Tag Archives: Kids

Good Kids

Last time I wrote  I talked about my doubts about being a good mom.

Then this weekend happened.

I got sick. Really sick. Couldn’t get off the couch or cook dinner or do anything sick.

Let’s backtrack a bit. We had a fun time at Powell’s Books and Voodoo Doughnuts last Wednesday. Thursday, I had my yearly checkup (get your STI screening every 6 months, kiddos!) and did… stuff? I don’t remember. Friday I woke up with allergies. NBD, right? Take my Claritin, and…

Go back to bed. I felt awful. Worse, I was feeling antisocial for no recognizable reason. So, I tried to sleep it off. Let the kids watch TV and play computer games. Somewhere, early in the morning, was a visit from the plumber. And, very early, Jason and his partner left for Kinkfest.

I slept all day. Got up in the late afternoon and ordered pizza for the kids since I had a show I was going to that evening, and I showered and got dressed. Still with a tickle in my throat, I found the theater, and my best friend, and we got seats and cocktails.

That whisky got me through the night. They were taping the show and I was terrified I’d get a coughing fit and ruin it. My group of friends and I went out for dinner, and by the end of my meal, my head was swimming. Not from the watery cocktail…

You know how it is in a dream, when the monster is coming after you? You can see it coming, running you down, but you can’t move to escape it?

That’s how this cold was.

I made it home. Tucked myself into bed with a glass of water and my flask of gin, took an extra strength prescription Sudafed and some ibuprofen. And I stayed there for the night. Got up, ate some oatmeal so I could take my brain drugs, and went back to bed. Jason left again for Kinkfest, and the kids watched TV and played computer games again all day.

I finally made it out to the couch in the late afternoon. I couldn’t even conceive of cooking, so I ordered burgers delivered and texted one of my partners, asking him to tell me I wasn’t a bad mom for ordering takeout two nights in a row. He talked me down from that, I took more drugs and went back to bed.

Sunday, I got up! And sat down on the couch. And watched an entire season of Downton Abbey while crocheting granny blocks. By late in the day, I felt well enough to shower. I got on my local grocery store’s website and figured out how to order delivery and had stuff delivered so the kids could have lunches to take to school the next day. Then we microwaved some leftovers roast beef and ate sandwiches and fruit for dinner.

That night, Daphne tucked me in.

She’s 10. She’s a sweet little soul, and a bit of a mother hen. “Ok, mom,” she said. “Do you have your water bottle? Your stuffed hedgehog and your bunny? Did you take your medicine? Good. You can rest now, and if you can’t sleep you can read or play a game on your tablet. But you need rest to get better.”

Yes, I sleep with stuffies. Don’t judge.

Both kids had spent the weekend mostly on their games and their new books and their anime shows.

But Jacob would bring me Reeses cups and leave them on my bed desk, or the table next to the couch.

Daphne picked me flowers since I was sad that I couldn’t go out.

Both of them would check in and ask if I’d eaten and taken my cold medicine.

So, yeah. I guess I’m doing ok, because I’m raising some damn fine humans there.

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The flowers my lil girl picked for me.

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Good enough, I guess

There is something supremely strange about being called a great parent when I feel so clueless, like I am barely scraping by on the best of days.

“You’re a great mom,” Jason texted to me after I told him about adventuring to Powell’s Books with our kids and our son’s girlfriend.

“You’re a terrific momma,” my coworker says after I talk about a day off spent reading and playing board games.

“You’re doing good job, mom,” when someone else hears about my son’s good grades.

And I don’t see it. I see a mostly ok mom with mental and physical illnesses. One who can barely get off the couch some days and who hides in bed with her stuffed animals instead of interacting with the world. I see a mom who has two husbands and other sexual partners and a social life that purposefully excludes my children, sometimes.

I see a mom who is heavily tattooed and is beginning to seriously rock the “aging Portland dyke” aesthetic. Who has taught her kids to swear and make pervy sex jokes and feeds them doughnuts for lunch on days off. I see a mom who would rather day drink than chaperone any field trip, ever, and can only occasionally remember the names of her kids’ teachers. I shelve my lesbian comic books next to their Manga in the living room, and I allow them to read pretty much anything they want. My young daughter is obsessed with Deadpool and wants to be Glamora when she grows up.

And I’ve been judged for a number of things. My kids swear and know about sex and drugs. They listen to Irish punk music and hardcore gansta rap in the car with me. We have deep conversations about atheism and other forms of belief, and I’ve told them it’s ok to not believe in a god, unless gramma asks. If she asks, they believe in Christianity and so do I. I’ve been in front with them about my mental illnesses and how I have to take prescription drugs to make my head work correctly and how I had my tubes tied because I had rough pregnancies and couldn’t bear the thought of having another child. I make jokes about the kink lifestyle in front of them. I lean on them a lot. They do a lot of the chores around the house, since all the adults work full time and my mother is an invalid and needs a lot of help. I get judged for working, for not volunteering at the school, for being home too much, for being home too little, for having kids, for not having kids… the list goes on and on.

