Polyamorous Mom: When It Comes To My Kids, I’m Not Going To Be Ashamed Of My Sex Life

Polyamorous Mom: Kids And SexKids and sex.  Two things we all have as parents and probably don’t want in the same sentence. As parents, we have to navigate our adult life in the bedroom around our family life that takes up all the rest of the house, and when we least expect it, also the bedroom.  Kids barge in; kids hear things they weren’t meant to, and kids sure as heck ask questions.  As parents whether  poly or monogamous, all we can do is try to take it one day at a time while trying to keep an active sex life and a modicum of decency for our children.

For example, the other night we all sat down for dinner and discussed our days as we tend to do.  My eldest piped up about being afraid of scary movies and turned to me and said ,

“Daddy must have showed you a scary movie, I heard you scream the other night,”

I turned six shades of crimson while Allan and I tried not to bust out laughing.  What do you say to that? No honey, Daddy was just showing me a really good time?  And what of the future, try to tone it down, get a hotel?  As they get older, I can only imagine more questions and raised eyebrows.  I recall when I was growing up we all wanted to imagine our parents only had sex as many times as their number of children.  Of course we all know, or hope, we have more active sex lives than that.  My kids are pretty little so as of yet there isn’t much else to do or say, except maybe wish we had a bigger house and soundproof ceilings.

I think many of us grown-ups have shadowed and purposefully half forgotten memories of walking in on our parents once or twice in our youths.  You try to wait until the kids sleeping, or sneak off for a quick quickie while a movie is on, but inevitably at some point someone is going to want you while you’re trying to get some. Parents turn to door locks, and sitters for the kids while they go off for the night searching for that elusive privacy.  What makes it an even stranger question is what if the person you’re naked with isn’t even the child’s mom or dad?  At my house, we have not yet engaged in sex with anyone besides each other under our roof, but it’s bound to happen and raise some pretty big questions.

There are a number of poly people who would behave just as anyone else in a marriage, that sex is natural and adult and things get explained as they come up.  Sex can be addressed as an intimate activity between adults and the partners involved need not be questioned if the kids weren’t instilled with a ‘one and only’ idea in the first place.  I am not quite sure I’m in this camp yet, but I can see the draw.  Just as we all can feel the pull to just normalize sex; people could also feel the pull to normalize relationships in general.  If little Timmy runs into his mom fooling around on the couch with her buddy Scott, the adults quickly pull themselves together and he’s sat down for a ‘sex talk’.  Does he question the fact that it was Scott and not Daddy? I’d like to think, that we could raise children that we could tell “there are some things adults do together that are not for children, and you’ll understand it when you’re older” and it’s not even about poly. Single parents must have lovers by at times, and I think as long as you aren’t bringing home a string of men and women with constant run ins, the kids are alright.

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    • Woah again.

      First off, I can see that you listened to your readers’ comments– this is reflected in the way you chose to address more about your lifestyle and how it affects your parenting, focusing more on the family aspect of it. Easier to relate to, and makes you a more sympathetic character I think to the general audience. So kudos, way to listen.

      However, I still am bothered by this:
      “At my house, we have not yet engaged in sex with anyone besides each other under our roof, but it’s bound to happen and raise some pretty big questions.”

      How is it just “bound to happen”? Can’t you put some ground rules there for yourself, and trust yourself to follow them? Your kids (sound) very young, and honestly I’d be horrified to think that you’d mess around with one of your other partners in the same house with them. It undermines the feelings of stability kids seem to thrive in– leaves too many questions about Dad’s place in the house, and Mom and Dad’s place together.

      The fact that you seem to just accept that sooner or later you’ll throw caution to the wind and just do it with one of your boyfriends where your kids could walk in just seems to be another display of the selfishness, emotional immaturity and not very grown up, impulse-driven behavior that makes this column hard to keep reading.

      • alice

        agree with this.

        polymom: i really like your articles. and i like that you want your kids to have a “sex is normal” attitude. that’s positive.

        but sex is also serious. this isn’t a prudish concept. sex has serious consequences.

        you’ll have to be very creative if you want to simultaneously convey “sex is normal” “sex is serious” and “we have sex with all our friends!”

      • Polyamorous Mom

        well we dont have sex with ALL our friends. lol

      • alice

        haha. your kids are going to become your best “wingmen”

        “Mrs. Frasier, would you like to come over and have sex with my daddy?” :)

      • Polyamorous Mom

        lol!

      • Andrea

        Ok, my 1st instinct is to agree with you, but I wonder about something. Don’t most kids accept the dynamic that is familiar to them? If mom always had boyfriends other than dad, wouldn’t that be the norm to them?
        I mean my kids are grossed out when I kiss my husband (their father) in front of them, but maybe if they had always seen me do that with their dad AND other guys, wouldn’t they behave the same way?

      • Kelby Johnson

        I agree with this. The kids who are used to seeing mom with men other than daddy won’t think anything of it when she brings said man home with her.

      • Surly Canuck

        I have to agree with you, Andrea. My parents were divorced by the time I was 2. Mom and Dad always had significant others other than each other. It wasn’t weird and it didn’t undermine my feelings of stability. It was my normal. Kids are amazingly accepting.

