Sunday, July 28, 2013

7 Things You Shouldn't Say To A Mom

Believe me when I tell you I've been asked a lot of dumb and sometimes offensive questions about my life as a minority, unmarried mother. I think I've blocked many of them out of my mind for my own sake but here's a few.

1. Wow! You look great (pause) for a Mom.

This statement was able to slide the first six months or so after giving birth but after two years its getting kind of tired. Basically what people are saying is "Wow! You're not as fat and out of shape as I thought you'd be!"

2. Is he at home by himself?

I've been asked this question at least five times after I've responded "he's home" to someone's "where's the baby?" question. I'll usually respond with a blank stare because I really don't want to say "are you kidding? Do you really think I'd leave him home alone as a baby??????"

3. Does his father babysit?

I normally let this slide with older folks because I know times were different in the 50s. I don't consider a parent spending alone time with their child babysitting and hope my explaining to people (always women that ask me this) that a father does NOT babysit his own child will change the way some people look at father-child relationships.

4. How's your baby daddy?

Not necessarily the question above, but anything involving the title "baby daddy". I don't call my boyfriend and father to my son my baby daddy and neither should you. If you've known me long enough you should know his name and ask how is _____ doing? I'm sure when people think baby daddy or baby mama they're not picturing Brad and Angelina.  

5. I'm surprised you guys are still together. I didn't think he'd stick around.

OK, there's a couple of problems with this one. I get if he were a philandering abuser or abandoned me when I was pregnant there would be reason to ask this question. However, I do not believe it is fair to ask this question because we're not married or because he's black and you assume he wouldn't want to stick around based on unfair stereotypes.

6. Was your son planned?

I don't like this question because it leaves me conflicted as to how to answer. First of all, no my son was not planned at the time I got pregnant. Did I know I wanted to become a mother? Absolutely. Was my sole reason for having sex that night to get pregnant? No. So what should I say? No. My birth control failed and chose not to have an abortion? Is that what people want to hear?

7. Do you think he's going to cheat on you after you have the baby and can't have sex?

I wonder if people would have asked me this question of my boyfriend while I was pregnant if he were my husband. It's a rude thing to say to a pregnant woman that is already hormonal and really sad that's what some women think of when they think about having a baby. Not all men are dogs, ladies.