Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe

Ya’ll know that expression? I used to hear it alot growing up, but didn’t really understand it until I was a teenager.  Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!! That’s what they meant.  *lol*  I told ya’ll that I kinda grew up in a Huxtable-esque household.

MrTDJ and I had been married for a few years when Little TDJ came along.  We chose to wait until we were married to have a child.  This isn’t a rant or decree against single parents, so please miss me with any crazy comments or email messages. I’m not making any judgments on anyone’s personal situation.  Hell, my parents got married when I was a year old.  MrTDJ and I made the choice that we felt comfortable with.  For us, being married came first, then if God was willing, we planned to have one child.

I’m wondering if we (society) are conditioned to expect single motherhood to be the norm.  I’m not really trying to get all political and I debated for a few days before writing this post.  Big shout out to Nerd Girl.  She wrote a very honest, personal post recently that encouraged me to go ahead and post this.  The topic has been in my head for a while based on what happened to me at the hospital after Little TDJ was born.   The expression popped into my mind again yesterday during a doctor’s visit for Little TDJ.

Little TDJ was born on a Tuesday and I was scheduled to stay in until Saturday.  During one of my brief periods of alone time on Friday evening, a nurse and I had this basic convo:

Nurse – Is the Little TDJ’s father coming back tonight?

Me – No, not tonight, but he’ll be here tomorrow to drive us home.

Nurse – Oh. Well, ok.  Do you know what time?

Me – Sometime in the morning, why are ya’ll kicking us out?  *small laugh*

Nurse –  *uncomfortable, prolonged silence*  Oh no, no dear.  I just need to know so I can have a notary present to get your paperwork in order.

Me – **percocet is a beautiful drug**  Oh ok, sometime before 10am.

Nurse – Alright dear, get some sleep and I’ll have someone here in the morning.

At the time, the conversation struck me a little funny, but again, percocet is a beautiful drug and I forget all about it until the next morning.  MrTDJ arrived and took to getting Little TDJ ready to hit the road, while I got myself together.  Packed and ready to roll, a nurse and another woman walk into the room.  The woman, who we later found out was a social worker, was perturbed that we were almost ready to depart and she hadn’t done her thing.

After a few seconds of a Abbott and Costello, Who’s on First round robin, I was ticked the hell off.  What exactly was “her thing”?  Well, in a nutshell, she was there because someone ASSUMED that I was unmarried and she was present to notarize an affidavit of parentage before we could leave the hospital.  I was then schooled on how the law works in Maryland.  A child is born to a woman and she is obviously his mother.   If at the time of conception or birth, that woman is married, then her husband is legally the father of the child.  If she is unmarried, then legally, the child has no father until an affidavit of parentage is signed by the mother and father, notarized and filed with the Vital Statistics Administration.  Not sure if it works the same way in all states, but this is the deal in Maryland.  Wow.

So, back to my irritation.  If anyone had taken the time to look at my chart, they would have seen that it listed me as married. If anyone had taken the time to look at my swollen fingers that were trying to swallow my wedding rings whole, they would have seen that I was married. Or here’s a novel conceptfreaking ask me! I was irritated and offended that all parties involved simply ASSUMED that I was not married.  I’m no conspiracy theorist and I don’t often throw around accusations of discrimination, but I’m curious if the same assumption is made for the non-black women that give birth in the city of Baltimore.  Hmmmm……

Since I was the mother of a newborn, a little high on percocet and already sleep deprived, I cursed her out.  ***smh***  Sorry ya’ll.  Wish I could say that I handled it with grace, but I didn’t. I would have loved to slice her azz to pieces with the sheer power of my vocabulary and intellect, but in that moment, I turned into a  f bomb gangsta. Stunned and with red cheeks, she and the nurse apologized and mumbled explanations while they scurried from my room as if their lives were in jeopardy.  Good thinking chicks cause I was close to physical violence.

Yesterday at the appointment for Little TDJ, hubby dropped us off then parked the car.  At the reception desk, the same assumption was made.  WTF????  Am I too old school? I make the assumption that a pregnant woman or a woman with a child IS married, unless I hear or discover evidence to the contrary.   Either way, that’s her business.  Is that a ridiculous notion in 2010? I’m not going to hit up Mr. Google for the statistics because I have a feeling that they would piss me off.   Sorry that my thoughts aren’t totally concise in this post.  I’m still a little hot under the collar and yesterday brought back the vivid memory of that hospital room incident from January of 2009.  Am I being too sensitive? What do ya’ll think?  I’d love to hear from the married folks with children and from any single parents.  Has anyone ever made a bad assumption about you, your child and your status?


