As part of my Ethical Slut Read-along, I shared my thoughts on child-rearing, but since I am someone who is voluntarily sterile I also asked some poly parents to submit their thoughts. Red Pepper is a polyamorous parent who I met through a very successful and thought-provoking polyamory group she started on Facebook.
In my experience, conducting poly relationships and raising a child has been both challenging and a breeze. When I began dating again after having a child I found that my relationship to my husband and the father of my child was more bonded and connected than ever. Having an outlet for my restlessness and need to get about creating a life for myself again was a god send. It meant that I was grounded and present when it came to family time or one on one time with my son. Just as a parent that finds that they have time for their favourite hobby again feels I would think.
There is not that much difference between a single parent that is dating someone new and a poly parent that is dating someone new. In both circumstances it is important to keep a child’s need for stability and safety in mind. It’s important I think to act accordingly and responsibly. A child should always come first, yet it’s important to make sure that a parents happiness and life goals are achieved. Like any relationship, balancing everything in life is what is important.
Later, when I met my now live in life love, there was the challenge of creating a strong relationship with him and being present and available to my child. The challenge was one of containing my New Relationship Energy (NRE) and leaving it at the door when I would come home from being with my new love. Eventually, over time, the balance was created and not only did my relationship with my child improve, but my child had the fortune of having another adult that loves him added to his life.
From where I sit now, I can see huge benefits to having a poly family. When I am not available, my son has two other adults to rely on for support, entertainment and to parent him. When it was just two of us, and if it was just one of us raising him, he would have fewer people to be the ground from which he will move out into the world.
Poly families really are no different from other families. It doesn’t matter whether it be moving to another place, a parent starting a new job, the child going to another school, or a parent creating another romantic relationship; it’s all change, growth and adjustment. It’s all doable and all important for a child to learn about.
Red Pepper lives on the western coast of Canada with her husband, boyfriend and son. Having identified as poly for many years, Pepper is confident in her knowledge and understanding of poly relationship dynamics. She shares her knowledge with her community by hosting events, facilitating workshops and discussion groups, writing and moderating forums on line.