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Old 06-02-2014, 02:48 AM
charybdis charybdis is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Yesterday I wrote a big long response but got distracted before I sent it and my computer shut down a little while later and deleted it! Waaah! Anyway.

MsChristy, originally, I did not think they would meet because they are both pretty shy and it seemed unnecessarily awkward, since the relationships are separate. Then, with time, it became clear that Brooke would not be comfortable with being around him, as she keeps the relationships very separate in her mind and it would be hard for her, emotionally, to be in the same space as him.

london, to clarify, they do not feel awkward about each other's presence in my life; they feel awkward about meeting. It could be that this ended up getting in the way once the child is old enough to want people to attend events, as you mentioned. That is a long way down the road, and those occasions will not be that frequent, so I am not going to let that be the barrier in my mind that makes this all seem not-doable. Things to keep in mind, though.

LovingRadiance, good points. Thank you. I think looking at resources for divorced parents is probably a really good idea.

Galagirl, good point. And Thomas and I are moving to next door to his parents soon, so we will need to disclose soon, now that I think of it, because his parents will wonder where I am all the time when my car isn't there and all...

Dagferi, thanks for sharing your experience! Anything else you can say about how you have made it work? The logistics of going back and forth with a young child are hard for me to straighten out in my head...

Well, I had hoped for more similar experiences like Dagferi's, but your thoughts and insights were helpful, at any rate. I just bought "The Polyamorists Next Door," and hope that maybe I'll be able to find some shared experience there.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:27 AM
london london is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635

It's about two years away. It really, really, really isn't a long way down any road. Please take that from someone who feels like she had a baby yesterday when in actuality he turned eight last Monday.

I really think it's a silly idea to try and have her play a significant role in the baby's when the two of them can't be in the same room. I'm much more for separate relationships than I am family style poly but I understand that separate relationships mean that you don't get to have certain things. This is one of them.

It really will be unfair to the kid to bring them in this situation. You don't know if things will be okay enough between your partners by the time the kid wants everyone around them. That's something you have to assess before you let her take a significant role in it's life. Not after.

I know this all sounds lovely and you want to keep your romantic relationships as they are but not only do kids change things, their needs come first. I can't see how you're putting the child's needs ahead of your romantic relationships right now. It seems like you're simply trying to make all the adults feel loved, involved and protecting them from change.

I really, really doubt you'll find any other experiences of people who have their partners heavily involved in their kid's life despite them being unable to be in the same room as their metamours.

Why not, as a compromise, leave the baby with it's Dad when you visit her until he and your girlfriend can share space?
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:26 PM
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SlowPoly SlowPoly is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 182

I go between my home with my co-parent (W) and our children, and the home I share (more and more) with M. M has never met W and the children, and hasn't particularly wanted to, but knows it will probably eventually happen. They all know a lot about each other - they are all my family, so I talk about them freely to each other. And we all talk about relationships and the shapes of our lives.

My kids know it isn't normal, but they say they think it's good. People should live the way that feels good and works for them, even if that's not the way third parties are comfortable with. I'm so glad they see the world that way.

So that's the flip side of Dagferi's situation - I leave the kids (who aren't little babies) in their home with their other parent, instead of moving them back and forth as she does. It's working well.

After years of consideration and communication (and this includes communication between me and W), M and I have decided to have a baby, if nature cooperates.

We all understand that I (as birth mother, food source, and primary caregiver) will be logistically attached to the child for the first five years or so. The child will live part of the time with me in the W-and-kids family unit, so that I can still have plenty of time with my older children and W, and so that the entire sibling group can be together regularly. It's also understood that M will want as much time as possible with the baby, so my time with W and kids will be reduced, though still significant. We will probably shift from slightly more than half of my family time with W and kids to slightly less than half of my family time with W and kids. (It works out better than you'd think, since everyone has other obligations on their time, so time "away" from each other isn't always time we could have spent together, anyway.)

M will likely meet W's and my kids during the pregnancy. No rush, but it will probably happen. And we are considering logistics for allowing one older child at a time to stay in M's home with me, as the weight of my time shifts from one household to the other. That would increase my time with each of my older kids (as they desire), and broaden their individual relationships with the baby and with M. All that said, I don't expect M and W to ever spend a significant amount of time together. They will probably meet when M meets the kids, and then see each other incidentally and communicate rarely. I see no reason to impose a rule about how close they should be, and I'm not going to turn my back on a life with either of them because it looks funny to some outsider that they remain acquainted primarily through me.

I'd say the most important things are that everyone commits to prioritizing the mother-baby dyad, and to actively supporting each of the relationships between the child and the other adults significant in its life. Talking through the hard logistics *and* the mushy feelings ahead of time is important.

Does everyone feel their needs are understood?
Who feels strongly about certain labels?
Does anyone need together time on certain special days?
Will what we intend to tell outsiders about our relationships change?
How will it feel to be walking around as a "pregnant couple" when one of us isn't intended to be an official parent to the child?
Where will the baby-then-child sleep?
Which items (for mother and for baby) will need to be duplicated in both homes, which will travel between, which are even necessary?

Honestly, you never know how having a baby is going to play out. That's true in a (purposefully or accidentally) single life, in a monogamous relationship, and in every form of non-monogamy. Willingness to seek solutions in a dynamic reality matters a lot more than perfect plans. Plans are nice . . . and usually temporary.

I don't think you're selfish to give your child a different shape of family. No more selfish than choosing anything else about your life, including whether or not to have children at all. For each choice there are many who believe it is the selfish option.

I'm sorry for the long reply, but I have put *so* much thought and communication into my similar situation, I thought it worth elaborating on.

Enjoy the journey, and I hope to hear how things go.

SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch life partner co-parent former LDR
Woof life partner co-parent former spouse

Last edited by SlowPoly; 06-06-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:14 PM
charybdis charybdis is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4

Thanks so much for your sharing your experience and insights, SlowPoly. It is super, super helpful to hear from someone else who can relate. I have meant to respond with more, but for now, I'll leave it at that.
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