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-   -   Raising kids in a poly relationship (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70175)

AJoy 06-09-2014 08:20 AM

Raising kids in a poly relationship
 
I'm not sure exactly what answers I'm looking for, but we're (Lamb, Pickle, and I) are beginning the process of trying to conceive a child. Lamb isn't as interested in physically carrying (at this point), so it will be me. I am legally married to Pickle.

We've had a lot of talks about how this will work and look in society from birth and into school years. All of our families and friends will know our roles as parents, so I suppose that's most important. But, with regards to daycare, school, other public interactions... What might I expect? What different ways do people interact with schools and such? We'll have a lawyer draw up papers giving Lamb what rights we can, but I just want to know what I can do to protect our child while not slinking around like we are doing something wrong.

Also, the bureaucratic parts aside, what about things like sleep overs? Parents of our child's friends? Pickle and Lamb are more comfortable keeping a low profile and having more of an outward cover story, while I've had the personality that wants to tell everyone this is how we are and go to hell if they don't like it. Of course, I don't actually do that out of respect of my loves... Plus I'm afraid of losing my job over it (I don't know if this is or is not a rational fear).

How we do things now is more simple, but having a kid naturally involves many more adults and unknown people into our lives. It makes me nervous.

I know that many on here aren't in relationships with quite our dynamic, but I'm hoping that doesn't matter because it seems like many have kids, so hopefully have experience navigating these sort of things.

Sorry for rambling, not quite sure what I'm asking. ;) Any advice or insight welcome.

Kernow 06-09-2014 08:56 AM

I'm not sure I can be much help because we are in UK and from your comment about the fear of losing your job I assume that you must be in USA. I have a friend with a ten year old son who seems to have got it right, the boy simply has two mums and a dad and three sets of loving grandparents. They have made no secret of their situation with school, doctors, friends etc. Legally the two mums are his parents because the second mum adopted him, it was a bit complicated at the time I can't remember the details but it resulted in both women being his legal parents.

He is a lovely boy, happy, confident and well adjusted, he is popular at school and sleepovers and such like have never been a problem. I sense it may be easier to be open here, they haven't had any work problems, but the question of losing a job because of your private life really doesn't arise. I hope all goes well for you.

AJoy 06-09-2014 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kernow (Post 269080)
I'm not sure I can be much help because we are in UK and from your comment about the fear of losing your job I assume that you must be in USA. I have a friend with a ten year old son who seems to have got it right, the boy simply has two mums and a dad and three sets of loving grandparents. They have made no secret of their situation with school, doctors, friends etc. Legally the two mums are his parents because the second mum adopted him, it was a bit complicated at the time I can't remember the details but it resulted in both women being his legal parents.

He is a lovely boy, happy, confident and well adjusted, he is popular at school and sleepovers and such like have never been a problem. I sense it may be easier to be open here, they haven't had any work problems, but the question of losing a job because of your private life really doesn't arise. I hope all goes well for you.


Haha... I have to laugh first about your deductive reasoning about me living in the U.S.! :) no better a place to find ways to discriminate those who are different. I love living where I do physically, but have become so disenchanted with living where I do politically and socially. I digress...

Thanks for the example. That sounds fabulously ideal. It would be great to look into lamb adopting, though I wonder if that would require a divorce between pickle and I (will have to investigate).

The openness you described is the ideal I'm looking for, I would really love the schools and such to have the basic picture. Also, it's great to hear he's popular and well adjusted. I feel like that has to be in large part due to the fact that it doesn't seem like a thing of shame in his world.
Thanks! :)

Kernow 06-09-2014 09:44 AM

I'm sorry if that came over as discrimatory, I just meant to say that the job thing wouldn't be an issue here so I probably don't understand those dynamics. I really didn't mean to offend.

AJoy 06-09-2014 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kernow (Post 269083)
I'm sorry if that came over as discrimatory, I just meant to say that the job thing wouldn't be an issue here so I probably don't understand those dynamics. I really didn't mean to offend.

Oh! It didn't come across poorly at all!! :) I was just being cynical. I can't speak to other countries, but it feels like in this one, every time I turn around someone is being judged or condemned for who they are. I was absolutely in no way offended and really appreciated the insight you gave me. I'm so sorry if my response sounded offended, because I wasn't at all. So sorry!

