or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › "Is there a father?"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Is there a father?"

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 

Blowing off steam... DS and I went to a new playgroup today, although we already know many of the families there because we also attend story time at the library. Another Mom (that I've never met before) asked me ' so is there a father ?' today, in conversation, and I couldn't help but be insulted!


Yes, of course there is a father, thanks to genetics we all have fathers, so the proper way to ask would be 'is his father involved' which I find to be highly intrusive and rude in a "Hi I'm new here, I'm so and so, how old is your baby?" kind of conversation!


And yes, I'm married, so yes, his father is very involved! Maybe it's because I'm 25 and in jeans that folks feel like it is appropriate to ask questions like this? Would people be asking me this if I was 40 and in a suit?


Am I weird to think this might be a rude question? Am I being defensive because I am, in fact, younger than the majority? 

post #2 of 97

Was there "a father" with the asker's kid?  Where i lived when i was a single mother seriously 90% of the ladies at the groups were also alone, so it was a normal thing to be asked early on (i too was a bit shocked the first time, but realised after i stammered, "yes, but we're not together, but he's very involved" and she launched into her story that she was looking to bond rather than judge).  Also it might, sadly, be to do with your age, or rather how old you appear to be.  I met a girl in the street last month who was chatting away to me as if i was one of her direct peers and it eventually transpired (when she said "WOW, you OWN your house, you must have worked HARD before you had the babies!") that she had taken me to be 22 or 23 (i'm 30!).


Try not to be offended.  It could be that the person was judging and mean, but in that case there's no point wasting energy on feeling hurt by them, and it might be that she was trying to connect and it was just a bit weird.

post #3 of 97

Yes, that's very rude. I have had similar things happen to me, probably because I'm 27 but look younger and dress pretty casual (like you have a choice with a giant belly!). Mostly it's been people referring to the baby's dad as my boyfriend even though I am clearly wearing an engagement ring and a wedding band! (we've been married for three and half years).

I've also had a lot of people, including family, strangers, and friends, ask us if it was a planned pregnancy. I feel like this is a very personal piece of information and nobody's business, but have felt compelled to answer anyway that we did plan for it. For a lot of people it was the first thing they asked after we told them. Does anyone else think that's inapppropriate?

post #4 of 97

People ask all sorts of stupid things, trying to make conversation.  Try not to let it get to you!

post #5 of 97

People ask stupid questions.  I try to remember that when I get assinine comments.  Doesn't always work, but I do try.

post #6 of 97

I think it's a very rude question to ask, and I probably would have told the person so, nicely.  She may not have mentioned it maliciously but IMO she needs to know it's not nice.  Some people really are socially clueless and don't get why people are offended by very pointed questions. 

post #7 of 97

I wouldn't view it in any other way than someone's unartful way of inquiring about your family structure. 




  Would people be asking me this if I was 40 and in a suit?


I've seen a general pattern on here that somehow old people (like myself) are immune from randomly inappropriate or inartfully worded comments.  Not true.  Us old people have our own issues.  biggrinbounce.gif  Given divorces, number of single parents and same sex couples in my area, it is not so unusual for a father (biological or otherwise) to be absent or relatively missing from the immediate family unit.  Should people express themselves better?  Yes.  Would I spend too much time thinking about it?  No.  :)


post #8 of 97

It's very rude and I would have been very bothered by the question. I have a big mouth so something sarcastic would have come out of it like "the baby daddy put a ring on it" and rolled my eyes. Half the time I don't think people mean to be rude but really don't know any better.


Edited by gbailey - 11/18/10 at 1:08pm
post #9 of 97

Its rude. Why is she so interested?