      • alice

        im thinking more along the lines of how the children process the concept. polyamory is a very complex concept, one that most adults can’t even understand.

        i think it’s extremely shortsighted of polymom to think she has to foist this concept on her kids at some point. she doesn’t. let them have their inklings, and leave it at that. they’re children!

        it’s the same kind of shortsightedness and leads some parents to think that smoking pot in front of kids is doing them a favor*. “they’re gonna learn sometime!”

        ETA: i grew up in a time where weed was still illegal, but obviously our parents still enjoyed it sometimes.

      • Andrea

        I personally wouldn’t. I’m sure my kids know at some level that their dad and I have sex (they have had age appropriate talks for a while now), but I am pretty sure it’s not something they want to think about or be in their faces. I am not sure why it is different if you have more than one partner.

      • alice

        I’d say it’s different because (for lack of a better word) it’s so controversial. Polymom knows her lifestyle is controversial. She’s
        already experienced a degree of harassment and negativity because of it (at the office, iirc.) But polymom is an adult,
        and can handle it.

        Her children are kids.

        If she can hold off on having them so openly exposed to her lifestyle, then she can mitigate the potential harassment
        that they may experience as a result of *not understanding the controversy around mommy’s lifestyle* (at school, with friends, etc.)

        I see her kids on a “need to know, basis” and right now, do they need to know?

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I think that’s really kind of what she’s asking herself in this article. How much should they know and when. And most commenters here seem to agree that it would be best they be informed of it by their parents before there is a high likelihood of them finding out through some other means, and then believing they have the burden of a horrible secret on their shoulders.

        It’s just really a matter of figuring out at what point the risk scale tips more toward “It would be a much bigger disaster if they found out by accident than if we just explain it now”.

      • Rachel Sea

        It’s better if she is open about it with them when they are young, or they are going to feel betrayed, and lied-to when they are older, and find out. Child logic follows that parents don’t hide things that aren’t bad, ergo if it is hidden, it must be bad.

      • alice

        i agree that kids will assume hidden = bad, but not so much when it comes to sex or other conventionally private stuff.

        if you don’t feel obligated to explain all the details of your conventional sex life to your child, then i don’t see why you’d feel obligated to discuss the unconventional details.

        in my opinion, PolyMom and Paul can be “friends” for now.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        “i agree that kids will assume hidden = bad, but not so much when it comes to sex or other conventionally private stuff.”

        But the issue here isn’t really the sex at all. The issue is relationships that don’t follow the mainstream model. I really don’t think her intent in being “open” about it is the give her kids her partners’ penis dimensions, and tell them what fetishes she shares with each. The intent, as far as I can tell, would be to say “Yes, your father and I see other people. We aren’t cheating. We love each other, and this arrangement is what makes us happy.”

        “Being aware that your parents date people” really isn’t the same thing as giving them “details about their sex lives”.

        And when it comes to things that fall outside of expected social norms, hiding it _does_ send the message to kids that it is something shameful.

      • Aldonza

        I agree. As they get older, if things are kept too secretive you run the risk of the kids assuming Mom and Dad are doing some wrong, and potentially harmful to the other. You don’t want the kid to walk in on their parents with another person and feel as though they’ve just caught a parent “cheating” when that’s not really what’s going on.

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        at least they’re told the truth! imagine living in shelter for ten years then finding mammy with someone not daddy!

      • alice

        totally agree. but i believe the topic of her article is specifically related to her sex life, and what her kids know about it. not related to her dating life.

        the comments here are related to whether or not she should have sex w/ other men in her home.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I guess I just didn’t see the sexual activitiey itself as really being the focus of the article. The way I see it, if the fact that their parents have romantic relationships with other people is in the open, then it makes the fact that they might accidentally walk in on her and one of her boyfriends (or their dad and one of his girlfriends) not much different from if they accidentally walked in on the parents together.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        yes this, thank you.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        Oh god…Paul is my ex’s name. lol

      • Ella

        I think there’s a difference between ‘hidden’ and ‘privacy’. It’s a common parenting fad that there is to be no personal boundaries between parents and children, but it can be healthy not to share your sex life/drug life with your children. When they are old enough to ask questions, answering them is fine…but thinking you have to expose them to a revolving door of your sexual partners (polyamorous, single and dating, etc.) can be destabilizing. Not to mention, possibly increasing their exposure to sexual abuse. No reason to sexualize children in the name of openness and ‘not hiding’ something.

      • Rachel Sea

        As long as PolyamorousMom and her husband are not monogamous, they are living a lifestyle that at some point is going to raise questions with the kids. The reasons can be explained without ever saying anything explicit about their sex lives.

        And since when does a frank, age-appropriate conversation about sex lead to abuse? Kids who are well informed, and empowered are in a BETTER position to protect themselves.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I don’t really understand why it is assumed that it undermines the feeling of stability. It only has that effect if the kids have some reason to believe that non-monogamous sex inherently creates conflict and resentment or is otherwise bad.

