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10 More Rude Questions and Smart Replies

10 More Rude Questions and Smart Replies

When you're out in public with your kids and a stranger asks you a too-personal, or even offensive, question, how do you reply?

Hundreds of moms responded to our story on 10 Questions No Mom Likes to Hear, some sounding off that stupid questions deserve stupid answers, and others suggesting that questions from curious strangers are generally well-meaning and that moms should basically relax.

But what we were really amazed by in the comments is how many moms shared additional questions that seem even more inappropriate! If you've ever stood drop-jawed after hearing one of the following questions, you're not alone. And while a simple "why do you ask?" or "that's too personal for me" will always be a valid response, many moms have offered up alternate replies...


1. Is she mixed?

“When shopping with my daughter I've had strangers come up to me and ask ‘Is she mixed?’ [or] ‘What is she?’ I once responded, ‘She's half labrador and half husky.’” -Dina B.

2. What race are they?

 “My children are half Hispanic and the question I can't stand is, 'What race are they?' I took a cue from Tiger Woods and respond, 'They're in the human race...what race are you in?' It works every time! -Heather S.

3. What’s wrong with him?

“My son has a rare disability that is very visually obvious. I get so tired of people asking me ‘what's wrong with him?’ Umm... Nothing! He's my beautiful son! What’s wrong with you? And by the way, thanks for pointing out something that is obviously painful on its own.” -Lacey B.

4. How much did they cost?

"Both of my children are adopted, my son from Korea and my daughter from China. I think the worst question I've ever been asked in front of my children (and it's happened a few times!) is ‘How much did they cost?’ I always respond: 'They're priceless!' My husband and I DO meet with couples considering adoption and we will discuss this with them, but the children are in another room." -Joanne R.

5. Was it planned?

“The only question that bothered me was when I was pregnant and people would ask if it was planned. Um, how about I ask you personal questions about your sex life now?” -Toni C. 

6. Are you having twins?

“I think the most annoying question [I got] while I was pregnant…was always, 'Omg are you having twins?!' No, there was just one very large 9.5-pound child in there." -Jennifer C.

7. Are you still with the father?

“I was a teenage mom and the first and foremost question everyone asks me is ‘are you still with the father?’ What the crap! All the statistics that teen moms are whores is just so drilled into everyone’s head. And yes I'm married to him and no, it's not because we have a kid together.” -Amanda H.

8. Don't you wish you could have had children of your own?

“Both of my children are adopted and there is one question I get frequently that I HATE – ‘Don't you wish you could have had children of your own?’ I always reply, ‘They ARE my own children and this is the path God chose for us. We are thrilled to be parents and to be able to love and raise a family no matter how it was formed.’ I hope to educate ignorant people about the joys of parenting and the incredible experience of adoption!" -Katrina L.

9. Why is he crying?

“The worst for me when my bub was newborn was...’Why is he crying?’...if I knew the answer he would've stopped by now, so please leave me alone thanks!" -Sarah H.

10. Are you pregnant again? When are you due?

"The question that really makes my day: 'Are you pregnant again? Congratulations!' Answer: No, I'm just fat!" -Ivanka S.

