Daddy, where have you been? And when you coming home? You got us here all alone. Mommy, where Daddy went? You always stick up for him. Always said you’d make up for him. Mommy, what happened then? What was he cheating on you? Was he always beating on you? Daddy, where have you been?
– Beanie Sigel in Jay-Z’s “Where Have You Been”
– Beanie Sigel in Jay-Z’s “Where Have You Been”
This post is long because it has to be.
My friends can tell you I’m afraid of babies. Like… I don’t like to hold them. When we’re in the same room, we both stare at each other like… What the hell are you? To me, they’re these little people who scream in cry without warning while constantly shitting on themselves –that is if they’re not busy throwing up. I fear children for a multitude of reasons. The runner-up reason is the damage the little sucker will do to my clothing (like what happened to Charlotte’s white, vintage, Valentino skirt? Uh uh. Not. Me.) The ultimate reason though, which I barely talk about, is fear of another sort. I’ve said it once before in “Perfect Timing,” but I’ll quote myself to reiterate: “My greatest fear in having a child is to have to raise it alone.” I thought about this the other day. The thought crossed my mind as I was riding the 2 train back to the city. There were these two young girls on the train with their kids in carriages.
**SIDENOTE** Can you please fold up the damned carriage before you get on the train? I’m sick and tired of having to maneuver around babies that take up way more space than is available… And if they’re in their carriage, tie the kid down! That’s what those effin straps are for. Don’t none of us want to chase that child or worry about him falling. And NO, two-year-olds should not be standing up by themselves on the train. I don’t care how “advanced” you think your child is.
God, I had to get that out. We’re all thinking it!
— Now back to your regularly scheduled program —
I always see moms alone. And I wonder, where is the father? What happened? What went wrong? Did he leave or did she? Did they even try? Was this planned? Did they think it would work? And when she goes home, does she go home happy? Does she sit at the table by herself. Does she cry? I think I would cry. Is she lonely? How does she manage? Parents have this funny thing they do where they kiss their kids on the forehead and smooth down their hair when they’re around a group of people. But I know that when that baby starts to kick and holler… it ain’t that cute, now is it? Especially if you have to do it alone.
Men leave. Whether you have a baby or not. A baby will not keep a man with you. He has no obligation to you. His obligation is with that child. Typically, the difference here is that the woman usually still has to take care of that child. I’m dating a guy now who has a daughter. He takes care of his daughter but that woman isn’t of his concern (I hope? lol). The child stays with the mother, lives with the mother (mostly). Daddy tends to have the easier part of the break-up because he is allowed to be a part-time Daddy. If you split up, I suggest you not let if be this way. I’m a very 50/50 custody (if you ain’t wit it we going to court) type of girl. Because a man shouldn’t be allowed to be part-time when the mother has to do most of the work. (FYI, In “Him”‘s case, he has his daughter on the weekend because he’s in school 4 nights out of the work week and studies on his day off.) But if the father doesn’t want to be there DON’T CHASE HIM. I’ve told my friend in the past, why would you force your child on someone who doesn’t want it? That’s like knowingly sending your kid off with a bad babysitter. Or forcing them to go to a bad school. Just makes no sense. That’s bad parenting.
What if you want to leave? My opinion is, you have to really think about this. Some girls like to call themselves the BM (Baby Moms) but, personally, I’m not with it. Are you okay with being the one who had his child but can’t have his heart? Because that’s what it ends up being. If you’re completely done with him, go ahead. Leave. But don’t go trying to fight every girl he dates or find out what he’s doing. It’s no longer your concern. If he brings girls around your child, that’s something you’ll have to deal with. It’s his child, too. Hopefully he has enough respect to only bring “good” females around… but that all depends on the type of man he is.
Take a long look at the man you have before you. Is he doing what he has to do? Is he being a man? Then be a woman to him. There was a time when people who had children stayed together because that’s what people do. If I had a child, I think that’s what I’d do. But you have to make the commitment he does. If you’re going to make it work, make it work. Grow up. Stop arguing and picking at him. Why don’t you try to make him happy? After you have a child, you’ve entered a marriage… you’ve simply skipped the fancy stuff. You need to fast-forward. You’re going to have to deal with the things girlfriends complain about without complaints. For example: Men don’t clean. Men play video games. Men eat, a lot. They’re lazy and sometimes/most times dirty. If you’re complaining about these things.. you have some growing up to do. Because that’s not going to necessarily change from man to man. If you want to leave because of things like this, that’s not a good enough reason. You chose to have a child with this man. You thought he was good enough to be a father to your child but you can’t stay with him because he likes to ball up his dirty socks and thrown them in the corner? Get over it. Yes, you can ask him to help you out more and be more considerate. But you have to be an adult about the situation. Talk, don’t yell. I know that easier said than done… but the decision to fast-track your relationship will fast-track the relationship. What did you expect? Given time, you would have figured each other out without the screaming baby. Now you’ve got to hurry up and work that shit out. If you want him to stay you’ve got to put in work too. It’s no longer one-sided like dating where it’s all about the female (yes, that’s how it should be.).
