Breaking News: Not Every Parent Is Married

Hey, everybody!  I want to tell you something that is probably gonna blow your mind.  Are you ready for this?  You’re not even gonna believe it.  It’s pretty revolutionary but I think you need to know that not everyone who has a baby is married.

I know, right?  It is crazy stuff.  An appallingly large percentage of people I meet appear to be ignorant of this simple fact, so I’m about to use their comments as teaching tools so that you can avoid offending every single parent you meet.  Don’t be afraid.  I’m here to help you. Let’s begin.

Person A: You have a baby?  I didn’t know you were married.

Me: I’m not married.

Person A: Oh! Uh…

(LESSON: You wouldn’t ask a woman if she’s pregnant simply because she’s heavier.  Don’t ask a woman if she’s married simply because she has a child.)

Person B: You have a baby?  I guess your husband watches her while you’re on call?

Me: I don’t have a husband, but my mom watches her for me.

Person B: Oh!  You’re not married?  But you’re such a nice girl!

(LESSON: Nice people can be single parents.  You don’t have to put us in your “mean people” file just because we’re raising a kid by ourselves.)

Person C:  You have a baby?  I thought you were single?

Me: I am single.

Person C: Oh, when you said you had a baby I assumed, you know, that you had a family.

(LESSON: Although I admit I’ve struggled with this definition myself, there are all kinds of families, and single mothers and their children do count as one of them.)

Seriously, though.  These days, it’s pretty much a given that many families are not traditional and that many parents aren’t married.  I’m not sure why so many people assume that I am married.  Maybe I don’t fit their stereotype of who a single parent is… but then again, how many of us single parents do?  I’m willing to bet that the answer is “not many”.

So, this concludes today’s lesson.  Unless, of course, any other single parents wish to add to these teaching points in the comments!

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  1. by danielle

    On July 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Julia, my boss recently brought your blog to my attention and I have to say I’m hooked! Your realism and honesty is so refreshing and I feel like I am getting to know a REAL person–as ridiculous as that sounds, I know other bloggers are real people too, ha ha.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. I look forward to keeping up with you!

    Danielle
    http://www.summerforkids.com/

  2. by Danielle

    On July 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I am an unmarried mother. I have a 16 month old and I live with the baby’s father. We have a good relationship. We are technically engaged but a wedding doesn’t seem to be in the picture for the next couple of years. I have run into people who are surprised that I am not married and yet have a child. Its frustrating because society has changed and more and more people are not getting married (for many reasons) but still want to have kids.

  3. by Jill Cordes

    On July 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I have some good friends who are Icelandic. They told me that over there, a lot of people have kids…multiple kids, before deciding to get married. Some never do. In other words, there is no “typical” and no “rules”. I can’t believe some people act as they do when you say you’re not married.

  4. by Leslie G.

    On August 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I find it much less offensive that people assume you are married because you are a parent and a “nice girl”. For the simple fact that many women of color are single moms, I get the shocked responses when people who know I have a child learn I AM married….go figure huh? I get questions like “Is the daddy in his life”? Um yeah because we are married and he cares for him at least half the time if not more. So imagine how it would feel if people automatically assumed you had a “baby daddy” who probably wasnt even around, when its the farthest thing from the truth…lol.

  5. by Leslie G

    On August 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

    My comment above could be titled “JUST IN…MORE Breaking News: All black women arent single moms” lol ;0)