51 thoughts on “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe

  1. I am slayed in the spirit at “f-bomb gangsta”!!!! LOL! Consider that stolt.

    When I think about it, I always presume moms to be married unless told otherwise. Some people don’t wear wedding rings so you never know.

    Regardless of your status, folks should be treated with respect and not as just some random number in a paper file.

  2. HECK NO YOU’RE NOT WRONG!! That’s a hot mess! When I get married and people make those assumptions about me (especially with this baby face), I’M NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY!!! Lol @ “Since I was the mother of a newborn, a little high on percocet and already sleep deprived, I cursed her out.” Pretty sure your cussing her out had nothing to do with your recent regaining of your body or drugs!! LOL! It was your duty. UGH!! I bet they pay attention to charts and rings now!

    • Ha ha @ your baby face? Yeah, those idiots might have a whole other set of questions for you.
      Wait, what’cha trying to say Jamiel? *lol* It was the drugs man! How do you know that I would have gone slam the hell off anyway???

  3. Too sensitive? Hell no!

    The ASSumption that we can’t be married with children is the norm rather than the exception now.

    And the suckas who figure all your kids can’t possibly have the same daddy get the gasface!

    • I didn’t think so, but I can sometimes be a little sensitive.
      You are truly correct – it’s an ASSumption.
      I have a friend and his wife who face that with their 4 children, as each has a very different and distinct look. Yes, we have families too!!
      Thanks for stopping by!!

  4. Well as a single mom and a statistic I would hope people don’t just judge. You should think married until other wise told, but in this day and age society is doing it backward. We were raised together until you moved south. So I don’t think it’s the way people are raised I think it’s just life.

    • As sad as it is, most people judge – harshly and often.
      Yep, I have to agree – in general, society is doing things backwards. Of course, life does throw curve balls that you have to deal with and the best laid plans often change without much notice.

  5. Unfortunately, I am not surprised and it upsets me that you have that as part of your birth memory. People like to operate on assumptions and negative generalities, I take joy in giving them a taste of MY REALITY.

    I remember when Day got sick in the middle of the night and we threw clothes over our PJs then boogied to the emergency room. Yeah, we looked a hot mess but it was 3 am and my baby was sick! Due to her age the nurse then Dr. saw her immediately after she was stabilized the Administrator came in the room to get our info and she asked for Day’s insurance card. I am still frazzled so it takes me a min to remember where it is but before I could pull it out, she was like just give me her social I can look up her Medicaid. WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?I turned around and looked her in the eye and asked why would she think we had Medicaid, she put her head down and mumbled some response, so I gave her my card as soon as she gave I back I told T let’s roll, she started stuttering about she needed to collect the copay, I told her to bill it to Medicaid! She hushed right on up.

    Maybe the marriage assumption is a regional thing because when we delivered both times they printed out T’s baby wrist bracelet with my last name! LOL

    • Bwahahaha @ bill it to Medicaid!! See??? That’s some bullshat!! I suppose I was more offended because IMO medical professionals should be more sensitive, especially during the stressful, emotional moments during which we, the public, encounter them.

      Hmmmm…..didn’t think about the regional component. I was in Baltimore, so maybe that factor did come into play as well.

  6. Girl, I would have f-bombed them too! I’ve never ran up on that assumption but I get a lot of the “running the math calculations” in their head over how long we’ve been married and the age of our kids. Fugg You. I don’t need to tell you my business to explain the date of marriage/age of kids ish. I just let them be all confused and make their assumptions that we did the wild thing when we were 12.

    Sometimes I hate people.

    • BWAHAHA @ you and Fire Marshall getting frisky at 12! Come on people!! Why are folks wasting their time trying to figure out your family business?
      Agreed – sometimes people suck and I hate them.

  7. So since I live in Maryland, I faced the same but as the dude, I felt like I was on trial since we weren’t married and I refused to answer some of the ridiculous questions they asked. When they said “are you the baby’s daddy” I didn’t answer. She asked like 3 times. I just looked at her. Finally I said I’m the child’s father.

