I’m not oblivious to the fact that referring to myself as a “baby mama” may not bode well with some. For those who are acquainted with American culture, it is a title that carries a variety of meanings but for the sake of discussion, I’ll give you my best working definition. The term “baby mama” refers to an unmarried woman who is the mother of a child or children. Typically, the father of the child or children refers to her as “my baby mama” and others refer to her as “John’s baby mama”. She is not a wife. This title is meant to establish a clear line between a wife, a girlfriend, and a baby mama. Is it possible to be a girlfriend and a baby mama? Yes. However, typically, a man will not refer to the woman he is in a committed relationship with as his “baby mama” only. This term defines status. It is intended by men to let the mother of their children as well as society know that his involvement with this woman is based solely on the fact that she is the mother of his children.
Now do the boundary lines get crossed? Absolutely. Many men take advantage of the parental obligation to maintain a physical relationship with the mother(s) of his children. But be clear on something ladies: if he calls you his “baby mama”. that’s who you are. What a man calls you is who you are to him.
I beg to differ with individuals who do not see the need to establish titles in their relationships with the opposite sex. With titles come roles, and with roles come responsibilities. If I am your “baby mama”, then I am clearly a lesser status than wife. I do not enjoy the same benefits, honor or privilege as either a wife or a girlfriend.
And let’s go ahead and get this out in the open: the goal is to be a man’s wife. Most women, whether they will be honest about it or not, want to be a man’s wife. In our current society, most women have conceded that the men they deal with will never crown them with the title of “wife” so instead, they barter for wife-like roles and titles: “my old lady”, “my boo:”, “my lady”, All of these sound good and have pacified many a woman (myself included) but a pacifier doesn’t nourish; it only distracts. When the hunger pains return, the pacifier is no longer sufficient.
“So Melissa, I hear all you’re saying. So do you think it’s a bad thing for a woman to be called a “baby mama” and to allow a man to call her a “baby mama”?
You may not like or agree with my answer, but hopefully, you will understand it. I think it is a bad thing for a woman to be called a “baby mama” both by the father(s) of her children or society. And on the flip side, I believe that she should be called a baby mama by her father’s children and society.
I fought the label tooth and nail initially. I was 27 years old when I became pregnant with my son Matthew and 28 when I gave birth to him. I was not about to settle for the derogatory title of “baby mama”. I was educated. I was employed. I was responsible. I was capable of supporting a child alone. And with all that “good sense” I chose to have a child with a man who could not and would not highly esteem me.
I’m not saying that I or anyone else should beat themselves up about their mistakes or shortcomings. However, there’s no need in sugarcoating the truth either. Having a man’s child or children does not necessarily endear you to him. Just ask Leah. Male child after male child she bore for Jacob, hoping with each child to find favor in his sight and to finally be the recipient of his love.
But Rachel was his wife.
Leah was his “baby mama”.
I think every woman who is not married to the man or men she had children with (and never was married) should wear the title like a heavy burden. Wear it until it disgusts you. Wear it until you see the dishonor a man brings to you when he refuses to honor you with his last name. Wear it, not as a badge of honor, but as a reminder of just how wrong it is for a man to have a girlfriend and a “baby mama” simultaneously. Wear it, not as a badge of honor, but as a slap of reality that hits your face every time you hear someone utter the words, “Oh, there goes John’s baby mama”.
I’ve accepted the fact that to my children’s father, I am just a baby mama. At first I resisted this reality but accepting it was just as liberating as it was painful. The competition stopped. I stopped trying to buy his affection, approval and love with my body. I stopped trying to get a “promotion” to a job that wasn’t even hiring.
I accepted the fact that to this man, that’s all I am.
\Let me set the record straight. I do not refer to myself as a “baby mama”. I am a mom, mama, mommy, and whatever delightful title my children bestow upon me. But it is my desire to live with the sobering understanding that allowing a man to dishonor me is not something to write an anthem over. God bless Fantasia Barrino and I understand completely her intention with her hit song “Baby Mama”. There are many women who are heading up households alone; they must be handyman and nurse, security guard and teacher. Oh course women who faithfully attend to the needs of their children and homes are worthy of honor and respect. But women who settle for “baby mama status” need a wake up call.
Graduate to Mother.
I am a baby mama to one man, but to God, I am the mother of two nations. My children are a heritage given to me by God and despite the circumstances that brought them here, their lives, because their mother has chosen to allow God to be the head of her life, are full of blessing and promise.
It is my intention to stop :baby mamas that may read my blog in passing. I mean no offense to seasoned, godly mothers by using such a colloquial term to refer to unmarried mothers. However, once the attention is grabbed, the message is declared.
Prayer Point: Father, in the Name of Your Son Jesus, I ask that you would cause me to take a critical look at my life and actions. May I see the areas where I have allowed my honor to be compromised. May I no longer be content with chasing a promotion to a status that someone has not intention of delivering to me. Open my eyes to my own unique worth in your Kingdom. Show me that as a mother, I am now aligned with a cloud of witnesses who understand my struggles, not the least of which was your own earthly mother, who endured the speculation regarding the legitimacy of your birth. Cause me to cast off my badge and put on a crown. These things I ask in your Holy Name. Amen.
Inspirational Song of the Moment
This song has transported me to places of peaceful worship many a day. Maybe you’re having a day or have had a week where you’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless and a bit defeated. Allow this simple worship song to remind you that there’s a place in God where you can run and find peace and rest.