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Old 07-29-2013, 05:19 PM
Flowerchild Flowerchild is offline
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Default 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.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:50 PM
Flear Flear is offline
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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.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:50 PM
Maleficent Maleficent is offline
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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.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:59 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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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.
Me: 40 pansexual poly.
DH: My husband of 21 yrs and father of 3 teen girls.
DC: LDR of +9 years/former
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:43 PM
Atlantis Atlantis is offline
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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.
Me: mid 40s female.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:18 PM
Flowerchild Flowerchild is offline
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Default Thanks

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.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:13 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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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.
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:02 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi Flower

I'm a poly parent - I live with my GF and her husband, who have a four year old daughter (I'll call her Baby). She is now considered by all of us as my daughter too. I have been a part of their family for just over two years... so I can speak both as the 'other partner' coming in as a new parent - and as the existing parent dealing with 'other partners' coming into the mix.

From the side of being the 'other partner/parent' first....

Yes, absolutely. Both my GF and her husband have had moments of feeling threatened (even though they have always been hugely encouraging of the relationship between myself and Baby). Moreso Hubby, as he isn't in a romantic relationship with me. Baby is like my best friend - we adore each other. As soon as we met, I was a novelty to her. She often prefers to sit by me in restaurants, hold my hand when we're out, etc. We are very close. This could be hard at times for GF and hubby (understandably!!!). Of course this would upset them.

From *my* side, as the 'new parent/partner' (I'm giving this first, to give you food for thought), I have been eternally grateful for their approach to this. To feel their trust... their admiration... their appreciation for everything I do with and for Baby... it's honestly the most beautiful thing. I know, and they know, that I really do enrich her life. Not only does she have an extra person to love and to be loved by; but there are tangible benefits to her little life - and to GF and hubby's lives. They have an extra babysitter who they trust ~grins~. They have someone to give an extra hand with clothing her, feeding her, entertaining her, applying bandaids, dealing with tantrums. There are also unique things that I bring to her life, simply because of my own experiences and personality, and it makes me feel absolutely wonderful that GF and Hubby appreciate this.

However, still from the perspective of *me* as the 'new partner'. I've never, ever wanted, or dreamed of 'replacing' GF and Hubby as Baby's parents. They each bring countless wonderful and unique things to Baby's life that I couldn't bring so effectively. If we are good parents, nobody can break that bond. We also all can't be everything - I can't simultaneously be playful older sister, Auntie, Mother, Father, band member, fashion police, authoritarian, chef, etc. I can be a little of all of those things -but I excel in some areas and am complete shit in others. What does work is when the three of us put our skills together. GF is great with discipline and Baby respects that. I'm great with talking to Baby and helping her to express herself. Hubby is great with education and spoiling her

So, this brings me to the point worth considering. When we are threatened, it can mean that we feel a person is doing something 'better' than we are. Absolutely, it's usually to do with kissing or sex, on these forums. But of course it applies to parents too. I thought I was a rocking first-time parent over the past two years, until my platonic friend came on holiday with us. Pffft.... Baby totally shirked me! It was all about him! He was an absolute natural. She completely adored him. Now... because he is my friend, I didn't think much of it except "sniff, sniff, she's not holding my hand". If he'd been my GF's secondary, I probably would have been very, very uncomfortable.

What does that tell me? It tells me that I not only fear being replaced as a parent; but replaced as a family member. That's my shit to work on

Alright, so, moving onto *my* perspective as the existing parent.

We don't currently introduce Baby to our secondaries, for two main reasons. The first is that we are quite fickle wenches - our secondaries don't last long. We don't want her to become attached to them and then have them disappear on her, time and time again. The second reason is that we are protective - and yes, in turn, possessive - over Baby and the family unit in general. The model we have signed up to is that love and all that is great; but in terms of Baby and co-habiting, we'd like to continue as a V - myself, my GF, her husband. We don't want to move other people in or have the conflicting opinions of a whole group of people raising her.

Some of this, I feel, is logical. I do think children need stability and protection. But of course variety is great - of course a colourful and rich childhood, meeting many different people and losing many different people, could actually be extremely productive for her development.

Ultimately, to give you advice: there is nothing wrong with admitting that you feel threatened about other partners bonding with your child. There is also nothing wrong with adopting whatever model of relationship and parenting suits you. Where you have conflict is if you decide it's totally cool to have people over at your house, or even move in with you - but expect them not to bond with your child. It either has to be separate, or it has to be encouraged.

So, how can you work on your feelings of replacement, if you decide to involve other partners in your child's life? Essentially, think of the benefits to your child and you will find peace. Think of their happy little face. Then, think about what this other person is doing that you might not be doing and what you could learn from this. Do you recognise that you could communicate more with your child? That you could play with them more? Anything at all that you can see you could make an effort to do better? Or, is it simply the novelty of this new person? Their natural ability with children? Finally, what do you see that you do well, with your child? What do you already provide for them that you know they need and appreciate? All of these things will hopefully help you to feel more at ease.
Me: 32f, evolving

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:48 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:38 AM
london london is offline
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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.
Ok, my child had a step parent (K) for two years. I can't see how that is much different from an ongoing poly relationship, if anything, it's "worse" because the child(ren) only see their parents being affectionate with their new partners. I have absolutely never felt that K was trying to replace me. If anything, I did my best to make sure she felt included and wanted. How could she replace me? I'm his mum and we have a warm, loving, close relationship. If, for some reason, I hadn't been a very good mother to him, then maybe I'd worry that she will get in there before I have a chance to salvage things, but that isn't the case so it was never, and wouldn't ever be a threat to me. My son was conceived in a monogamous relationship, but my attitude would be no different in a polyamorous relationship. A metamour could be absolutely no threat to the relationship between a parent and child. Anyone that intends (notice I said intends, because nobody actually could be one) to be a threat isn't suitable to be part of my family.
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