Is My Family Like Your Family?
By: Carol Rood
I have something I want to talk about. Something I have wanted to talk about for a while, but was unsure. I wasn’t sure it would be received well. I am not trying to upset anyone, or make anyone feel as though I am not okay with their situation. I just think my situation is not talked about much. I don’t know if that is because there just aren’t enough of us writing, or if we don’t talk about it. Well, I have decided to come out with it.
I read all kinds of blogs by LGBT writers. They write about their journey looking for a relationship. Then the journey during the relationship. Then they find the RIGHT relationship. They move in, and then they usually decide to have a family. Then the IVF blogging starts, or the adoption blogging. Then we read about the miraculous pregnancy, and the delivery and then loads and loads of stories about sweet babies and precious toddlers. Sometimes on occasion there is a blog as the children grow and become elementary school kids. Then the blogs dwindle as the kids grow up.
I don’t see many blogs written by LGBT parents with middle school or high school -aged children. I wonder why not? Is it because many people haven’t been blogging long enough to have teens and tweens? Is it because they get tired of writing and get caught up in other things? I really don’t know.
I have found only one other blog written by a woman close to my age (40ish) who entered into a relationship with another woman who had a teenage son. I would love to find other moms out there who found love with a same sex partner in their late 30’s or early 40’s -who already had elementary age or middle school-aged kids -and decided to blend their families.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the stories of the families out there who met while they were 20-30ish and decided to have a baby via IVF or some other method, and those who decided to adopt and start a family. But they have a different perspective than I do. Their children will have always been around a two-mom or two-dad household. They will grow up in unbiased houses with moms or dads who teach them about equality and fairness. They will be okay saying, “I have two moms, or two dads”, because that will be “normal” for them and they will be comfortable with it.
I am a bit jealous of that. Because that is not my story.
My story is the one where two 40ish women meet after being in hetero relationships. Marriages that ended, and there were children from those marriages. Then for whatever reason, the woman finds herself in a relationship with another woman, and doesn’t quite know how to tell her kids. Kids who see their father every other weekend or so. Kids who just want to be “normal” teens, and already struggle with self-identity and peer pressure.
Where are those other bloggers? The ones who decided to blend a family to one with two moms or two dads with kids who were tweens and teens. When the kids resisted the relationship, or just didn’t know how to handle it? Being in a relationship and not being able to tell your children that your “best friend” is really something more?
My children did not resist the relationship. However, one of hers did. As a matter of fact, when we all moved in together, my partner and I had separate bedrooms. To hide the fact from our kids that we were in a relationship. How bizarre is that? We didn’t want to tell them at that time, but had to move in together due to our circumstances.
When we finally told the kids, three of them did not care much. One did. That child resisted the relationship, and chose to move out and go live with Dad. That was difficult, but my partner couldn’t say no to her child. The child was old enough to make that choice.
So, yes, sometimes I get jealous of other LGBT mommy and daddy bloggers. They tell their stories about when their kids go to school and tell everyone about the “two moms” or “two dads” in their life. It is what the children have known since infancy or small childhood, and they have no qualms about it. No prejudices. No hesitation.
My kids have come to that point now. To them it is normal…..now. They still don’t always tell people they live in a house with two moms. I am very careful to never reveal my relationship to their friends or their friends’ parents. I leave that choice up to them to tell whom they choose.
Please forgive my jealousy of the two-mom and two-dad households out there. It is not born out of malice. It is born from a wish that maybe, just maybe, I could have been like they are.
If by chance you are a person who has a story similar to mine, please let me know. There must be more people out there with a family like mine, who has struggled with identity and disclosure. Who has older kids who had to make a transition that did not come easily or always go smoothly. I would love to hear from you.
For those of you who have babies or toddlers in an LGBT family I wish you nothing but love and support! I pray that your children are always open and honest and not afraid to talk about their families.