really insulted, just shocked at how rude the question was. Interesting spectrum of responses here!

And yes, MamaStarbird, I think you hit the nail on the head -- of COURSE she's my baby, how dare anyone not realize that immediately? Hehee!
post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
perhaps she just didn't want to assume anything. i usually ask before I tell someone "your baby/grandbaby/whatever is so cute." because heaven forbid you guess and get it wrong.
: I have people as me if DS is my first a lot, always struck me as odd, do I look scared or something!? . They always ask "how old is your baby?" I guess that would be my cue to say "he's my nephew" or whatever if he wasn't *mine*
post #24 of 73
I get this all the time.

I live in France and not only do my kids all look like my much-darker husband but now that they're older, my kids don't have an accent and I do.

The French are more discreet than N. Americans but here are a few;

"Madame, it's very nice of you to offer to take her home but we need to call her mother first". (His coworkers enjoyed that one and he got a major ribbing for it!)

The grocery store at check-out;
"Don't put that there! Those things belong to this woman"
"No, it's okay..."
"It is NOT okay. That little boy was trying to put his gum with your things so that you'd have to pay for them..."

My favorite. Now granted, I was taking a tourist boat with my son in the city where we live. The boat driver makes small talk asking me how I like living in France. Later in the conversation, I mention having a husband.

"Husband?!? I didn't realize."
"Well, that's how I got this baby"
"I didn't realize he was yours'. I thought you were an au pair girl because of your accent! Apologies!"
"Don't apologize! I'm 36 years old. You made my day!!!!"

What's funny is that my dark skinned, black haired, young-looking father used to get that comment when he was out with me and now it's the opposite.

Personally, I think biracial children get this less because people are keen to international adoptions and mixed-race marriages. I think I throw them off because both my husband and I are white and Jewish, but I'm not 100% so I look more "goyish" as we say. People think we're a mixed religion couple ourselves which is kind of true, just not our generation. My sister is not as light as I am but much more typically Jewish-looking. For the record, I never knew the non-Jewish branch of our family.

I don't mind the "Are they yours'?" question as much as the "You're Jewish?!?" which does get a bit annoying, but maybe just because I've had that question put to me three decades before I became a parent lol!
post #25 of 73
Mine all look like DH and there are a lot of them. I get "Are they yours?" or "Are they all yours?" all the time, but I think that's more about how many there are than anything.
post #26 of 73
The first time I got those sorts of reactions, I was 14 and spending the summer looking after my 3-year-old cousin. My family runs to towhead blonde when we're young, that usually darkens as we get to adolescence / adulthood. I'm unusual for having stayed blonde into my twenties (I've only recently admitted that my hair is more light brown now.)

So 14 year old girl with long blonde hair, 3 year old girl with long blonde hair, walking the mall together, I got a LOT of *strange* looks. Nobody ever asked, but I think most people assumed I was a teenage mother!

So fast forward many years. My husband's hair is dark, and our son was born with dark hair, and a face shaped more like DH's. The first 8 months plus, most people would say how much he looked like DH, "He couldn't deny him if he wanted to!"

I always had mixed feelings with that. DS got my eyes, and of course I want him to claim something of mine. Sometimes it feels like by saying he looks just like one or the other of us, it's almost denying the other one's parenthood.

Well, then, as DH got a little older, he also went towhead blonde. So now I do get "He looks just like you" remarks, and you'd think I'd be happy about it. Sometimes I am. I think it depends on who he's with, we seem to get those remarks about equally now.

DH always says "DS looks like DS" and leaves it at that. He doesn't need to look like either of us.
post #27 of 73
I don't think it is particularly offensive, but definitely annoying. To the OP, I see your little one is only 4 months old. This is only the beginning - if this is the most offensive thing a stranger ever says to you, count your lucky stars.

I really don't get it. I think that the only appropriate thing for strangers to say is to ask how old they are, maybe their name, and then comment on how beautiful they are..... and walk away. I mean really, WHY do people feel the need to come up with all of these probing questions.

I think the worst for me (so far) was when we stopped at a fast food restaurant for lunch on a long road trip. My babe was sitting in a high chair (snacking on fruit I brought from home for her) and was making faces at a lady a few tables over. After she finished the lady came over and did the whole "how old is she" thing, and then says to me:

"Well, I'll give you a couple of more months, but then you need to make another one."

WHAT???

I am still dumbfounded. I wasn't particularly offended, but I keep thinking about what if babygirl was adopted because I couldn't carry babies myself? What if I only had her after years of fertility treatments? What if we already WERE trying to get pregnant again and it wasn't working out? What if I hemmoraged during childbirth and had to have a hysterectomy and couldn't have more babies??

