"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!
On the other hand, in my town there are a lot of nannies and babysitters taking care of kids during the day, and it's sometimes hard to figure out the relationship when you're at the playground or whatever. Usually I don't need to know the relationship (the exception is when a kid falls down and no one's around, so you ask if his mom or nanny or whoever is nearby). So I don't comment or ask about it, even if I'm curious. But sometimes people just aren't thinking, kwim?
mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11
He didn't mean anything by it of course
Single Mom with a BF Mommy to 2 girls & 2 boys
Using the Law of Attraction Loving my Family
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
The default, out of respect, should be that whoever is with the children is a parent. Until you are told otherwise. For all you know, the child may be adopted, a step-child or just not look like the parent. And it may not be something they want to discuss with a stranger.
Also, as a nanny there were times when I didn't correct people and just let them assume. Fore example, the cashier might be nice to the little boy, and hand him the paper, saying "what a good boy, you give that to your mum!". I'd just smile and say thanks, and outside of the shop I would assure the LO that we'd give Mummy the paper when she came home from work.
Frankly it is none of their business,
I also was watching my friends baby, four days younger than ds4, by the pool one day when they were babies and several times got, "Oh, twins!!".
Now, when ds1 was small, I did get people who thought he was my brother, because at 24 I looked 16 and at two he looked four!!
I think its natural to be curious but I would never ask a stranger!! I had a friend once I met becuase our sons did scouts togather, it took a long time for me to feel comfortable enough to ask if her ds's had diffrent fathers. She laughed about it though, but seriously, they didnt look like they were the same race. One was very white and blue eyed, blonde hair while his brother was dark, brown eyes, black hair. They were full brothers same mom, same dad, just one looked like his white mother and one like his hispanic father. I mean they didnt the mixing or blending of both parents at all!! Well, they did of course, but they didnt LOOK it!
Oh, when I got complimented on my "daughters", I always just said Thank You!
I can relate to being sensitive about having your child looking more like their father. I hear over & over & over how much my DD looks like DH, but almost never that she looks like me. It really bothered me at first, but now I'm so used to it that it doesn't bug me as much. It still bugs me a little, though!
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.
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!
I'm crunchy... Like a Dorito.
Mama to Sprout 4.09 and Bruises 7.11 handfasted to 9.07
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!
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.
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."
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.
Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).
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.
"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?
Me and DH ...lovin' DD (6/08) and DS (11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD (UC-5/12) We Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'!
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