Related: 10 Questions No Mom Likes to Hear

Image Source: Jellaluna via Flickr/Creative Commons

sjorchadaynes sjorchadaynes 5 years
I have 5 children and 3 foster children. I get the usual "which one are yours/ why do you have so many children/ don't you know what a TV is/ are you Catholic/ different fathers etc etc etc.... I used to get so offended and make sarcastic retorts, like if it's any of their business, but I changed my game plan. I actually answer their questions. I took this cue from my own childhood experiences and the wonderful way my dad dealt with it. My dad was part Mauritian and my mum was a blue eyed, fair skinned, blonde hair Dutchy. I took after mum, except I have dad's brown eyes. I remember, when mum was grocery shopping, dad took me to the park. Here we were holding hands when a lady ran up and pulled me away from him "Where you going with this child!" He went into a long, loving explanation of how his Mauritian mother met his swedish father and the hardships they endured in the 1920's just to be together. He would explain how he & mum would guess with each child, which genes would come out the most. He loved the little bits that he could see we inherited from our grandparents, aunts, uncles and great grandparents. At all times he was completely proud of who we were, he also liked to tell the story of our heritage. Of course the ruder their original remark, the longer & more endearing he took to tell & explain, going into great depth often holding the questionee hostage. Afterwards he would say "Nothing like an education to smarten people up and a lectured reminder that ignorance isn't something you can use to judge others by". Dad instilled a love of my heritage rather than being defensive about it.
MarjorieGuerra MarjorieGuerra 5 years
How about this, "Is that your granddaughter?"
Kayla29806 Kayla29806 5 years
I've always looked younger than I am and got pregnant with my first baby at 20.When I was pregnant, my husband and I worked at the same place and when one of the older security gaurd ladies came up to me one day and says " Oh my gosh, I heard you were pregnant; Do you know who the father is? without missing a beat. I practically lost it! I very politely, yet obviously irritated, responded with "Yes, it's my husband of three years, Jason, who works upstairs in the kitchen." I hope she went and congratulated him!
AlisonMcCloskey AlisonMcCloskey 5 years
love these. When I was pregnant, I had a women (complete stranger) come up and started rubbing my which I started touching her boob. I mean if they're gonna violate me, might as well let them know what it feels like. :)
LyndsayJohnson26555 LyndsayJohnson26555 5 years
I remember being 8 months pregnant, behind my desk at work, when a former co-worker came back into the office for a visit. He loudly asked, "Who's the father?" I replied, "My HUSBAND!" I also had a woman tell me, "At least you can get pregnant," right after I had a miscarriage. Not the best things to say...
JuneReister JuneReister 5 years
My DD was adopted and over the years I've heard a few rude things about it. The one that really annoys me is "How can you love a child that's not yours?" What kind of question is that? She IS ours. However I have taken it one step further and I start asking the questions. They're usually about the family pet. Oh, what kind of dog do you have? What did you name him/her? How long have you had them? Do you love this pet? Did you give birth to it? That shuts them up so fast.....
MarieHolley MarieHolley 5 years
The question I always used to get was if my kids have the same father, since they look so different. I'd just get a stupified look on my face and say, "Yeah." I mean, how are you supposed to react to that? But the thing that really bothered me was when my autistic son was younger and would do something annoying in a store. One lady actually yelled at him and a store attendant said more to herself "In my day we didn't allow children to behave like that." I'm always torn between letting them know he's autistic or telling them to go F themselves. Either way, butt out.
CandyStewart CandyStewart 5 years
great comments..... i have 3 adopted children and yes i could of had my own, but God sent us in a different direction.. Praise HIM!!! sometimes i wish i could say "and here's your sign" as they or we walk away.
khadijahyusof khadijahyusof 5 years
loved the answers to the adoption questions! i hv 2 adopted children & they look different from my biological ones (feel weird saying that coz they are all MY children,,,regardless) the one qustion that really bugs me is "why does that one look different?" what d'you mean by different? are his ears growing out of his nose? & what d'you mean by "that one"? does my son look like a car to you??
SaskiaSmith SaskiaSmith 6 years
I foster, adopt and have biological children. I think the worst ever question anyone could ask is "which ones are your's" well the answer is simple. They all are, children don't always grow in your stomach, sometimes they grow in the heart and both ways is pure miracle.
ZavieraEvans ZavieraEvans 6 years
Gosh. People can be so rude. I have four daughters very close in age. I'm constantly asked, "do they all have the same father?" I usually say, no, and if you find one for them, give him my number.
MystIca55446 MystIca55446 6 years