But my son is the kind of guy who, in front of a half-dozen gamer teen boys, tells his girlfriend he loves her. He’ll hug me in public, and bring me peanut butter cups on my couch nest days. My daughter will fight anyone who says her life is unnatural and goes on long rants about sexism and why don’t girls’ pants have pockets. They both value nature and bring home good enough grades, and apparently both add “a unique perspective to any class discussion.”

So, maybe I’m doing ok. I still don’t feel like a good mom. But maybe, I’m good enough.


More

One of the most common questions/criticisms I hear about the poly lifestyle has to do with people expressing concerns about my children. It’s second only to the questions about jealousy and time management.

“What about your kids?” people will ask. They frequently whisper this, like it is too taboo a subject to even speak aloud. I often just shrug. It’s a big topic to tackle in the space of what is usually a small conversation.

“Our kids are fine,” I’ll say. “They don’t know much; when you were eight, how much did you know about your parent’s sex lives?”

And that’s the crux of it. Our kids don’t know the ins and outs of it, haha. Our son is almost 13, our daughter will be 8 this weekend. They are far more concerned with Pokemon, social studies homework, and whether Gramma paid them for their chores this week. Our son is best friends with Velah’s son. They are the same age, share the same interests, and are frequently thrown together during social functions. I’m glad the kids can still be friends, and I hope their friendship will flourish. 

So, what about our kids? At almost 13, our son probably knows what happens when I send the kids to bed and take my boyfriend into my room with me. He knows that his dad stays over at Velah’s house. He sees us kiss each other, often, and passionately. He also sees us kiss our other partners. When I was kissing my boyfriend one time when he was visiting this fall, I saw my son looking at us and grinning. He knows this man makes me happy.He also knows that Splatoon is currently on loan from my boyfriend, and that he has another grown-up in his life to talk about pokemon with.

Kids have a very self centered view of their world. And in a healthy poly family, the kids have multiple adults with multiple talents and interests who are there to help them figure out this crazy world. Our group of friends and partners includes multple faiths, backgrounds, careers, and interests. I feel this provides a well-rounded safety net for the kids; if they can’t come to a parent with a question, chances are some adult in their life will have the answer.

It’s better than I had as a kid.

Somewhere, our society has lost the village… We tend to hole up in big houses and wall ourselves off from other people. Feeling like we need to be the only answer for our kids shortchanges them of the richness of experience that a different point of view provides to them. I’m not saying that poly is the answer for everyone; it’s hard work, and a person can do a lot of damage to a family if they do it for the wrong reasons or go into it with an unhealthy mindset. But, I think everyone can learn a little from the idea that more people in someone’s life can be a very good thing.That sitting down with someone of a different faith or from a different part of the country can give you a perspective on your own life that you might not have had. That having a group of caring adults looking put for a group of kids is actually ok… and admitting to ourselves that we aren’t always the best person to answer our kids’ questions or concerns.

When I think of the vast amount of intangibles that our partners and friends have brought to the table for our kids, I can’t think of raising my kids any other way. The poor kids get exponentially more parenting than they would have if we were doing it by ourselves. But they also get exponentially more love and support.

“Our kids are fine with it,” doesn’t even begin to cover all of this. “Our kids are better for it,” sounds smug. Maybe in writing this out, I will have found a better answer.

In the meantime, thank you for reading.


Results

After waiting for a week, my test results are in. Seems the doctor forgot to call me…

Anyhow.

Everything came back negative. Thank Bob.

It’s a huge weight off my shoulders to know I have left that relationship behind me, with nothing but memories. And some anime that may or may not simply get sold at Powells.

My boss wanted to know if I will start dating again… I’m still not sure. I’m still on OKC. Still chatting with random people about books and other odd stuff. One of my coworkers wants me to go dancing with her and her young, poly, bisexual hipster girlfriends. I think it sounds like a lot of fun but I’m kind of afraid of being that old butch in the corner, nursing a Dr Pepper and chatting up the bartender while the young things dance it up.

I’m feeling my age. I’ll be 35 soon. Tomorrow is my fifteenth wedding anniversary. Mr Awesome and I have been together for seventeen and a half years… Which is literally half of my life. We are going to the coast, and Velah is hanging out with the children, both 2-legged and 4-legged. And after all this time, I fall more and more in love with him. I love our life, the ease of loving one another. The crazy cliche that I married my best friend, and it feel so lucky to spend forever with him.

The passage of Time is hitting me right now. My son is as tall as I am, already, and a wispy blond mustache is starting to grow in. My daughter is a tall and lovely first grader now, with four adult teeth and the most heart-stopping smile I’ve ever seen.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not going to rush things. My life is full and amazing just as it is. And I am thankful for every minute of it.


First Day

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And just like that, my house is empty. Both kids in school and riding the school bus, and for the first time in 10 years, I don’t have someone under foot all the time.

I’m excited for Lil D… She’ll have some grand adventures, and some heartaches. She will make new friends, and her mind will grow and stretch just as her body has been doing these past 5 years. And I’m so proud of her… She was barely nervous and very excited and so thrilled to be on the us with her brother and the older neighbor kids.

I hope her teacher realizes what a special soul she is….