Categories
Family

How I Keep My Polyam Family On Time

After a year of lockdowns, and an abundance of time on our hands, 2021 has come in deciding to shake it all up. These past 4 months have given us more things to do and take care of than the time to do them in. So how do we manage it? Google. Prayers. Dry erase calendars. And bullet journals. But mostly Google.

New things

Late last year I started a new job. A quiet, fairly cozy office job that gave me two things: income and time away. I love my family, that should go without saying. However, I am a hard introvert. I require alone time to recharge from peopling. This new job gives me that. It gives me a break from the all day peopling of being a mom and girlfriend and metamour 24/7. It allows me to be me for several hours a day. Granted, there is still a lot of peopling involved in my job. And there are days I come home utterly exhausted, wanting nothing more than to sit in my bedroom in the dark and quiet for a good hour. But overall, this job and the time away it gives, is a huge blessing. I am a happier and a more present mom, girlfriend, and metamour.

The girls started new school schedules this year as well. Two days each week in person with their peers. Plus, Sass added after school clubs to her day. And both have decided they had had enough of social distancing and not seeing friends during the worst of the Pandemic. They have both been social butterflies (within a small group of equally covid-conscious friends.) Now all of this requires coordinating drop offs and pick ups for the both of them at various times. Thank God for Lovey taking all of this on. And thank God for Bats, who has been available and willing to sit with Munchkin when these pick ups happen during nap times. 

Unexpected changes

Bats, as ya’ll know, moved in with us this year as well. With that comes learning and adjusting to a new person’s schedule. Finding ways to adjust your own schedule to make sure everyone has time with each other in the various configurations, and by themselves. The move also came with a fairly large project that required it’s own scheduling. It was not something any of us were expecting, but that all of us are excited for when it is finally finished.

Boyfriend left his previous jobs at the end of 2020 and dove headlong into a new one. He has also been spending more time in his Dad role with his own kids, something he hadn’t had as much time for with his previous jobs. And getting to see how much happier he is this year has been so nice. It’s enough to make a girl fall in love all over again. But of course, with everything between the two households, finding time for just me and him has been tricky.

So how do we manage all these different schedules now? Google. And the All-Mighty Dry Erase Calendar.

For the love of planners

In my former life, I was an avid planner user. I loved shopping for the perfect new planner every year, and finding the perfect new pens to go with it. Going to the office supply store, or my local Target, and flipping through all the options to find the one that had the right mix of monthly and weekly pages, the right aesthetic, the right size… It was so much fun, and something I looked forward to every time. (I know, I’m a bit of a nerd.) 

In January 2020, I decided I was going to try my hand at Bullet Journaling. I was feeling extra creative after watching way too many Youtube videos of people designing their spreads. Not to mention the mountain of ideas I had from scrolling Pinterest boards dedicated to art of it all. 

Things were going great. I was drawing and coloring and tweaking and, most important, actually using this beautiful planner. And then… Coronavirus. My last spread was for April. I even got cheeky and themed the month with little Coronaviruses all over each page. Poor thing never had a chance. 

This year, I think I’ll pick it up again. We’ve gotten busy. I’m starting to feel that creative itch again. So we’ll see. Maybe May will see the revival of my beloved bullet Journal. To be used in conjunction with my current method: the All-Mighty Google Calendar.

Trusty calendars

Now, if you’re not familiar with Google Calendar, where have you been? (Just kidding!) It is easy, convenient (doesn’t everybody have a gmail address now?), sharable, and it let’s you color code every little thing. I love color coding! Each person in the house has their own color. Even sets of people have their own color. For example: the kids. This little group of 3 humans has 4 colors! Between Lovey, Bats, and myself, we have 5 colors! Its fabulous! Makes it so easy to read at a glance to see who has what going on when. 

Of course, this all carries over to my Dry Erase Calendar too. The poor thing was being used most of last year. It made it further into 2020 than my poor BuJo. But eventually it got tired and just fell off the wall. And none of us had the mental energy to put the big empty calendar back up to remind us that we still couldn’t do things. But this month! This month it made it’s return!

April 2021 looks a lot different than April 2020. Our lockdowns and restrictions are lifting. We have vaccines! School is mostly back in session. We are making plans again to do things with our close friends and family. Our household has grown, and our polycule too. Life is slowly returning to a new version of what it was before. So it’s time to dust off those calendars, remember those passwords, and make those plans!

Sound off!

