Experience/advice needed please! Having trouble telling people DD has two mums!(12 Posts)
Hi there. I just wondered if anyone can share experience or give some advice. I'm civil partnered and have one DD who is a year old and go to a couple of groups where people chat and are friendly, but am finding it hard to fit in I suppose as everyone is so stereotypically straight and married! I can never find the right time to mention the fact I'm civil partnered/gay/DD has two mums. What to say?!
I know it's really important I start doing this as I don't want DD growing up thinking I'm ashamed of our family (as I'm not) but am finding it hard. I suppose I had a couple of bad experiences coming out when I was younger and so find it hard doing it now, even though things have changed significantly over the last few years. I am very open with friends and family, it's just strangers and playgroups causing me stress! Also how do you deal with random strangers saying ' She must be a Daddy's girl' type stupid comments? Ignore, or shock the old dear with 'actually she's the apple of both her Mum's eye!'
All experience gratefully received!
My best friend is bringing up her two sons with her female partner. I actually met her at a Breastfeeding group and she told me after a few weeks - I know she was nervous as I appear the respectably married type. I have since gone on to introduce her and her family to all my friends, and some of my family. You can see people thinking what to say when the situation is explained, as they usually assume her partner is her sister/friend, but I have never heard or heard of any negative comments. (Even from my stuck up hard line catholic SIL).
Her eldest DS is now enrolled for a church school, and even there nothing untoward has been said.
Having said that, just ignore the old dears, they don't mean any harm and are unlikely to have a long term impact on your family.
All families are different, and I think you will find other mums a mixed bag whatever your situation!
Hi, My DP & I have 3 kids, and have found the best way to deal with this (for us) is to be pro-active. When talking about something non-family related, just slip in something like, "oh my DP likes eastenders too, SHE is obsessed", or when handing out the squash and biccies say "my DP would lgo mad for thwese biccies, SHE has real sweet tooth"or something else like that, and just leave them with a big question mark over their heads. That way, they dont feel embarassed for putting their foot in it, and you dont feel like you have had a big coming out, and the conversation can move on quickly. People then have time to digest the information, and by the next week EVERYONE will know!!!
Funnily enough, I have had the opposite problem. My dd (8) goes to a LGBT synagogue and I am straight. Dd has been going since she was 5 so everyone assumes that I am gay and a practicing jew (when I am in fact neither). I started out by feeling I needed to announce early in the conversation that I was "different" but then realized that in fact it didn't matter in the least and now when I meet new people at synagogue functions, I don't even bring it up because it actually makes no difference to our interaction. Sometimes people will ask and every once in awhile someone will question why I'm there, but I don't think dd is really wondering why she has a mom and a dad and everyone else has 2 (or more) moms or 2 dads. In fact, we have had several conversations where she separates the world into two piles, those who are married and those who aren't, without any discrimination about the sexes of the married couple. But then again, we are in Los Angeles where things may be socially a little ahead of where you are.
The best piece of practical advice I can give you is go to the groups with a friend who knows your situation and in general conversation ensure your DP's name is mentioned in a way that makes it clear you live and parent together. It might take a few times for people to twig on to the relationship, but if it's introduced in such a non-big-announcement way it's easier to digest slowly and then to be fine about it. Also, if there is at least one person there who you know is ok about your family it gives you confidence. Also make it clear once people do know that it's fine for them to talk about it to other mum's. There's nothing worse than people tiptoeing around the subject like its some kind of secret and you have to keep doing the "Well, actually.." speech.
After a third new member of staff asked me what my husband's name was I yelled in a crowded staff room "why don't you people talk to each other?" Everything got much easier when everyone knew I wasn't trying to keep my sexuality to myself!
Thanks for all your replies. I will try and use some of your tried and tested techniques! Singarainbow I think your suggestion is a good one,
Sorry, stupid phone hit post before I'd finished!
As I was saying Singarainbow I think slipping DP into the conversation is good, it will plant the seed so to speak!
Dogscatandbabies, unfortunately I don't have a friend who knows I'm gay to go with me, as we're the first of our friends to have a baby. I was supposed to be going to some groups to meet other Mums and make friends, but instead I'm just really shy and rubbish at making conversation! I think you're right that dropping it into the conversation is the way to go rather than a big revelation though.
2ddornot- I hope there's someone like you lurking at the groups I've been going to! That gives me confidence that it will be fine, and I'm sure you're right once I start talking it may well reveal a mixed bag of Mums there in the same boat.
Sofia- interesting to hear your perspective and how things are for you over the pond. Your DD sounds like she's got it all sussed out, aren't kids great at just accepting things as they are?
I'll try and let you know how I get on in he next couple of weeks. I'm sure it won be as bad as I think, and once I've started dropping subtle clues maybe there'll be no stopping me!
You need to practice. First in front of the mirror, then in front of real live people. The more you say it, the easier it will come. It is imperative that your dc grow up hearing you say it as though it is not an embarrassing secret.
When you are a lesbian mother you are forced to come out constantly, I'm afraid.
Do you know any other lesbian mothers? Whereabouts do you live - are there lesbian mother groups?
I have rarely ever told people i'm gay, they just kind of realise. I never hide it, and don't tiptoe around it, just talk about my partner as I would if she were a he! When I take my son to baby group I do talk about going home to see Mummy etc. A couple of people have said 'oh I thought you were his mom' to which I reply that I am!!! Amusing as you watch the penny drop!! It's no big deal really, I just happen to have a wife when everyone would assume I have a husband. I think if you are chilled about it, the people around you will be too.
like hester I just say it in the most matter of fact way possible: when people say 'your partner, does he work?' I say, 'she, actually, and she's on a career break just now'. I try hard not to overcompensate (e.g. 'DD is soooo lucky to have two mums', because that well may not be her view of it and I have nothing to apologise for). It's normal and boring and fine, and you have to present it as a fact, not as a topic for debate. That can come later when people are actually your friends....
Thanks Hester, Carer and Driving, I've found all your advice really useful. I plucked up the courage and started referring to my partner, she...... And dropping her name into conversation, and found it a little easier than I anticipated. I think I made the mistake of not doing this from the start when I first started going to the groups. Lesson learned, in future I am going to just talk about DP normally and not make a big deal out of it. Hopefully the more I do it the easier it will become.
Now I just need to find some more groups to attend! Thanks again to everyone for sharing your experience.
glad to hear it's going well: it's not that hard, but it does occasionally get a bit tedious...
Join the discussion
Please login first.