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Love in the Time of Baby Wipes: Leaving My Father’s Son

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Love in the Time of Baby Wipes: Leaving My Father’s Son

When a 20 something realizes she can’t stand her sons father she has a decision to make.

In February 2004, I was a woman moving out of her mami’s and in with the man she loved. Three weeks later that blasted line showed up on the wrong side of the EPT test. My Dominican father is going to kill me, I thought. He was going to annihilate me! But somehow near certain death at the hands of my Dad and a historically fragile relationship were not enough stop me.

I decided to keep the baby.

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At the ripe ol’ age of 26 love as I’d known it had changed forever. I was in an operating room about to deliver my baby boy. While Dr. Martas was preparing for the c-section, I chit-chatted with my “on again/off again” boyfriend of a decade. We giggled with excitement like school children. After about twenty minutes, our son was born…to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” This song became indicative of how I would feel about the new little man in my life, but not my baby’s father.

My ex-boyfriend (and baby’s father) wasn’t a bad person; he was just a nightmare! Of course, this wasn’t constant, but when his ugly side manifested it was a very bad day for anyone caught in it’s crosshairs. I had been in love with this man since we were 16 years old. We started out like many “high-school sweethearts:” hormonal and with too much time on our hands. It was “puppy love” that was satisfied by holding hands, making out, watching movies, silly arguments and spending time with mutual friends. We had beautiful moments, and when it was good it was magnificent. But our relationship remained rocky throughout the years that ensued, and things went from 0-60 shortly after the birth of my son.

He picked a fight on the very evening of my son’s birth. The fight lasted until I was back home from the hospital, which was four days later. That’s when I noticed I was not as in love with this man as I had been ten years before. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t sure if I even liked him very much. Despite my epiphany, we tried to make things work por un tiempo, but soon it was clear that the only love striving in that household was the one I had for my brand new baby. It consumed me! And, as far as I was concerned, romantic love had exited stage left.

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By the time I realized my ex-boyfriend made my stomach turn more than he made my heart flutter, I had a 6-month-old little boy. I needed out. Bad! So I packed up my little boy, my shoes, my pre-baby clothes, and what was left of my sanity and marched my ass right back to my mami’s place.

And just like that … I was a single mother.

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Nydia Mata is a photographer and single mom of a little boy who happily shares her journey to the time of baby wipes.


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