Single Parent, Two Parent, Multi-Parent: Which would you choose?

 

I just read this interesting article by Jessica Olien about how she wants to be a single mom, not because her biological clock is ticking away but because she craves the sole intimacy and “simplicity” afforded by being the sole parent.

Many of the comments were not favorable. Some berated the author for her lackadaisical attitude towards child rearing, accusing her of being selfish and concerned only with her own desires.  Others were concerned with the potentially inappropriate emotional relationship between adult and child, one noting that “it’s almost like she thinks she will give birth to a new best friend and she doesn’t want any other friends getting in the way”.  A common theme throughout the article was that a child should have two parents, which of course made me wonder, why specifically two?

One commenter noted that “an important detail in this article that isn’t given due attention is the huge role her grandmother played in her upbringing” and followed with the thought that “kids need multiple responsible, loving, mature and pragmatic adults in life looking out for them”.

I couldn’t agree more.

While I don’t agree with Olien’s reasons for raising a child alone, I don’t believe that raising a child alone is necessarily a bad decision. The fact is, however, that nobody raises a child alone. Parents, grandparents, friends, family, siblings, paid carer, etc. all help in the raising of children. As long as there are numerous adults in the child’s life, why set a particular number of the type of adults?

Mutliple parents

Imagine a child with two stepparents.  As long as the step parents were loving and kind, very few people would be bothered by the child having 4 parents and likely nobody would be bothered by the child having 8 grandparents and potentially a plethora of aunts and uncles.  If anything, the concern would lie in the complications of living in a divorced household and having to shuttle between two homes with two different sets of rules.

Now imagine a child with four loving and kind parents that all lived in the same household. Just like the previous example there are four adults to protect, love and nurture the child. The only real difference is that the child would be in one household with one set of rules.

Of course, multi-parent families come in all shapes and sizes and may include more than one household as well, which hardly seems any different from children being raised by parents and stepparents.

Not mother material

Personally, I do not want to have a child. I did fluctuate between wanting and not for quite a while before I decided on not.  I do not feel that I’m  cut out to be a mother.  I have a lot to offer a child, but I do not want the stress and anxiety of being a mother.  To be quite frank, I don’t believe in my ability to raise a child with my very limited support network of family.  My husband, who would make the perfect father, is fine avoiding the financial and emotional expenses of a child.  My fiance, however, dearly wants a child and was even willing to have one by herself if the right person didn’t come along in time.

Babies on the horizon

My relationship with my fiance moved into serious territory and I had to contemplate having a child all over again. I wouldn’t have a child with just my husband because of a lack of financial and emotional resources.  Does adding another adult to the relationship make a difference? Yes.  Entirely.  While I still do not relish the thought of becoming a parent (goodbye money, goodbye time!) I do see the merits of having a child in a multi-parent family.  Forgive me, my reasons are (almost) totally selfish.

More is more.

More money.  More time. More experience. More love. Each adult in this relationship has something to bring to the family table that would benefit a child/children as well as the other adults.

As a multi-parent family we would be able to handle the financial aspects of raising a child more easily. With three adults working we would have more money and fewer expenses living in a shared household. If one of us decides to stay at home or work part-time we’ll save on childcare costs.

With three parents we have a wider variety of experiences and to draw upon. My husband is an IT wiz and an athlete.  I’m the “academic” in the relationship.  My fiance comes from another country and speaks a different language. He’s funny, I’m logical, she’s spiritual.  He’s a small town, country boy, I’m a medium-sized city girl and she’s from one of the biggest cities in the world. He’s a pessimist, I’m a realist, she’s an optimist. We are all loving in our own ways.

What works for me

Personally, I would not have a child in single parent household or a two parent household. Not because single parenthood or two parent households are inferior to multi-parent households.  home structure that is stable and loving is inherently inferior to another household structure.  I would not have a child without a third partner because I couldn’t be the parent I’d need to be without that additional structure.

For now, the decision to actually have children remains relegated to the murky, unknowable future. At least I know that when the time comes I’ll have two amazing people to navigate the responsibilities with me.

 

Polyamory: Married and Dating – I seen it!

 

Just saw Showtime’s Polyamory: Married and Dating, and yes, it is garbage. Annoying, pretentious people practicing polyamory in the most dramatic of fashions. I hardly think they understand what the term polyamory means. One of the women says repeatedly that she doesn’t want to share one of her lovers. I want to slap her (I want to slap them all, really) and say “she doesn’t belong to you!” Part of polyamory is recognizing that you do not own another human being.

 

I watched two episodes, and it seems that every episode contains about 45 seconds of the real nitty-gritty issues of polyamory. This, of course, is followed by awkward and very un-sexy sex. The problem isn’t that there is too much sex, it is that the sex is so unnappealing and random.

