I have always disliked the terms “Baby Mama” and “Baby Daddy.” Originally they were used only to describe unmarried parents and the implication was that their connection through the baby or children was all that remained of their relationship. The implication is derisive and distancing. As often happens with slang, the expressions originally from one segment of the culture (Jamaican terms adapted by African-Americans) appeared in popular song lyrics and were then picked up by the mainstream. Salon’s Alex Koppelman noted that Fox News used the term “Obama’s Baby Mama” in a graphic for a story about criticism of Michelle Obama and Fox is now responding to criticism that the term was inaccurate, inappropriate, offensive, and racist by saying that its producer used poor judgment.
Families should talk about how words used in different contexts can have different meanings and how slang terms move from the fringes to the mainstream and yet still be seen different ways by different people in different circumstances.