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#1 of 52 Old 08-12-2008, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was in the playground with DS today and a woman commented about how cute DS was. I thanked her and kept playing with DS. Later, as I was leaving, she said to me, "My daughter said to me 'Oh Mommy, her baby is so cute!' and I told her that he wasn't your baby. Why did she think he was yours? She said he looks like you. Sooo...is he yours?"
:
My DS is light even with his tan, and he's got straight hair, but his face is all me.
Any one else ever been mistaken for the babysitter or nanny?

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#2 of 52 Old 08-12-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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My dd was in NICU and once when I went in to see her I heard the nurses behind her say, "THAT'S her mother?!?!?!"
It particularly sucks when people are saying how beautiufl dd is and then are baffled that I'm the mom.
Oh, well.
(BTW, your ds is absolutely gorgeous. I also think he looks like you.)

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#3 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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Happens to me all the time. I am African American, my son's father is white as is my partner. My son is very light skinned with wavy/straight hair. He is a wonderful toddler who loves to go up to people and say "hi." When he is with either his father or my partner, they aren't asked "Is he yours?" but I constantly get that question. Despite the fact that he looks a lot like me.

I've decided to put a postive spin on it- it is the life force's (which some call god) way of making sure I remember that he is his own person and parenthood is not about ownership. I hope this makes sense.

On the other hand, since day one, I have been reminded of how awsome DNA is. In the begining, the three primary adults in his life (his parents) frequently looked at each other and said "he doesn't look like what I expected."(smile, he was born with bone straight hair).

Anyway, all this to say you are not alone.
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#4 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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It happened to me a lot when I lived in London. I guess it was more common to see babies with nannies than mums in the area I lived. My son and I don't look alike.
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#5 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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Big hugs to you. I saw your pictures and he looks just like you, and you are both beautiful.

My parents went through similar, but different. lol My big sister and I are adopted( 21 mos apart, from different families) and she is naturally darker complected, her mom was french and we know nothing about her dad. My dad is darker complected as his father's family is Croatian, and my mom is light with dark blonde hair and blue eyes, her family is english and scottish.

One day when my sister was still an infant, they all went to the grocery store. Dad ran off to get something and while he was coming back he saw two little old ladies looking at my mom and my sister in confusion. Then they saw my Dad come up to them and they both nodded at each other and smiled knowingly. It still makes my Dad laugh
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#6 of 52 Old 08-13-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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Yes, it used to happen to me when my children were small, and it always rankled. It doesn't happen so much now that they are teens and wouldn't be accompanied by a nanny. I think it's offensive because people are making an assumption based on a stereotype.

I'm half-Asian (Japanese descent on one side, UK anglo on the other, but all Canadian). DH is Scottish descent (also all Canadian). DS was a blue-eyed, blond baby.

I learned to assert our relationship in public - at library playgroup, the playground, school,shopping - by loudly proclaiming things like "Oh give that to Mummy" or "Do you need Mummy to help you" or "Mummy wants a hug" and following with the accompanying physical action. This strategy avoided most of the stupid questions, but incredibly, some people would still admit to me "Oh, I thought you were the nanny".
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#7 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 12:32 PM
 
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Grrr!!! I'm not looking forward to that. : Your baby looks just like you. The only difference is in hair texture and skin color. That's it. Strange enough my mother used to get "oh, your daugher looks so much like your DH (my father)", because I was dark skinned and my mother light. I have her face almost exactly. Then the same person would look at my brother who has more of our father's features and say that he looked like my mother because his skin color was lighter like hers. WTF?!?! Anyone with half a brain if they were looking at the features rather than skin coloring would know that is your baby. Sheesh!!! My baby is coming up soon and if s/he comes out favoring my DH's side I'm sure to get the ignorant questions even if the baby has my face. How do you deal with it?

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#8 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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My eldest is 16 and when he was born, I was mistaken for the nanny all the time, it used to really grate on my nerves. I am AA (cocoa complexion) and ds (his dad is white) was pretty fair with curly hair, the thing was at the time we lived in a pretty diverse area but still people made this silly mistake.

Fast forward years later when dd was born 3 years ago, now we live in a truly homogenous state (Maine) and yet oddly enough I have never been mistaken for the nanny. DD is light thought darker than my son was at that age and has curly hair but people seem to recognize that she looks exactly like me.

Its funny because I was truly prepared this time to be mistaken for the nanny, I know it can be hurtful and truly irritate but not really sure there is much you can do about other than to correct people.