There are a million circumstances where that comment could have been very hurtful and upsetting. None of them currently apply to me, but I REALLY hope that lady doesn't go around saying to everyone she meets.

On the original topic, I frequently go out with my brown hair, brown eyed 11mo and my day care kids - a 2yo mixed girl who takes after her AA father, and a nearly 3yo boy with very blond hair and striking blue eyes. People ALWAYS assume they are all mine. So I don't get it.
post #28 of 73
I really think that if someone is sensitive about a subject, they're going to find rudeness where there isn't any. I don't think what the woman asked was rude at all.

Just yesterday, I was out to breakfast with DH, and ran into a woman who works in the kitchen at the restaurant where I work. She is Guatemalan and doesn't speak much English, but the few exchanges we've had have been very nice. She's a sweet lady. She was carrying a baby and stopped by my table to say hello on her way out of the diner. The baby looked Hispanic and could very well have been hers. I said "Very cute. Your baby?" She said "No, my niece."

I asked her because I don't know anything about her family; not because she looked too old, or too young, or the baby was a different color. And as it turns out, the baby wasn't hers. People do hold and take care of other people's babies.
post #29 of 73
I get this CONSTANTLY....especially in the grocery....This is me and my baby this past Memorial Day:

http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/w...s/IMG_4984.jpg

"Oh, how nice that you two are so close...you know all my children had nannies and none of them were so close!" (I get this sentiment a lot when I wear her around...we live in a wealthy area, the "nanny" comments are insane!)

"Oh, how great that she seems to take to you...her mother must be jealous!"

"Wow, she must look like her father, huh?" - THIS ONE, I don't mind...because it's true. She looks like a sack of flour, with her dada's face plastered to the front of it.

My eyes are green, dark curly hair, darker skin....she is incredibly fair skinned, with brilliant blue, like DENIM eyes and sandy-ish hair...it's just gonna happen! Yeah, it drives me nuts...but you know? They always say how pretty she is, how close we seem, etc...so, I don't know. I tend to talk myself down from being too upset, you know? I live in New Hampshire...it's pretty white up here, a lot of people don't know how to handle wondering whether she is mine or not...granted, it's none of their business, but if I can be an ambassdor, if Ican blaze a new trail around here and direct people in the appropriate way to comment on a child they think is beautiful, who doesn't look like her mother...then okay. I'm think skinned, maybe, when I show people a better way to "wonder", the next time they come across a "thin skinned" mama, that mama won't have her feelings hurt, you know?

I dont know....I think people are just attracted to babies and are a little nosey and say silly things. It's unfortunate....but at least if they say it, hear it coming out of their mouth...they can say to themselves "Hey, that didn't sound right" and THINK about it, you know? Whereas, if they keep it to themselves, maybe they ARE making a judgement and will continue to judge because they just can't even hear how weird it sounds, because it's only ever in their head?
post #30 of 73
When someone asks me if my kids are mine, I just laugh and say "Yep. Made them myself."
post #31 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVeryGoodYear View Post
Today, my 4 month old daughter and I took the bus out to the local farmer's market. We had a lovely time, and she was really well-behaved. On our way home, a lady sat behind us who was just enamoured of my daughter, and was so sweet and complimentary... but then she asked me:

"Is she yours?"

I can't pinpoint why, but I was SO insulted. Or maybe I just thought it was incredibly rude. My lineage is Polish and I look it: pale skin, blue eyes, blonde hair. My daughter looks like her father: tanned skin, dark eyes, dark hair; she has his nose, his mouth, his ears, EVERYTHING. When we're out as a family, we get a lot of comments about how much she looks like daddy.

My husband thinks it's silly that I thought this woman was rude. I can't get over it. "Is she yours?" I said yes, and the woman sort of laughed like she felt self-conscious and said, "Oh, I guess you're NOT the babysitter then!" I mean, is that normal, to assume that a baby doesn't belong to someone?

Is someone here on my side? Please tell me I'm not loopy!
I didn't read the other replies.

I had this happen several times when my boys were little. I am olive skinned, dark hair, darkish eyes. My boys were born with blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. They look like their dad.

I think I was a bit taken aback at first when I heard these comments, but I chose to assume the intent of the person who asked was benign. They were just making conversation and not trying to insult me. So I would smile and say they take after their dad. No biggie.

There are a lot of children who are out with babysitters, nannies or other family members. You just never know.

