What would possess a man to publicly diss the mother of his child(ren)?
I’ve been following the very public feud between rapper Bow Wow and video model Joie Chavis, the woman he refers to in an open letter to his fans as his “baby mama.” On April 27, Joie gave birth to Shai, 24-year-old Bow’s first child, and it seems like there’s been nothing but drama ever since.

I’m positive their beef started before the baby’s arrival, as Bow Wow couldn’t manage to make it to the hospital for the actual birth of his daughter, Joie told TMZ. He showed up the hospital six days later, and his name didn’t even make the birth certificate.

Now why is she talking to TMZ about her child’s father? Prior to that interview, Bow Wow wrote an open letter to his fans acknowledging he had a daughter (at one point he denied it), praising her as “ the illest gift of my life,” and dissing her mother.

“The bs that comes with having a baby mama is expected,” he wrote. “Jus [sic] gotta [sic] suck it up keep chin high and try not let her get the best of my feelings by playin [sic] them stupid games.

Joie’s initial response was to retweet a follower who had read the letter and observed, “How can you throw the person under the bus that gave you the gift you’re so blessed to have?” That’s when Joie spoke to TMZ.

Couples disagree. They fight, they don’t see eye-to-eye. People — men and women alike — do and say things where talking greasy and keeping it real isn’t just what you want to do, it’s what the other person has coming. But there has to be a line that we can all agree does not need to be crossed. And right before you get to the point where you start badmouthing whoever it is you laid up with (without protection) stop and reconsider your words, even if they really, really deserve it.
What so many people who talk bad about others miss is that the unkind words and criticisms reflect as poorly on the speaker as the person they’re speaking ill of. I read Bow Wow’s open letter and instead of thinking ‘his child’s mother must be a handful!’, I immediately began to speculate as to the role he plays in the “stupid games” they are playing with each other. Joie’s the type of person who causes “bs?” Oh, really? Then why did he have sex with her without a condom? Maybe he should have gotten to know her better and he wouldn’t be dealing with his current headaches. Bad mouthing works both ways.

Bow and Joie are young, so I’m going to hope their immature actions (like talking to the media about family matters) is something they will move on from without too much damage. As much as I enjoy the daily juicy-ness of oh-no-she/he-didn’t drama, it’s disappointing to have somebody’s parents acting a public fool.  
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter: @abelleinbk

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