    But it seems like the norm has switched now. It’s like people are more surprised to hear that you are married and had a child and there’s so many things (Maury) to blame it on but I don’t want to write a book in your comments!

    • Oh man Fresh, I understand exactly what you mean!! The attitude that both of these women had with us, but especially hubby was so f-ing condescending that I wanted to smash their faces in. I absolutely hate the terms “baby(‘s) momma” and “baby(‘s) daddy”. Both have a negative connotation for me.
      Sadly, I think you and Tanea are right. It feels like the norm has been flipped. **smh** Write on brotha! You can blog in my comments anytime!

    • I guess I’m confused here. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t answer the questions. I mean…it was the law and they were doing their job. The law stated that if you weren’t married to the mother of the child then before they could list you as such an affidavit needed to be signed saying so. This is for YOUR protection. How many times have you heard of a dude being charged with child support et al when he was NOT the father of the baby? I’m sure no one sat around and was like…let’s just fug with folks. I’m sure there was a reason they decided this was necessary. You know…so folks didn’t just list you as a child’s father when you weren’t.

      Or something like that.

  8. Dizzam! I have never heard of such a thing! Maryland goes hard!

    I generally assume parents are married.

    I agree with TIH – regardless of their status people should be treated respectfully. The employees should either have enough sense to ask your marital status or check your paperwork. Assuming things can obviously get you cussed smooth out!

    • Yeah, MD does, don’t they? I’d never thought about the law or had cause to look it up.
      Agreed – Respect is the key, no matter the situation. Yep, after I cussed their tails out, I reported them via phone and email later that week for offensive behavior.

  9. Even though I had a child out of wedlock, I would have cussed them out to just for assuming. I had a situation once when I was looking into a new daycare for my son. I visited a daycare that was highly recommended. After discussing the pay with the owner she said “and make sure you have all the paperwork for your daycare vouchers so I can sign off and send it to DHS”. The look on my face must have told it all because she said “is something wrong?”. It took everything in me not to start my sentence off with ‘b*tch’ when I let her know that I work everyday and my pay is out of the range to receive vouchers.

    Oh and the day we left the hospital after the birth of our son, the nurse said to us “see yall in 2 yrs”. I asked her what was she talking about. She said “oh, you will be pregnant again. They always come back in 2 yrs”. I wish I knew who she was because my ONLY child is 5 1/2. Stupid broad!

    • Ugh! See?????? That ish seriously pisses me off. The assumption that you didn’t work, used vouchers and would have another child in two years. **makes me see red**

  10. Not really sure how I found your blog but I love it.
    I am a MARRIED mother of 3 son’s and I am married to their father and have been their entire lives. We are always given the side eye when we are in a new environment for some reason people just ASSUME that a black woman can’t be married to her baby daddy and all her kids are by the saem man. SMDH.

    • Doesn’t that just irritate you? I try to let certain things roll off my back and not get caught up in other folks B.S., but seriously, this is aggravating.
      Is it that hard to believe that black families exist? The media is doing a damn good job of convincing small minded folks that we don’t.
      Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll make yourself at home and come back often!

  11. The laws are insulting, degrading and presumptuous, but that was one grossly mishandled situation by the social worker who was trained to do better. Given the apparent “bias”, I’m surprised you weren’t accused of smoking crack when you understandably let the obscenities fly, and your baby dragged off to social services.

    I’m so sorry that had to happen to you during one of your happiest times. And I’m even sorrier that it keeps happening. How can people be so ignorant?

  12. Are you freaking SERIOUS?? A social worker has to verify that the child has a FATHER?? They ASSUMED you weren’t MARRIED? Jesus be a marriage certificate. I’m surprised at this…very surprised. I would have cursed them out, too! Wow!

  13. I am so with you on this! A few years ago I had to go up to the school because my son wasn’t doing his homework and I went straight Old School Momma on him ~ having me called up to that school to deal with some foolishness. I didn’t spank him but by the time I was finished, he wished I had. Anyway, as I was leaving one of the secretaries said “I wish other single moms handled their kids the way you do.” Whaaaaa? My head whipped around and I told her a thing or two. My husband didn’t attend school functions or handle parent~teacher conferences because he was working over~time, call~in and crazy shifts while I was working on my Master’s Degree. And what?