I was also a teen mom and my now 18 year old son is well over 6 feet tall, I am 5" I am 35 and still get guessed at 26. The other moms at his private school are well into their 50s and thought my parents were his for the longest time. I just love it when someone looks and him when he calls me mom and says what were you 10 when you had him? I go well you know my parents always gave me what I wanted and so of course at Christmas they gave me a baby, REALLY I also have 3 other children I get the how many dads are there question or wow you bought a house and graduated and was a manager all before 20 and with all that going against you. or are all of those yours! People are rude.
LaNetteStevens LaNetteStevens 6 years
I have always looked older than I am, but I am also an older mom. After losing multiple babies, we adopted. I get asked if I am my son's grandma. Usually, I just answer that I am him mom. When I am having a hard day emotionally, though, I am more sensitive to that question. When people find out we adopted, they get curious and ask all kinds of questions that sometimes can be very hurtful. Though, when our son was a baby, I would get asked a question that irritated me, that I laugh about now. He had very light, fuzz-like hair, and I would get asked, "when is he going to grow some hair?" He has hair! And how the heck would I know when his hair would be more visible!
SonyaKnipfel SonyaKnipfel 6 years
Here's a story of someone sticking their nose where it doesn't belong! My son is disabled. He has CP. He can sit without a wheelchair, in a seat in the vehicle, so occasionally my husband takes him out in my car for a ride (it's old and doesn't have passenger air bags, so he sits in the front seat). One day we needed dog food and my husband was out with my son in the car. Now he was 8 at the time, and was too big to carry into the pet store, and it was a lovely spring day. So he decided that it would be best to leave Matthew in the car, buckled in, doors locked and windows down, as he'd only be 3-4 minutes. He ran into the store and just as he was leaving the car, a van full of old ladies pulled into the parking spot next to the car and saw my son arching in the seat. He does that some times. No big deal. Lots of kids with CP do that kind of thing. Well they took it upon themselves to call the police because they thought we were neglecting our child and he was in distress. Now part of me thinks, "ok, you're looking out for neglected children", but the other part of me thinks "WTF do you think you're doing?". So in the 4 minutes (literally that long), they called the police and got a cruiser into the parking lot. As my husband was exiting the store, this lady had unlocked the car door and was opening it up to get my son out. I wished that I had been there because I would have reamed her out for unlocking my car and trying to get my son out, and I would have asked to press charges against her. It would have looked like she was trying to abduct my son, had it not been for the cruiser blocking the car into the spot. I don't know what the cop was thinking, letting her do what she did. So, my husband ended up dealing with the cops and then Family & Children's Services called and started a stupid investigation, which they had nothing to base it on, so they had to drop it. I just wished she had unbuckled my son and attempted to get him out of the seat. She would have had a rude awakening when he would fall out of the seat and onto the pavement and hurt himself. Not that I want him hurt, but I'd love for her to see how stupid she was. Anyway, the lesson here is, just because a child looks different and can't speak (oh yeah, did I mention he's non-verbal too?), does't mean they're in distress and need you to step in for them. Perhaps she would have been wiser to sit and monitor the situation for more than 4 minutes!!! And to top if all off, SHE SAW MY HUSBAND LEAVE THE VEHICLE AND GO INTO THE STORE!! She knew he hadn't been gone that long and it's not illegal to leave a kid in a locked vehicle, with the windows down, on a Spring day, especially when he's 8 years old! Anyway, that's my rant. And as for the stupid things people ask when I'm out with him - well I just chalk it up to uneducated and smile at them and walk away. Sometimes if it's a kid staring, I'll ask them if they have any questions, and try to educate them on why my son is in a wheelchair. The world is a better place when people are educated about these kinds of things, so they're not strange and weird. But when my son was first born, my first instinct was to punch someone in the face when they'd do stuff like that. Good thing I never did, but it used to get me very angry. After almost 13 years of dealing with stuff like that, you learn to roll with it. I've got bigger fish to fry!
DragonflyLouise DragonflyLouise 6 years
SO having had 6 kids as well as 2 step kids I have had LOADS of stupid questions.... and lots of really illinformed people make stupid comments.... I get the "when is the next baby due?"alot... I respond "I am not pregnant I have a chronic medical condition"(endo) that shuts them up good and fast ( yeah and I love walking around looking 7 months pregnant all the time thanks so much for making me self conscious) My favourite though was probably when my first was about 4 months.... I was 20 and struggling with oversupply... at a shopping centre one day an old guy came over and berated me "breast milk is best for babies didnt anyone tell you?" I happily shook the bottle I was feeding her from in his face and said "what do you think is in the bottle"?"he didnt know what to do or think or say or whatever as the droplets of milk ran dwn his face.... (okay it did irk me a bit I splashed him accidently but it certainly had an impact) I could go on for pages withstuff
