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  #11  
Old 07-13-2014, 03:44 AM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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My situation might be a bit different from others in this thread. I acted monogamous for most of my kids' lives. I didn't allow myself to recognize or accept that I'm polyamorous. So my kids grew up seeing me in a monogamous marriage to their father--which ended very badly and with emotional abuse from him toward me--and then a monogamous marriage with their stepfather beginning a couple of years after I left my ex.

Last year, Hubby and I chose to open our marriage. My kids were then 17 and 14, and all they were told was that he and I had decided it was okay if we went out with other people--"going out" meaning to dinner or for a walk or something.

Both kids met Guy last summer, in the context of "he's a friend of Mom and our stepdad." That was all they knew about him at that point.

My older kiddo turned 19 today. Younger one will be 16 at the end of the month. Because the younger one has Asperger's and so tends toward very black-and-white thinking, and because she's very close with her father and tells him far more than I'm comfortable with him knowing about our household, I'm not telling her the truth about Guy until she's an adult, if even then. (Her father would most likely use it as an excuse to file for custody, even though Guy isn't even in the area anymore and so is never around my kids.) The older one knows the truth; I told her a few months ago. She thinks it's "cool."
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2014, 04:50 AM
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Some key points I am getting from the new posts:
  • Schools should be chosen for their quality first, not by whether we want to be out about being poly.
  • NRE doesn't just endanger closeness with our original partner; it can also endanger our closeness with our kids.
  • Children shouldn't be introduced to "revolving door partners;" they should only be introduced to partners who are committed for the long haul.
  • When and whether a child is told is a complex matter and varies from one child to the next.
  • Some kids can't be told til they're adults due to potential custody battles.
One question I kind of picked up from another thread today is, What if adult relationships aren't getting the attention they need due to the needs of the kids? How much use, for example, is it okay to make of the services of babysitters?

Even monogamous marriages can run into that dilemma, especially if they have a lot of kids.
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2014, 08:33 AM
MightyMax MightyMax is offline
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I've dated women who clearly prioritise their love lives and will cut into quality parent-child time to spend time with a partner instead. It's been the reason that I split up with someone. I wasn't comfortable with her child being ostracised from us for hours so we could have quality time. It made her child very resentful of me. I understand that she didn't have many people around to babysit but I think that when you have a child, they come first and your need for sex and romance should be secondary. It's very difficult to tell someone else how to parent their child though.

I've found that women seem a lot more comfortable with early introduction and interaction with their children if the person is female. I've found it quite scary how much access and input some of my female partners have allowed or encouraged me to have with their children.

I don't think it's a poly thing because many monogamous people who have children from previous relationships take a similar approach to dating after the breakdown of a relationship.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2014, 12:04 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
One question I kind of picked up from another thread today is, What if adult relationships aren't getting the attention they need due to the needs of the kids? How much use, for example, is it okay to make of the services of babysitters?
I agree with MightyMax. I have seen mums do precisely what was described. I can only speak for myself, but I know I was stretched beyond my means. I could trim time in every imaginable way, but truth be told, I still never had time in my life for a second relationship. There was no way my relationship with my child would not be affected. I knew that then, too. I just did not take it seriously as I should have. I took quality time away from my youngest daughter to maintain a relationship. (WTF was wrong with me?) I am beginning to understand how she must have felt. I understand the resentment and hatred she has towards me. I am mad at myself because I am the same person who waited almost seven years into my marriage to have my first baby. I knew my time was spread thin, so I waited until I could give my child the attention and time he/she deserved.

When a person becomes a parent, everyone--partners included--have to understand that the infant, toddler, or young child's needs come first. The sick child who is vomiting is more important than a date. My child's ballet recital is more important than a date. If my child has to go to the emergency room, I am not going to be checking my watch and wondering, "Hmm. Will I have enough time to go on my planned date with boyfriend #2 when we leave?" I realise my child has another parent at home, but what happens if my child has a reaction to the course of treatment? Then, my husband has to call me, interrupt my date, and I have to rush to wherever my child is. In this example, I am better off rescheduling the date and staying with my child.