And in general I think most people are nice and they are just passing the time, admiring the children and making a little conversation.

post #32 of 73
I used to get this all the time when DD was a baby, once I was even asked if she was adopted. Now that she is 4 and screams 'mommy mommy mommy' when running to me all the time, people just ask where she got that beautiful, blond hair. Mine is extremely dark brown. A couple of times I said the mailman but usually I just tell them that DH and my hair were both blond as babies and darkened up as we got older. It does get annoying though so I usually say she got her dad's hair.
post #33 of 73
when it comes to moms and our babies..... we are very sensitive to most comments. But think, some day you may be in the grocery store with a 3 yr old screaming for cookies and when you get dirty looks from those moms, you know the kind that say my dc never act like that, you may just want to say "she is not mine"....LOL
post #34 of 73
Oh I just wanted to add that DH is friends with some grad students that are here from China and they didn't know that hair could change color. They were shocked when I said that I was blond as a baby. I guess it is just something that isn't usual in China.
post #35 of 73
Quote:
I am still dumbfounded. I wasn't particularly offended, but I keep thinking about what if babygirl was adopted because I couldn't carry babies myself? What if I only had her after years of fertility treatments? What if we already WERE trying to get pregnant again and it wasn't working out? What if I hemmoraged during childbirth and had to have a hysterectomy and couldn't have more babies??
I had this very thing happen to me and my baby IS adopted. It didnt bother me at all. Like a PP, i dont think its necessary to read "rudeness" into situations where people are just trying to be nice. My brother and i (both white) were sitting in a restaurant when an AA woman and her (presumably) mother, an elderly AA lady, walked past our booth. The older lady said, about my son, "ooooh he is just beautiful! Look at those curls! You need to make another one just like him!" I wasnt offended...she was saying that my baby was so adorable i should have another one. Not an option for me of course, and i can understand how someone who deals with the pain of infertility might be upset, but why put that all on a stranger who was just telling you how cute your baby is?

To me, its a choice to be positive and see the best in people, or to go around feeling offended about every little thing. Now, if the person truly is rude, calls your baby names, or is clearly racist, yeah, get upset. But asking if thats your baby....hmmm...IMO not worth getting upset over.

My older son has red hair. He got this red hair from recessive genes on both sides of the family. I cannot tell you how many times in the past 12 years i have heard some variation of "Where'd he get that red hair??" (does his father have red hair, etc etc)....at some point, you just get over it, or you'll be offended all the time.

I recently had an AA foster baby girl who was just a few months younger than my adopted son, and i got alot of "Are they twins??" I got a kick out of saying "No!" with a smile and kept walking, people are easily confused. I dont mind talking with people about foster care or adopting my son, if they seem friendly and open. I have had so many nice conversations this way, with complete strangers in stores. I ran into a woman who asked me about my "twins" and we got to talking, and she told me several times how my son "favors me" (looks like me) even though he is adopted. No problem, i have often had people assume he is my bio child. No shame in that. Maybe when my son is older and can kind of understand the comments, i will feel differently.

I always always assume the baby is the child of the person with the child...i figure you are less likely to offend that way, rather than asking "Are you the grandma/babysitter/sibling?"


Katherine
post #36 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
Oh I just wanted to add that DH is friends with some grad students that are here from China and they didn't know that hair could change color. They were shocked when I said that I was blond as a baby. I guess it is just something that isn't usual in China.
This reminds me of when my mom was getting physical therapy, and her therapist asked about all those spots on my son's face, and when they would go away. The therapist was Indian, and at first we didnt know what he meant, but then we realized he was talking about my redhaired son's freckles. He was SHOCKED and somewhat horrified when we told him that they are permanent. It was so funny.


Katherine
post #37 of 73
DD is adopted and I was terrifed of being asked about "Is she yours?". I practiced responses but didn't get to use any since as it turns out she looks a lot like us.
Feel free to use any of these
"Yes and I have the paperwork to prove it."
"OMG. Who are you?" to my baby.
Lick baby's forehead "She is now."
I was especially sad to not get to use the last one.
post #38 of 73
Your situation is kind of the flipside of mine. I'm dark-skinned, with dark eyes and hair. My DD is white white white with light brown/streaks of strawberry blonde hair so I OFTEN get asked if I run a dayhome or people assume I'm the nanny. With older folks I'm a bit more forgiving, their generation didn't have a lot of interracial families...with the younger ones...I'm polite but annoyed. Or I'll make a joke out of it..."it sure felt like she was mine when I had her!"

But yeah, every once in a while I get to a point where I'm sick of hearing about it.
post #39 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masel View Post
Lick baby's forehead "She is now."
I was especially sad to not get to use the last one.
BEST. RESPONSE. EVER.

Now I hope someone asks me again if she's mine!
post #40 of 73
Even though I think DD and I look a lot alike I get this all of the time and it bothers me every time but usually, I am asked if I am the babysitter. It always bothers me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › "Is She Yours?"