BiddyWhite BiddyWhite 6 years
When you do not seek or need external approval, you are at your most powerful. Nobody can dis-empower you emotionally or psychologically. Most of those comments have been made by people who probably just wanted to be friendly but went about it in a clumsly manner because they knew no different. the less you react the happier you and your kids will be.
barbtalleos barbtalleos 6 years
Oh there are so much more rude questions out there for instance: Do your children have the same father? Are you the grandmother or mother? There are so much more out there and I just can't believe that people would ask such silly questions. Come on people please don't ask it's really none of your business.
stacey68087 stacey68087 6 years
I too had mine young but I was out of high school and also look way younger than I am. I didn't get too many comments with my oldest son just people looking sad when they saw us (my husband and I) when I was pregnant or when he was small. I do get lots of comments and advice from strangers about my youngest. He has autism which brings on some major tantrums in public. Ive had people ask me to leave the store, tell me I need to spank him, get a handle on that kid before he's a teenager and starts beating me up, ect. I had a lady say to us in the grocery store during a tantrum, "See! Its not like playing house, guys!" in a very smug way.
Ashley1654 Ashley1654 6 years
I am white (a bit of scottish, german, irish, french, and engllish) and my husband is middle eastern and I get asked all the time what mix my children are. Most of the time it does not bother me, I can generally read what the people are thinking when they ask. Sometimes, however, I can tell they are not thinking pleasant thoughts when asking, and that pisses me off...I answer them, but am very short with them and walk away. On the other hand, I sometimes find myself asking other parents what background their child is, only because I think that are beautiful and I am also the mother of 2 (soon to be 3) mixed children. I think these questions depend completely on the tone of voice and the intention...even the way they look at you.
ShannonDiamond ShannonDiamond 6 years
I just went back and read the first set of questions. I was asked #10 (don't you know what causes that?) by my mom's neighbor (now ours, too) when I came home pregnant with our second son and the first was about 10 months old. I still love my response. He said, "You do know how this happens, right?" I said, "Yes. (Pointing at my older child) This one happened in a doctor's office with lots of highly specialized equipment." He had no response for that. You see, it is not just moms with a lot of kids that get that question, but those who have their children close together. Our first was in vitro and we did not know we could get pregnant on our own. Obviously, that was God's plan, though.
SteveWilliams SteveWilliams 6 years
There are two problems with my response. 1. I'm late. 2. I'm not a Mom. But I will offer this- my ex and I had a childless marriage. While still in our 20s from time to time insensitive people would ask us when we planned to start a family. We thought our response a good one, and it was nearly always a good squelcher: "I can't imagine what reason you would have to ask a question like that".
GussieSchmitz GussieSchmitz 6 years
My daughter had torticollis as a baby I got the what's wrong with her question a lot! Thanks for pointing out something that wa already a source of stress as a new mom! Another thing that is hard for me is when people ask why my kids are so far apart in age. Well I spent two years having miscarriages, thanks for the reminder! And while going through that two years of pain people would ask when are you going to have another . Of course they didnt know that I was going through these problems but it was still very difficult.
ChristineAlig ChristineAlig 6 years
What I hate is when people ask where my son 2, got his blond curly hair and blue eyes. My husband has black hair brown eyes, and my 1st son came out looking like a clone of his dad. I also have black hair and blue eyes, but since the three of us look so much alike that people act like I had an affair... Um hello I can't help which genes he has!
DonnaEustice DonnaEustice 6 years
When my son was a toddler, he had extremely curly hair. We'd be out in public and people would assume that just because his hair was curly, he was a girl! Perfect strangers would come up, run their fingers through his hair and say, "Awww, isn't she CUTE! Where'd you get that curly hair?" So I taught my son how to answer them himself. Every time he got the question, "Where'd you get that curly hair?", this 2-year-old would look them right in the eye and say, "From the milkman!" *snicker*
Patti89029 Patti89029 6 years
I have 5 children, The question I get asked the most is "Don't you know how that happens?" I smile and say fuzzy handcuffs and walk away. Leaves them red and speechless, The second one is are they all from the same father? I have two blondes, and the rest are dark like my husband and I. I usually shrug and say the mail man was quite hot =) The questions bug me and the touching my stomach sent me over the edge.
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