Polyamory: Polyamory is the practice of or desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the knowledge of all partners. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy”.
Parenting: Parenting or child rearing is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood
A few days back I posted a poll on Twitter, and shared it on my facebook, my main Tumblr, and my writing Tumblr. I asked what people would want me to blog about next. I gave three options, and then an option for suggestions. The winning topic was ‘polyamory and parenting’.
So, I then reached out again asking for questions. I wanted to know what people were curious about, what they were wondering, etc. I got a total of 5, but some are being split into multiple parts for me to answer.
I am by no means an expert, and while I am going to do my best to answer the questions, please understand that others may feel differently.
Easiest part? Hardest part?
I think the easiest part is feeling open and secure enough to point out when I find someone attractive. There’s no worry about “looking” at another person. It’s the understanding that we’re human, and just because we’re checking another person out, we’re not pursuing them. However, we are free to do that. It’s a nice feeling to have that freedom.
I’d say the hardest part is people not understanding polyamory, and confusing it with polygamy. Which pairs with finding a partner. Either people aren’t “into” that, or “find it weird”, etc, etc.
Is it harder as a parent to maintain this kind of relationship?
I’m not sure, to be honest.
While I’ve been practicing polyamory since high school (without knowing what it was), I’ve always had trouble with relationships. They’re difficult for me either way, but I can’t say that being a parent has made it more difficult.
How do you deal with jealousy in poly?
With honesty. I can’t say that jealousy never happens in a polyamorous relationship, because that would be a lie. We’re human, and it’s a very human emotion.
With poly relationships regarding parenthood, is all involved considered parents?
Yes, and no.
That is not a question I can answer for everyone.
With some relationships, they may, and with others, they may not. For me, personally, I’d have to be with someone for some time, they would need to get along with Anthony, and be good with my kids. Only then would I consider talking to Anthony about their role as parent concerning the kids.
However, right off the bat? No.
Can you explain transitioning into a polyamorous relationship from a previously monogamous relationship?
How do the kids factor in?
What sort of exposure or understanding should they have?
- It’s been years for us, but I believe we discussed it at some point. Being monogamous, while doable, didn’t seem to mesh with who I am. There needs to be honesty, communication, etc. Many have rules. For example, one of ours is no unprotected sex, no casual sex, things like that.
- At first, I would introduce new partners more as ‘friends’ if they didn’t know them already. I’d include them with simple things. Letting them know they are still top priority. I used to let my partner know if Anakin had a good day at school, and some days he’d ask how my friend was, etc. When I simply referred to her as my girlfriend, he asked. And it was very simple explaining to him how things worked. That some families only had a mommy, some only had a daddy, some had both, some had two mommies or daddies, and went on down to explain that families do differently. I think that keeping it geared towards your kid is important, keeping it towards how they’d understand it. Just as no two relationships are the same, neither are no two children. I tried not to make it into some huge deal, so that way it was more normal for them. “Mommy has a girlfriend, cool!” type deal for them.
If there’s a breakup, I simply explained sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t. That it sucks when they don’t, but that’s life. It happens, and I’d be sad for a little bit, but I’d be okay.
Those were all the questions that I had gotten, so I hope that was helpful!