How do you guys keep your family plans straight? Are you a digital calendar user? Prefer traditional notebook planners? Or some combination of everything? Share your tricks below!

If you haven’t subscribed to our newletter, you can do so below. I’ll send you some printable stickers to add to your planner for all the Queer Holidays coming up.

Categories
Faith

A New Perspective: Is Sin Really What We Think It is?

About a month ago I came across a thread on sin. It proposed a new perspective on how we think and talk about Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. It has been mulling around in my brain since I read it. And this past Easter, as we celebrated His resurrection with our candy filled eggs and Easter baskets, I was reminded of it again.

Easter

The Easter holiday in our house is definitely more commercial than Christian. At least for our kids. We haven’t been to a church service in years. And we chose not to overtly push our beliefs onto our children, so tend to stick to the more secular traditions of holidays. A friend of mine, who is very opposite to me in that area, had started a new Easter tradition years ago. She wanted to share the beauty of the resurrection with her kids in a way that was more accessible to them. I remember the first year I saw it in action. She shared pictures of this new tradition with pride. And the comments from our mutual friends oohing and ahhing over it just confused me. I thought for sure I was missing something.

A cute idea

The night before, the family would go together on a walk and collect rocks in their Easter buckets. These were meant to represent our sins and the weight of them that we carry on the daily. At home, those buckets would be set out and covered with a red cloth, Jesus’s blood that was shed for us. That representation of Christ’s sacrifice would transform those “sins” while the kids were sleeping. And Easter morning their buckets would be overflowing with Easter treats. There would be notes sharing the good news of Christ’s triumph over the grave and what that meant for our sins.

“I have removed your sin as far as the East is from the West. You are now a new creation!”

“I have washed you clean from sin. Go and walk in freedom!”

“Your sins are forgiven! Come near to me and I will come near to you.”

For some reason the idea that kids needed to see the literal message of having their sins forgiven and washed away bothered me. What sins could a child possibly have? The notes bothered me. But I just assumed it was because I was not as strong a believer as my friends.

Sin

And then, I read this beautiful thread. And I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t believe enough or the right way. I simply saw sin differently.

It was not a list of no-nos. It went beyond the magic list of thou shalt not’s. Sin was simply a part of our nature because we are human. It is everything God is not.

I could also never understand why the Christian community could not agree on what constituted a sin. Sexuality in any non-marriage related form, drugs, alcohol, eating meat, feeling envy or anger, etc. What made something a sin for some but not for others? Why could one man drink wine during communion, but another had to drink water? Why was a marriage only allowed between one man and one woman in this church, but in another it was one man and several women? Does God really care what tattoos I may have or how I dress? I don’t think so. And it seems to me that those lists were more about control than being closer to God.

The effect on my faith

Having my eyes opened to this new perspective on sin helped me in my faith. I love being challenged (gently, because I am a big softy) on what I believe when it comes to my faith in God. And this thread coming across my newsfeed did that.

Did Christ go to the cross and bleed for my soul because I drink or smoke? Because I have sex outside of marriage? Because I have tattoos and piercings? I don’t think so. He bled for me on that cross because this world is broken. Because sin is in everything we see and do. Because sin is simply the absence of God’s divinity. He could have easily made us gods, free of sin. But He chose to make us human, like Him but not the same as Him. And He chose to give us the gift of choice, knowing full well how we would use it and where it would lead us. And so He also gave us Christ, to cover us so that we may be with Him again in the hereafter.

That’s the beauty of Easter. And for the first time this year, I think I finally get it.

Sound off!

Let me know what you think! How do you think about sin in your life? Does this new perspective challenge that? How would you live out your faith differently if you thought of sin in this way?

Categories
Family Polyamory

Big Family, Little House. It’s Time for an Upgrade!

Have you ever seen that meme floating around? I’m talking about the one that points out the absurdity of buying a house (or renting one) with less than three incomes. It makes a good case for polyamory in just a few short words without meaning to. I imagine, for people without kids and those three incomes, it is probably easier to find a house. Certainly more affordable. And, depending on your dynamics, a small house of 2-3 bedrooms is easy enough to come across.

The trouble appears when you are a polycule of 3 adults, 3 kids, and multiple pets. All of whom like their space.

Our current home dynamics

Currently, there are 6 humans living under our roof. Bats, Lovey, and I, plus the kids. All cramped into a small 3 bedroom house. Granted, the plan was not for Bats to move in at all until we bought a home large enough for all of us. But sometimes things happen and our timelines get adjusted. And having Bats with us these last several months has been so amazing. Not to mention a nice little test run to see how we all get along 24/7. (Hint: fabulously! Read my metamour gush for a look at our special relationship.)

