Q: I AM dating a guy who has four children with different baby mamas. I don’t have any children at the moment and I truly love this man. I find it hard to deal with the kind of relationship he has with the baby mamas. I understand that they are co-parenting but I sometimes feel that they are taking this too far as they even go on holidays together. I want to trust that nothing happens during those moments they are together but it is hard to. How do I cope with a man who has different baby mamas without causing any drama? - WORRIED GIRLFRIEND
A: BEING in a relationship with a man who has a child with another woman, let alone four with different women, may not be an easy thing to deal with. This is especially the case if there’s baby mama drama involved. JEALOUSY Your case is made worse by the fact that you don’t have a child of your own with him, which naturally would bring feelings of jealousy on your part. While this may not be an ideal situation, there are ways to make this kind of relationship work, even if there’s conflict involved.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
¦ Discuss what co-parenting means – Let it be known to both of you what co-parenting means. Be on the same page with him. A relationship is a two-way street of negotiations. Sit down with your partner and let him know what your expectations are. Boundaries mean that his interactions with the baby mamas should only be limited to the children. That’s all he should have in common with them, the kids. Your partner needs to be careful that he doesn’t let the guilt of his absence from his kids’ lives blind him. His relationship with you, if it’s serious, should still take the first priority in his life. It’s important to set boundaries where both of you agree on the course of action and commit to it. A person should never walk in and out of your life and bed whenever they please. It will only confuse you and leave you feeling like you are second best. Going on vacations with his exes and children, without you being there, shouldn’t form part of co-parenting. If you’re not going to be present, he can’t go. Co-parenting is very possible. But it takes two reasonable and mature adults. You should never have to feel left out and isolated. It’s unnecessary.
¦ Develop a relationship with the baby mamas – This is the best way of dealing with jealousy in our view. Your man is in the middle of you and all his baby mamas and that can be very a tough spot to be in. To try and develop a good relationship with the other women is the best medicine for your sanity. You don’t have to be best of friends but to have a cordial and mature relationship with each of them speaks more about you than them or him. Make sure they know you are not trying to take their place as the mother of their children and acknowledge the special bonds they have with your man. That will ease the anxiety in your man and force him to prioritise you.
¦ Be respectful – While you and the other women becoming best of buddies might be a bit of a stretch, try to respect them and their wishes. Understand that they have the best interests of their children at heart and you should respect that. Just make sure that your man also understands what his role and responsibilities are.
¦ Understand your role – You are not responsible for the children in the same way that your man and his baby mamas are. Understand your role to play in all of this and respect the boundaries you have established with your man, as well as with the baby mamas. Don’t try to be a second mother to the children. Instead, try to build a solid relationship with them.
¦ Make your feelings clear – If your boundaries are not being respected and your man is not giving you the attention you deserve, let him know. You deserve to be cared for and appreciated as well. That is if he cares about continuing to have a relationship with you. Make a choice about this relationship that will also ensure that you are happy.