BABY MAMA SERIES: MENTAL HEALTH

Let me tell you the double standard…

I was talking to some coworkers about a story on the news. A dad was so stressed out that he came home killed his children and himself. As we discussed how sad it was a few of my co-workers started bashing the mother.

surprised

What type of mom let the dad have custody? She had to be a shitty mom for the dad to get custody. She knew his mental state!

And of course my favorite: If they were the mom, their kids would not have been with a dad like that.  

I listened before I gave them my 20 cents. I would say 2 cents, but yawl know that I am long-winded.

I started my speech with, ” But if she didn’t send the kids to their dad’s she would be considered a bitter baby mama or bitter bitch. Judged for depriving her kids from having a healthy connection and relationship with their father.”

So I guess its a lose, lose for this mom. She may have very well told the court system, police or even family that she seen some mental imbalance in her children’s father, but it is very hard to prove that in court. Especially, without a thorough medical diagnosis or a criminal history,

The baby mother is the most criticized stereotyped party in the baby making pair. I often hear people say things such as: She needs to get over it, and move on. Let that man see his kids. So does it truly matter the mental state the dad is in? And the audacity to give the dad a pass for his mental state; however, moms are expected to be strong despite their tribulations.

I can’t help but feel like every breakup where a baby mama is involved,  it turns into a bash party. So if she takes a stand to protect her kids, she is a bitter bitch.  It doesn’t matter is she is sending her kids to the dads house, and he has an unstable girlfriend. One who secretly hates her just because she is the mother of his child (there are women like that). How safe is that environment for her child?

She better send them.

It doesn’t matter if dad has a hoe house with different chicks watching the kids while he is out kicking it.

She better send them.

So baby mamas are put in rough predicaments and placed under huge judgements and scrutiny.

Let take a minute and think about your friend(s) who was discarded, left by the baby daddy of perhaps things just didn’t work out. This woman is now dealing with raising a child/children on her own , many times completely alone. Honestly, visitation does not equate to shared custody. Hell shared custody sometimes ain’t 50/50. Many times, the mom has to deal with mental overload. The emotions of her child due to the back and forth tug of war, as well as, her own emotions.

I remember when my son was still small and was going to his dad’s house. I was still nursing him, I remember as my breast were filling up with more milk I was developing more anxiety. It didn’t help that when I would text his dad to check on him, he would be petty and ignore my text.

That was a lot to handle for a mom suffering postpartum depression, having a small child spend nights away and still trying to maintain sanity with working and raising another child.  Moms constantly worry about their children and there should be respectable communication between the parents. But hey, send him to dad right?  Society says, “toughen up baby mama!”

Never mind the importance of a child being nurtured and cared by their mother during their vital early years. Never mind the emotions a woman has postpartum, and the support she needs as well. Never mind that it is difficult to properly nurture your child when you are dealing with distress, drama, lack of stability and a fucked up judicial system.

The general consensus is that the mom has to give her baby over regardless of the mental, physical or emotional abuse she suffers. On the flipside, the moms who do hand their child over are judged when shit goes wrong. Just like the mom I told you about earlier.

Of course, every situation is different and there are some baby mamas who are the cause of many issues. But that doesn’t represent all. My point is think twice before you judge anyone and you don’t know their story.

It is extremely important that we acknowledge and support our baby mothers too, as they play a major role in shaping our future. Instead of being looked down upon they need to be uplifted and cared for. The village is not just for the child. We are a village and we must keep uplifting all parties that reside in this shared space.

-Tahnee Cole