It is no secret that being a single mom is no easy task and to outsiders looking in, the cliche saying, “you may think you know but you have no idea” is a reality. It’s so much of a reality for single mothers, Max-Laine and Melanie Bent, they decided to write a book about it! While the title Are You a “Crazy” Baby Mama: A Handbook for Single Moms may strike a potential reader as being overly provocative or perpetuating a stereo type, they were aiming to do quite the opposite! The question that Laine and Bent asked themselves before committing their philosophy to paper was this: “How do we encourage single mothers to improve their lives when we are dealing with our own personal issues?” To put it plainly, this book is not your average run-of-the-mill “how to/ self-help” manual, but it comes from a place of relating and understanding without judgement! Bossip had a chance to chat with the Max and Mel about their experience being a “baby mama” and guess what? They’re not “crazy!”
Bossip: What made you ladies team up and write this book?
Bent: Circumstance, really. I was going through a bout of depression. I was overwhelmed, feeling underappreciated and I didn’t have anyone to turn to, in terms of being able to relate to someone. At the time, Max and I weren’t really close but we had mutual friends and I knew she was a single mom and going through different things so I reached out to her. We ended up speaking on the phone and we both vented and it turns out we were both experiencing some of the same things and I said, jokingly, ‘we should write a book!’ The next day, Max emailed me and said, ‘let’s team up and write that book’ and it went on from there!
Bossip: How did you come up with the title of your book and do you feel the term “baby mama” sends the wrong message?
Laine: Ugh! We hate that term and when we first started talking about writing the book, we both agreed that we hate saying that or having to identify with being a ‘baby mama’ because of it’s negative connotations and we didn’t want anything to do with it. So, for a while, we were like we don’t even want to mention that term or be affiliated with it. But we started to think: why not redefine the term while we catch people’s attention, you know? Make them listen! All the books that are written about being a single mom don’t talk about the time in between the break-up or divorce to moving on. They were all pretty much focused on how to get back into the dating scene after the relationship is over. Then, there were a few crazy baby mama books from the perspective of the new girlfriend.
Bossip: Oh, no she did not!
Bent: Yes, there was one particular book by a woman who said she was in a loving relationship with her new husband but the baby’s mother was in the way of them growing as a couple and that she was ‘crazy’ and acting irrationally. But she never stopped to question why?
Bossip: These kind of situations are awful and, ultimately, the child suffers. So, what do you think it’s going to take to break the cycle? Because it seems like there’s hardly any ambition to get married or be a dual parent family.
Laine: One of the things that we should do is making sure to have positive male figures in your children’s lives. Let them see Dads who are in their kids’ lives and let them see what the workings of a household should be. Try to show them examples of a two parent family and encourage that.