Do you stay? I don’t know. I understand the argument of wanting to be a “family”. But families come with all different make-ups. That doesn’t make it any less of a family. If you love him, STAY. But show him that you love him. This isn’t grade school. You can’t just go breaking up every two weeks. There’s another (crying, screaming, gross, little) person involved now. It’s more serious than you two. If you don’t love him… if he’s not a good man… things wont work out. If he’s putting his hands on you. LEAVE. There is no excuse for that. I don’t even want to talk about that further because LEAVE is all that needs to be said. If he’s cheating on you, you have to make that decision. Some women don’t care. But if you don’t care, don’t care. Don’t change your mind later. Then there’s finances, I’m tellin you… when it comes to kids, I think the most important thing is a man who pays the bills and puts food on the table. Cuz there ain’t many men who can. That’s me though. I can’t raise children with a jobless man. I’m not saying you should stay with him because of the money. I am saying you should probably leave if he has none lol.
Thing is, I can’t give you a solid answer because I’ve never been in those shoes. I don’t know what it feels like to be a mother and to have link with another person that is literally a combination of your blood. I don’t know what that’s like and I’m not one to speak on things I don’t know. I avoided that because I knew how hard it must be. Some girls go through drama with men and then go on a “fuck niggas, it’s all about me and my [son/daughter)”. Well, that’s how it should have been in the first place. Your first mistake was ever putting a man in front of your child, regardless of if your married or whatever. If you have to take your child and go, you GO.
**At this point… I’m going to put out information about my family that even my best friends don’t know.
I’d like to introduce you to me.
My mother married at 20? 21? She had my brother when she was 23. My sister when she was 25. The father of her children was an alcoholic. He wouldn’t come home. She wasn’t happy. My mother took her two children moved to Rhode Island with $1000. With that money, she rented an apartment on Earle St. in Central Falls, turned on the electricity and bought food and a mattress. On the first day, she walked to Dexter St and turned left. She walked into every business and applied for anything they’d offer her. That night, she slept with her son and daughter on that mattress. On the second day, she walked to Dexter St and turned right. Again, she applied for anything offered. She did this everyday until she got a job. She did this alone. With no man.
Then she met a real man. I don’t know if young moms think this, but I’ll say it would be a worry of mines: the thought that you won’t be able to find a man to love you while you have a child with someone else. There are real men out there. My father was one of them. He was with my mother for SIX years and helped to take care of her and her TWO children before they had me. He even offered to legally adopt my brother and sister. In my house when we talk about “Papi,” that means my dad. My father passed away in a car accident when I was 9 months old. So technically, he was more of a father to my brother and sister than he was to me. So much so that when my sister’s real father asked her why she wouldn’t call him “dad” (she had to have been like 20 at this point), she said to him “My father is dead.” And I don’t doubt that she meant that both literally and figuratively. If a man isn’t there for his children, the children will notice. You don’t have to tell them. My brother was 25 when his father tried to contact him again, from his hospital bed, days before he died. My brother wouldn’t speak to him. Said that wasn’t his real father. If you’re a good woman, a good man will come along. But a man won’t have any respect for you if the reason you left your man was to go out and chase dick (had to say it that way because, plain and simple, that’s what your doing). But if you deserve a good man, he’ll come to you. Don’t you worry.
If you think you can’t do it without him, you’ve never been wronger in your life. Things will be hard no doubt. When I was growing up, we got all our food from local food banks. My Christmas gifts were on layaway since August and they must have only totaled maybe $50. My mom used to bring me to churches where they’d give me ONE gift. Just so that I had something nice. I know what it’s like to grow up struggling. That shit is hard. My mom used to work two sometimes 3 jobs and I wouldn’t see her for days, but you know what? I’ve never been hungry once my entire life. And now, as a woman, I know that I don’t need a man because my mother showed me that. There is no one stronger than a woman who can hold her own. I encourage you to have faith in yourself. If not for your own pride, then so your children can grow up knowing what a strong woman looks like. Especially for your daughters. There aren’t enough women out here. Don’t teach your daughters to be dependent on men. I’ve seen what that looks like, too. And it ain’t pretty.
So if you feel like you have to leave. Leave. If you’re just emotionally frustrated and he’s not paying you enough attention, you want more dates, he complains too much, you want to go to the club and not have him checkin on you.. you know, all that girlfriend bullshit… you need to really think about this. You aren’t in the position anymore to cut him off with explanation. Sit him down. Let him know how you feel. Tell him he’s not allowed to talk until you get absolutely everything you want to say off your chest. No interruptions. No explanations. If he loves you, he’ll listen. If you want this to work I have one ultimate piece of advice: Tell him the truth. If you’re honest with him, he’ll be honest with you… and you will grow together. You never lose the right to look out for yourself, but in a relationship where a child is involved, you do lose the right to be selfish. And if you’re feeling some type of way… how do you know he’s not also having a hard time. After you talk, be fair and shut up. Give him a chance to do the same. Don’t interrupt. If you’re the type to interject, have him hold up a sign that says “Don’t Interrupt Me” every time you start talking. I know that’s corny… but it’ll probably work and it’ll also be funny as hell. Watch out though… he might keep the sign.
I think you should try to make it work… but not so much that it ruins everything.
With no experience in this type of relationship, I hope this made sense. Just an unbiased perspective. So.. you know the deal….correct me if I’m wrong.