So now we are trying to bump up our house buying timeline. We have all realized that we need more space.

The reasons we need a new house

Reason One

We have 2 teenagers. And they are currently sharing a room. Their personalities are just opposite enough that this causes more discord than harmony. Especially on weekends and school breaks. Our Covid Quarantine has not helped.

Reason Two

Munchkin is sharing his room with Bats’ office. They work from home 5 days a week. And most of that time is speaking on the phone. Toddlers are not great at keeping quiet during work hours. Or any hours really. They are small beings whose only desire is to make as much noise as possible at all times.

Reason Three

This may be a little TMI, but it’s my current reality. And a huge consideration for us. Queen sized beds were not meant for 3 grown adults to share. And bedroom sets, with their two dressers and two nightstands, aren’t designed that way either. Sure, there is the occasional night when someone has insomnia and stays on the couch to let the others sleep. Or when someone has the opportunity to spend the night at another partner’s house. But those are exceptions, and do not happen on any regular schedule.

Reason Four

The pets! We now have four cats. Sure they seem small and easy. Cats sleep all day right? But anyone who lives with these little fluff balls knows the truth. They take up a lot more space than you’d think. Plus, Bats’ poor doggo isn’t with us. He was sent to live with Bats’ brother for the time being. No fenced in yard at our current home and the already cramped space made it a better choice for him. And don’t worry! He is quite happy and loved where he is. But we miss him. And wish he could with us too.

The steps to getting that house

Step one: Get our credit in gear. They should really teach these things in school. Credit scores can make or break your house buying. So of course, they are easy to tank and hard to build back up.

Step two: Get pre-approved for that mortgage. And make that wish list. Need a kitchen island? Hate open floor plans? Write it all down! Nothing is too much or too silly. It’s a Wish List. But make sure as you’re writing these things down that you know what is absolutely not negotiable. For us, that is the number of bedrooms.

Step three: Start looking. Now Bats and I already are, and have been for quite a bit. That’s what Zillow is for, right? To look at homes and dream. Or laugh. So far though, we haven’t found a whole lot of options. Part of it is budget. We know what we can afford and refuse to go over. Part of it is that wish list. We know what our musts are and what we can compromise on. And part of it is our local market. It’s a seller’s paradise here right now. Homes are being sold in days for over the asking price, time and time again. With most being listed over our budget or right at the high end of it, we are priced out from the start.

But we have hope. We have steps one and two to get through first. And we are not looking for a perfect house. Just a home that gives us all a little more space to stretch. It’s out there, waiting for us. I believe we’ll find it sooner, rather than later.

Categories
Faith Polyamory

Looking For My Polyamorous Faith Community

As much as we say we’re all together and one big family, humans always find ways to separate. We pick a part of ourselves and search out others who match. Not in an attempt to other ourselves, but rather in an attempt to connect deeper with our fellow humans. We want that intimate connection that comes with finding community.

Here on this blog, I’m building my own space to connect with the communities I feel drawn to. Specifically those that fall into the three areas of my life that are lacking in the community support area: LGBTQ+, Polyamory, and Faith. So far the trickiest has been finding that faith-based community.

I am a part of our local polyam community. I interact with others in the local Facebook groups. And we have all attended the local meetups and get together throughout the years (pre-Covid of course). And because there is a lot of overlap, we are also getting plugged into the LGBTQ+ community, with plans to support, help out, and attend events when things are back up and running safely.

But church…?

Before Covid, Lovey and I had started church shopping, popping in on services as our schedules allowed to get a feel for the church and congregation. We noticed right away that many, almost all, touted the “we welcome everyone” message. But digging not so deep into their beliefs and mission statements, the message suddenly became clearer: we welcome everyone who believes the way we do.

During the more extreme lock-down months, we played with the idea of maybe just doing our own thing. Our reasons for church shopping were not only about the community. We also wanted that spiritual growth, that designated time to spend in His Word. There were plenty of resources online to do a kind of bible study on our own. We even attempted a shopping trip (when stores were open) to a Christian bookstore.

What we found

The biggest thing we discovered while browsing the shelves? There are very few studies designed for couples to do together. Even fewer for co-ed groups. Most are designed for either men or women, teen or adult, single or newly married.

