Not wife, not girlfriend, not fiancee, not woman friend, not BFF but Baby Mama. It’s a new kind of relationship between a man and a woman. And “it’s all good”. But it really isn’t. Because what often happens is that the Baby Father creates the baby but doesn’t continue the fathering relationship.
Look at actor Owen Wilson who owns up to fathering the baby Caroline Lindqvist is carrying. [US Magazine, “Owen Wilson Expecting Baby With Married Fitness Trainer Caroline Lindqvist” Oct 12, 2013]
Owen’s rep says Owen “isn’t in a relationship with Caroline nor do they plan to be in one, but he is very supportive of everything. They see each other and talk often about what they want for the child an [Owen] has told Caroline he will do whatever he can.”
Owen may also have told his ex-girlfriend, Jade Duell, his first Baby Mama, that he will “do whatever he can” for the two-year old son they have together. It’s hard to say how much of a father he is in that boy’s life.
That’s not good enough. We’ve become aware of how important it is to take responsibility for our actions. This is not taking responsibility. We’re talking every day about improving education and the importance of the parentS in this process. We’re talking every day about keeping children off drugs and the importance of the parentS in this process. We’re talking every day about stopping crime and violence among youngsters and the importance of the parentS in this process.
There are plenty of ‘standard’ families–mother and father married to each other who have children after they are married–where the mother and/or father are not really present. But to signify approval of a relationship by giving it a name that’s really cute where we know the father often isn’t present is not cute.
Getting pregnant before marriage used to be shameful. Far from being cute, that baby mama went to visit her Aunt Mary in another state for nine months. Nobody mentioned who the father might be, nobody mentioned anything. That was not good.
It seems that we’ve gone from bad to bad. Look at Simon Cowell, the TV personality and producer. His baby mama is Lauren Silverman. She had a family with her husband, now broken up Simon says he is excited to be a father for the first time but there is little mention of what kind of relationship he will have with Lauren and what kind of family they will have for the new baby, little mention of responsibilities. Yes, Simon recently was reported as planning to unload his bachelor type house in Beverly Hills for a more family-oriented home [NY Post, Nov 17, 2013] but the physical layout of a house is the least of it.
Words matter. Attitudes matter. No, of course we don’t want to go back to shaming the unwed mother or the child whose parents are not married, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater either.