It is understood that not all needs will be met because the baby has top priority. It is like, "I am sorry you have blue balls, but I am exhausted, have sore nipples from nursing, and I have not had a good night's sleep in x days. Sex and being wined and dined are the last things on my mind." It takes becoming a parent to understand what it feels like to be a walking zombie. The first year of parenting was a beast. I can count the number of hours we slept the first year. It only heightened when our daughter started teething and weaning. When a baby starts sleeping through the night or adapts to a schedule, some parents rejoice.

It is important for parents to have quality time together. The relationship between parents and other partners cannot suffer and be forgotten, though. Patience and understanding are key. How much QT and how much a couple/family utilises babysitters is solely at their discretion. I do not care for the idea of different people caring for my children or being in our home. We had to hire a live-in because the former third parent did not live in the home, and we worked erratic hours. There was no family close by. Who could we call at 1 in the morning and ask to watch our daughter because we were both on call? Even now, their nanny has set hours--unless we ask in advance if she can work outside of her regular hours.

It definitely happens with mono parents. I have always shaken my head at the fact that my sister has introduced every boyfriend to her children and had them spending the night. She does not hire babysitters, but it used to piss me off so much that every weekend one child was with our parents, and the other was with our aunt and uncle, so she could go out clubbing or with her boyfriend of the hour. It was not my place to tell her how to parent, and I mind my own business. Our parents still call her out on her behaviour and ask why her children seem to never be at home? My nephews are raising themselves because my sister is selfish and only concerned with her wants, so I do not blame our parents for asking questions.
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2014, 01:49 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post


In my case, my lack of availability caused me not to have a relationship with my child. I had no time to take from my career. I had no time to take from family/friends because they only saw me at funerals and weddings. I had no time to take from Matt. Newborns and romance do not go hand in hand. Who did I cut time from to meet the other relationship's needs? My child because she was the only person taking up all of my time.
While poly may have been the interest that kept you from giving the time to your daughter that she needed and deserved, it happens in mono households too. If the parents have too many commitments or are too self-absorbed the same thing can happen. A lot of kids feel a disconnect with their workaholic parents - those that miss every event in the child's life because of work, and never spend time with them because they are too busy. Or look at the ultra wealthy whose children are raised by nannies.

The point is when parents consistently prioritize anything over the kids, it is not going to bode well for the parent - child relationship.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2014, 02:00 PM
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I can understand the choice of school. The best schools here are religious schools. My youngest daughter is currently attending an Anglican school, and I was not keen on her attending a religious school. However, I wanted her to have the best education and be a well-rounded student. Education is serious here. My son was accepted into a school that has a waiting list of 10+ years for certain entry points. The Dean of Admissions jokingly tells prospective parents to add their children to the waiting list while they are still in the womb. I knew in advance that even if I was to date again, being out at her school was not an option. I was not willing to sacrifice her education or chance at success for my own selfish wants or desire to be out. Being out has nothing to do with her, though. Thus, if I had to give off the impression of being mono at her school, so be it. I have to do the same thing with Matt's job and colleagues.
Exactly! My slam wasn't toward private religious schools. I understand that often religious schools offer a very good education. My statement pertained to putting a child in that environment AND being open about a relationship configuration that is not well-accepted. Can you really make things any harder on a kid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post

Interesting. If you do not mind me asking, how old were the children?
They were 8 and 10. We were not open about our relationship to the children either. But heck, mono couples don't discuss their relationship and sex lives with children, so why would you in a poly relationship? The children only knew I was a part of the household and was an adult they could trust.
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Last edited by bookbug; 07-13-2014 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Typos
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2014, 02:11 PM
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Kind of the opposite of this convo, but I just read an article in Psychology Today called "Childolotry." The point was two-fold. That many parents today are so prioritizing their children, giving them 100% of their attention, that the relationship between the parents dies from lack of nourishment - which is ultimately not good for the children. And that because the children are almost over-nurtured and coddled they never really learn to be self-reliant adults.

I think the message is seek the middle ground.
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2014, 02:48 PM
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My kids are THRIVING in a poly home.

They love Murf and he them. They have gained a whole family who care about them.

I will answer in full detail when I get back to my other home tomorrow and my computer. It is fair to difficult to make a huge post via my phone.
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  #19  
Old 07-13-2014, 04:43 PM
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Thanks Dagferi, and that's encouraging news about how your kids are doing.