How about this, 'do they have the same father?', when and/or if you  have another child...it could get worse :-)

post #10 of 97

Yeah, I guess if your young - I was once a 20 yo mother - they wonder if 'there's a father'

Now, being old with 6-8 kids in tow at any given time...'Well gosh! Do they all have the same father?!?'

post #11 of 97

Oh I've had this happen. I even was hit on at a church event eyesroll.gif. Granted I haven't been wearing my wedding ring. My fingers swelled at the end of my pregnancy with DS, then I lost a lot of weight and now being pregnant again I don't want to risk it getting stuck (smaller one I have) or lost (larger one)

I think the oddest way asked was pointing at Dh "is that the father?" I answered "yes that is my husband" then the person asked "Oh was this planned" meaning did we get married because we were pregnant. Um no, we'd been married for almost 3 years when DS was born.


People can be rude, but then I think there are a lot of people now a days who aren't married or got married because of pregnancy. So maybe its just morbid curiosity. I'm hoping now that I'm having more the questions will stop. (like they all look the same so must be the same dad kinda thing)


ETA: I also look young...I was asked once about being a teen mom was I was 26 (she was polite I forgot about that until now...)

post #12 of 97

it could have just been the person awkwardly trying to feel out your situation and whether you had a partner who wasn't a father-- there seem to be lots of same sex couples in some areas more than others (not implying this is you but is another situation that could lead to a question like that)

post #13 of 97

Team, "it's rude".  It's far too personal a question, leaving aside the way she worded it!  Genetics, indeed, LOL!  "No, it was an immaculate conception."

post #14 of 97


Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

I wouldn't view it in any other way than someone's unartful way of inquiring about your family structure. 




  Would people be asking me this if I was 40 and in a suit?


I've seen a general pattern on here that somehow old people (like myself) are immune from randomly inappropriate or inartfully worded comments.  Not true. 



Right. Like, "did you have IVF?"

post #15 of 97

My ballet teacher from high-school goes to the church my dad and younger sisters go to. DD and I go with them for special occasions, and if she's there and always starts talking to me and probing to see if DF and I are still together. I guess in her mind if you have a kid together you get married, and since DF doesn't come to church with us, he must not be in the picture. 

post #16 of 97

Yeah rude and obnoxious...just let it roll off your shoulders.


I went to a breastfeeding mom's group at the local health department and was asked if my children have the same father. My oldest looks like me and my middle child (who was about 4-5 mo at this point) looked and still is the spitting image of his father. Being the environment I was in and who "normally" use the resources at the Health Department, they expected that since they didn't look the same they had different fathers. I just told them the truth and rolled my eyes about it later.

post #17 of 97

Yeah, I'm in my late 20s and when my daughter was born (she's not even 2 yet), people kept asking me if I was a teen mom.  I get a lot of questions when we're out and about on public transport about if the dad is in the picture.


And on Monday, I had a guy on the street ask me in the middle of the day ask me where my daughter's father was.  "He's working," I told him.   You know, where you'd want your kid's father to be in the middle of the day, as opposed to at the bar or something.


"Oh that's too bad.  I was hoping I could help you out."


Ye-haw, what?  Now there's a pick-up line if I ever heard one.


That said, whenever people call my boyfriend my husband, I find myself automatically correcting them with, "Actually, we're not married."  No real reason.  I love my boyfriend, we plan on being together for life, but we're not married.


Forget kids, adults say the darndest things.

post #18 of 97

yep its rudeand I usually have a smarta$$ comment too. When i was pregnant with ds I had a lady in the store ask me if I knew who the father was (she followed mefir several aisles before asking me this) I was married but separated due to his abuse, and pretty sensitive about it so what ended up coming out my mouth was, "as long as we're sharing personal information, what size bra do you wear?" she turned beet red and that was the end of that.


now that I have 2 people usually tell me, "good you have one of each so you should be good and done now." I usually reply, "why would I make that decision at 23? I have my whole life ahead of me." I really don't get it. A lor of people think I'm a teen momand an equalnumber seem to assume that I'm unemployed/on welfare. I always enjoy setting them straight, lol.

post #19 of 97

"Nope, no father. You may refer to him as Lord and Savior. Thanks."

post #20 of 97

Most definitely rude.

Edited by A_Random_Phrase - 12/7/10 at 4:12pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › "Is there a father?"