What About The Children?? Polyamorous Parenting

letseatcake's picture

I’m not sure about you other poly parents (wait, do those even exist?), but one thing I hear over and over again is, “I guess being open is cool, but I feel sorry for the kids.”  In fact, the Polyamory Society website now has a warning to parents:  If your PolyFamily has children, please do not put your children and family at risk by coming out to the public or by being interviewed [by] the press!

People are losing their children because they’re polyamorous.  Forget child abuse, alcoholism or neglect - there is a new enemy:  Too much love.  Too much honesty, and “so many people to hug!” as my 13-year-old daughter recently said.  Turns out people really are afraid of what they don’t understand, and the courts are now pointing the finger at poly families. 

So what does a poly relationship look like when kids are involved?  As every relationship is different, I can only attest to my own.  It’s important to realize we are not unaware of the negative impact our relationships could have on my daughter.  We could be having orgies all over the house.  My daughter could wake up to find a different man in my bed every night.  A string of trampy women could be introduced as mommy #2 every other week. 

But no, we have rules.  We don’t introduce my daughter to anyone we aren’t confident is going to be around for a long time.  In fact, my daughter has only met 3 people outside our primary relationship - my current (year long) boyfriend, my parnter's (year and a half plus) girlfriend, and another woman my partner dated for over a year.  When I finally “came out” to my daughter, it was 4 months into my current relationship, and she was actually quite upset with me that I hadn’t told her sooner.

These relationships are not detrimental to our child.  In fact, they are quite the opposite.  As a witness to our lifestyle, it’s my hope that my daughter will be raised to see that jealousy is better dealt with through communication, not the silent treatment or anger.  She will have a deeper grasp on the concept that a person is not a possession and cannot be owned.  It will be a reminder that not all relationships fit a mold.  She will see that love is bountiful, and virtually limitless.  She will see the effort my partner and I put into communication, and above all, she will see what it looks like when two people are completely honest with themselves and each other.

There are other benefits that are more important to a 13-year old.  More present on Christmas!   More people to do fun stuff with!  More people interested in her life.  She has developed relationships with the people in our lives, and it’s very clear how much she likes both of them, and they her.  I realized our relationship had met a pinnacle of success when my boyfriend picked my daughter up for a day on the town, and stopped by my parnter's girlfriend’s work to say hi. 

If I’m being honest, the only thing I can see that could pose some problems for her, is how her friends view our relationship.  She has discussed it with a few of her friends, and all she’s said is, “they don’t get it,” but nobody has said anything negative about it.  My bigger fear is when one of her friend’s uptight parents catches wind of it. . .I’m sure we’ll be treated like homosexuals (gasp!) or a mixed race couple (shame!!).  How I wish people weren’t so close-minded.

I just wish people could trust that a couple who is mature enough and in-tune with each other enough to pull off a successful open relationship. . .might be equally as sensitive and aware of the effects it could have on their child.

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this is a wonderful addition

arvan's picture

...into the conversation of how or whether an individual is recognized in the terms of their own choosing.  Parenting our own children is a topic that many of us take very seriously and with great emotion.  It is many things to us all and only each of us knows what the true value we place on our role as parent. 

However, what parenting is not - is a license to dictate our beliefs to others, based our our stated vision of values / morals.  Parenting is also not a license to tell other parents that they are a danger to their children simply because we disapprove of their values. 

We are free to think those things and to say them to anyone that will listen to us blather on about how great we are and how much we think they suck.  But we are not empowered by our self-stated wonderfulness and extra awesome goodness, to harass, slander, intimidate, pressure or publicly punish - for being in a different marriage, religion, love life or sex / gender / body identity than our own. 

My neighbors, strangers and family can think all they want of me and how I raise my children, how I love and how I define myself.  If they disagree, go ahead and say something - or not, it's their call. 

For those that claim that somehow a polyamorous parent / family is somehow a danger to their family, are simply guilty of the same kind of libel, slander and flat-out delusion as those who claim that gay marriage will ruin hetero marriage.  Marriages and parents suck or shine on their own merits and never because of who the neighbor fucks or loves.  Period.  End of story.

For the numbskulls that want to chime in with some conflated argument about how polyamory is akin to some genuine physical or emotional ill (rape, incest, murder, bestiality, Baal worship...) shut the fuck up before you even waste both of our days.

Thanks for this great post and welcome.

-arvan

@Arvan, Thanks for my first

letseatcake's picture

@Arvan,


Thanks for my first comment :)


"But we are not empowered by our self-stated wonderfulness and extra awesome goodness, to harass, slander, intimidate, pressure or publicly punish - for being in a different marriage, religion, love life or sex / gender / body identity than our own."


If only people WEREN'T empowered by these things lawfully.  Unfortunately, they still are.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to have the means with which to remove children from their homes and loving parents?  How tragic.



 


 

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