Stop Being a Bitter Baby-Mama: A Guide to Successful Co-Parenting
According to the New York Post (nypost.com), 40 percent of babies are born to unwed mothers in the US, a trend that is on the steady rise. This untraditional family dynamic can be a very stressful situation and can get super messy! Trust me, I know because I have had my fair share of mess!
My goal is to give you some practical tips to ending the drama, but first, let me give you the brief backstory of my personal baby-mamma saga.
My oldest child, Kade was the result of a failed college relationship. My son’s father (Carlos) and I were young when we became parents and have experienced countless disagreements. When I became pregnant, our relationship soon withered away. Being a single mother was one of my biggest fears, and somehow I had found myself entangled in this horror movie with seemingly no way out. After giving birth to our son, the problems only grew. We had countless arguments that never seemed to stop. I had also lost my track scholarship and I resented Carlos so much because he was able to graduate from college and I was a drop-out. I didn’t think it was fair that I had to sacrifice so much to be a mom while watching Carlos sail through life with ease. I was so full of jealousy, resentment, bitterness and I actually HATED Carlos! But, even through my weakness, and selfish thinking, God blessed me to eventually meet the love of my life (Isaiah). We got married and started our own family. And well, the drama just continued. But, after years of trying to mend this toxic blended family, I have finally succeeded!
So now that you’ve gotten a better understanding of my past, let me give you some real life, practical advice to help you be a better mother and co-parent who will cultivate a relationship of peace and harmony which will in turn, benefit your child/children immensely.
No matter how much you dislike your child’s father, pray, pray, pray! In the midst of all the drama and pettiness, I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me saying, “just keep praying for him”. I was taken aback by that because it made no sense to pray for someone who I felt had done me so wrong. But, I listened, and never stopped praying for Carlos. Even while I was calling him and saying some not so nice words, I still prayed. I prayed because I loved the child that we created together, and it was in my sons best interest to do so. I prayed because God showed me that I also was no angel and the same grace that He has given to me needed to be given to Carlos. So you should pray for God to heal your relationship and any past hurt. Pray that God blesses the other parent and help them to be the person that God has called them to be. Pray that God brings peace and harmony to the relationship. Prayer is truly a weapon that can and should always be used, even while you are not making the best decisions. Just do it anyway! This is the best thing you can do while you are still in your, what I like to call, the “PettyBetty” stage.
2. Throw Your Emotions Out the Window
Once you’ve decided that PettyBetty needs to take the back seat, now you can put your big girl panties on and stop acting off of your emotions! If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably made decisions based solely on your feelings. Our emotions make us human, however, it is unacceptable to constantly act off of them. Doing so will more than likely result in doing some really dumb stuff all because you’re mad. Baby girl, be mad, be hurt, be upset, but don’t let that be the driving force when you’re making decisions. Some things can’t be undone. Don’t keep your child away from their dad. Don’t go on a rant on Facebook and bash your baby daddy to prove a point. Don’t throw a huge birthday party and not invite the father or his family because they didn’t buy your child a gift last year. Let’s adjust our own crowns and rise above the silliness. Lets act with intelligent, class and good taste.
3. The child Should Always Come First
This point goes hand in hand with number 2. If you are actually putting your child’s best interest at heart, you will unlikely make emotional decisions. Always always always keep in mind that every decision you make now can have a long term effect on the child. At a young age, my son realized my dislike for his father, and our disjointed relationship. It caused my son to manipulate the both of us. It also caused him to say things that would purposely make Carlos mad just to gain my approval (he’s a true mama's boy). When I noticed what he was doing, I was disgusted with myself! My child’s actions reflected my selfishness and childish actions. How could I call myself a good mom while exhibiting such toxic behavior? So please, let me restate point 2: Take your emotions out of the equation and do what benefits your child!!! Don’t be like me. It’s so not worth it! Your child/children seeing a cohesive and peaceful co-parenting relationship is always best. Doing what is in the child’s best interest is key to being a bomb baby-mama!
4. Baby Daddies are Humans too!
Why, when entering motherhood, do we seem to think of ourselves as perfect while leaving the baby-daddies no room to mess up? First of all, we are no angels ourselves! No one is perfect and we all have done and said things we are not proud of. I truly believe that we often give moms room to mess up, but will crucify the father the second he acts out of character or does something wrong. I am so guilty of this myself. I resented Carlos because I felt he wasn’t doing enough. I was not being understanding of the fact that he was a young dad trying to finish school, and live his life while doing what he thought was best for our son. Every chance I got, I scolded him for not doing enough. But, once I realized that he is human, just like me, I understood grace. I also understood that tearing a man down with your words was not godly. How could I expect God to give me grace if I couldn’t give Carlos grace? Who was I to judge what was right and what was wrong? I only knew how to be a mother, not a father. In fact, I was not even qualified to correct, judge or put Carlos down. We are all fallible humans that make mistakes. Once you understand that, you’re on the right path to being baby-mama of the year!
This is self explanatory. Forgive. Let go of the hurt. You have no power to follow any of the above advice if you don’t forgive. Unforgiveness is something you don’t want to harbor for too long because it will cloud your judgement, and it will cause us to do things that we aren’t proud of. Ask God to show you how to forgive and ask Him to remove bitterness and resentment from your heart. If you are a child of God, this is so necessary for your spiritual health. Please know, that whatever spiritual seeds we allow to take root in our hearts is what will grow. Unforgiveness can manifest, possibly resulting in a myriad of health problems. Whether it’s a baby daddy, a family member, an ex, or the lady that took your parking spot, please forgive. Your quality of life depends on it.
6. Pray Some More!!
My last point is redundant intentionally to emphasize the importance of prayer! Keep praying and God will deliver. If He did it for me, He can do it for you! I have personally seen God change things through prayer. God changed my heart and helped me to be a better mom and helped my relationship with Carlos. My husband (Isaiah) and I both made a point to pray for Carlos and for our co-parenting relationship. We may not see eye-to-eye on everything, but we all have a better understanding of one another and now the blended family that I had always envisioned is now a reality. Guess who is benefiting the most from this mended relationship. Kade! Kade is so happy to see his parents getting along and coming together just for him. Prayer works! So pray, pray, pray, and keep praying.
Raising a child in two separate households can be a challenge, but today, I want to encourage you to make a conscious decision to be an even better mom by doing everything in your power to rectify your co-parenting situation. The tips that I have shared in this blog post have contributed to us being #BlendedFamilyGoals. Being bitter and unforgiving will only make things worse. Let’s break the cycle of the coined phrase: “Baby-mama Drama”. Although it is a societal norm for drama to be present while co-parenting, rise above the stereotype. From one baby-mamma to another: You are an exceptional and extraordinary mother and woman of God. Therefore, let every decision, and every word that comes from your mouth reflect that! I love you sis! You got this!
IF YOU KNOW A “BABY-MAMMA” IN NEED OF GUIDANCE, PASS THIS ARTICLE ALONG TO HELP YOUR SISTER OUT!
ALSO, CHECKOUT THE VIDEO BELOW OF OUR BLENDED FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT! LOOK AND SEE HOW HAPPY KADE IS DURING OUR TIME TOGETHER! WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, GO AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL PLEASE!
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