    • ERGH!! See, why did she have to assume that you were a single mom????? Her comment would have held just as much weight if she hadn’t included that word. Without it, it could be taken as a compliment. With it? An insult. Man, usually I’m on top of things, but I had no idea that my commenters would have so many example of this bad assumption. **smdh**

  14. I had the same type of stuff happen. My husband signed the birth certificate for my son and the next day they brought another one and told me to sign. I refused and I was waiting for them to say something crazy. They hemmed and hawed before handing it to him.

    When I checked into the hospital to have the baby I heard the nurses whispering that I was lying about my last name. Everytime they came near me I put my i.d. in their face and told them they weren’t anyone I needed to lie to.

    When my doctor arrived I asked her to tell those heffas my name and that I am married.

    I also told the one of the doctors that the intern need not make assumptions about black women.

    I had my daughter at the same hospital but did not have those problems. I guess because he never left. My husband had to wait at home with my daughter until someone was able to come and watch her, so he wasn’t able to be at the hospital right away. I was alone so to them I had an imaginary husband and an absentee father to my child.

    • Lying??? Are you kidding me?? What is wrong with people?? At precisely the moment when we should be treated as respectfully and calmly as possible, obnoxious medical personnel make things uncomfortable based on biases and assumptions. Wow.

  15. Oh Heeeeeeelllllll no!
    On the one hand, working in a labor and delivery where I’d say 90% of the women here are not married to the father of their children, I can see how they made the assumption.
    On the other hand,I always look at the chart. And I always ask the gentleman in question: who are you?
    All it takes is a second. They were wrong for that!

    • Wow, are the #’s really that high?? That in and of itself saddens me.
      See, you look at the chart and ask the question. Seems soooooooooo simple and avoids confusion.

  16. Years ago I had a baby girl, Avery, she died shortly after birth. When the doctor came in the room to tell us and get the death certificate signed I ran to the bathroom to cry. The doctor needed me to come out and sign. My husband asked if he could sign it instead. The doctor asked if he was my husband. He said for the past 8 years. The doc was all apologetic. Again, read the chart if you have one. On the other hand I work for a federal program. If I refer to a man as a spouse you can get indignation about that not being the spouse. It’s whatever

    • Aww, Kim. I’m sorry for the loss of your baby girl.
      And again, what a moment for a medical professional to NOT read the chart. **smh**
      I guess I totally don’t get the offense and indignation where in someone is referred to as spouse and they’re not.
      Marriage is something to celebrate, honor and be proud of. **shrugs** I guess those involved may have they own issues related to the distinction.

  17. Amazing, they had all of the correct information in their faces and still made the wrong assumption……..Wow……just wow !

    BTW you are hilarious
    I love this blog and the way you convey these stories and situations ! LOL

  18. Too sensitive? Absolutely not. You handled that situation perfectly.. they will actually think next time. Hopefully, there won’t be a next time for that foolishness.

    LOVE your stories about Bambi.. they are so funny, I’m thinking surely you’re making it up but alas, life is sometimes stranger and funnier than fiction.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • I hope that it made them pause for at least a millisecond before their next encounter with new parents, but I’m not very optimistic.
      Bwahaha! I truly hold my right hand to the Bible and SWEAR that all Bambi stories are 100% true.
      Thanks for stopping by and reading!!

  19. Married with one child, no one has made that assumption. The one I usually get is that I am a stay at home mom because I am the one that’s always at the peditrican! lol

    • Yup, I hear you. Most doctor’s assume that my mom is Little TDJ’s mom not his grandmother. She’s youthful looking and takes him to 99% of his appt. Hubby and I go when we can or when it’s essential, but mom is an angel for being the constant.

  20. I would’ve been livid as well. I’ve had people ask if I had my daughters before I was married because I look “so young”. I was thinking, “Yeah, right, because I look so young…” I think it’s an assumption on their part and anyone that is that bent on assuming needs to get their facts straight. The nerve!

  21. People always assume I’m happily with my sperm donor,” he daddy must love her to pieces!” I just smile and nod. It doesn’t bother me in the least. I mean her “daddy” does love her to pieces.

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