First, let me say that I don’t really think of Sweetie as my “boyfriend,” I consider him my partner. (He is part of my chosen family. Sweetie, Hubby and I make decisions as a family) Second, this is not an argument for polyamory or any other type of open relationship; it is just about the benefits that it brings to my ability to be a parent. I won’t argue it’s for everyone, or even most people, but it works for us.
A quick description of my family may be in order, there is no one way to define a poly-family after all. Hubby came into my life first, followed by Pickle. When Pickle was just two, Hubby and I opened our marriage, and Hubby started dating Benny. Through Benny, I met Sweetie and we started dating about two and a half years ago. Benny and Violet wed in September and although they live out of state they are very much part of our family. Sweetie moved in with Hubby, Pickle and I earlier this year. There are other friends and lovers that are very special, but this is the core of my chosen family.
There is a lot of discussion about if poly is healthy for children and not a lot of good studies. I think the best thing that I can do is just try to be the best parent I can, and keep Pickle’s best interests in mind as well as my own. So not all of the advantages to my poly-family are just for me, and not all are just for Pickle.
Hubby, Sweetie and I all work and Pickle is in school all day. This means that after school/work is crazy, like I imagine it is in most homes. There is homework and dinner guaranteed, but often there is also appointments, errands, last minute overtime, and emergency household maintenance. It is often a relief to know that at least most of the time there are two people free to handle the big two.
Some people can bring out the best in others, you should surround yourself with the people who bring out the best in you. My family makes me stronger, more confident, positive, creative, and driven then I have the courage to be on my own. I am these things to begin with of course, but they give me inspiration to try things; and people to share my passions with. My family makes me more ME. There are also more hands to catch me when I can’t be stronger, when just me isn’t enough and I don’t see it soon enough. They make me stop trying too hard, and pushing too long when it’s just too much.
Pickle gets extra role models in his life. The three men in my family are all very different, and show him different types of men that he can be. One is intellectual with a love of science and learning, one loves the outdoors and building and creating with his hands, the other is a tech geek with a love of media with an artistic eye. Violet is extremely bright, driven and cheerful. They are genderqueer and refuses to fit into any box you want to put them into. I work too hard, sleep too little and would move heaven (if it were real) and Earth for my family. We all have our faults, and those too can be examples for Pickle: how to deal with and overcome them and make the best of yourself.
I have a boyfriend…because I need it. I need it so that I can experience new things, with new people. I need it so that I can have romantic and passionate times that are fulfilling and revitalizing. I need it because Hubby doesn’t like my taste in bad movies, and Sweetie forgets that sometimes my flights of fantasy need to be grounded in reality. I need it because Benny will talk science with me until the whole house is asleep and Violet never fails to send pictures of baby foxes when I need a lift.
This life I have chosen makes me happier, and that makes me a better parent than I would be otherwise.