What is the one thing that makes grown men tremble? A good dose of baby mama drama, or as we Trinis like to call it, ‘chile mudder’ bacchanal.
Once upon a time, in a PTSC line, I overheard (okay macoed) a girl asking her boyfriend about calls he was ignoring. Brotherman steupsed, and said, “Nobody just meh chile mudder”. She laughed, I cringed, and the woman behind us let go one violent hiss. For a second I thought she was his ‘chile mudder’!
Regardless of how you describe it, drama with your ex, who also happens to be the mother of your child, is the bane of a man’s existence. It negatively interferes with your life, and can do so in several ways – from upsetting your good mood for the day to threatening new, romantic relationships for both parties.
We might question why women put themselves and their ‘chile fadder’ through this, but, for some, it’s the only way that they feel some sort of sense of control in the situation (not that I’m condoning it).
It’s ugly for all parties concerned, even the innocent bystanders. Take Mutt* and Jay*, for example. Mutt is a 32-year-old father who, despite the fact that he broke up with the mother of his child three years ago, still can’t bring home any girlfriends. You see, Jay is the mother of his son and she does not want “any and everybody” near her child.
What happens if Mutt breaks this cardinal rule? Well Papa is hell to pay. She rants, raves and misbehaves. She goes in front of his house, screaming and cursing. She keys his car, calls his boss, and intimidates his mother. She gives the neighbourhood high quality entertainment.
Once, he was with a date in Subway (huh?), and Jay stormed in and started to berate him for “buying other people food when his flesh and blood starving home”. It was an outrageous lie, but the date fled pronto. In Subway, people were laughing so hard (and that included everyone – the guard, servers, cashier, and customers) that tears sprung to Mutt’s eyes. Jay then flounced out leaving him with two, uneaten, six-inch sandwiches, and total emasculation. His date never returned his calls or texts.
Mutt says that Jay even cyber stalks him and heaven better help him the day he decides to delete her from his contacts. Jay tags him in all her Facebook albums, even in photos without their son. He likens it to a dog peeing all over the neighbour’s yard. It’s not her yard, but other ‘bitches’ better stay away. Translation? She might not be with you, but she still wants others to see her presence. She calls him all hours in the day or night, and when he doesn’t answer, she insists that his son was ill or crying for him.
It seems as if Mutt can’t win, but he insists he loves his son dearly and he will endure anything, or anyone, to stay in his life. He says he hopes and prays for the day that Jay will find some other man to inflict her ‘pain’ upon, but yet he isn’t sure he is ready for another man in his son’s life.
Naturally, Jay has a completely different story. She insists that Mutt was the cause of all her problems, and that her actions were necessary to make sure that he didn’t turn out to be a deadbeat dad like her father. The drama would not escalate if he did certain things like answer his phone, pay his maintenance on time, and play a more active role in childcare. Jay grudgingly admits that Mutt is a good dad at some points, but she resents the fact that unlike her, he isn’t available 24 hours a day, so she lashes out.
She is the one on constant duty, while he gets to play weekend dad. When asked if she still wanted to be with Mutt, she laughed wickedly. Jay vehemently insisted that if Mutt was the last man on earth, she would wine on a stick. All she wants is an equal partner so that she isn’t a single parent. She doesn’t want him… period.
In these scenarios, one has to wonder about how children are affected. Children are the unfortunate casualties of these bitter battles, and while some parents put aside their animosity for the good of the child, others simply don’t care and use their children as missiles, hurling with savage precision. The fathers refuse to see their children because of the mother’s ‘nasty ass attitude’, and the mothers harass and harangue fathers, causing even the most calm to react viciously.
Baby mama drama. The public scenes, and the private embarrassments. They’re infuriating.
Then there is the sex factor; some men still sleep with their baby mommas, which leads to complications. For women, sex may start off physical, but it becomes emotional (especially if it’s good). Now, coupled with the fact that you share a child, is it any wonder that situations become explosive?
Despite the horror stories, there are quite a number of couples out there who are doing right by the child, and, by extension, themselves. They interact civilly, so that their child is well adjusted, and feels loved. Issues are discussed via telephone or away from the child, so that he or she never has to witness Mommy and Daddy in a huge fight, and both parties are respectful about attending family or school events, with their new partner in tow. Why? See, mature adults put aside personal grievances for the wellbeing of the child. They know it’s not all about them. The thing is, being a parent doesn’t necessarily make you a mature adult, does it?