Whether you have a donor child, an adoptive child or a naturally conceived child, all parents are able to tell funny stories about their children and we all certainly remember different situations where our kids have more or less embarrassed us as parents . But this is just because children are beautiful and so straightforward!
However, it’s no secret that we as donor parents sometimes find ourselves in situations that other families have never experienced. Luckily, most of these can be handled with a little bit of humour and the children also think it’s fun to hear how they have embarrased their parents.
In our family we are two mothers, which is why it has always been natural that the children do not have a father. He has never been in demand or lacking, but at some point they learned that most other children actually have a father.
This became especially clear when our eldest daugther was about to start kindergarten. While she was picked up by either mom or mom many of the other children were picked up by either mom or dad. This meant that she saw a lot of sweet adult men who were called “dads” by the other children and it was obviously the most natural thing in the world. So, like the smart girl she is, she took in this information and started calling approximately all the sweet adult men she met on her way “Dad.”
As you can imagine, this very sweet thought and fantastic logic that only children have could lead to some confusion for stangers, who had no idea who our daughter was or who we were, for that matter. We imagine that some of them may have revisited some nights out on the town in their minds, but of course we are not able to comment on that.
But if a sweet man queuing at the baker for example smiled at our daughter, this smile could very well be answered with “Hello Dad!” and a subsequent somewhat confused look from the unsuspecting man. And then we found ourselves in a more or less funny (and a bit awkward) situation, where we had to explain that our daugther doesn’t have a father as she is a donor child. That in itself may seem like a lot of information for a stranger to relate to. At the same time we, as mothers, also had a certain need to convince this stranger that our daughter didn’t miss a father – which was true – which may have made the situation much worse and resulted in the exact opposite effect in that awkward moment at the baker. The more we tried to explain and talk ourselves out of it, the worse and more embarrassing the situation got for everyone involved – except for our daughter, who just kept smiling and calling the sweet men “dad”.
We have been able to laugh at a lot of these situations since then and with time we were able to just shrug when it happened without having to explain our family constellation to everyone in the supermarket. As time passed by, our daughter grew out of it, just as children in that age have all sorts of other stages from which they grow, and we actually forgot that it had been a thing.
But when our youngest boy was around 2-3 years old, we were suddenly in the same situation as with our daughter back then. While our middle child didn’t have this period, our youngest repeated the same things that our elderst daugther had done, and suddenly we had to re-engage with strangers, who were somewhat surprised to be called the father of a child they never had seen before. But after the short surprise, we were always able to laugh at these situations – because children are just children.
And we are obviously not the only ones who have been in this situation. We have heard from other families with two mothers with children at about the same age, who suddenly greeted strangers with open arms, a big smile, and a nice warm “Hi Dad!”