How to Deal With Baby Mama Drama
So maybe your man has a child or two. That's not necessarily a problem. After all, it's the norm these days. He's a great provider and a responsible and caring parent. You even enjoy spending time with his kids. Your relationship continues to develop and you've discussed taking it to the next level. However, there's one huge problem—the baby's mama.
She's calling at all hours of the night as if she has some type of radar that tells her when you and your man are in the middle of...sleeping. She's making unreasonable demands on his time and money. Her demands are way beyond what you would even ask of him. Maybe she's making rude comments or threats toward you. Long story short, you're not willing to put up with it anymore. It's causing a rift between you and your sweetheart and you have the sneaking suspicion she's enjoying every minute of it. But how do you put a stop to it? What's the cure for this baby mama drama?
Before you get to the cure, you have to understand the cause. Here are the 4 main reasons the baby's mama serves up the drama to you and your man:
- Proper limitations, restrictions, and boundaries in regards to communication and interaction between the father and baby's mama have not been established.
- The child is used as a tool of punishment and intimidation when interaction between the parents is strained or displeasing.
- The baby's mama may have a vendetta against the father because she feels she was in some way wronged during their relationship. Although she may insist that she doesn't care about his current relationship with you or any other woman, she doesn't think he deserves to be happy in his current relationship.
- She may feel she bares an unfair share of the responsibilities for raising the child and may resent the sacrifices she's made as the custodial parent.
There Are Two Sides to Every Story
Check out this short video that highlights the dynamics of baby mama drama from the perspective of the baby mama. This young lady gives well-spoken tips and important warnings.
Simply put, your man holds the key to the cure, not you. You have to face this fact: he must have a working relationship with his baby's mama in order to co-parent their child. And honestly, do you want to have a relationship with a man who's not interested in parenting his own child? The good news is he can have a healthy and appropriate co-parenting relationship with her while simultaneously having a loving, strong relationship with you without all the drama. Grown and mature men and women do it all the time. However, he's going to have to man up and make some changes. Remember, he is the key to the cure. No amount of nagging, pouting, and threatening break ups you do will effectuate a lasting change. Keep reading to find out what he can do to stop the drama and how you can stand by his side in support and love.
Step 1 - Check Yourself
Understand and keep this in the forefront of your mind - it's not about you or your relationship with your man. It's actually about his baby's mama and his relationship with her. Be it good, bad, or indifferent, she has a past with him. Something you probably know very little about or, at best, what you know is one-sided. So go easy on rendering judgments about her or their relationship.
Step 2 - Check Him
Even though you may not be willing to put up with the drama anymore, he has to be fed up with it too. In fact, he has to be more fed up with the drama than you. He has to be willing to do what is right and what is necessary. If he's not ready to "rock the boat" a little, then it's best to leave it alone until he gets to that point. If he's capable of managing the drama within the current circumstances, then he may not possess the fortitude to stand behind the decisions he will need to make in order to change things. Your part in the implementation of this step is not to convince him to do it but rather to allow him the latitude to be truthful even if it's not what you want to hear.
Step 3 - Get It In Writing
If he's not done so already, he should go through the proper (legal) process to substantiate visitation rights to his child. In this situation, words speak louder than actions- if the words are written, properly executed, and mandated by a judge. The document should be specific agreement as to when visitation should occur and how visits will be carried out, including parent communication and transportation (delivery and pick-up). A special note here - although it's tempting to play the queen bee, you should not insist on being allowed to participate in delivery and/or pick-up of the child. Trust him to handle it. It's not about you. Instead, try waiting at home for him to return with the kids while preparing for a special event or meal for you to share as a family.
Step 4 - Learn The Lanes
Boundaries, limitations, and restrictions are important because they establish order. Just as clearly marked traffic lanes reduce auto crashes, order reduces baby mama drama. You also need a plan for response when boundaries are crossed. And with very few exceptions, you should always appropriately address (minus the eye rolling and attitude) or point out when boundaries are crossed . Especially in the beginning, it's important to be reminded of these boundaries and to stick to them. Let him establish the boundaries and ask him to share them with you. Do not make your own demands. Here are a few suggestions of areas to consider for restriction/boundaries:
- Phone/Text communication - except for emergency situations, there should be no communication between the established hours of day/night.
- Respect and Courtesy - refrain from bad-mouthing and name calling, especially in the presence of the child.
- Protocol regarding relationships of opposite gender - how long should you wait to introduce to child? Are there certain events they should not attend (ie- birthday parties, school events)?
Step 5 - Walk The Talk
Here's the hardest part. In the most cordial means possible, he needs to have "the talk" with the baby mama and relay the boundaries to her. Preferably, he should choose a time to talk to her when they are on good terms, not in the heat of drama. He should allow her to give feedback and to adjust or add to the boundaries, if needed. As his woman, you have a very important part in this talk - do not be present. He has to do this alone and you have to trust him. Period. If it doesn't turn out as planned, let him know it's okay to back out. I know that's hard, but at the end of the day, if he's not ready to "walk the talk" or stick to the boundaries he proposes, the drama will undoubtedly increase and you may be in a worse position than when you started.