NeNe Leakes is usually the one bring the drama on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. However, this season, someone is stealing her thunder. And I’m not talking about “Gone With the Wind Fabulous” Kenya Moore. The lady bringing all the drama is not even a housewife. It’s Mama Joyce.
Mama Joyce is Kandi Burruss‘ mother and it seems she has made it her life’s goal to make sure her daughter is single forever. Kandi met Todd Tucker while shooting a previous season of Housewives. He was on the production staff and the two started dating. They have since become engaged and have moved in together. For some reason, Mama Joyce hates Todd and she is willing to do anything to get him out of Kandi’s life.
The big debate this season has been whether or not Todd is an opportunist. Kandi, 37, has been a successful singer/songwriter since she was 16. If you have a favorite R&B song of the late 90s or early 2000s, she probably wrote it. She now continues to produce music and has several other successful businesses. The point is, she has some serious money in the bank. However, Todd does production. His work is not always steady and Mama Joyce thinks he is just using Kandi for her status and money (like she herself is).
Mama Joyce has even gone as far to suggest that Todd is having an affair with Kandi’s assistant and long-time friend, Carmon. However, she denies starting the rumor. “People called me. That’s not nothing that I started. That’s not nothing that I started or set out,” she said when the three talked about their situation on the The View earlier this week.
It was revealed in last week’s episode that she plotted to have Todd caught with other women so she would have proof that he was unfaithful. After learning this, Todd seemed to tell Kandi that he might leave the relationship if Mama Joyce doesn’t stop interfering. However, he clarified his statement on The View.
“I think everyone has a breaking point. You know, the lies. That stuff is really tough. I have a mom and it affects my mother. It affects my daughter. It affects Kandi’s daughter. The other day Kandi’s daughter told Kandi, ‘I don’t like that he said he would leave you.’ And really, that was just my frustration of the situation, I wasn’t saying that to hurt her daughter.”
This is not the first time Mama Joyce has interfered in Kandi’s love life. When Kandi first joined the show in season two, she was engaged to AJ Jewell. They were even planning a wedding. Mama Joyce disapproved of AJ because he had six children by several other women. By the next season, the two had called off their engagement but not reason was given. I can only imagine Mama Joyce had something to do with it.
I’m only 24 and I don’t know anything about parenting (or relationships for that matter), but I feel Mama Joyce needs to go sit in her corner of the boxing ring. She has said what she needed to say and now it’s time for her leave it alone. All parents can do is give their children guidance and advice and then let them make their own mistakes. Mama Joyce is trying to control Kandi and her relationships.
I also believe she is doing so for her own selfish reasons. Kandi makes sure that her mother is financially secure. We know Kandi has money and if Todd comes into the picture as a husband, Mama Joyce might be scared her cash flow is going to start decreasing. Kandi even gave her mother the first house she bought when she became famous so that her and Todd could start a new life in a new house. Mama Joyce even brought up the “what if” scenario of something happening to Kandi. “What about me,” she asked Kandi. “Would Todd get everything?“
During their interview on The View, even Whoopi told Mama Joyce to mind her own business. Joyce admitted to being in a relationship and that Kandi had no say in the matter. Whoopi then said Joyce (and herself) are too old to deal with the foolishness of their children’s relationships.
I also have a problem the way Kandi is handling the entire situation. She has never drawn boundaries with Mama Joyce. Mama Joyce can do and say anything she wants and Kandi never fully addresses the problem. Her mother even picked a fight with Carmon while Kandi was trying on wedding dresses and Kandi did nothing to stop the argument. Carmon and Todd have both confronted Kandi about this but she always has the defense of “that’s my mama.”
“Your mama continues to mind f*** you and if you don’t check that, she’ll continue to run this relationship, run this house, run your business and everything else,” Todd said on last week’s episode.
And he’s right. Mama Joyce may be trying to protect her daughter, but if Kandi doesn’t have a real conversation with her and respectfully tell her it’s none of her business, Kandi will never be truly happy. Todd will leave, no other person is going to allow a third party in the relationship, and Kandi will continue to be alone, hopelessly looking for a man that Mama Joyce approves of.
“I love my mother to death and I do feel like my mother has done a lot in raising me and whatever, but I do feel like mom, you had kids, too, when you were dating. Your mother didn’t interfere with your relationships. You still were able to make your own mistakes. I just feel like, I’m not one of those kids that you had to go bailing out of jail. You haven’t had to pay for anything for me since I was 16. And I just feel like you just treat me like I am just so stupid and I have no sense of responsibility, and I don’t think that’s fair,” a crying Kandi told her mother on The View.
I’m all for parents protecting their children, but Mama Joyce is doing a little too much. By hurting Todd, she’s also hurting her daughter. It’s time for Mama Joyce to take a seat and focus on her own relationship. I’ve followed this situation since the beginning and I don’t believe Todd is an opportunist. However, if he is and this relationship is a mistake, Mama Joyce needs to be there to catch Kandi when she falls and then she will be able to say “I told you so.” Until that happens, Mama Joyce needs to stay out of it and Kandi needs to “check” her mother when she crosses the line.
This is just how I feel on the matter. But CDL wants to know what you think. Is Mama Joyce too controlling or should more parents be involved in their adult children’s relationships? Join the conversation and leave a comment.