I consider myself to be one of the BEST “baby mamas” a man could dream of having. I don’t care for the term “baby mama” and as I’ve detailed in a previous blog, it is more often used in a derogatory manner than not. However, I also understand that few terms encapsulate the whole dynamic that typically exists between men and women who were never married, had children together, and are currently no longer in a romantic relationship like “baby mama”.
As I was saying…
I consider myself to be the cream of the crop. There are so many things that I could say negatively about the father of my children and every single statement would be true. He has disappointed way more than he has exceeded expectations. Last weekend, we discussed him spending time alone with our son Matthew. The older he gets, the more I realize the necessity of a male authority in his life. He is surrounded by women and his sister daily. I believe that there must be balance. So he agreed that it was time that he started spending more time with Matthew alone and stated that he’d come and get Matthew soon. Well, last weekend was a bust. He never showed up.
Today was almost a repeat of last weekend but I was determined not to let my temper get the best of me. I started calling him around 9 this morning. He didn’t call back until 2 p.m. He didn’t arrive to pick Matthew up til after 7 p.m. I was pissed to the highest degree but I was DETERMINED to keep my feelings to myself and let him be a man for a change and take care of his son. Too bad I can’t slap taste out of his mouth and punch him dead in his eye for taking his sweet time to come and get his son. Too bad I couldn’t curse him out and call him everything but a child of God for once again thinking about himself over his children.
But hey, that’s what makes me the bigger person, right?
Let me just be the first to admit that being the bigger person often falls on the shoulders of the mom and it just plain SUCKS to have to be the one to bite your tongue, swallow your pride, and let someone’s behavior go unchecked.
But what good would a good ol fashioned cuss out do? I’ll tell you what it would do. First of all, it would create even more animosity and tension between this man and me than already exists and in the end, the children would ultimately suffer. The bible says, “A soft answer turns away wrath” and I know it’s true. I don’t have to be his mom. I have two children already. As childish as he insists on behaving, I refuse to fall into the trap of treating a grown man like a boy.
I refuse to engage the boy in him.
So I swallowed my pride and my anger today and kissed my baby boy on his forehead and placed his booster seat in the back of his father’s car. I didn’t say a word in front of Matthew about how angry I was and I didn’t even bother to have words for his father then and there. I’ll have my moment. But as I looked in the backseat, all I saw was a little boy who was delighted beyond belief to get a chance to spend time with his dad, all by himself. You couldn’t have given him a bigger gift. He was so proud of his daddy and happy to be in his company. He didn’t care that it took him virtually ALL DERN DAY to get there. All his five year old heart knew was that his daddy DID come and even if he had to stay up til 12 midnight, he’d do it, just for the chance to be with his daddy.
That’s all he cared about.
King Solomon had a decision to make once. There were two women that stood before him with two children between them. The only problem was that one baby was dead and the other was living and no one could figure out which of the two women was the true mother of the living baby. King Solomon, in his God given wisdom, knew the heart of mothers. True mothers, not the kind we see nowadays, but the REAL ones…
Justice isn’t their first priority.
You see, it would have been just to divide the living baby and split the child between the two women. However, TRUE MOMS don’t care about justice.
They care about their children.
So yea, it would have been fair and just for me to not answer the phone when it rang at 6:30 p.m. and tucked my son in his bed, as I’ve done countless nights, and made up some story about his daddy coming to see him later. But instead, I answered that phone and told him to come on and get his boy.
And he came.
And whatever anger I felt, I let it go.
I let it go because in my son’s heart, it was never an issue.
Daddy did come to get him.
And isn’t that what we want to know about those who claim to love us?
There’s a huge difference between someone being late as opposed to being absent.
When you consider that, pick your battles accordingly.
Matt Man is with his daddy tonight, no doubt asking him 1000 questions over and over and excitedly watching a movie with him.
Caitlyn is with me and has been consoled with the promise of getting to sleep in mommy’s bed tonight since her beloved big brother isn’t here to chatter her to sleep.
And it’s another day in the life of this mama. This is what I do. This is how I live.
But there’s grace for every place.
I wouldn’t be able to do this without God. I wouldn’t be able to get over things that bother me so quickly if His peace didn’t rest, rule and abide in my heart. I would be one bitter, angry black woman.
But this isn’t the diary of an angry woman.
No, not at all.
This is a diary of a mama.
For those of you reading who have had to be the bigger person and wanted to slap yourself for doing so, I just have one thing to say. God sees EVERYTHING you do. Every time you take a stand for what’s right, even if it hurts, God makes note of it and will not forget it. There may be instant gratification in getting the last word, being ugly and showing out, but there’s no lasting reward. Had I chosen to do all of those things today, that would have been one memory of my son together with his father that he didn’t have. No, it’s not fair that so much of my children’s involvement with their father rests on my shoulders and is determined by whether or not I feel like being bothered with his nonsensicalness.
But it is what it is. Be careful who you decide to make children with. There’s a lot more to raising children than diapers, milk and cute outfits. There’s so much more to co-parenting than taking pictures at Portrait Innovations and birthday parties. And take it from someone who knows, raising children is so much easier when you have a partner who is like minded, mature and loving. Looks fade. Cars break down. Money gets spent.
But character and integrity matter when it comes time to raise some kids.
You feel me?
I knew you would.