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#9 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Argh. I HATE that. Both of my kids are lighter than me, one is the same complexion as yours who looks a lot like me. Totally has my eyes. But blond hair. The other is super pale with blue eyes and hair rapidly turning blond.

People assume I'm the nanny! I look at them and icily state..."I'm their MOTHER." and walk away. Not every brown woman taking care of kids lighter than herself is a nanny. Bunch of ninnies!

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#10 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mama2mygirl View Post
(BTW, your ds is absolutely gorgeous. I also think he looks like you.)
Thank you! It's funny- he's actually the image of my brother at that age. Realllly weird when I'm nursing him...

That is so rude that the nurses would say that.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#11 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've decided to put a postive spin on it- it is the life force's (which some call god) way of making sure I remember that he is his own person and parenthood is not about ownership. I hope this makes sense.


Zora
That is certainly a healthy way of thinking that. It does grate my nerves when people think that he couldn't possibly be mine just because he's light. I'm not even that dark but it's hard for folks to fathom that I may be his mother and not his nanny.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#12 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It happened to me a lot when I lived in London. I guess it was more common to see babies with nannies than mums in the area I lived. My son and I don't look alike.
Where I live, it certainly is more common to see babies with nannies (mostly West Indian). SAHMs are quite rare around here. I used to take my son to the indoor playground at the Y and I'd say most of the adults there were nannies.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#13 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=Ms Apricot;11936638]

I learned to assert our relationship in public - at library playgroup, the playground, school,shopping - by loudly proclaiming things like "Oh give that to Mummy" or "Do you need Mummy to help you" or "Mummy wants a hug" and following with the accompanying physical action. [QUOTE]

I do this too, I must admit. I also smother him with kisses and hugs constantly.
One big giveaway though is that I actually play with my son. Lots of the nannies don't play with their charges.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#14 of 52 Old 08-15-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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I'm very white and DS has his bio-dad's coloring. He is the image of me, but many times I've had people do the exaggerated YOU'RE his mother? bit.

Mostly in the midwest. Never in California or Hawaii, interestingly enough. Like people in the midwest don't have interracial relationships or something.:

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#15 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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i probably would have gone off if it was a bad day and then had dialogue with her about perception if it was a dood day. people annoy me sometimes, but i have been there... from strangers trying to cart my dd of from me in public "because i thought she was lost and i didn't think she was with you" to a mama who was horrified that i was nursing what she thought was someone else's child. :

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#16 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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Well, I myself am not a multi-cultural family, but I saw your post and when I read it I felt like I had to respond.

I live in a community with many multi-cultural families and marriages. I think it's great.

Not only are there multi-cultural related families, but a lot of families also adopt.

So, I just think it's a bit culturally unaware to say something like that on a playground to a stranger...for all kinds of reason. The woman may not have intended to be rude. People are now to make gaffes when they are confronted with something they don't know. It doesn't excuse it, but I'd use any future comments as a teaching opportunity!

Families come in all hues, shapes, and sizes. I don't know why people don't get that, but we can teach them!
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#17 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm very white and DS has his bio-dad's coloring. He is the image of me, but many times I've had people do the exaggerated YOU'RE his mother? bit.

Mostly in the midwest. Never in California or Hawaii, interestingly enough. Like people in the midwest don't have interracial relationships or something.:
Some people just can't get past color. It's so ridiculous.
I'm actually half Korean/half Black myself and I look very much like my Korean mother. People never think she's my mom.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#18 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i probably would have gone off if it was a bad day and then had dialogue with her about perception if it was a dood day. people annoy me sometimes, but i have been there... from strangers trying to cart my dd of from me in public "because i thought she was lost and i didn't think she was with you" to a mama who was horrified that i was nursing what she thought was someone else's child. :

That is absolutely awful. I'm sorry that happened to you.
Wow.
I don't know. Usually I just don't have the energy to get into it.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#19 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I myself am not a multi-cultural family, but I saw your post and when I read it I felt like I had to respond.

I live in a community with many multi-cultural families and marriages. I think it's great.

Not only are there multi-cultural related families, but a lot of families also adopt.

So, I just think it's a bit culturally unaware to say something like that on a playground to a stranger...for all kinds of reason. The woman may not have intended to be rude. People are now to make gaffes when they are confronted with something they don't know. It doesn't excuse it, but I'd use any future comments as a teaching opportunity!

Families come in all hues, shapes, and sizes. I don't know why people don't get that, but we can teach them!
Honestly, I don't think she was trying to be rude. She actually was trying to flatter my son by saying how cute he was.
I saw her the next day and she again went on and on about how adorable he was. I guess that's good enough for me.