LovingRadiance 06-09-2014 07:06 PM

I live in Alaska. Besides us, we know several families who are poly with children.
We home school, so dealing with the schools has been arbitrary.
However-there are poly families with kids in school and for them it has been arbitrary as well-because there are SO MANY mixed families already-that the schools are used to having a diverse number of parents to deal with.
Medical has been similar. They really don't care as long as you list everyone on the forms who is allowed to have contact/information etc, they aren't concerned about who those someone's may be.

"are you family?"
"yes I am".
Pretty much sums it up in the emergency room.

At any rate, we have his, mine, his and mine and the other his and mine kids in our household.
Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions.

AJoy 06-09-2014 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 269113)
I live in Alaska. Besides us, we know several families who are poly with children.
We home school, so dealing with the schools has been arbitrary.
However-there are poly families with kids in school and for them it has been arbitrary as well-because there are SO MANY mixed families already-that the schools are used to having a diverse number of parents to deal with.
Medical has been similar. They really don't care as long as you list everyone on the forms who is allowed to have contact/information etc, they aren't concerned about who those someone's may be.

"are you family?"
"yes I am".
Pretty much sums it up in the emergency room.

At any rate, we have his, mine, his and mine and the other his and mine kids in our household.
Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions.

Thanks! That's reassuring to know. I'm hoping that it's just a lot bigger thing in my head than in reality. :) I'm a teacher, so you'd think I would know what to expect at the schools. I do see, and don't think twice about, all sorts of family dynamics, but even so, I still worry about it.

One discussion we have had is whether or not to send our kid to school in our home district or to school with me (I know this is a while out). :) There is nothing wrong with our home area school, but my school would be terribly convenient with regards to before and after care. But... I don't see a way to keep our exact relationship dynamics less obvious if we went to my school. Plus, Pickle and Lamb think that I would be a real pain in the ass to our kid's teachers if we were at my school. Because I teach, Lamb would be the one to do most of the conferences, chaperoning, etc.... I wonder what that would do socially for our child. Pickle actually is a homeschool teacher... part of me would love him to quit and apply his knowledge to homeschooling our own kid. Oh, but to need the income... sigh. :)

Thanks again!

LovingRadiance 06-09-2014 11:23 PM

Many people choose the road of "don't ask don't tell" in regards to employers. Not that they are in the closet, if someone asks, they are honest, but htey don't offer the information.
If you pay attention now that it's on your mind, you may notice, most staff don't ask. They don't REALLY want to know the details.

I am not that way, my sister is. Some of her employees know (she's also in a poly dynamic), some do not. She pretty much see's it as none of their business, but she isn't afraid to answer questions honestly if someone is sincerely interested.

I on the other hand am very much an activist in other arenas and therefore my life gets nitpicked anyway, so I am very upfront and out about my life. More of the "if I say it before they try to share it-it's no longer a powerful tool that they can use against me" attitude.

As for our kids; they are 23, 18, 17, 14, and 7. Our closest friends are mono with two kids who are 13 and 10. To be blunt, no one has cared. We home school Through IDEA-the staff regularly see bf and I together (and separate) but they know dh and I. No one has asked. Not one time. I was very involved in the parent advisory committee for two years and I created the home school prom for Matsu-so they are WELL aware of who I am and a large percentage of the families are religious. But, not interested in delving into my personal life.

In all reality, in Alaska, your biggest risk is going to be yourselves and your extended families.

All of our kids are VERY social except one. None of their friends have cared either. We haven't had any issues with kids being left out or unfriended by other families on account of our family dynamic. Frankly-because the other parents don't generally ask questions. One of our kids is very involved in the religious communities, attends church at two different places, goes to the Victory Bible Camps a couple times each summer, goes to a church youth group etc. He hasn't had issues.

All of our kids and the kids who we care for know and their parents know as well. It's been a non-issue. The most religious oriented child we have is the 14 year old. His take on it was "yeah well Jesus said to love everyone" and off he went on his merry little way, that was almost 5 years ago.
When we told the teenagers at the time, they all responded with some version of "yeah ok, we don't want to know about your sex life, glad you have love, can we go play with our friends".
The youngest has never had any other life. She's almost 7 (in a few weeks) and for her it is just completely natural.

AJoy 06-10-2014 12:12 AM

Wow! Thanks so much. It's helpful reading about how those elements have looked in your life. And your son has a very awesome perspective when it comes to religion...I wish everyone could be that way. :)

LovingRadiance 06-10-2014 12:47 AM

Ah if everyone were that way it might be too easy. :)


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