Challenging your sperm donor’s manhood might seem like an effective way to get him to man up, but don’t bet on it. Calling him a little boy or flaunting your new love interest in front of him to show what a “real man” looks like won’t do you any good. That isn’t to say you should hide your new relationships. But unless you truly don’t need your baby daddy for anything at all, including potentially taking some time to build a relationship with your child, if you act like you need nothing from him, he will likely act accordingly.
And you’ll be putting yourself and your new boo in an awkward and potentially volatile situation whenever you do deal with him. A baby daddy seeing the new guy grab his ex’s butt and hugging on his kids will only create a situation where he can declare that he doesn’t want that n***a around his child. We all know it’s complete and total BS, but it’s one more thing that separates you from getting what the kid needs. If at all possible, you want your new guy and baby daddy to at least be civil to each other. There’s a greater chance that seeing the “real man” you now have will light a fire under his butt to get his act together. Even if it doesn’t inspire him to do right, the potential for reality TV level drama is cut down a bit.
And kill the song and dance routines around child support checks. Don’t use them as threats or gloat about it when the court rewards you. Always put the child above the money and let trifling baby daddy see the kid benefit from it. It’s a given that you’re going to use some of it for your own needs, but it doesn’t have to be a spectacle. Again, go the professional route. Do like the bill collectors and just get your dough.
If baby daddy starts playing hard to catch, make one or two more efforts to work it out then calmly let him know that the court will be stepping in and leave it at that. No drawn out soliloquies about being a strong, independent woman, him not being a man or texting him Beyoncè lyrics. The point is to be flexible but not breakable. It SHOWS that you’re giving him the opportunity to be an adult and that if that’s not what he wants to be, you won’t hesitate to resolve the problem like one.
Yes, I do believe that men need to be more responsible when it comes to making babies and taking care of them. I completely subscribe to the idea that guys have to grow up and be the symbol of what a man should be to their kids. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen any time soon for some men, so single moms in these wack situations need to let go of the tactics that don’t work and open their minds to new ways to get what they deserve for their kids.
Larry Hester is a Brooklyn-born writer who’s written for Vibe, BET.com, The Source, Complex and more. He now resides in Newark, New Jersey with his wife and son. He welcomes any parenting advice or encouragement. Check him out on Facebook and Twitter @almostcooldad