      • Best Policy

        I have read through the comments on this thread, and I just need to add my two cents worth.
        Growing up my parents were separated for a time. Still married, but living apart. During the years that this happened, my mom had a boyfriend. Someone that she spent so much time with, my friends openly questioned me as to if he was my dad. I didn’t realize this at the time, but when she went to ‘movie nights’ at his house and left my brother and I alone – we were at most 6 and 4 years old, they were actually having sex.
        Now, this was not an agreed upon thing with my parents. My dad not know that this was happening until I was about 8, and she swore that she was not sleeping with this guy, just that she was lonely and they were friends. It all came out when I was 25 that she was sleeping with this guy and many, many more guys over the years.
        The reason I am telling you this story is because, it was extremely emotionally damaging for all involved – not because of the multiple partners – but because of the lying. My mom had a mental break down, my dad was lost emotionally and mentally for a long time because of all the lying and my brother and I have been emotionally scarred and because I tried to protect him from the worst of it, he can’t understand why I have such a strained relationship with my mom, and that has driven a wedge between us.
        Everything will come out, even if the kids don’t know at the time, it’s better to be honest.

    • Kelby Johnson

      I remember my oldest walking in on my husband (not his father) and I a few years ago and how humiliating it was…lol It was the beginning of a learning process. Mainly that if you wake up in the morning and the bedroom door is closed, knock first!

      I also wanted to say that I love your articles, as someone who is poly-curious, I get a lot out of them as to how day to day life would be. People are being over-critical of you in my opinion. Keep doing what you’re doing!!!

      • Andrea

        We lock the door. Every. Single. Time. And even though we’ve always done that and they have told to ALWAYS knock, they still (to this day) just try to open the door. Ugh.

      • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

        Hah, we had friends who had a specific time once a week set aside where the door was closed and the kids weren’t allowed in. Apparently one time their youngest was trying to get in, not understanding why he wasn’t allowed to see Mom and Dad, and his two older sisters were trying desperately to keep him away. I’m not sure if they knew what Mom and Dad were up to, but they were trying to help. :)

        ETA, I’m sure the door was locked, but still… can’t imagine trying to be romantic/sexual with your partner while 1-3 kids are right outside the door.

      • ElleJai

        I can. My toddler has been known to bang on the door during mummy and daddy time (while Nana is watching him) and it’s even more awkward when your mum is right outside the door with your kid! Ugh.

      • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

        Oh, I’m sure that does win. :(

      • Kelby Johnson

        Oh it’s fun (Note the sarcasm) We have now resorted to propping a chair up against the locked door so the little minions can’t get the door open at all lol

    • Givemeabreak

      I got to this point of the story: “At my house, we have not yet engaged in sex with anyone besides each other under our roof, but it’s bound to happen and raise some pretty big questions.”
      I was DONE reading.
      Someone just by this lady a freaking billboard with “LOOK AT ME” painted in bright neon colors and flashing lights and put it in her front yard.
      I’M. OVER. THIS. COLUMN.

      • alice

        this made me laugh out loud…on the phone w/ a client…hahaha

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I’m honestly puzzled how that is a “look at me” moment (at least, any more so than any other column where an author talks about her own life). Whether extra-marital encounters will ever occur in the core couple’s home and how it will be dealt with if they do is a completely logical thing to consider.

    • JLH1986

      Must say I’m really enjoying your posts. I love learning about different lifestyles. I know initially I thought the poly life would be so different from mine, but from what I’m reading…it really isn’t. Awkward sex chats etc. included. I’m kinda torn about how I’d feel in your position. I think on one hand, giving them the basics is the best because poly, mono, single, kids don’t need to know too much about parent’s sex lives. But I also think it’s normal and so allowing your kids to see a little of the lifestyle will help keep them open minds about how they want to live their lives. Parenting seems way hard once they are out of diapers lol

    • AP

      I assure you that, of every friend I have ever had, regardless of their family structure and parental situation, not one wanted to hear about their parents’ sex life. They didn’t want to know if their parents were doing it at all, when the parents were doing it, who their parents were doing it with, or how their parents were doing it.

      As adults, we all acknowledge that having sex is a normal and healthy thing to do, and understand that fellow adults- including our parents, grandparents, etc.- are likely to be engaging in various sexual behaviors. We’re happy they’re happy. However, we don’t want details!

      • ElleJai

        Really? I’d be interested in the details. I know my dad has bought bondage stuff and now I wanna know who’s getting tied up, him or my stepmother! I will never find out but I’m still curious.

        And I’ve had some pretty open chats with my mum and her sisters. Knowing about your parents sex life isn’t actually the worst thing ever.

      • whiteroses

        Personally- my parents, both straight Christian Republicans- still have regular sex. We’ve never sat down and had a conversation about it, but I know they do it. It’s great that they’re happy and they still feel that way about each other after nearly 40 years together.

        My mom is one of my best friends. But we don’t talk about this stuff. It grosses me out. They’re my parents, for cripes sake.

    • CMJ

      I don’t think you need to be ashamed of sex or your sex life but I don’t think your children need to know the details of your sex life – regardless of your lifestyle.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        well yeah of course

      • Albert8184

        Of course… why?

      • Polyamorous Mom

        of course they dont need details…you can not entirely control what they hear

      • Albert8184

        Wow.

