Thursday, 2 October 2008

We Don't Get To See Max's Mom Much


Neither do we.

Except, as I tell my child, when we close our eyes. Then we get a good look at her, a cuddle and maybe her opinion.

Earlier this year, my sister checked in for a spot of baby sitting, while I was off sunning myself. Well, not sunning myself exactly, I was ski-ing, and in general the weather was rubbish.

Anyway, one of the mornings she dropped my son at nursery she was mistaken, by one of the other parents, for his mom.

An easy mistake I suppose, a young-ish woman at the nursery door with a toddler, two and two often make four.

However, I’d been taking my son three times a week to the same place for nearly six months.

It isn’t a big place. Last year they had a maximum of a dozen children per session.

There would often be, and I would be involved in, chat amongst the collecting/depositing line of parents, grandparents, aunties and others.

I know people’s own conclusions can be more interesting than fact. And I don’t like to play the widower card very often.

But in this regular situation, where most likely our kids are going to be chums, I’d rather people just asked.

It is an unusual situation.

One that would prompt intrigue in me if I were on the other side of it.

I mean it is a man, dropping his son off to every session, attending the nativities and sports days solo.

There’s maths to be done there.

People can be too polite, and as it happens I’ve tended to befriend the ones who are more comfortable with asking questions, and don’t appear to have hidden motives.

Interested, not nosey, if you know what I mean.

I understand that during infrequent situations people will wrongfully identify women in my company as Max’s mom. I’ve played dad to many a friend’s kid at soft play places, the zoo, in restaurants and at the odd wedding.

Wrongful identification can be a wonderful thing.

I do think it best that people ask, rather than me explaining the situation unprompted.

The best never inquire directly, or cast aspersions on a potential mother not being around or disinterested in their own child.

If I was a single mom or widow, I think the other mothers would have established my marital status quicker.

I could be wrong, I wouldn’t like that, but being the same sex does seem to make it easier to ask relationship questions of strangers.

My currently separated neighbour would probably vouch for that, he’s been on the receiving end of some investigative belters from me. Share/Save/Bookmark


The Grocer said...

Alternatively identify the biggest gossip and tell her, soon they'll all know, job done.

Penelope said...

I would ask. I'm so curious about people that when I first meet them I have to stop myself doing a full interrogation. I just love finding out about their lives and stories. I don't mean it in a nosy way - it's just sort of compulsive!

Kori said...

I like to just ask; there seems to be SO many different minefields to navigate through that it is, for me, far better just to know which ones need avoiding.

Mama Nabi said...

It is interesting... I personally think there is more interest/curiosity when it's single dad rather than single mom. I tend to ask... perhaps not so diplomatically...? If dad's the only one who shows up to everything and there's no wedding ring (but some people don't wear wedding rings)... I guess I'd ask if the mom has a demanding career.

Although, when I was single mommying it even before the divorce, most people assumed nothing and weren't even curious - I guess absent dads are more common...?

harassedmomsramblings said...

I am one of those people that just look and make up my own stories *blush* then I ask someone who knows (or thinks they know)

There is, who I THINK is a single dad with full time custody at my kids school!

Maybe I should just ask him tomorrow!

People dont seem to have an issue asking me at all though!

Single Parent Dad said...

The Grocer - Problem is I think I'm turning into that person!

Penelope - Then I think we'd get on in the real world too.

Kori - I like that approach.

Mama Nabi - That's why I'd think too, yet it seems not everyone lets their curiosity run to asking to satisfy it.

Harrasedmom - Ha Ha. I think that's what my main point was. People seem to fear asking me a bit, because, I don't know why, only guessing.

Penelope said...

Only if I'm allowed to call you "Bollocks" though ;o)

modernsinglemomma said...

I love this line, "wrongful identification can be a wonderful thing."

I've felt the exact same thing.

Love your blog, so happy I found it.
You are in my heart, friend.

Come visit us on iHeartSingleParents if you haven't yet, I would love to see you there.
(I am one of the co-creators).
All my best, and I'll be back. Thank you for visiting my blog, I appreciate your comment.

Single Mom Seeking said...

Let us know if you do ask...

And believe me, before I just came out and told people, "I'm a single mom," I'd get all kinds of questions:

"How long have you been her nanny?"


"Is it hard being a teen mom?" (I was 28 at the time.)

Single Parent Dad said...

Penelope - As if I'd have a choice.

Modernsinglemomma - I added that just for you, did you click on the link? Will be by I-heart soon. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Single Mom Seeking - Thing is, I think it is easy in a village. I generally ask about the other-half. But often you see the other parent about here, if there is one. There's two other single parents at the school.

'Teen Mom' that's funny no? I still get asked how old I am when buying alcohol, and I'm 31 and the law is 18 here! My sister reckons people must think Max is my younger brother.

dadshouse said...

I've been divorced almost 9 years, and some of the parents at the school still inquire about my 'wife'. Especially if it's regarding something that nees parental attention. They assume that me, the dad, has no interest, and the mom, my 'wife', will take care of it.

Most of the parents know I'm divorced, but there are some who still make assumptions.

How did your sister feel being asked like that?

Single Parent Dad said...

Dadshouse - I think it is a deeply ingrained in some people that a man can't be responsible for parenting stuff.

If I remember right my sister said she felt like putting the other lady right on the spot, but didn't.

Askew To You said...

I wouldn't ask until I'd chatted with you a few times. I'm not comfortable asking a lot of questions because I'm not comfortable answering a lot of questions.

I have a son, also named Max, and he has cerebral palsy. He is 17. His entire life I have had people say, "What's that?" "Does he have _____?" "What's wrong with him?" I'm very proud of my son, he's a very strong boy. I don't think I owe people an explanation of our story.

After I get to know a person, I'm more comfortable with the questions. I may have a bit of a chip on my shoulder after years of rude comments.

I found your blog by way of It's interesting to see a dad's point of view.

Tismee2 said...

Hmmm, I'm one who never asks questions because i feel people will tell me if they want me to know. I'm always a bit suspiciuos of people wanting to know the far ends of a fart about me - mostly when they aren't even really interested (like Hairdressers?)

I'd probably just neb in to other people's conversations to see if I could suss you out.

Post a Comment