parents

10 stupid things we all need to stop saying to gay parents.

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You all know that being a parent is a series of interesting, fun and sometimes really weird adventures. Not only do you have to fend off advice from EVERYBODY on how to raise your child, you also need to keep them safe and clean and happy.

It’s a brilliant job and certainly my favourite in my long work history. My daughter is nearly two-and-a-half years old and more and more of her amazing and incredibly stubborn little personality is revealed every day. This is a privilege to witness. Watching the moment my little human suddenly realises that she can affect her environment in ways she never could before is an hilarious and often very challenging experience.

However, one of the most interesting journeys I’ve gone on as a parent has been my role as a ‘gay parent’. Yeah, you read that right. According to some people, being a gay parent is totally different from being a ‘straight’ parent. Add to the situation that I’m not my daughter’s birth mother and you have a really crazy combination of ‘real life’ that makes some people seemingly go out of their minds and say some really stupid things as a result.

My general rule is to treat ignorance with patience and compassion. I honestly think it’s the right way to go when ‘schooling’ people on issues that sometimes might not make sense to them. It’s one of those traits I really hope to pass on to my daughter. Obviously though, it all gets too much sometimes and I can’t help making a few sarcastic remarks. Christ, it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t sarcasm involved.

The majority of people are amazing. I would say that 99% of people wouldn’t even blink an eye when confronted with the awful truth that there are gays out there masquerading as parents. See, sarcasm just spills out of me like hot lava.

Sally.

So here is a list of some of the questions/statements I’ve come across in the two- and-a-half years I’ve been a parent.

1. On playing games with my daughter

‘You’re the fun parent – just like a dad’.

No.  I’m her mum. We do fun things but no matter how you look at it,  I’m ‘just like a mum’ BECAUSE I AM HER MUM.

2. On grandparents

‘Do your parents accept your daughter as their real grandchild?’.

My answer to this one varies largely on my mood. I am bursting to say ‘no they don’t and we have a separate Christmas and Easter because we’re all so ashamed’.

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Usually now I answer it with this question:  if I was married to a man and we had adopted a child, would you ask me this question?

3. On names

‘Does your daughter call you by your first name?’

Does yours?

4. On not being pregnant

‘Being pregnant is amazing. Oh god it’s the most amazing feeling ever. Feeling your babies kick inside of you makes you know why you’re alive. I hope you get to experience that one day’.

Yeah, me too. Lesbians are notoriously barren.

5. On expecting a child

‘When your ex partner was pregnant, did you feel like you were going to be a parent or did it feel like you were going to be more of an aunt?’

What?

“We have been forced to deal with narrow-minded people like you every day and we certainly thought long and hard about having to expose an innocent child to your way of thinking.”

6. On working fewer hours to take care of my daughter

‘Oh it’s so nice that you babysit on a Friday!’.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t take this one too well. I’ve also heard it’s a common one for a father to get as well. For the last time – it’s impossible to babysit your own children!

7. On having a gay child

‘Are you worried she’ll turn out gay?’

Clearly not as worried as you appear to be.

8. On my custody battle royale

‘Well I guess you could just walk away? I mean, she’s so young she’d never remember you’.

Perhaps one of the most disgusting things anyone has ever said to me. Ever.

9. On other gay parents

‘I’m not judging but I feel like it’s wrong for gay men to have kids. It’s just weird. What do you think?’.

I’ll bet you a thousand dollars I don’t think that.

10. On deciding to have a child

‘Did part of your decision to have a child take into consideration she could be bullied really badly?’

Of course it did. We have been forced to deal with narrow-minded people like you every day and we certainly thought long and hard about having to expose an innocent child to your way of thinking. But right back at you –  did you consider those same things when you made a decision to have a child?

Sally Tysoe is a writer and digital communication specialist. She works as a corporate writer during the day and is an avid, armchair bigfoot hunter by night. She lives in Brisbane with her daughter.

Have you ever asked — or been asked — a strange/offensive/just plain crazy parenting question?

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