      • karen

        You certainly can have some control over that. My sister thought she was so open-minded, laughing about how the walls are thin and the boys’ beds were right on the other side of the wall from hers and her husbands. Let’s just say those boys each have their own issues now. Obviously it’s not entirely from that, but maybe the same mindset that just laughs it off contributes in general to kids’ problems.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        well my preference isnt them hearing, we may be moving soon and I’m glad the set up might make it a little easier to be intimate when they are home. The example in the story was just a one time funny moment, not like i want it to happen all the time. I started making sure our door was firmly closed after that

      • CMJ

        While they might not understand what they’re hearing, if you’re loud enough that they can hear you…they do know some details of your sex life.

    • Angela

      No matter how open and positive you are about sex your kids will probably not want details about your sex life. If they ask I would answer their questions honestly and without embarrassment but I also would be careful not to provide more information than they’re asking for. I would not offer up information unbidden and obviously I would take precautions to prevent them from walking in on (or overhearing) my lovemaking. If they happen to walk in on you anyway then I’d make sure to answer any questions they have but also respect their wishes if they prefer not to talk about it. As far as having other partners over, that would be your call. I’d probably at least wait until the kids were completely comfortable around them and I’d take the same precautions (locking doors, playing loud music, toning down the screams etc).

      • Jane

        Love the part about “toning down the screams”. It’s so obvious but a very easy solution. Also agree with your other comments, but that one suggestion was so polite, I just loved the polite way it was written.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        i dont think its an easy solution. lol

      • jsterling93

        Everyone is acting like she screams nonstop during sex. Her child has mentioned ONCE they heard her scream.

        Sex can sometimes be intense enough you don’t realize you have made that much noise. If you have never ever ever made a sound louder than expected during sex I would dare to say you are not having very good sex.

      • ElleJai

        I’m having perfectly good sex thank you. I’m just extremely quiet because my mother has mostly been living with me and I am not vocalising ANYTHING that she might hear. Awkward!

      • Jane

        The internet is a bizarre place. I read an article. I read the comments. I post a comment of my own, the gist of which was that the previous commenter was very polite in the way she suggested “tone down the screams”. And where are we now? Random stranger suggesting I don’t have good sex if I’ve never made an unexpected sound during the act. I need to insert a bitstrips comic here, something that shows Jane scratching her head, perplexed at what, if any, response is warranted. I think I’ll just go with “I stand by my original comment which was that I liked Angela’s comment.”

    • Rachel Sea

      Kids as young as two have a very strong grasp of social norms, one of which is monogamy. It would behoove you to talk to them about polyamory before they catch you necking with someone who isn’t their dad, so that they aren’t surprised, confused and upset.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        I agree Rachel,bit by bit ive been having conversations with them. And Jim and I lock the bedroom door

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      This is sorta on topic and sort of off, but I don’t want my kids knowing ANYTHING about my sex life. I want them to grow up and feel sex is normal and happy and OK and rad etc but I cannot have sex with my kids like outside the door or anything, it REALLY creeps me out. To like the millionth degree.

      • alice

        this is completely off topic: but i’d love to see an article about allowing children to witness the births of their newest siblings. because, like listening to your parents have sex, i think this is SOOOOOOO CREEPY

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        hahaha, I so did not do this with my kids. I let them in way after

      • alice

        my MiL let my husband watch both of her subsequent births when he was about 9 and 12. he remembers seeing his brothers crowning. i try not to throw up when i think of this.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        I was 4 and in the room when my sister was born. All I remember is how cozy it was hiding behind the reclining chair in the corner by the window. SO not doing that to my kid.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        HAHAHAHAHAHAH

      • blh

        I was ten and in the room when my sister was born. I remember looking ANYWHERE ELSE except my moms vag.

      • TngldBlue

        I have a friend who is having a home birth soon and allowing her kids-both under 5-to be there for it all. I’m sure the horror I felt showed on my face when she told me. I couldn’t even get words out-my brain was just going nopenopenopenopenooooooooooo.

      • Lacey

        I just read that last line as no-peno-peno-peno-penooooooooooo.

      • LJ

        When my husband and I had our daughter she came into the world during a time we didnt have his son. However we decided that if she did come during our time with him, we’d have him hang out with our parents until I was cleaned up and ready. His mother magically got knocked up 3 months after finding out about us having a child (I just. CANT. EVEN with this..) and when her new son was born called and told us how our son was in the room with her, front and center and saw everything and how proud she was of him (during the summer she also called a billion times to say she was in labor and we needed to bring our son right away…and then would be like “Oh I was only dialated 5cm so they sent me home. -_- AGAIN…I. JUST. CANT.) Needless to say, my husband and I were like…@.@ but we respected her choice to allow that. But on the inside we were like….”ewwwwwwww”

      • alice

        omg. THIS should be a story :)

      • LJ

        Our life with our son’s mom is a loooooooooong,wine induced, memoir I’ll have to write one day when he is grown.

