You Said What About My Kids?!?!

    Today I took my sons to the park with my husband.  This was just like any other ordinary trip to the park with the family except for one specific incident…

    It was a beautiful day and the park was full of happy children and their parents.  I immediately found a bench to sit on which allowed me to supervise my boys from all angles of the park.  My husband and I sat down and proceeded to laugh and talk as the boys climbed on the Jungle Gym and made friends with the other kids.

    After awhile, my husband ran into another parent from my sons’ school who has coached intramural basketball with him in the past.  The two men stood and talked a good distance from me as they watched the kids organizing a game of baseball, my boys included.

    As they were talking, another man sat a few benches away from me with his son.  I only noticed them when they came in so I wasn’t paying much attention to the conversation he was having with his son.  Eventually, his son walked over to the kids playing baseball and joined the pitching team.

    That is when this man became possessed.  He began to scream directions to his son about how he should be playing and complained that they needed to change the rules of the game to allow outs even when the ball hits the floor since there were older and younger kids playing together.

    Honestly, I just listened to him because I don’t normally get involved when kids are playing unless something is wrong and I thought this megalomaniac father was absolutely ridiculous.  He even had the nerve to belt out directions to my son when he walked over to me to have a drink of water.  Since he spoke nicely to my son, I did not intervene because I want my children to be respectful of all adults as long as the adults are respectful of them.

    Finally, he said something that completely crossed the line as my son was walking away.  He said, “It would be nice if these kids had their daddies to teach them the rules of  street baseball.  Whether these women know it or not, these kids need their daddies.”

    Now, at this point, I became livid.  I turned to him and said, “Excuse me?  My children have their “Daddy” and he is standing right over there.”  He seemed shocked to see that, not only had I heard his comment but that my husband was physically in the park.  After a nervous chuckle, he responded with, “Oh yeah, maybe him and I can get together and teach these boys how to play properly.”

    It was obvious that he was nervous about what he had said and nervous that I would call my husband over to confront him.  I didn’t do that because I did not want to instigate an argument but I was extremely offended.

    First of all, how dare he assume that my children do not have their father in their life?  Secondly, who was he to judge the single mothers who were in the park as if they chose to keep their children from their fathers?  Lastly, why was he blaming mothers for the absentee fathers of some of the other children instead of making a comment about how fathers should be more involved in the lives of their children?

    The whole thing was just unsettling and speaks volumes about society’s perception of who the responsibility of raising children falls upon.  It also spoke to some of the stereotypes that exist about single parents.  He just assumed that since I was a Hispanic woman in the park with my sons that I was a single parent.  Additionally, he assumed that single mothers make the decision to keep fathers away from their children.

    Luckily, I am with my sons’ father and he is raising these boys with me.  However, I will always stand in solidarity with my single mothers who do the job of mothers and fathers.  Instead of judging them, people like this guy should be judging these dead beat fathers who so easily walk away from their responsibilities because I do agree with this guy on one point:  “Yes, children do need their fathers…”

© 2012, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Yokasta Schneider says

    The chutzpah of people!!! First of all, I agree that as parents we need to be involved our kids’ lives.  However, there are times when we need to step back and just watch and  let our kids make their own choices, unless they are getting hurt. In this case, it does not sound like this man’s children were in any danger. He should have let his kids learn whatever lesson (conflict solving) was at hand on their own, if any.

    Secondly, he was very bold in assuming that you were a single mom just because you had no MAN sitting next to you. People never know the situation of why someone is a single parent. The husband be deployed, out working to provide for his family, etc. Whatever the case, it’s no one’s business to judge why a woman is a single mom. 

    Going back to your previous post, this is definitely a time where speaking your mind paid off 🙂

    • Yokasta, I was shocked that he had the nerve to make such a personal assumption about me.  You are so right, having a big mouth certainly helped me in this situation because he definitely needed to be put in his place.

  2. Oh wow, how annoying! I would be so offended, too. So many wrong assumptions and stereotypes. You did the right thing to call him on it. Maybe he’ll think twice before making ignorant comments.

    • Maria, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one whom he would have offended with that ignorant comment.  I doubt that my speaking up will have much impact on his way of thinking but at least he’ll know not to mess with my kids when he sees me in the park.

  3. @MimiBakerMN says

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for standing up for single moms!! I teach my boys baseball rules as I know them, but I tell you what, I know more than my ex husband! I’m the one who takes them to all the sporting events, not him. If this guy had said that in front of me as a single mom, I’d have probably not as been as kind!

    • Anytime, Mimi!  I would never stand by and allow anyone to put down any mothers at all.  This is especially the case with single mothers who do the job of both mother and father and it is extremely hard.  It’s a good thing you didn’t encounter him on your travels.

  4. What a rude thing to say… And he’s probably taking all the fun out of street baseball by being so serious about it.

    • Hi, Camilleta.  I thought it was totally rude too!  You could tell that he was taking the fun out of the game for his son because his son kept grimacing every time he admonished him.  He was taking everything way too seriously.  I really felt badly for his kid.

  5. Melissa @ just one opinion says

    You handled this wonderfully… Some parents forget there just kids… He’s a tool

    • Thank you, Melissa!  He was a tool!  It was all I could do to stop myself from telling him off completely but I knew the kids were watching us and I wanted to set a good example.  Obviously, he didn’t care that he was acting like a complete jerk in front of his son.

  6. Hi, Julia.  It is so great to see you here!  I almost did lose my temper because I was so angry that he had the nerve to make that assumption about me.  Some people really have no business being parents.  I felt so sad for his son.

  7. you handled the situation with tact and restraint, but yet not letting it go. Wow! People often do speak volumes with one comment, you can tell areas of bias, biogotry etc. I think you gave him food for thought instead of just insulting him, which hopefully he will reflect upon and cause him to think about his automatic perceptions…

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