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"Do they have the same father?"

(169 Posts)
firstmentat Mon 08-Jun-20 07:08:23

The children have an age gap of just over a year (both still quite young). Still, sometimes people ask me this question (not as a part of their professional duties, but in general as a part of "getting to know you" chat). I am a single parent, the father (same to both children) is not involved.
I cannot point out exactly why, but this does sound to me as it has an unpleasant undertone. But I am not British, and there were occasions when I misread the situation due to cultural differences.
To me, they effectively are asking whether I have slept with a man other than my ex husband with a tiny baby. Or am I completely misreading the subtext?

OP’s posts: |
Mumteedum Mon 08-Jun-20 07:10:48

What a weird question and a rude one too! Unless your children look very different but even then it's still v rude! Yanbu

Dylaninthemovies1 Mon 08-Jun-20 07:13:28

So rude!!!

firstmentat Mon 08-Jun-20 07:13:37

They do look a little bit different, of course (nothing to immedistely suggest they must have different fathers - the difference is that one is red haired and one is not) but this is usually said before meeting the children in person, max seeing a couple of photos.

OP’s posts: |
GlummyMcGlummerson Mon 08-Jun-20 07:14:19

The only acceptable response to this is "No, but their fathers are actually brothers so at least I had the good sense to keep it in the family" and watch their face grin

LongPauseNoReply Mon 08-Jun-20 07:14:29

Incredibly rude and downright offensive. Why people think it’s ok to ask something like that is beyond me.

JamieLeeCurtains Mon 08-Jun-20 07:15:05

It's a rude, intrusive and inappropriate question. It's also judgemental.

Musing here, but would a man out with two young children be asked, 'Do they have the same mother?'

zscaler Mon 08-Jun-20 07:18:04

YANBU, that’s a totally rude and invasive question. I don’t know why anyone would think it was ok to ask that!

Bluesheep8 Mon 08-Jun-20 07:18:15

Very rude. And completely unacceptable. This question has been asked about myself and my younger sibling We have very different colouring despite having the same parents.

NearlyGranny Mon 08-Jun-20 07:20:06

An excellent opportunity for the question to question block, as in : "How interesting; why would you ask that?!" with a quick follow up, if the person brazens it out, of "Do you always question new acquaintances about their sex lives? “ or, "Are you unsure who the fathers of all your own children are? Is that why you ask such rude, personal questions of other people?" as a last resort.

That's the rudest conversation starter I've heard since a sleazy pervert I passed in the street offered me a box of chocolates for sex when I was 13 years old!

GinDaddyRedux Mon 08-Jun-20 07:21:16

My DDs I I am the father of both!) have different colouring (one dark, one very light) and my wife gets the same nonsense.

Usually from people looking for trouble, the same craven weirdoes that want to make people uncomfortable because they look happy and different.

Bluesheep8 Mon 08-Jun-20 07:40:02

Interestingly, I don't ever recall anyone asking my father if we had the same mother.

CowsGoBaaaaa Mon 08-Jun-20 07:42:50

It’s so rude! My sister gets that as she has a 2 year old and 14 year old and yes they have the same father. I’d be asking some pointed questions back to make the asker squirm.

Purplestorm83 Mon 08-Jun-20 07:46:30

I have a friend who gets asked the same question - she also has one red haired child and one not, so that’s probably why. It’s still very rude though!

Ponoka7 Mon 08-Jun-20 07:46:47

Where in the country are you? I think this will vary regionally. People are nosy where i am from and if it's in a proper 'getting to know you', neither side would be offended. It depends on how superficial you want your friendships to be. If it's someone at the shops, that's different.

I've known men and asked men if their children are all to one woman. It tends to be if they have more than four and in while having a proper conversation. Again, no one has been offended.

I had a ten year age gap and always got asked that, or it was assumed because I was young when I had my first.

Ponoka7 Mon 08-Jun-20 07:47:57

Mind you, where I'm from, the information would be offered. That's just how it is.

caperberries Mon 08-Jun-20 07:48:51

I was asked this by the dc's dentist - about my middle child!

Soubriquet Mon 08-Jun-20 07:53:29


The only acceptable response to this is "No, but their fathers are actually brothers so at least I had the good sense to keep it in the family" and watch their face grin


BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 08-Jun-20 07:54:32

When my DD was about 4 and I was due to marry DH, someone at work asked me how DD felt about getting a stepdad. hmm I pointed out that she wasn’t as DH is her dad and she looked shocked. We had DD young but I can’t understand why her assumption was that DH couldn’t be her dad.

I’m due DD2 in September so haven’t had any ‘same dad’ comments but, unless they are like DSis and me who are so similar people think we’re twins, I guess people may say it. I hope not though.

dontdisturbmenow Mon 08-Jun-20 07:54:47

Being single, children looking different, this will raise the question in people's mind. Asking is extremely rude unless you've become very close and the question is in the context of the conversation.

Flowersinthewild Mon 08-Jun-20 08:01:18

2 family members use to get the same question about their children.
1st family 3 children, All were very close in age but looked very different from each other.
1st child - black curly hair, brown eyes and olive skin
2nd child - strawberry blonde straight hair with piercing blue eyes and very fair skin
3rd child- light brown hair with blue eyes and a skin tone in the middle of the other 2.
As they have got older child 2&3 look a tad more alike.

Family 2 - 3 boys. child 1&3 are literally identical could have been twins. Baby photos are hard to tell them apart as they were so alike when little. Child 2 the middle one could not have been more different in looks and personality.
When all 3 brothers were in senior school a teacher even made a joke to them about their mother having affair in between child 1&3. hmm
Child 2 found growing up with 2 brothers who looked very alike very hard as he always felt the odd one out.
Genetics are a very strange thing. smile

Dinoctoblock Mon 08-Jun-20 08:03:24

That is a very rude and intrusive thing to say to you.

I had two DC just over a year apart and never had a comment like that, despite one being skinny and blue eyed and the other being brown eyed and chunky (same dad). I would hazard a guess that it’s ageism or racism driving such comments. Whatever the reason, I’m sorry it’s happening.

oohyoudevilyou Mon 08-Jun-20 08:03:50

It'll be that one has red hair: Dsis has this with her kids - eldest has red hair, younger 2 are mousy, so she has to face this question probably on a weekly basis. None of us have ever met a completely red haired family, like the Weasleys, even though we're Scots, so don't understand this rude questioning.

catfeets Mon 08-Jun-20 08:05:45

My mum was asked this a lot as I'm dark haired with olive skin and my brother had white-blond hair and pale skin. We now look very similar though!
She was never particularly bothered by it and laughed it off, but it used to irritate me a lot. I don't think the questions increased after she split with my dad though. People are just nosy and would probably still ask if you weren't a single parent.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Mon 08-Jun-20 08:06:01

All these comments about red hair reinforce my want for DD2 to be a redhead. The odds are with us as I have red hair, DH has dark hair but his mum has red hair. DD1 is a mini me.

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