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-   -   Poly & Parents (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50932)

Flowerchild 07-29-2013 05:19 PM

Poly & Parents
This is a question for any polys out there who are also parents, mothers and fathers.

You and your partner have SOs. Your children are comfortable with the SOs in one or both of your absence. Is this A) Relieving (My children are safe when I'm gone, are comfortable with this other person caring for them) or B) Threatening (Oh, God, my children are replacing me with a new mother/father). Assuming the SO in question has made no indication of wanting to replace, but is merely trying to be accommodating to your needs.

Please only respond if you are actually a parent. Do not have to have experienced this personally. And please be honest.

Flear 07-29-2013 05:50 PM

as our little one is 10mo, i'm not as concerned about this as my lady is.

she is adamant that she is little ones mom and no one else is to ever have that title for him. or to be acting as little ones mom.

as little one is only 10mo. he's a little young

as my lady has other b/f's currently, her concern has been to have them recognize and get along with little one, but that's it.

everything sounds reasonable to me.

Maleficent 07-29-2013 05:50 PM


I have never and would never leave my children with anyone I feel threatened by. If I'm not comfortable with them then they don't come near my kids period. The kids safety and well being always come first. Without question.

Vixtoria 07-29-2013 05:59 PM

I'd have to with A as well. It hasn't happened as of yet, but my kiddos are all tween - teen aged and while they know of my OSO haven't had a chance to meet him in person. It's long distance but they have gotten their little faces in while skyping and have texted and all of that with him. There's few people I could see myself leaving my kids with but I think at this point and at this age they are well aware of who are parents and who are adults to respect and listen to when in charge. Not to mention my OSO is so NOT interested in taking on a father role at all. Supplemental or otherwise.

Atlantis 07-29-2013 06:43 PM

My kids are 4 and 6.
My ex has/had an SO, they are breaking up. She is a licensed daycare worker. I have never met her. But I know he leaves the kids with her sometimes.
A) I am relieved that they like her.
B) Relieved there is another adult in the home ( he drinks ).
C) Not threatened, they have a mum, me, other positive role model adults are a good thing.

Flowerchild 07-29-2013 07:18 PM

Thank you for the replies.

Maleficent, of course I would not want anyone leaving their children with someone that risked their security. My question was, if the children's safety is not an issue, if the children like and are comfortable with the children, would that in ITSELF threaten your role as their mother? Or would you be happy that the children had found someone who could take care of them in your absence. I am referring to irrational fear, not real.

Atlantis, thank you. I am hoping to find more people out there like you.

Flear, while your opinion is valid, I'm not really looking for people to speak for others. It would be more helpful to me if YOU had ever felt threatened (i.e. replaced) as a father figure by your wife's partners. Say, for example, if you found out the children had had a GREAT day with one of those partners....or perhaps he'd given them a birthday present that they loved.

It is not unheard of (nor unreasonable!) for a partner in that case to get jealous, not of their partner, but of their metamour.

I am very much interested in how people have handled that particular jealousy.

ThatGirlInGray 07-29-2013 08:13 PM

I'm confused. You say "Do not have to have experienced this personally" but then you say you're "not really looking for people to speak for others" and are "interested in how people have handled that particular jealousy". Which is it? I'm a parent, but my husband has never had a serious partner so I've never had an opportunity to discover if I would be jealous or not. My boyfriend and I have an explicit agreement NOT to co-parent each others' kids. As far as I know my husband is not threatened by/jealous of my kids liking my boyfriend, and as far as I know my boyfriend's ex (mother of his kids) is not threatened by/jealous of me as far as interactions with her kids go.

Since I haven't experienced this myself, speaking for others is about all I can do.

Delphinius 07-29-2013 08:55 PM

if you're a good parent....
....no one will ever replace you in your children's eyes as mom & dad.... if you are indeed a caring parent the answer to your question is A.

My 'birth' children know they are loved and cared for by our OSO's, they know they have two more adults they can count on and will be always be there for them and if they were younger, we'd leave them with either of the OSOs in a heartbeat, knowing they'd be loved and safe and happy.

Seems some families have kids call OSOs "uncle" or "aunt", some their given name or a made up one (Ashton Kutcher was MOD to Demi's kids - 'my other dad'). Kids are amazingly resilient and open to love in all the forms. They just want to be loved, so to them the more that love them the better but no one "replaces" their parents. Like poly people its not a zero sum bit of love, they can love more than one adult as a parent and they flourish with all the extra love and attention.

Maybe try to not be threatened but see it as a benefit, birth parents will always be special but so can OSO's, right?

In the case of my 'step' children (in label only, these boys ARE my boys, my heart every bit as much as my 'birth' children) their mother was NOT a good, caring, responsible mother. She's an alcoholic and could have some undiagnosed mental issues as well and made lots of really lousy decisions; she essentially abdicated her maternal duties in search of selfish ones. So, I'm the first healthy mother figure they've ever known: I love them, praise them, hold them when they're hurt and I also get them to do chores & brush their teeth & eat vegetables they've never had to or tried before....

They love & respect me like a mother because I treat them like a mother so yes I've essentially "replaced" their mother. Even with all that, our most fervent wish is that their 'birth' mother will get the help she needs, heal and eventually begin to repair her relationship with the boys. We've made it very clear to the boys, their mother loves them she's just not making good decisions right now so we're also protecting them. They needed a mother and I love them, so I stepped up willing and wanting to. But I will always be "Delph" and their mother will always be their mother and hopefully she'll get her shit together & choose to behave like one again in the future; we've left that door WIDE OPEN with her and the boys.

LovingRadiance 07-29-2013 09:07 PM

Maca and I married when my daughter was 6 and his son was 2. So our kids immediately had 3 parents when we got together. In the meantime, we've had a son and we have a daughter who is biologically the child of myself and GG.

My ex married when Spicy Pea was 8 or so. At that point, she had 4 parents legally.

BUT-from birth, Spicy Pea considered my sister her "other mom" as well.

More recently a close friend has been claimed as an adopted grandmother by my grandson too and with his choice, Spicy has claimed her as a third mom.

I am not at all threatened by metamours being good parental figures for my children. In fact, I'm totally ok with my kids even calling them mom also. The fact is-the kids who were born of me are mine because they love me and I love them. The kids who have claimed me (like my Godson) are mine because they love me and I love them.

Sour Pea is our youngest. She calls Maca daddy and GG "My GG". Her biology is NOT a secret in our home, family or groups of friends. SHe's well aware of the biology. It's just how the names fell together (because she heard the other kids call GG uncle and she knew he wasn't her uncle).

Each child lays a claim to each of the adults in our circle in their own personal way.
Sweet Pea tends to be more possessive about who he calls mom or dad. He never ever refers to anyone else that way. But-he adopts "aunts" and "uncles" easily.

I think that there is MUCH to be said about understanding that love and commitment are the keys to a relationship and regardless if it is child to parent or lover to lover-pet names aren't ever going to mean one person has replaced another.

Flowerchild 07-29-2013 09:16 PM

Hope this helps.

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 217775)
I'm confused. You say "Do not have to have experienced this personally" but then you say you're "not really looking for people to speak for others" and are "interested in how people have handled that particular jealousy". Which is it?

Sorry for the ambiguity. What I meant was, I'm looking for mothers or fathers who have experienced this. I don't really want opinions on how your spouse might feel. However, if you are in a situation where you feel you might have a partner's SO become more involved, well, if you thought about it, what are your gut feelings? Surely, you must have thought about this....

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