      • Lacey

        That took me WAY too long to figure out that when you said ‘his son’ you meant your husband’s son and when you said ‘his mom’ you meant your husband’s son’s mom (and not your husband’s mom). O.o

      • LJ

        Hahaha oh sorry. It does come across a little confusing. I have a hard ass time saying/typing the word “step-son/mom/parent” and we always refer to him as “our son” but sometimes that get’s confusing to people that don’t know our situation. At Parent-Teacher meetings I’m like, “Hi, I’m his…..*defeated sigh* step-mom and here is my wart nose and evil disposition”. Also, I forget not everyone is in my head and knows what I’m talking about 100% of the time.

      • That_Darn_Kat

        My daughter has a step-dad (my hubby) and a step-mom. Because I’m a SAHM, I don’t put her in daycare, but she is when she’s with them. I love the look of confusion when I go to pick her up and I’m all “Hi I’m Jane’s mom” and they’re like “um….then who’s that other chick?” Even though she always makes sure places know I’m mom, she’s step-mom. What’s super fun is we’re pretty good friends, so we’ll be joking around at gymnastics and we’ll be doing introductions and we’ll just use the term “other mom/dad” and people’s heads will practically explode trying to figure out who’s bio and who’s not.

      • AugustW

        I might not say “creepy”, but I would say…kids have a harder time understanding the nuiances in some situations. For example, mommy is in the hospital, crying, in pain, but she’s okay. Kid sees first part, doesn’t get second part.
        That’s why I wouldn’t expose a kid to childbirth, personally. My daughter will learn about stuff like that, at an age appropriate level and time, but there is no need to add the supercharged emotions and stuff to the lesson. :)

      • That_Darn_Kat

        I was 4.5 when my sister was born. I was in the room (for a few various reasons) when she was born. I stood by my mom’s head, but totally kept starting down toward her legs. I didn’t witness my sister actually being born, but I saw her immediately as she came out, bloody and everything. I’m now 28 and currently working on being a labor and delivery nurse. I wouldn’t force my kids to be in the room with me during my next delivery, but if they want to be, they can.

      • TngldBlue

        I walked in on my parents once and I’ve been drinking to forget ever since. Doors mean nothing to our daughter so I cannot bring myself to have sex if she is on premise and risk causing her the same psychological damage.

      • CMJ

        “and have been drinking to forget it ever since”

        AMAZING.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        no locks?

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        LOL I completely agree with you. Luckily we have days without the kids where we can get our groove on, I see your point about them not knowing anything but I’m in the unenviable position where their mother, instead of explaining things to them, tells them to just ask me. which traps me because I never know what to say, and the girls aren’t going to ask their dad!
        gragh!

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        There is a BIG ass difference between being open and honest with your kids about sex and having them pay witness to you as a sexual entity, KWIM? I can tell my kids any damn thing but I have ZERO interest in them being aware of who I am sexually, save for the fact sometimes mommy and daddy kiss a lot and sometimes mommy wears a nice dress.

      • Karen

        THIS!!! Parents have survived for centuries and had wonderful marriages without feeling they needed to BE PROUD OF THEIR SEXUALITY in front of their kids. Seriously? Get a grip. Kids don’t want or need to be witness to this. Parents are capable of either waiting until the kids are elsewhere, or toning it down when the kids are in the house so the kids don’t need to see and/or hear it all.

      • whiteroses

        This. If I won’t tell my best friend about my sex life, I can’t imagine telling my son. (It’s not that my best friend couldn’t handle such details, it’s just that—- we don’t do that).

      • Annona

        I grew up in a house with thin walls. And my parents love each other, like a really whole lot, if you catch my drift. It was pretty mortifying, once I was old enough to figure out what those noises meant.

      • That_Darn_Kat

        My room shared a wall with my parents room and they LOVE each other…all the time. I was 18 years old, having to crank the volume of my tv up to drown them out. Eventually, when I moved out, I asked them if they ever wondered about why my tv was always so loud. They didn’t realize I could hear them and were mortified. My sister and I have a good laugh about it now.

    • Albert8184

      “While I want the kids to have this normalcy, this “sex is ok” outlook, I don’t really know how they’d react. They are just coming up to the cusp of knowing anything naughty is going on, but I’m starting to think maybe I just need to make it all normal…”

      There’s a lot of incongruity packed into this little snippet. A lot.

    • Ashlea

      I’m all for being open and honest to your kids about sex, but that doesn’t mean you should be loud enough that they can hear! That’s just rude no matter who it is, let alone your children!!! Seems like you put your sex life before them quite often.

      • CMJ

        And quiet sex is hot!!!!

        (Sorry for any family members reading this)

      • Polyamorous Mom

        perhaps, for you. ;)

      • Bob

        Ugh. Always.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        OMG quiet sex is the dirtiest

      • Tinyfaeri

        I don’t know that I agree that the author puts her sex life before her children (we don’t really know her well enough to say), but I do agree that no one should have to listen to someone else have sex. If there are people in the house (especially kids), and you know how thin the walls are, maybe make a little less noise so the others in the house can’t hear you. It’s cool to be an exhibitionist, but maybe make sure the people you’re exhibiting yourself for really want to hear or see what you’re putting on show.