Another thing we noticed was that nothing looked at the teachings from a queer perspective. Not surprising. There were only a few books in the entire store that even addressed homosexuality. And they were not flattering. (I *may* have hidden them.)

So what were we to do? We did settle on a couple foundational studies that looked at who God is at his core. And I recently started a brand new devotional for queer folx by these guys. (More on that coming soon!) So that took care of that part. But what about the community?

Community Recommendations

Asking for church recommendations in any polyam Facebook group is quickly met with crickets or smart ass remarks. Not exactly helpful.

Sure, we could attend a church that hit most of our wish list and aligned with most of our beliefs. We could just attend services and not mention that we were polyamorous. But how could we build those relationships, become a part of that community, and expect authenticity from others if we were not able to offer the same?

We are hopeful that soon we will be able to check out more churches. (I here there’s a vaccine out that could help us all get back to a new normal, with fewer lock-downs and more parties.) We are hopeful that we will find that faith community where we can be fully ourselves, no hiding. And that we will be accepted. But until then, we will have to create our own.

Share with me how you found your communities. Are you able to be authentic in your faith and your life? Or are you, like us, still keeping a part hidden?

Categories
Family Polyamory

How A Surprise Pregnancy Brought Us All Closer

In June of 2017 I met Boyfriend. In August I found out I was pregnant. The next nine months would prove the most important in our polyamorous journey.

Boyfriend and I connected online, through a dating app of all places. And it was a click that happened almost instantaneously for both of us. We spent the next month texting back and forth, marveling at the ease with which it was to talk and joke and laugh and tease. And then we had our first date. And the physical sparks flew, adding to that instant connection. We marveled at it all. At how crazy it was that we hadn’t known each other for longer, because it certainly felt like it. At the fact that we were so connected, on so many levels, so quickly. And at how those lovey-dovey feelings were starting to develop even then, so very very soon after meeting.

And then a huge curveball. A regular doctor’s appointment at my local Planned Parenthood to re-up my birth control. And instead of the super fun exam I got a piece of paper that said very plainly: PREGNANT.

Son of a Bucket! That was certainly unexpected.

So, how was this going to work? How much do I tell my new person? A person I had not called my boyfriend yet. Our relationship was 3 months in, barely. And yes, the connection was there and amazing and there were feelings starting to stir, but… a baby? That can change a lot, everything.

Not to mention the effect it would have on my relationship with Lovey. A new baby was not something we were planning on anytime soon. We had just started this polyamory journey after some very Dark Years. We were still honeymooning, it felt like. And boom. A new little life was starting, threatening to upend everything we were working toward rebuilding.

But let me tell you… Munchkin has been the biggest blessing on this journey with Lovey & Boyfriend.

Familiar & unfamiliar territory

Lovey and I had been down this road before. So we quickly fell into the roles we knew: pregnant mom & expectant dad, happily anticipating the new arrival and counting down the weeks and milestones. This time we even had Sass and Crumbs to get excited with us. And boy did they!

Boyfriend and I… Well, as I said, we hadn’t even labeled anything yet. But I needed to be honest and let him know. Those crazy pregnancy hormones would show up eventually. So I pulled up my big girl panties, and broke the news that I was pregnant. And he took it in stride. He was on board to fill whatever roll I needed or wanted him to fill. And those changed often throughout the next 8 months. I’m pretty sure I fell completely in love with him at that point.

In a matter of months, we went from a family of 4 to a family of 6. Because by the time Munchkin made his debut, Boyfriend was a part of my family. He was fully in. There was no backing out. And Lovey was on board with it all too.

There were certainly some hiccups. Being Boyfriend’s schedule made it hard enough for us to see each other on the regular. So finding extra time to spend with all of us was tricky. But it didn’t stop anything. We had the uncomfortable discussions over text when we couldn’t all be together in person. And we shared pictures and updates everyday. It was exhausting, but it was so worth it. He got to be a part of it all. And I got to share that amazing 9 month journey with 2 men I truly loved.

One lucky little duck

Munchkin is lucky. He came into this world with so many adults loving him. So many adults waiting for him. He wasn’t the last piece in our puzzle, but he was an important one.

Then several short months later, Bats found us. And there was this whole new person who fell in love with Munchkin. They quickly became another staple in his life.

He will grow up, surrounded by a large family full of love. Two big sisters ready to move heaven and earth for him, and take on anyone who dares be mean. Four adults who fill the roles of parents and caretakers, that will watch over him for the rest of our days. And all of the extended family from this core group. That is one lucky little duck.