Re: childolotry ... on some subconscious level I think I hoped someone would introduce this idea, the idea that prioritizing the kids 100% of the time actually doesn't necessarily work, and that there is a fine balanace between spending enough quality time with each child and spending too much. Monogamous parents (as much as anyone) need nannies or babysitters to look after the kids while they (the parents) engage in date nights and nurture their original adult relationship. Otherwise the parents risk losing the closeness they had with each other, which then becomes a dysfunctional example for the kids. The question of whether one or more poly partners can be added to the equation has to do with whether that fine balance can still be maintained with everyone, kids and adults.

And, while I know FullofLove1052 is hitting herself for thinking "Mum knows best" when her daughter was one or two, the tricky reality is that parents have a responsibility to exercise judgment for their child in areas where the child isn't yet experienced enough to make the call on their own. Even though parents make mistakes, they must/should still wear the mantle of authority and differentiate between their child's wants and needs. Learning to delay gratification is an important lesson for any child. So, "Not right now, son, Daddy has to work," or, "Not tonight honey, Mommy and Daddy are going on a date," are (I think) parts of what a child will hear in a well-balanced household. The trick is determining how much is too often for the child to hear those kinds of things.

Somewhat off-topic is, should parents maintain hobbies while they're raising their kids? Does that fill a valid role in the family dynamic; is it a good example for the kids ... or does it show a damaging selfishness on the part of the parent who's (at that moment) neither nurturing any relationships nor working (doing chores or holding down a job) for the family?

On a tangential note, this thread is increasingly inspiring me to encourage us all to watch (or re-watch) the old 1979 film "Kramer versus Kramer." Besides being a really good movie overall, it also confronts us with some tough questions about how adults should handle their priorities, both with each other and with the children in their lives. I mean there's a scene where the guy's son (rather accidentally) meets a woman the guy's dating possibly for one night only. What a classic scene. Did the guy royally screw up in exposing his son to that?

I for one am learning a lot from our discussion here; I really appreciate everyone's input.
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2014, 05:10 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
While poly may have been the interest that kept you from giving the time to your daughter that she needed and deserved, it happens in mono households too. If the parents have too many commitments or are too self-absorbed the same thing can happen. A lot of kids feel a disconnect with their workaholic parents - those that miss every event in the child's life because of work, and never spend time with them because they are too busy. Or look at the ultra wealthy whose children are raised by nannies.

The point is when parents consistently prioritize anything over the kids, it is not going to bode well for the parent - child relationship.
Absolutely. Something tells me my child would have been a little more accommodating if I had been gone just because of work. She understood that sometimes parents have to work long(er) hours, and she accepted that. Working enables us to take care of her, and it is something that must be done. No issue on that front. She knows that there is a difference between me working to help take care of her and me being gone because of another person, selfishness, or a choice. This is where me being a workaholic falls short. Case and point. I knew I was working too much, so I scaled back to only working four days a week and not working past 3 PM last year. She took notice and asked me why I could do that for my job but not when it came to me spending time with her?

As far as the choice of school and being out, maybe some parents do not think about that kind of thing. All I can figure is they wanted to reinforce the notion that this third partner was an equal as they were and would be actively involved in her schooling. I support the idea, but I disagree with how they presented it. It is like someone cooking your favourite meal, finding the lid of a trash bin, dumping it on there, and handing it to you. Not nearly as appealing as it was on the plate, right? Shoving it in people's faces is what makes it intolerable. High school can be painful enough. Why complicate it with a selfish agenda? I see no purpose that them being out at her school served. It is just like at my son's nursery. Do his teachers really give a flying fig about my polyamorist past? I highly doubt it.

Some schools probably do not care. The Catholics? I believe they might. I have read more news stories about religious--mostly Catholic--schools instilling morality clauses, expecting their employees and sometimes students to sign, and terminating/asking the students to leave if they violate the clauses. The most messed up one was the one where the teacher had IVF, and she was fired for that. IVF does not affect her teaching abilities, and if she was not telling her students to do it, I am not understanding why her job was terminated. The other case was the one where they did not want the teachers using artificial birth control or to engage in same sex relationships because both went against the church's teachings. I know religious institutions are accommodating to a certain extent, but I do believe a certain level of respect needs to be present, if a parent or parents elect to enrol their child in a certain type of school. I suppose practising a wee bit of discretion is unfair to the other partners/parents, and it makes things "unfair." However, the child's school is not about the parents and their wants.
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