Everything looks easy in TV land, but that’s because television shows are written by highly imaginative writers who are completely out of touch with the real world. Or maybe they’re just smoking crack. When it comes to being a single mother, fantasy and reality look nothing alike, and if you embark upon this misadventure you’re probably in for a rude shock. This is especially true if you didn’t take the time to choose your baby’s father wisely. Of course accidents happen and of course all babies are miracles – but birth control exists for a reason. Use it. Use a lot of it. There are a number of really great reasons you should be very careful about your procreational partners – eleven of them, to be exact. And here they are:
1. The dumb jerk might not pay child support.
This is obviously the number one reason why you shouldn’t make a baby with just any old guy. Oh, sure, he might have pretty blue eyes he can pass on to your offspring – but will those blue eyes pay the bills? Doubtful. With a divorce rate above 50 percent and single parenthood at an all-time high, that means there’s a whole lot of child support being owed one way or another. Some guys can’t afford to support the kids they create, while others just flat-out refuse to do it. When choosing a father for your children, money does unfortunately matter. Of course a poor guy is just as worthy of love as a rich one – just wear a condom and take your pill before you go loving him all night.
2. The doofus might go off and procreate with some other woman. Or a bunch of them.
Here’s something you might not know: When judges calculate child support, they divide the amount a man is able to pay amongst all the mothers of his children. After all, unless you had the good fortune to hook up with some billionaire sperm, there is a limit to how much child support any man can realistically pay. So the more baby mamas there are, the smaller those checks will be. And you don’t get a discount on your groceries for having an idiot ex boyfriend.
3. You’re stuck dealing with him for the rest of your life.
At least until the kid is 18, you’re stuck co-parenting with this asshole. But really, he’s going to be in your life in one way or another forever. You’ll be seeing him at birthday parties, graduations, births of grandchildren… you get it. Hope you like him enough to make him part of your permanent extended family.
4. You might never see that piece of shit again.
On the other hand, some guys like to drop sperm and run. Meaning the flip side of being stuck with him forever is that you end up parenting 100 percent, completely and totally alone. Now, plenty of kids have been raised by single moms and turned out just fine. But it’s not easy, and it’s not something most people would choose if they had other options.
5. His idea of parenting is vastly different from yours.
Yeah, yeah, you probably didn’t think to ask his views on breastfeeding or education while he was pouring whiskey sours down your throat at the bar. But you might wish you’d put some thought into that before taking your sperm donor home for the night. If he does choose to be a decent human being and stick around to co-parent, you could find yourself in a constant battle of parenting ideals. Better to wait and have a baby with someone who has similar values, than to go fertilizing those eggs with any old drunk guy from your local bar.
6. His family is probably insane.
Okay, they might be perfectly nice people, but your luck may run out on this one. If you don’t take the time to know the families of your potential baby daddies, you could end up with nightmare in-laws who aren’t even really in-laws. Every time baby daddy takes Junior for the weekend, you’ll have to worry about your precious child being exposed to domestic violence, drugs, or general idiocy. And to make matters worse, in some states grandparents have rights. So it’s not so easy to bar them from your life through legal avenues.
7. He might be genetically inferior.
Okay, he’s already genetically inferior to you, simply by virtue of being a man. But you know what we’re talking about here. Have you considered all the horrible diseases or birth defects that might run in his family? Of course you haven’t, because who talks about that on the first date? Hope you took your pill today. If you jump straight into the baby-making phase of the relationship before dessert arrives, you could end up with a some sort of half-human, half-frog mutant baby.
8. Holidays will suck half the time.
As part of your custody arrangement, Baby Daddy could end up taking your child for half of all major holidays. That means every other year, you’ll be celebrating kid-oriented holidays alone and reading your happily married friends’ Facebook updates while sobbing all over your keyboard. Seriously, it might not sound that bad right now, but once you have a kid this situation is heartbreaking.
9. You’ll lose your freedom.
Finally landed that big job in New York City? Can’t wait to get the hell out of Kansas and see the world? Not so fast! In many states, your baby’s daddy can legally prevent you from leaving the state with his child. It doesn’t matter how great the job is or how much you want a better life – you lost your freedom the day you danced the mattress mambo with him. Enjoy your corn fields, because you’re not going anywhere for a long time.
10. Your kid might get an evil stepmother.
Just when you thought this situation couldn’t get any worse, that bonehead goes off and marries the wicked witch of the West. Not only does she treat your child like a second-class citizen during visitations, but now she and baby daddy are expecting twins. Get ready to soothe your crying child night after night when Daddy is too busy with his “real” family to pay him any attention anymore.
11. You could die.
No, not from childbirth – that rarely happens if you have good prenatal care. But if something happens to you down the road, all the above problems will be compounded for your child. Rather than a supportive family he or she knows well, your kid could end up living with virtual strangers, mistreated by Stepmommy, and generally treated like an unwanted bastard. Hopefully you’re close with your family and they are able to secure rights somehow, because if you kick the bucket your former bed buddy will be raising your child any damn way he pleases.