Three years ago when I was writing the Storked! blog for glamour.com, the magazine published an essay by *Lisa Craig titled, “I’m Dating A Baby Daddy.” At the time, JD was approaching his first birthday and frankly, a mere glimpse at the headline made me wince in disgust. Here I was, a single mom working full-time, blogging full-time, raising JD full-time solo and this writer was declaring her love for a “baby daddy”—as in some kid’s father—and some woman’s ex, one-time lover, unassuming sperm doner—whatever. How did “baby daddy” tell his current girlfriend about his child? Did he? Well...
"Well, remember I told you I slept with Allie back in March? And remember how I told you she called me last week...." [Lisa Craig’s boyfriend, *Rob said to her across the table while they sipped mojitos.]
Before he got to the part about how *Allie, his ex, was five months pregnant, I already knew what he was going to say. What followed is a blur of tears.
The writer calls this news the “Baby Bomb” and this phrase really irked me, because I imagined someone calling my surprise pregnancy just that—a “Baby Bomb”—an explosion of chaos and bad news. It was not. It was chaos, yes. It was happy, confusing, exciting, scary, disbelieving, overwhelming—never bad. No. Not a bomb!
Between August, when we learned about the baby, and December, when she was born, we rarely spoke about the "situation," as we called it. Allie, maybe disappointed that they did not reconcile, wasn't returning Rob's calls, e-mails, IMs or letters, and wouldn't disclose the baby's due date or gender. Although Rob wanted to be involved in his child's life, it was unclear how this would transpire, writes Craig.
The baby girl was born while Craig and Rob were vacationing in the Bahamas. “Baby daddy” or Rob didn’t run away or freak out. He ran to his child. He sees her and pays child support—and while it wasn’t easy for Craig to understand this at first, she handled it better than ever and even saw an upside. She jokes, when it’s their turn to have kids, Rob will know how to change a diaper. Good point. Good guy!
Here’s why I turned out to like, no love, this story and read it over and over with an open mind—why I think it’s relevant for you to read it three years later. Rob takes care of his child—not just by sending court-ordered child support, but by visiting her (she lives states away), loving her and being their for her—this, though it may not seem, is Rob also being there for Allie—the woman he did in fact, conceive this child with. She is not left alone to answer, "Where is my daddy?" questions. The child knows her dad.
I write about personal experiences because I honestly want to reach people, make them feel less alone and share my perspective. This essay shared amazing perspective with me and by the end of it, I did re-think the "Baby Bomb" phrase I just ranted about. It was a bomb of bad, chaotic news for Craig. She was in love with her boyfriend and had no idea he was pregnant with another woman. It opened my eyes wide to how people deal with shocking news...and it helped me in my own journey.
Oh, and I don’t like the phrase “baby daddy.” I think it sounds dirty and irresponsible like the phrase, “knocked up.” Rob isn’t a “baby daddy.” He’s a daddy. I was never "knocked up." I was pregnant.
Update: *Lisa Craig is a pen name, yes. She married *Rob. They have three kids. Two they conceived and Rob’s daughter. It’s a modern fam and it’s cool. It's a great example of loyalty and love. And respect. I've met *Craig.
Read the full article here.
Are you dating a baby-daddy? Would you ever? Do you have step-kids? If you were dating or married to a guy with a child he refused to see, would you encourage him to establish a relationship, or seek therapy? What do you think of this Glamour essay? Please share.