Monday night, the city's own reality show premieres. "The Real Babymamas of Richmond" follows the struggles of a group of single moms in the Richmond area.
Already it's stirring up controversy, getting both positive and negative feedback.
Show creator Aretha Lewis, known on the show as "Pumpkin" or "Big Sexy," says you can bet there'll be some "baby mama drama."
"When you get this many women working together it's nothing but drama," she described.
Lewis says the title alone has prompted criticism.
"They were saying it was ratchet, it was ghetto because of the title of it," she told us.
Some have said it's going to reinforce stereotypes.
"I've never been married so I'm not a housewife," Lewis explained.
The Richmond mom, who has four children by four different men, looks at it from a specific perspective.
"At the end of the day, I know I'm not a ‘baby mama,'" she maintained. "I'm a mother and a father for my four children."
The show explores the challenges of being a single mom in the city. It spotlights eight women. Each one has between two and nine children.
"We all had a choice and we all made a decision," Shanelle Thomas, whose nickname on the show is "Coco," said. "My pregnancies weren't planned. This is not what I planned to do with my life, however once it was given to me, I made a decision to do the best that I can do."
Lewis is hoping Richmonders will see the positive message she's trying to convey.
"Are we encouraging single parenting," she asked rhetorically. "No, we are not, but I just want to let them know that it can be done without a father."
A new episode is scheduled to air every Monday at 9 p.m. For now, the show is only available on YouTube and Richmond's public access channel, which is Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 36.
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