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I admit I enjoy the soap opera that is Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. This series is far from a “reality” program; however there are scenes in the show that provoke thought when it comes to issues that plague men and women every day. This past Monday’s episode left me scratching my head yet again, this time wondering: Why do “baby mamas” have this false sense of entitlement?

Let me fill you in on the background. A local ATL radio personality, Traci Steele, has a son with Chris Brown’s DJ, DJ Babey Drew.  Apparently he travels a lot working, leaving little time for him to spend with his son. In order to stay local, he decides to open a sneaker store and convinces Traci to invest $25,000 into “their” business. Traci insists that she’s giving him the money for their “family” but makes it a point to say that she doesn’t want any “groupie h*es” to “benefit” from her money – whatever that means.

She decides to pop by Drew’s house unannounced in order to give him the check he’s been asking for. Well, to her surprise (not that the producer’s had anything to do with it), she finds him there with a “random” girl and goes ballistic. Even though Drew reminds Traci that they are no longer together, it seems she thought her “investment” would keep them together as a family. She goes off on him, and the poor girl who was sitting there, and storms out. As Drew follows behind her trying to understand why she’s ripping up the check, she tearfully proclaims that she never wanted to be a “baby mama,” and that he made that choice for her.

And that is where I begin scratching my head. Huh?

Let me first say this post is not to bash single mothers. I prefer to use that term rather than “baby mama,” but since Traci referred to herself as such, I’ll just go with it. There are plenty of women who never chose to be single mothers, but are holding it down nonetheless and they deserve to be respected if they’re doing it all alone.

But to say that someone made you a “baby mama” is a bit dramatic. If you are dating a man and not married to him and decide to engage in unprotected sex, there is a chance you could become pregnant. It is a woman’s choice to engage in that behavior and to deal with the consequences. Drew didn’t make her a baby mama, she chose to be one. I’m not saying that women should get abortions or give up their children for adoption so that they can’t be labeled as a “baby mama,” and I’m also not suggesting that people run out and get married in order to legitimize their children. All I’m saying is everyone has a choice when it comes to having sex and having babies. No one forces anyone to do anything.

Now Traci,  that poor girl has unresolved issues. And unfortunately she isn’t the only one.

There are many women who feel that giving birth to a man’s child entitles them to the man himself. While I understand that many of them felt that they would get married, or at the very least stay together, a woman needs to understand that her status as “mother” is very different from her status as “significant other.” Once the romantic relationship ends, a woman can’t expect her child’s father to show her the same love, affection, or consideration that he would show a new love interest. The feelings simply aren’t there anymore, and if a woman still feels that he should put her first, rather than the child, then she is delusional.

There are a lot of baby mamas out there who feel that she and the child are a package deal. She may determine that if he doesn’t want her, then he can’t see or be with the child either. It’s sad, but true. She doesn’t just want him to be a father to their child. She also wants him to be her lover, her husband, her bank…her everything, even when he isn’t obligated to be anything other than a father and provider to his child(ren). The child’s mother feels this man owes her his life, when in fact all she is entitled to is his respect, his financial support for the child if she is the custodial parent, and his commitment to co-parent.

Traci’s problem, like so many other women in her situation, is she hasn’t let go and moved on. She probably felt that baby Drew was her insurance policy to keep Big Drew around. But the fact of the matter is if he doesn’t want you, no baby is going to change that. His responsibility is to his son, not to make Traci an honest woman. He doesn’t belong to her, and he can’t be bought with $25K. Traci thought she could buy a false sense of security, therefore making him feel like he “owes” her his loyalty or that he “belongs” to her somehow. Poor girl was sadly mistaken.

Ladies, if you feel that having a man’s baby should automatically make you a priority in his life, think again. His child should be his priority, and he has the right to move on once you are broken up. Relationships can end, and breaking up is hard to do. Letting go can be even more difficult. But once it’s over, you can’t expect him to be the partner you wanted him to be as far as a romantic involvement is concerned. You won’t get the same treatment you did before the relationship ended, and you shouldn’t expect it or “guilt” him into loving you the way he once did – if he ever did. It’s a hard pill to swallow I’m sure, but it’s time to grow up, move on and let go. He should be civil and respectful to you, and be willing to work with you to be a good parent – nothing more, nothing less. He can’t live his life tip toeing around you hoping that you won’t get hurt or angry. Put your big girl panties on, gain some closure and get over him. It’s a simple choice and not one that someone has to make for you.

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