I grew up in a very mixed/blended family. I have 5 step brothers and 2 half sisters, and none of us share the same parents (maybe 1 but not both). It was early in my life, so it was always the norm. I didn’t necessarily think everyone’s family was like this. I knew at an early age that every family was different. Some classmates had siblings all from the same parents, and some didn’t. Just depended on the household. Regardless, I loved how I grew up. For the most part, all parents got along fairly well (spare a couple of altercations early on). But I never considered any of the parents involved “baby mamas” or “baby daddies”. They were “my sister’s mom” or “my brother’s dad”.
Now what’s the difference? In my mind, the definition of a baby mama or baby daddy is a person who you had a child with and are no longer in a relationship, and have a strained coparenting relationship. Those who have children and are still in a relationship with the other parent, just not married, I think they deserve the title of the child’s mother/father. Again, this is my personal opinion.
For some reason, whenever I log on to Facebook, I see another one of my peers has a child. Mind you, again, I’m 21 so my peers range in age from around 20-24, people I’ve gone to school with or met while in school one way or another. While I’d run out of fingers trying to count how many of them have a kid, I can only count on 1 hand how many of them are married. I can still count on 1 hand (maybe 2, but certainly not using all fingers) how many are still together with the other parent of their child. And from the bashing I see on a lot of statuses, I seem to know a lot of baby mamas and baby daddies.
For example, a boy I dated in high school (I think we established that these people can’t really be exes because the “relationships” were never that serious) had a daughter 4 years ago. I keep in touch with his mom, well she keeps in touch with me, and I always wondered why she continued to always ask how’s life with me. Well, she posted a picture saying he welcomed a new addition to the family. Of course, I said congratulations. My nosiness (and Facebook’s openness) got the best of me, and I went to the mother of his first child’s Facebook page. She congratulated him on the baby, which I thought was nice. Another girl commented and had some smart things to say, saying he wasn’t a good dad and that the new baby was born on the same day as her daughter. That’s when I learned that girl was the mother ofanother daughterof his. He is 22 years old and has 3 daughters by 3 different women.
Now this is what I call baby mama/daddy drama. Good grief, you should’ve seen the statuses. Putting everyone’s business out there about how he pays child support for the first two girls and the newborn will be no different, how he’s not in the second child’s life, and how he’s a deadbeat. It was messy. It was like watching reality television, only the 6 degrees of separation was only about 2 degrees in. I was in shock. And part of me was really disgusted.
I see this a lot on Facebook. Baby mamas and baby daddies bashing the other parent for what they’re doing or not doing. Moms keeping dads away from kids. Dads simply not being interested in being in a kid’s life. Bitter custody disputes and money issues splattered all on Facebook for the whole world to see (do they not know how to operate privacy settings?) I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve seen something like this but it’s not.
I tell this story really for two reasons. I’m really disheartened to see so many of my peers having children with no clear plan. I don’t want to be a baby mama. I don’t find that to be a desirable title at all. And to see these people complain about the other parent, all I keep thinking is: you slept with them. It truly takes 2 to make a baby, and in a moment of passion, you decided that birth control was not important enough, and now a child is in the world that didn’t ask to be here has to suffer because the parents can’t get along. People need to watch what they say about the child’s other parent andespecially when you put it on the Internet. Or did we forget that just because you hit “delete” doesn’t mean it’s gone forever.
The second reason is because I really want to see more kids get to grow up with their parents. Again, I don’t regret my family structure at all. I loved having 4 parents growing up, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I also don’t believe in staying with someone strictly for the child’s sake. I know a few people who are doing this or tried doing this, but it ends up hurting the child in the end, because they can feel/sense/see the tension and animosity, and it ruins their chance to get to experience a positive family dynamic. And they shouldn’t be robbed of that.
Okay I’m off my soapbox now. Let me know what you think. What’s the difference between baby mamas/daddies, coparents, and anything in between? Do you have any experiences in this area?