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How to Help the Baby Mama Maintain Her Worth

Updated on May 28, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Christian Counselor is passionate about empowering women and exploring social issues which concern them.

Before you take offense at the usage of a grammatically incorrect term, know that “baby mama” can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). In 1966, "baby mother" first appeared in the Jamaican newspaper. Hip-hop lyrics used “baby mother,” “baby mama” and “baby daddy” extensively during the late 1990s, and by the year 2000 everyone had heard or read these terms.

(For more details on the origin of these terms, see Where Do "Baby Daddies" Come From? by Julia Turner.)

Photo Credit:  epSos.de.
Photo Credit: epSos.de. | Source

According to the OED the baby mama is "the mother of a man's child, who is not his wife or (in most cases) his current or exclusive partner."

The baby mama broke the rules: either by having a baby for a man with whom there was no real relationship, or by forfeiting the relationship after she had the child. Still, she can succeed at restoring and maintaining her self-worth, and being a responsible woman and mother. She cannot do it alone and will need a little help from:

  • The baby daddy
  • The baby daddy’s wife
  • Male friends
  • Other women
  • Herself

The baby daddy

Photo Credit:  Lies Thru A Lens.
Photo Credit: Lies Thru A Lens. | Source

The baby daddy profile varies. Consistent though, is the fact that there is no marriage, no hope of marriage, no friendly interaction with the child's mother. He may fit one or more of the following descriptions, which are by no means all inclusive:

  • Selfishly sowing his wild oats without any sense of fatherhood responsibility;
  • Insecure in his marriage and desires to prove that he is still wanted;
  • Claiming the capacity to love more than one woman;
  • Habitual one-night stander, for the thrill of adding to his list of conquests.

Whatever the situation by which a man becomes a father, the child’s interest belongs on his list of priorities. His irresponsible behavior must give way to his new priority of contributing to a happy, healthy life for the child. Pretending that the child and mother do not exist; refusing financial support; saying degrading things about the mother—none of these things promotes his stature as a man.

Respect for the child's mother translates into respect for himself and initiates the portrait of a man that his child could respect. Meanwhile, the woman would be wise to see herself not only as his baby mama, but as a woman capable of moving forward.

The baby daddy's wife

Whether the man fathered the child before or during his marriage, his wife has to deal with the fact that the child is a part of her husband’s world. Her winning asset would be consideration.

Here is an example of a smart wife. The woman’s husband had a fling with a woman who became pregnant. The man stopped seeing her immediately, but of course, the wife found out. The wife wanted her marriage anyway, so she took control and called the other woman to find out what she needed for the baby. She avoided disruption to the marriage.

Here is an example of an unwise woman: Years after the baby was born, the man (now married to someone else) and the baby mama hated each other; but when their child took ill, she called to inform him. His wife insisted on being at the child's bedside with him even if it meant that the child’s mother had to leave the room. That seemed foolish.

The child’s mother has the right to make reasonable requests and the wife must know when to show consideration.

Male friends

Even when a woman is rejected by a man, she still has the right to be respected by other men. Having a baby does not make her a marked-down item. A man who is interested focuses on her beauty instead of her scars, and recognizes her value.

If the fact that she has a baby prevents him from seeing her potential, he should walk on. Leave her for the man who wants the task of helping her rebuild and restore her self-worth. There are many stories of men who made a positive difference in the lives of women who had children previous to their relationship.

Other women

Photo Credit:  Arian Zwegers.
Photo Credit: Arian Zwegers. | Source

None of the little girls in the picture above was born with the desire to become a baby mama. If she makes that decision, it is because she is misguided. If she is seduced, it is because she is naïve. If she thinks that is the right thing to do, it is because she does not realize what is best for her.

The first women available to empower her are her mother and other immediate family members. Their training is never complete. Without trampling on her individuality, they can keep on influencing her with affirmations of her strengths and teaching life lessons from their own experiences.

Female bonding is empowering, and the baby mama needs to be included in the circle. She needs friends to assist her; advise her; affirm her, applaud her and make her accountable. No force is greater for the redemption of one woman, than a supportive circle of other women.

Herself

The familial and moral structure of the home is important in the child's development. There are several factors the baby mama has to think about with regard to her role of motherhood:

  • Does the life she chooses accommodates her fullest potential as a woman, and as a mother?
  • Does she have her child’s interest is in the right spot on her list of priorities?
  • What her children will learn from her interaction with other men?
  • Will she teach her child respect for the father and for her as the mother?

Finally, honest communication between mother and child is important at every age. Children know when the mother is putting forth her best effort; and she can influence them positively regardless of the past. She can create a loving, trusting family if she is intentional.

Would you refer to a single mother as a "baby mama" if the definition fits her?

See results

© 2014 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ziyena, you raise a good point. The mother will have to be on the front line among those who will instill self-worth in the child. However, it is also possible that the father, though not friendly with the mother, can help. Thank you very much for commenting.