      • lemon floor wax

        Hey, sounds happen. We try to keep our “noise” to a minimum but sometimes….unless you’re into being gagged, chances are good you will make the same mistake once in a while too.

      • Tinyfaeri

        Physically speaking, orgasm triggers a breath in, not a scream out. Yes, sounds happen, but the majority of the time and especially with loud screaming, it’s a choice more than a necessity. I would hope that someone could stay present enough to limit the loud screaming while others are in the house and still enjoy him or herself, and if not, wait until the others are not in the house. That’s not being prudish, it’s just being considerate.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I’m skeptical of your claim that orgasm “triggers a breath in”. My experience is that it really depends on whether I happened to be on the inhale or exhale when the moment hits.

        And heck, sometimes a particular sensation will take one by surprise, or the orgasm hits harder than usual, or any number of things. It’s always good to be considerate, but sometimes one just gets lost in the moment :)

      • Tinyfaeri

        Real Sex in the 90′s may have lied to me, but I swear I’ve read that elsewhere. Either way, I maintain that if you can’t keep yourself present enough to be considerate of the other people in the house, you should try waiting until there are no other people in the house. I’m skeptical that that’s difficult to do.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        at our house, there is NEVER no other people in the house, if you are counting my kids. (the caps are for emphasis, not yelling at you). The only time with no one else around is at Jim’s house with Jim

      • Tinyfaeri

        Your house, your choice. But it is a choice that you’re making, not something that happens to you or that you have to do, or can’t work to prevent or cover up with music, TV, etc to mitigate the amount that they hear. Beyond that, I have nothing to say that I haven’t already said. Best of luck to you!

      • Polyamorous Mom

        its pretty amusing, you guys now have me contemplating how/when i make so much noise more than the kids issue. lol. im pretty sure its not just at climax nore completely voluntary. wow i just said that on the internet

      • Andrea

        I agree on keeping it down. But I tell you, it’s been 13 years of parenting and if i could have just ONE wish, it would be soundproof walls in my bedroom.

    • Magrat

      Also, when are you ready to be outed to your community? Because kids talk, and they don’t always know what things are ok to talk about to whom.

    • SA

      I can only speak as having a poly FIL who openly talks about sex, but dude your kids don’t want to know anything about it and any future kids-in-law DEFINITELY don’t want to know anything about it – nor do they care. Not saying there shouldn’t be discussions about relationships with others outside the marriage or discussions on sex ed, it is better to be upfront that surprising your kids with it, but your personal sex life and especially sex with random partners doesn’t need to be on the front burner. It would also be worth it to discuss monogamy with them and that your situation works because you all agree on it. Also, realize that your kids may or may not be ok with it and respect their feelings as well. Not that you need to change if your kids weren’t ok with the situation, but maybe not openly discuss at the dinner table. Again, just speaking from my personal experience and a recent dinner I had to sit through! :)

      • Andrea

        Oh gawd!!! I CANNOT imagine a more awkward situation than having to listen to my FIL talk about ANY kind of sex life, let alone with multiple partners. Shoot me now.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        oh i didnt mean to imply i’d disucss the actual sex with them, it seems a lot of people got that impression!

    • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

      Real talk: One of my nephews heard sex noises coming from my room once, when I was a teenager. I didn’t think I was being loud but, well, shit happens. I told him we saw a spider. >>; I think that’s going to be my go-to when/if I have kids:

      “Oh, no, we saw a spider and were totally hunting it.”
      “Mom, I’m a grown-up, I know what sex is-”
      “SPIDERS.”

      • Jessica Johnson

        That works on a couple of levels actually! Spiders are equally as creepy as knowing your parents are doing it. >.< I might have to use that next time my 11 and 13 year olds give me and their dad the look that says "I know why you were both in your room, and that's just gross."

      • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

        I think I’d rather swim in a tank full of spiders Fear Factor-style than walk in on my parents doing it. I really, really do.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Can I just say, this poor woman gets some amount of abuse off people in the comments- if the children are raised with other people (ie, mammy’s special friend or daddys lady friend) why is it wrong to assume the kids wouldn’t be used to that family dynamic?
      If that’s the case, how do you explain divorced parents?

      My stepkids know I’m Daddy’s girlfriend, they know about their mammy’s boyfriend and recently we had the eldest girl asking me did daddy and i have sex.
      Once I got over the shock of her asking right out, we did explain to her that NORMALLY only mammys and daddys have “special time” aka in her words- (grownup nudey time) but that when two grownups want to, they can have special time and not have to be married or be a mammy or daddy.
      she happily accepted that.

      so why is it so horrific to think this lady’s kids aren’t used to her dynamic? if you are raised to believe in Buddha, or raised to believe in Allah, that doesn’t mean the way you were raised is wrong or harmful to kids- just a different point of view.

      ok, sorry, rant over =)

      • Andrea

        I made that point earlier. And I think to an extent you are right. However, it might be a little different. For better or for worse, divorce is not unusual. When kids talk about mommy’s boyfriend or daddy’s wife or their step-parents, it’s not an unusual situation and no one bats an eye and they probably know other kids who live the same way. However, mommy having a boyfriend while she still married and living with and loving daddy is a whole different scenario that is just not that common. My guess is they will accept it as norm for a while (because that’s what they know), but eventually, if they mention it to other people, the pearl clutching will indicate to them that maybe it isn’t all that common. And eventually, they might arrive at different conclusions themselves too.