 

I liked the little smidgeons of seriousness. The blonde girlfriend in the triad with the married couple notes that she always feels less important because she’s the girlfriend and they are husband and wife . My fiance feels this acutely. That’s something I’d love the show to delve into. Of course, they didn’t. It’s a reality TV show. What more can you expect?

HELP! I’m jealous and angry- but with reason?

I have another issue and I didn’t even post about the last issue I had.  It’s like my life has become a never-ending procession of things to feel bad about.

Hormones

This week I’ve been stupidly weepy.  I’ve been chalking it up to PMS and poor reading choices – particularly “Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All!” and “My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy.”  Neither of them left me feeling particularly enthusiastic about motherhood, a subject I already feel poorly about. I spent hours suffering from insomnia (a rare malady in my life, trust me) and crying, then being sleepy and crying followed by crying on the train, crying in my husband’s home office and crying in my lovely ladies arms. I didn’t have any particular reason for crying other than out of control hormones, but at least I knew I was being an idiot  .

Just when my period arrives and my tears dry up on their own accord, life gives me something to actually cry about. Although, I may be a little premature in dismissing my hormones, since I cried at World Gay Pride after hearing that an old man was crying because he was so happy that something like Pride could happen nowadays. Continue reading

Fighting, Round I.

Relationships are hard.  That’s why I thought I’d take two of thm on at the same time.  Glutton for punishment, I guess.

My current issue?

Being supportive of my husband’s efforts to find another woman.

My husband has, thus far, been unlucky in his pursuit of another woman for companionship or sex.  It’s a hard world out there for men, and especially for a man who works from home and it is hard to meet potential honeys when you don’t know a lot of people. Triply hard if that man is married and NOT looking to cheat.  A lot of women are put off by a man who loves his wife and wants to be honest with her about having extramarital relationships (and yet completely willing to hop in bed with a man who wants to be dishonest about it, go figure). Continue reading

Living Two Lives: Married to a Man & In Love with a Woman

A few days ago I was in the library, pawing around the Social/Social Science section, looking for books about prostitutes (hey, we’ve all got our vices) when I came across Living Two Lives: Married to a Man & In Love with a Woman by Joanne Fleisher.  It was the 6th book I picked up that day – I already had 2 checked out, bringing me to my 8 item limit.  It was, of course, the first book I opened when I got home. I finished it in two days.

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A little update after a long absence

So, as you can see I haven’t been very active updating this blog.  I have had lots to say and not so much time to write.  Or ability to write.  Or maybe desire. It’s a little daunting writing about your personal life so openly, especially when you are trying to make your personal life WORK.

Here is the short run down: Continue reading

The Choice to Live with Multiple Partners – Not without a ring, my friend

My girlfriend and I live very far apart.  It takes about an hour and a half by train and a little longer by bike, so it is difficult for us to see each other as often as we’d like. My husband and I are considering moving for several reasons – including the unfortunately high cost of our tiny flat in our overpriced, boring neighborhood. I’d like to take the opportunity to move us closer to my girlfriend.  Of course, this has brought up many interesting discussions on potential living situations.  How close should we live to my girlfriend?  A nearer neighborhood?  The same neighborhood?  A flat next door?  The same flat? What option should we choose now?  And what options should we consider in the future?

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The Inequality of Open Marriage: A Painful Talk with my Friends

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, but I’ve had difficulty finding time to write about it because I’ve been shuttling back and forth between my house and my girlfriend’s house.  It’s lovely that we live all the way across London from each other.  Advice for anyone starting a polyamorous open marriage: if you are going to see another partner frequently, keep the commute time down!  It takes me an hour and 45 minutes to get to her place.  It is completely worth it, but it is killing me!

 

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I don’t know anything about polyamory, it turns out.

So I said I made this website to give advice from another perspective.  How silly of me.  How completely silly.  I have no advice to give, I’m completely lost myself.

 

Having an open marriage was relatively easy.  There were some fights and little jealousies and the like, but it was rather simple. There was a lot of sex and a little friendship and things just went on like normal (mostly).

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The Best Poly Advice I’ve Heard (And That I Know I Won’t Follow)

Lately I’ve been dating a woman in my open marriage. So far I’m very excited (too excited) about the situation.  I’m also completely and totally wracked with nerves. In general I’m fairly cool about the people I date so I wasn’t expecting any of the anxiety I’ve been experiencing for the past few weeks. I know I can attribute a fair amount of my panic to the fact that I’ve never dated a woman before, but there is a far larger cause to my stress over the situation: I like her very much and she isn’t polyamorous.

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