Sheila, mother to William and Min Hee, wife of David
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#20 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Some people just can't get past color. It's so ridiculous.
I'm actually half Korean/half Black myself and I look very much like my Korean mother. People never think she's my mom.

Maybe I'm weird that way, but I often look at kids when they're out and try to find similarities in the people they're with. I think it's cool the way some kids are the image of one parent while others are a perfect blend of both.

I have often noticed that when people say someone looks like someone famous, for example, they don't look anything like them other than something as superficial as skin tone or hair color, so when someone makes one of those comments I tend to lump them in with those unobservant sheeple who think all blondes look alike, all African Americans look alike, etc. It tends to be the same thing with folks who think moms with different skin colors than their dcs don't look anything like them. Call me impatient and judgmental, but I quickly lose interest in anything they have to say after that.

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#21 of 52 Old 08-16-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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Where I live, it certainly is more common to see babies with nannies (mostly West Indian). SAHMs are quite rare around here. I used to take my son to the indoor playground at the Y and I'd say most of the adults there were nannies.
The situation is a little different for me because my son and I are both white - it was not a race issue but an expectation of class one, I guess. I lived in a fancy neighborhood, I don't look the part, and in that part of London the nannies are Eastern European thus the assumption. It did rankle, not least because when they found out I was the mum the other care givers didn't talk to me any more!
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#22 of 52 Old 08-22-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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I not mistaken for the nanny but I am for the grandmother. I have been asked a number of times about if they are my grandchildren and just sort of laugh and say they could be but they are my children. I live in a place where women generally do let their hair go grey and mine is and I am in my mid 40s with a 10, 8 and 5 yo.

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#23 of 52 Old 08-25-2008, 12:12 AM
 
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I keep wondering if DS and I are misconstrued as a nanny and her charge, but there's enough about us that makes us weird that I can't tell what the stares are about.

I'm Chinese, and most people here are white. DS is lighter in skin and hair, but we are always in a mei tai or SSC (which might account for the stares).
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#24 of 52 Old 08-25-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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I don't get mistaken for the nanny often (There aren't many "nannies" in my neck of the woods) But there is a lot double takes when the see me AA with my light as can be Cacasian son.

It generally only bothers me when the disrespect is obvious (sometimes its pure stupidity but not malicious.) OR, when they persist in asking "Is he adopted?" Or some mean question RIGHT in front of my ds!:
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#25 of 52 Old 08-25-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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The situation is a little different for me because my son and I are both white - it was not a race issue but an expectation of class one, I guess.
Likewise. It actually varies by neighborhood for me. And my son looks like me.

I hope it doesn't divert the thread too much to mention that I also get the reverse - my young friend is Indian American and when we are together alone people assume he's my adopted son.
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#26 of 52 Old 08-26-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't think she was trying to be rude. She actually was trying to flatter my son by saying how cute he was.
I saw her the next day and she again went on and on about how adorable he was. I guess that's good enough for me.
I'm glad you were able to get past that. You and your son are very beautiful!

FWIW, I'm Asian and DH is white and I get it ALL the time when I'm out with my 2 boys. I always see it as a reflection of the person making the comment rather than me and just feel pity for his/her obtuseness.

Smiles

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#27 of 52 Old 08-26-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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My family is mostly homogenous in skintone. But I grew up around a lot of "mixed" kids, and think of variations in skin tone as normal. Of course you look at facial features.

But it seems to me, that people who grew up in more homogenous areas didn't learn that skill and have to but a little more effort into noticing things more subtle than skin color. I think it's ignorance more than an attempt to be rude.
I would still seriously upset me though!!!

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#28 of 52 Old 08-26-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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but there's enough about us that makes us weird that I can't tell what the stares are about.
:

Around here being mistaken for the nanny means that you are thin, well dressed, and appear organized.
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#29 of 52 Old 08-27-2008, 02:11 AM
 
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I'm white and my partner is Korean, and at the market we shop at the very nice older Korean lady that works there thanked me for "adopting" my daughter! I have to say, I just thought it was really funny. I just said, no, she's mine, she's half Korean- she couldn't believe it!
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#30 of 52 Old 08-27-2008, 02:57 AM
 
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DD is part NA, and I look every bit of my Irish heritage, and then some. If you look past the skin, eye, and hair color, she's the spitting image of me. But noone ever looks past the coloring until I point it out. Sigh.

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