        I don’t know this for a fact, just theorizing.

    • ElleJai

      Wait, I’ve missed something here. Isn’t there one husband and Jim? Who’s the other partner referred to in the last paragraph?!

      • BW2

        I was wondering the same thing!

      • Polyamorous Mom

        oh, hm. i suppose i should clear that up in an article. Hes a friend who I may potentially become involved with, but we arent yet

    • Momma425

      When I was little, I had no idea what sex was. I saw mom and dad kiss, but nobody walked in on them- so I literally believed the stork story until “human growth and development” class in fourth grade. I came home disgusted- mom and dad had THREE kids, which means they had sex THREE TIMES!! I shared this with my mom, and she laughed, trying to be open and honest and said, “your dad and I have had sex hundreds of times.” I will never ever forget how grossed out I was.
      As an adult- that is something I never ever want to think about regarding my parents. Obviously, logically, I know they probably have sex. But as their daughter, I prefer to keep my head in the clouds about their sex life. They had sex three times, ever. Or you know what, scratch that. They just did an “I dream of Genie” nod and poof! Me and my siblings.
      I think my parents prefer to think of me that way as well. My daughter was poofed into the world, my husband and I play candy land in the evening, and my parent’s little girl’s hymen is in tact as it should be. Who am I to discuss details and ruin this fantasy for them?

      I see no reason why you would ever need to share your sex life with your kids, or why they are “bound” to run into you boning their dad or any other man at the house. Get a lock on the bedroom door, tell them you watch scary movies at night, and call it a day. They will be adults before you know it, and they can make up their own minds about what makes them happy in bed then.

    • Guest

      I could’ve done without knowing that my parents and their girlfriend do that. Yeah, my parents are polyamorous. I’ve got my own feelings on that as the kid of poly parents. I’m not a fan, and I hate it and their girlfriend. Ack on the sex thing. I’ve never heard or seen mom or dad or her, but dad and their girlfriend have a kid together so it’s happened. My parentals are still active. Since I have my license, I’ve picked up mom’s birth control before. The last time was less than a week ago.

      You don’t need to tell your kids anything other than the basics. My parentals told me about sex from the age of 5 until now. They always used the proper words like “vagina” and “penis.” They never told me, “Babies come out of mommy’s tummy.” They told the truth. I didn’t have to learn from friends, and I’m well informed and prepared for sex mentally. Not emotionally. They told me about masturbation, too, and encouraged me to learn about my own body. As I got older, like now, they added in things about STDs, safe sex practices, birth control methods, and not letting someone pressure me into doing something I wasn’t ready for. Never did they like ever tell me that they were sleeping with anyone including one another. Too freaking much info. Kids like don’t want to know anything about your sex life. I don’t even want to see my parents kissing. I’d like love to believe mom and dad only had sex once to conceive me, but that’s not the reality.

      You might want to tell your kids that your boyfriends or whoever are more than just friends, so if they see them coming out of your bedroom or see you guys like kissing, they won’t think, “Mommy doesn’t love daddy anymore.” Before you even start the sex topic, you need to have an age appropriate chat about you being polyamorous and what it means. Only tell the oldest kids. Don’t present it like this is the only way to love. They need to know that love comes in many shapes, sizes, and packages. They told me that they loved me, loved each other, would always be there for me, and that they wanted to share their love and lives with others. Their girlfriend had been living in our house. They were openly affectionate before and after the discussion with me. I was too young to understand why she slept in their bed, kissed my mom, kissed my dad, and was eventually pregnant with dad’s baby. I remember both conversations. I assumed that dad must have loved her and wanted to have a baby with her just like when he loved mom and wanted to have a baby with her. They confirmed that and were surprised that I came up with that on my own.

      Andrea, I saw your comment about kids thinking of things as being normal after being exposed. That’s not true for all. Their girlfriend has been in my life since I was 2. She’s not my mom. I don’t like her. I don’t respect her. I don’t get why they have to show PDA at my school and do everything in threes. They’ve never asked me how I felt about any of this. I didn’t ask their girlfriend to attend parent-teacher night. She’s not my mom. I didn’t ask my parentals to tell the teachers at my Catholic school that they were polyamorous, and she was their girlfriend.

      I’ve read your column to help understand my parentals and their way of doing things, and I don’t get it. I’m learning, but one thing is certain, I won’t be doing this.

      • Andrea

        First of all, thank you for sharing the child’s perspective on this (not that you are a child, you know what I mean)

        Second of all. I was just really theorizing. I DON’T know how it is for the kids. I just sorta thought that maybe they accept the dynamics if that’s what they know. Thank you for sharing this with us.

      • Guest

        No worries. I know you mean. :)

        It’s different for all kids. I’ve only read one other article where the author’s kids flipped and totally freaked. Crying, screaming, and wondering why he/she was doing this to them. They had a 12 year old, and she completely withdrew. I think they ended up in family therapy because they didn’t expect such negative reactions. Yeah, I’m the exception.

