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, Barkley, 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.

Categories
Family Polyamory

Are Metamours the Best Kept Secret in Polyamory?

I have wanted a metamour relationship for longer than I knew the word existed. Before Lovey and I embarked on this polyamory journey, I had quietly wished for a family style that would give me a relationship that was deeper than sisterhood. A relationship that was part friendship, part sister, part partner. I have friends, best friends I’ve known for ages who know me better than I know myself sometimes. I have a sister.  But we aren’t as close as I wish we were. Distance, age, personalities, all played a part in keeping our relationship more distant than I’d like. And I have partners. Two men I love more than almost anything else in this world. And who love me the same.

Thankfully, the type of relationship, of connection, I’ve been wanting exists in polyamory. And I have been lucky enough to find it.

Something unique

I’m talking, of course, about metamours. Those people who have no connection to us except for the fact that they are dating our partner. In my life, that person is Bats. And did we luck out with them. Let me preface this by pointing out that not all metamour relationships are great. Not all metamours want to be friends or have any kind of relationship with their partner’s other partners. It all depends on the person. And that’s okay. But when they do, when the relationships form on their own, it can be pretty amazing.

To an outsider, it might seem very odd to form such a close bond with a person who is dating your partner. Odder still to want it. There are even some in the polyamorous community who prefer that separation between them and their partner’s partners. Sometimes this is referred as a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell relationship style.

But for many, the metamour relationship is something they look forward to building.

In the real world

I am very quiet and introverted, and don’t make friends easily. I learned, growing up as a military brat, that nothing is permanent. And friendships didn’t typically last long past the next move.  So, if someone made it into my inner circle, they were there for life.

So imagine my wariness when Lovey met Bats, and they kept coming around. I liked them instantly. They were fun and geeky in much the same ways I was. And, probably most importantly, they brought out a side of Lovey I hadn’t seen in a long time.

This, in my view, is one of the best parts of polyamory. You get to watch your person, your partner, come alive again with someone new. Without the threat or insecurity, without the worry that they will leave. You can just enjoy who they are with this new person.

Our metamour relationship

Our friendship was slow to start. But then in November, we discovered a common challenge to build on. It was NaNoWriMo, a month long writing challenge that I had been participating in on and off for years. And so had Bats. By the end of it, we were friends. And now, a year and change later, we are closer than I could have hoped for.

We have weathered a pandemic, and made it through a harrowing election season together. We have celebrated birthdays and holidays together. And most recently, we have shared in the grief of losing a beloved pet.

Bats supports my relationship with Lovey in a way I haven’t experienced before. They celebrate anniversaries with us, and have even “babysat” so Lovey and I could have a date night. Outside my relationship, they support me in new adventures, and cheer me on whenever I reach a goal or accomplishment. the best

A definite perk

Metamour relationships are amazing. A great one can positively impact your relationship with your partner, and even bring you closer together.

They are not magical. It takes work, like any other relationship. But that work is easier somehow because they are in your corner, cheering you on.

Tell me about your metamours! How have they impacted your life? Or your relationship with your shared partner?

Categories
Polyamory

Polya and Polyam Are The New Poly Terms

Every once in a while, topics will circle back around in Polyamorous groups. Usually when there’s an influx of new people, either to the area or to ethical non-monogamy (ENM). Recently, one of these topics was about the terms we use. For those of us identifying as polyamorous, should we use poly, polya, or polyam when we want to shorten it? On this blog, I try to stick with polyamorous, just to avoid any confusion. But I’m not perfect and some shortened versions slip through.

It can be surprising to see the debate that crops up over a few letters. But debate they do. And sometimes it gets heated.

Poly vs. Polya or Polyam

So what is the debate exactly? Well, it seems to have started with a post on tumblr from someone in the community suggesting that the use of “poly” was muddying the waters for those identifying as of Polynesian descent. Someone else, after hearing about this, wrote their own thoughts on it and shared a suggestion they had come across: out of respect for the Polynesian community, polyamorous folx should try to update our language to say polya or polyam instead.

Simple enough, right? Lines were quickly drawn though. On one side were those of us who think we should listen when BIPOC speak up and tell us how to be better allies. On other side are multiple reasons for not adjusting the language used. They range from cries of white saviorism to shouts of how “Polynesian” itself was no longer accurate.

Where I stand

If you weren’t sure, I fall into camp #1. BIPOC voices should be heard on all things that affect them and their cultures. And the world should respect what they have to say. Doesn’t matter if it’s one person or a whole community. If they ask us to stop using certain language because it hurts them in any way, then we all need to adjust.

I truly strive to see the good in humanity all around. I enjoy my rose-colored glasses, thank you. So it’s a little disheartening when I see polyamorous circles debate something like this. We are a marginalized community. We face many unflattering stereotypes. Many of us often have to hide that part of our lives from family and coworkers. We should be willing to embrace the words of other marginalized groups, and be better at changing our language when we learn it hurts others.

But we are all human and have vastly different life experiences that lead us to form the beliefs we do. In any community, there will be many different viewpoints. That is what makes it beautiful.

Sound off!

What do you think of changing language to reflect the wishes of marginalized communities? Will you be adjusting yours to reflect what BIPOC voices are saying?