No More Baby Mama Drama
I’d heard the stories: A scorned woman files a PFA (Protection from Abuse order) against her ex-husband. Turns out the allegations were false – completely fabricated as a means of retaliation toward her former spouse. Or the story of an ex-girlfriend who alleged domestic abuse, thereby barring her children’s father from seeing them – although the charges were never proven.
Yes, I know of actual cases where injustices were done to men. Being a woman, I must admit, none of them ever stopped me from sleeping. “It’s their turn,” I would think to myself. “They’re just getting back what they put us [women] through for centuries.”
…And then I read Eric Legette’s Closing the Curtain on Baby Mama Drama, a type of autobiographical take of his own struggles within the (in-)justice system. One can call it a handbook regarding divorced and unmarried fathers’ rights.
There’s always a “long and a short” of things. The “short” of my review is this: Every parent should read this book.
And the “long”…? Well, keep reading…
As a writer, my first impression was that this book was written by someone who is definitely not a writer. Nor was it proofread. There are typographical and grammatical errors throughout its pages for sure.
For a certainty though, Legette loses nothing in his translation. Errors or not, the weight of his message is not diminished. And that message is clear: In the U.S., whether you’re divorced, separated or single, your rights as a father doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
Legette is a natural-born storyteller: he lies naked before his readers. He has no shame and places little blame on either him or his “baby mama.” In the vernacular: He simply tells it like it is. And he offers no apologies for it.
A love story…
Legette takes us on a journey from the moment he meets his former lover (now his “baby mama”). We meet a passionate young man who was in love with a girl with obvious issues. Those issues, Legette realized, were not issues he was qualified to handle.
Unfortunately, as is the case in many love affairs, the reality comes after the birth of the child. To Legette’s credit, he could have “dogged” Baby Mama, but it’s apparent in his language that (1) he is much too much of a gentleman to do so; and (2) he has more regard for his daughter than to disrespect her mother.
Legette is the type of man any sane woman would appreciate.
Thin line between love and hate
By the time Legette realized he was merely a statistic in a love story gone wrong, he was faced with the knowledge that there is no such agenda as unmarried fathers’ rights in this country. This reality would lead to three heartbreaks:
- She no longer loved him (if she ever loved him at all)
- She would stop at nothing to bar him from having a relationship with his child
- Neither his attorney or the judicial system were his friends – and neither cared about his rights as a single father
Here comes the judge
Through the various chapters of this book Legette reveals his pain, his agony, his failures – and a broken judicial system, particularly regarding the rights of divorced, separated and single fathers. Compound that with constant exhaustion (from working overtime in order to pay for the attorney) while attending college, and you got yourself a surefire mental breakdown on the horizon.
And his was coming.
Legette pours out his heart as he credits his faith in God and the support of his loving parents as the reasons he was able to endure.
Enough was enough. It was time to pull up the bootstraps.
Firing his attorney, Legette set out to find a real advocate for the cause of unmarried fathers’ rights. Conducting his own research and compiling materials he’d run across during his years of working in the human services field, Legette realized this problem was bigger than he was.
He was determined to help others in similar situations, other fathers who faced the system in seemingly losing battles for their paternal rights. He was a man on a mission. That mission was to tell his story as only he could, detailing the judicial process and what it could mean to the cause of unmarried fathers’ rights.
His book became an educational tool to fathers everywhere: divorced, separated, single. In it he provides resources of who to see, where to go, what to say when you get there – all in an effort to level the playing field in the battle for unmarried fathers’ rights. He discusses family law and where to find real sources of valuable information; how to dress and act in the courtroom; how to represent yourself in the courtroom (which cut costs drastically!); the appropriate method to use when paying child support (never in cash!); and more.
He offers parenting tips and provides a support network for potential behavior traits you’ll want to make note of (depression, loneliness, etc.). Legette even discusses the rate of suicide among divorced/separated fathers and – more importantly – what to do if you see the signs of suicidal tendencies.
There is no shortage of needed information in this book. Closing the Curtain on Baby Mama Drama is a great book for all parents to read: for fathers fighting for their rights, as well as mothers who wish to do the right thing by their children.
Of special note: Closing the Curtain on Baby Mama Drama is NOT some anti-woman/anti-mother journal; it is based on the struggles on one single father, of his faith, of his hope.
But mostly, Closing the Curtain on Baby Mama Drama is a book about the sanctity of family.
And that makes it a worthy book, indeed.
Brown is a contributing writer for Regal Black Men’s Magazine.