    • ziyena profile image

      ECLECTIC PLETHORA 

      4 years ago from LOST IN TIME

      I was watching the news the other day and there was a panel discussion on the use of the phrase "Baby Mama" ... I agree with some, the term is entirely offensive to me. So what happens when the child grows up and he understands that he is a product of a "Baby Mama"? This is not good. Thanks Dora for your eagle-eye insight. Voting interesting and UP

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, your summary is right on. It is the child who must become our priority. Thank you for your participation.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      You are schooling us in so much, Dora! Interesting hub; the world is changing so much. Ultimately everyone involved needs to support the child emotionally, financially, educationally, etc.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jodah, I admire you for upholding the principles of true manhood. I also admire your wife for demonstrating that she cannot bought or sold. I feel your love for him in your poem. Blessings on your family!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lifegate, thank you for your encouragement. I appreciate you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful hub MsDora. I had never heard any of those terms before, and am not offended by them, but don't know if I'd ever use them. My wife was a single mother at 17 years of age, and the father wanted nothing to do with her or the baby. She was actually approached by 'the father's' father to accept money and keep it quiet that his son was the father. She declined and cared for the baby on her own, until I met her and accepted the baby as my own. That baby was Daniel, who I wrote the poem 'Danny Boy' about in my hub 'A Poem For Little Boys.' Voted up.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi MsDora,

      Interesting read! And you made some very good points on protecting damaged relationships.Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed it, as well as being educated.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, LoveDoctor. According to the definition, if the two people are in a relationship, the man is not correct in referring to the woman as his baby mama. She may just be single and unmarried; but the baby mama is usually tossed aside, sometimes even before the baby is born.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 

      4 years ago

      Useful information.I've heard guys refer to their woman as my Baby Mama. You raise good points.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      DDE, thanks for your comment. Always something new to learn. Our language is growing to include all kinds of labels.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Grand Old Lady, sorry that my title misled you; I hope that I can write an article like the one you suggested. I have a heart for that too.

      Yes, baby mamas grow up to be responsible, productive women. My article aims to present that outlook.

      Thank you very much for your helpful comment.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, I would not call any woman by that name either. I agree with you about all that she does as a mother. My article intends to redeem her to that status and to solicit our cooperation. I appreciate your input.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Counsel and Consideration for the Baby Mama is something new to me and now I know more from your informative hub.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      At first, I thought your article would be about old women who are ill and need help, like my mother who in her last days couldn't move very well and was, in effect, a baby all over again in terms of her physical helplessness. I would love to read an artice by you on that subject.

      Regarding this article, it was surprisingly pleasant to read even if it was a different topic from what I expected. Baby mamas or single parents really need support and guidance from their parents and siblings. At least, that's how it should be in the Philippines. In that way, the child can grow up beautifully. My sister was a baby mama, and her daughter has grown up beautifully, helps troubled children and married a wonderful man. In the absence of a husband, a loving family as support system can more than compensate, I believe. Thank you for this thought provoking and insightful article.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      It is to me a direct insult calling a single mother, a baby mama. She nurtures, cares for and protects... guardian of her child's future... but that's my opinion, nonetheless MsDora, a great write up as always

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Word, thanks for your input. You are right on the point. Your advice is totally sound. If the baby mamas took the counsel in this article, there wouldn't be the baby mama dramas. It's all about self-respect and self-improvement.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sheila, I appreciate your comment. I have never called anyone by that name (except in my article), but whether or not the title is derogatory, the women who bear the label may need help to move out and move on from the stigma. This is one for the women who break the rules.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      Hi MsDora, This was a very important subject for you to write about. There is also the phrase "Baby mama drama" but that is another subject about a threesome or more situation. Anyway, it's getting to the point that two people need to consider more than just their feelings when having sexual desires. There are too many single mothers and not enough father involvement in a child's life. A child needs the love of both parents to the mother and a father figure. I know that I'm venturing off your point but it's just not fair for a mother to raise a child alone. Thank you for raising this issue.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 

      4 years ago

      Since I've heard the term but never knew exactly what it meant, your hub taught me what it means when I hear someone say it. Unless I misread something, to me "baby mama" seems more like a derogatory name and I would never use it.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Ron. Your comment is encouraging; you understand my purpose for the article.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, that's great that you have not had to deal with any such incidents, or at least, with the use of these terms. Thanks for your comment.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Verily Prime, thank you for your comment. It surely helps to find humor in every episode.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      4 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      An important subject, MsDora. It would be by far the best thing if young women and men could be so taught and mentored that they avoid becoming baby-mamas and -daddies in the first place. But, as you point out, once they are in that status, they need direction on how to not get stuck there. You remind us that we must not give up on them for their mistakes, but offer our love and support and wisdom to help them make the course corrections they need.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never heard those terms. Very interesting Dora. Thanks for the education.

    • Verily Prime profile image

      Verily Prime 

      4 years ago from New York

      As usual... great insights... with the added humor that come inherently from life....

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thank you for sharing your wisdom. Happy your adoptive mom was also wise.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, we accept it so we can make the best of it. To ignore it would be to distance ourselves from the women who need our help. Thank you for your input.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Intellectually stimulating and culturally enlightening. I reckon being born and illegitimate bastard gives me some understanding. But all that is kind of fogged over by love.

      I just really liked the straight forward matter of dealing that you suggest. I suppose my adoptive mom did much the same and just got it done.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      There are many out there so there is nothing but to accept that they are the baby's mama. The world has changed and your writing shows for whatever reason; an acceptable side of it. We must go with the flow as they say Dora, no? lol ^+

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Faith. I have never referred to anyone by that term, but it is being accepted into the language and sometimes means nothing more than a single mom.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Interesting subject MsDora, as always. Funny thing is my daughter and I just yesterday were talking about using that phrase, "Baby Mama" as she used it to describe her new boyfriend's ex. I, of course, just had to go and say that she should not call her that, but maybe his ex or something along those lines. Well, you have made interesting points here to consider by all.

      Up and more and sharing

      Have a blessed day,

      Faith Reaper

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