Before pointing fingers and placing blame, let’s be completely honest with ourselves. Get up close and personal with the attitudes and behaviors in OUR mirror to reflect on what we may or may not have done that has breathed life into commotion for ourselves and spectacle for our family. Is there anything WE can do today, to minimize baby daddy drama?
Before we can make things right, we must understand the cause(s) of the brokenness in our family. Is he an absentee or otherwise inadequate father? For many reasons beyond a mother’s control, some fathers just won’t accept responsibility or don’t want anything to do with their children. Sometimes, this is the sad reality—all mom can do is give her all to being the very best mother she can be. If their father is not around, hopefully, a grandfather, an uncle, or a stepfather can help fill this monumental void in the children’s lives.
Remember, having both self-respect and respect for their father are equally important. Does dad have a vendetta due to feeling wronged in the romantic relationship? Does dad have a few screws loose and/or believe that mom doesn’t deserve to be happy in a different romantic relationship?
Self-destructive, lazy, and toxic fathers are seldom concerned with the emotional damage left in the wake of their selfishness. Even when they do come around, it might be too late for them to make up for the anger, anxiety, and emptiness they’ve caused. There is always at least one cause for baby daddy drama—by understanding his why—we might be able take the initiative, extend an olive branch, and start the healing process before it’s too late.
Managing Baby Daddy Drama
We might not feel like it, but we must have a positive attitude towards dad. As leaders of our own lives, we must consistently demonstrate respect, never fueling the fire of discontent. No matter how we feel, our children need both of their parents; our love for them should always trump petty squabbling. If dad is working to ruin the relationship we share with our children or undermining our authority with them, lead with love, and don’t lose hope.
Don’t talk badly about dad in front of the children. Don’t put the kids in the middle. These kinds of immature reactions can cause children direct and indirect pain from the tug-of-war of conflicting loyalties. No child should ever be guilted for loving a parent. Remember, we can sometimes discourage petty and antagonistic behaviors just by ignoring them. Remain 100% committed, in our minds, hearts, and souls to being the positive, grounded, and actively engaged mother that our children need. We must do whatever it takes.
If possible, reflect on the lens through which we see things. Ongoing baby daddy drama may have both parents blindly enraged—which doesn’t help anyone—least of all our children. No matter what the reasons are for fighting, is there a way to reset, put the past in the past, and sit down, not as opponents, but as the two most important people in a child’s life joining forces on the same team, at the same side of the negotiating table? How can we better accommodate each other? What sacrifices can we make to put the children first? Can we hire a reputable co-parenting mediator so we can meet—both individually and as a team—to work towards finding common ground? Mediation can be a great resource for helping calm turbulence as storm after storm threaten to capsize the ship carrying our children.
With texts, emails, and phone calls, keep the conversation focused on basic details, such as time and location of pick-ups and drop-offs. Avoid topics outside of basic information exchange; lengthy conversations may bring up old arguments or tempt him to make imaginary complaints. Always show respect and keep clear boundaries.
Sometimes, baby daddy drama deems normal approaches to co-parenting completely ineffective. If dad is consistently late for pick-ups and drop-offs, if he makes disparaging remarks about us to our children, if he is intent on erasing us from the children’s lives, we can appeal to the family court system. In a perfect world, the function of family court is to protect children’s best interests. Unfortunately, family court can be very expensive. Some court systems have been infiltrated by corruption and quid-pro-quo to fan the flames of hourly pay. Although many people assume that mothers have more custody rights than fathers, no custody laws in the U.S. give mothers preferential or additional rights to custody.
It’s important to remember, children need and deserve consistent access to both parents. If they have a good father, it’s best to keep him heavily involved in their lives; kids from fatherless homes are significantly more vulnerable to every single at-risk behavior.
Our Family Wizard
The Our Family Wizard SmartPhone App is designed to simplify communication, helping co-parents manage schedules, track expenses, share files, send secure messages, and stay on the same page.
It’s important to remain focused on our primary responsibility: being the best mother we can be. If we know or can better understand why dad isn’t congenial towards us, we may be able to change our attitudes and behaviors in hopes of sharing a more amenable co-parenting relationship. If reason and logical thinking remain elusive, we can hire a co-parenting mediator or even bring the matter before family court. Regardless, our children need us, they need their father, and we should do whatever it takes to ensure they have plenty of access to both parents. SmartPhone Apps such as Our Family Wizard have been designed with the goal of simplifying communication, minimizing emotional turmoil, and allowing parents to focus on what matters most—the children.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28 KJV
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.