Some of the craziest stories revolve around the desire for a man to understand why he can’t get along with the mother of his child or children. You hear tales of how “crazy” she is or that she is a gold digger because she is trying to get more child support or she is always asking you for money. The following are some things to consider if you want better relations with your “baby mama”. Reader intelligence is advised.
- Don’t call her your “Baby’s Mama” – The “term” Baby Mama is demeaning to her – especially if you and her are not in a relationship. If you haven’t learned this about women – they are about the title. “Baby Mama” as a title has a societal perception that is largely negative. It means she slept with you at least once and you’ll have a child as a result. If you were in a relationship at one point, the term “Baby Mama” doesn’t acknowledge that at all. “Baby Mama” can also imply that she is less of a mother to your child which may not be true – which leads to:
- If she is a good mother, acknowledge it – So many times we focus on the negative of the situation that we forget to recognize the positive. So what you don’t get along because you are not in a relationship. If she is a good mother and your child is a beneficiary of her parenting – let her know that you recognize it and appreciate it. If she is ice cold when she talks to you, take a second to acknowledge the sacrifice she makes regularly to make sure your child is taken care of. It might seem minor but she appreciates that you notice.
- Keep the child the central focus of your conversations/interaction – Compartmentalization is your key here. You are not in a relationship with her. Your job is to raise your child with her and be cordial doing it. You don’t need to know the ends and outs of her personal life (we’ll get more into that later) and she doesn’t need to know all of your business either. When you talk with her, it is about your child. When you see her, it is about picking up or dropping off your child. If you two decide to do something together with your child, it is about the child spending time with both parents – nothing more. If you feel yourself starting to drift into another zone – check yourself. The child is the bottom line.
- Don’t continue to sleep (or try to sleep) with her – We are human, animalistic by nature. As much as a male can have a simple physical encounter with a woman, she is generally not capable of that (unless she is just insatiable and will get it in with anyone). When you share a child with someone, this is heightened a hundred times over. The connection she shares with you doesn’t just end because the relationship is over. She has a daily reminder of it in your child. Sleeping with her (or trying to) may give her a false sense of hope that you and her may get back together. If you know that is not your intent, leave any chances for a sexual encounter (even if she initiates it) alone.
- Avoid “Arguing” with her – Raise your hand if you have ever won an “argument” with a woman. Very few hands are up. Why is that? Because we aren’t built to win an “argument” with a woman. Even if you are right – you can’t win because her emotion trumps your logic. This is not to say that you don’t state your case (if you have one) with her regarding your child together. This is to say that you have to pick your battles with her. You must remember as the child’s father that everything doesn’t need to be a battle with her. As the primary custodial parent, she is going to make decisions that you won’t always like. Let it go. Part of being a dad is the willingness to occasionally bite your tongue for the greater good that is your child. Remember – there is a vast difference in arguing with her and making your point quickly and moving on.
- She will date someone else at some point; get over it – The fact that she has a child or children does not stop her from having a life outside of them. She will meet guys. She will date guys. She will have sex with someone else. You can’t stop that from happening. You are only to be concerned with the guy she is serious about – the one she will have around your child or children. Your questions about him should not be overly intrusive nor should they give the appearance that you are prying because you are still interested in her or more expressly that you don’t want her with anyone else. Your objective is to get a feel for the guy and how he is with your child – especially if the child is not at an age where he or she can articulate that you. Cross the line beyond that in her view and it will not be good.
- Don’t expose “random” women to your child or the mother – Nothing will set your child’s mother off more than the perception of a “bunch” of random women around her child. What you do on your time is your business but once you expose your child to it – the mother will let you have it. The behavior of having multiple random females around your child screams irresponsible and she will respond accordingly. Additionally, if you are seeing someone new every time she sees you, at that point you’ve given her space to question what you are doing when you have your child.
- Choose with whom you have sex with wisely – It is simple. Before you have sex with someone, ask yourself, “Can I see myself dealing with this person for the next 18 to 22 years?” If the answer is no, get up, get dressed and bid them adieu. If she was “crazy” before she got pregnant with your child, it will not get better – only different. If you didn’t like her attitude before you slept with her and got her pregnant, her attitude will not change – especially if you are not committed to her. Sometimes, the best way to avoid the drama is to recognize its potential in advance.
- Be Consistent – A major complaint of single mothers is when the father of their child/children is beyond inconsistent. It drives them insane. If you are inconsistent, she will let you have it. She doesn’t like having to explain to your child/children why you didn’t follow through yet again. It infuriates her on end to see her child/children disappointed because you flaked once more. Things happen and come up that may occasionally prevent you from doing what you said you were going to do. This should be the exception – not the norm. She is a mother 24/7 – she doesn’t get the option of being inconsistent when it comes to her child/children. She feels the same way about you. Additionally, if you weren’t making an effort to be active in your child’s life until you found out the mother was seeing someone else – get ready for an argument. Consistency is a not conditional act – it is done in spite of what may be going on.
- Be a Father First – If you make your child/children the priority of your energy, you can avoid a lot of the drama that typically comes with having a child with someone with whom you are not in a relationship with. She wants to know that being a father is something you take serious and not as a task. This is especially important when you aren’t in the house every day and night with your child/children. Unfortunately, men don’t get to grade themselves as fathers. That comes from your child/children and their mother. If she believes that you are doing your best to be a father first, it will make your interaction with her more cordial and even friendly.
There is no rule or standard that says you cannot get along with the mother of your child simply because you aren’t in relationship with her. It does require two mature adults who make a conscious decision to keep the main thing the main thing. The fact is there is a lot more we can do as men/fathers to decrease the potential for drama with the woman with whom we have a child/ children. Sadly, if you don’t work on having a better relationship with each other the person/people who suffers the most is the child/children. Marinate on it…