Congratulations are in order for Fantasia. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Dallas Xavier, today at a North Carolina hospital. The little 7-pound, 9-ounce, 21-inch-long bundle of joy to the world was an early Christmas gift for his mama.
A new baby is always a blessing, a reason to celebrate, an opportunity to stop and take stock of what’s really important. After being assigned to bed rest until her due date, which was all the way on December 29, however, I’m pretty sure she’s got more than one reason to cheer about her son’s arrival.
She’s been quite secretive about who little Dallas’ daddy is. After a heavily reported affair with former-nobody-turned-tabloid-headliner Antwaun Cook, which led to a suicide attempt and a reality show, I don’t blame her for trying to deflect that part of the story. But it’s pretty safe to say that little Dallas does not have the same father as his older sister Zion, who Fantasia had from a previous relationship (refer back to her Lifetime movie, Life Is Not a Fairytale, if you don’t remember that she was a single mother when she tried out for, competed in, and totally rocked American Idol).
But folks like to turn their noses up at 1) single motherhood (secret thought: shame on you for depriving the little bambino of a father to come home to!) and 2) women with kids by more than one man (secret thought: try keeping your legs closed and not procreating with ... everybody). Poor Fantasia has the disadvantage of being both, so judgment is falling fresh on her like red chips at a bingo battle royale.
But she’s got plenty of company. Lots. Earlier this year, a report released by Cassandra Dorius, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, unearthed statistics about American mothers. Her work revealed that 1 in 5 women in this country have kids with multiple birth fathers.
She also concluded that gals who have children with more than one man are disadvantaged. They're underemployed. They have lower incomes. They're less educated. They're also more stressed, more prone to sustaining struggling households, and more likely to keep birthing babies by multiple daddies.
So not only are they broke, dumb, and frazzled, but they're hardheaded, too. Well damn.
Twenty-eight percent of American women have children with multiple fathers — about the same number of people who have college degrees in this country. That, as the researcher so poignantly points out in her remarks about her groundbreaking work, is substantial. I suspect her findings lean more toward single women with several failed romances under their belts, but it’s also worth noting that that number should, and hopefully does, include divorcees and widows who’ve remarried or otherwise moved on to have more children.
So even though Fantasia is in the public eye and taking heat for setting a bad example, seems like she’s almost the norm compared to other ladies living in the States. Especially — can we be honest? — in black America, where 59 percent of mamas have children by more than one daddy.
I like Fantasia. She’s a friend in my head, and if she’s happy with her situation, I’m rooting for her all the way. Besides, should I ever have the good fortune of having that second baby I so desperately want, I’ll be one of that almost 60 percent myself. ‘Cause ain’t no way, no how, no kind of earth-shattering unfolding or ploy unhatched that would make me lay down and have a do-over with that first man. No sirree. So it’s a new guy for the new baby or none at all. I’m pretty sure Fantasia seconds that emotion.
Are women with multiple “baby daddies” the norm?
Image via handmaidenbymaria/Flickr