Sometimes I find myself in situations where people make assumptions about Nanette and I. When People come right up to us and ask, “Where’s Mom” “Where do they come from?” “If only they had a real woman to raise them”. You may have heard these phrases or read stories about people jumping into something instead of minding their own business. I have discovered a few techniques that I find are helpful in changing the tone of the conversation. 

Four different tactics I use 

  • “It’s none of your business”. This can work but it may come across as rude and patronizing especially if you are in public. If you want to come up with something a little cheekier, try, “I found your nose. It was in my business.”
  • “Why do you ask?” You may be surprised — some of those nosy parkers may actually be considering fostering or adopting. Most people, though, are probably just curious and don’t mean to be rude. For them, I say put on your gracious face and use the opportunity to answer the question, which is really about how our families are different, yet the same. 
  • Don’t answer. A simple “This is not a good time” or just reply with a non sequitur: “Thanks! Aren’t they an amazing kid? I feel so blessed to have them in my life”.
  • More often than not, you can usually tell the intention underlying the question by someone’s tone. If it feels genuine, you can inform them as much as you feel comfortable. If not, shut it down, and tell them “I would prefer to change the conversation”.

Key lesson

Some of these tactics don’t always work. It’s important to have friends you can vent to, especially if they are single parents who understand your situation. More than anything else, remember that what is important, is your child. Having a loving parent is what’s important to a child. I look forward to the day when people will mind their own business and not feel so free to come up to me and ask, “Where’s mom?”

 What would you do when confronted with this question?