        I’ve tried to pretend like it’s normal, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself questioning this. I’d rather have two parents of the same sex than have openly polyamorous parents. At least, LGBTQ is more accepted on the mainstream side of things.

        I’ve read the Ethical Slut, Opening Up, endless threads on two polyamorous forums, and none of those discussed the effects on kids. The threads all say the same, “My kids are happy. They like my boyfriends and dad’s girlfriends. They don’t mind sleeping over at their houses, having them at birthday parties, football games, and so on.” The one question I’d ask them is if they asked how those kids really felt, or did they just assume that mom and dad know best? If my parentals had asked me, I’d have told them that I did mind and didn’t want her at those things for me.

        My parentals just don’t understand how hard this has been on me. I’ve had moments where friends have made innocent remarks that just about made me cry. They weren’t trying to do it. They just were awkward and unsure of what to say. Innocently airing their opinions. They apologized, but it still hurt. I’ve tried to no avail to get mom and dad to hear me out. I feel like they ignore me because I’m not 18, yet, and I need to stay in a “child’s place.” Yeah, I’ll do that when I stop having to defend my half-sibling and their girlfriend. They dismiss everything as the world being small minded and ignorant. Not everyone is ignorant. You should hear the whispers and snickers and see the disapproving looks people give them.

        I don’t have anyone to discuss my “plight” with. I’m too young to join the polyamory forums, and this isn’t the kind of stuff my friends know anything about. Most of them are grossed out that mom and her girlfriend “share” a guy. I’m stuck with suffering in silence and lashing out at her or all three of them when it gets too bad.

        Yeah, boarding school in some part of Europe is sounding better and better. I think they’ll manage fine without me. It’s not like my opinion actually matters.

      • Andrea

        Oh honey!!!! You definitely need someone to talk to about this. I am urging you to contact a school counselor and talk about this.
        I hope you find some peace for yourself. I wish you nothing but the best, you deserve it!

      • CMJ

        Thank you for sharing this. I think it’s very important to note that saying “my kids are okay with it” can be very far from the truth because well, the poly couples want it to be okay, so it must be, right?

        Keep on being strong and whenever you feel like you need a hand, we’re pretty cool over here (ETA – have you ever asked your parents to see a therapist? Maybe they could see how this is impacting you?)…you’re also very eloquent, you should submit an article to Eve. I would be very interested in reading it.

      • Andrea

        I was about to suggest the same thing!!!

        But I didn’t know what the rules were for young writers.

        And polymom: I hope you read this too. It blew my misconceptions right out of the water.

      • Guest

        My parentals think everything is blissfully perfect because THEY are happy. In their eyes, I’m just a moody, hormonal teenager, with a bad attitude, so to them, I don’t need therapy. I’d be doing it as a way to seek attention. They’ll never accept that they’re the reason for my attitude change. I’ve walked down that fork in the road a hundred times over the past couple of years. They’re just short of telling me that I’ll grow out of these feelings and will accept this one day. I’m a “child,” so my feelings aren’t valid on grown-up matters. They know what is best, so why do I need a voice, huh?

      • Karen

        This is EXACTLY what it was like growing up with alcoholic parents. Perhaps the common denominator is parents thinking only of themselves. Thank you sharing your story, Jayde. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.

      • Guest

        Don’t apologize.

        I’m sorry you grew up with alcoholic parents. I don’t complain because somewhere in the world someone has or once had it worse than me.

      • karen

        Keeping that in mind will get you far in life! It’s exactly how I see things. :-)

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        I would love you to write a POV on this. Please email me at eveevevawyer at Gmail dot com. You can be anonymous

      • Guest

        I’d love to. Any set word limit or topic regarding this?

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Send me an email yo!

      • Guest

        Sent. :)

      • ElleJai

        I’ve been thinking about this for a few hours before I responded to you.

        Setting aside for the moment that you don’t like your parents girlfriend (I myself cannot exist in the same house as my stepmother, but she makes my dad happy), is it possible that a lot of your dislike for the lifestyle is because your parents aren’t simply “out”, they’re actively throwing it in everyone’s face? It’s obnoxious behaviour from anyone, but there’s a large element of self-centered drama inherent in the behaviour you’re describing.

        I prefer to respect my child, and minimise the chances of bullying via not acting like a tool. (I also dislike the “me adult, you child” attitude but it’s fairly common). Public displays of affection are deemed obnoxious by most people regardless, but there’s a large difference between being open if someone directly asks you and wearing a giant hat with flashing neon lights proclaiming your sexual exploits.

        By all means, let close friends or family know you’ll require 3 invites, but to wander into parent teacher night acting like an orgy of love-struck teenagers, perhaps especially in a religious school, is so far beyond the pale that the pale has long since disappeared from the rear view mirror. For so many reasons, but to name a few: teens respond to anything “different” by bullying and ostracising it, PDAs in any number tend to gross people out (keep it in your own damn house), it’s deliberately giving the finger to a Catholic God, and it’s flaunting your melodrama in a place designed to talk about your child instead of you.

      • Jayde

        Hi. It’s deeper than their need to be out. They wanted their girlfriend to be recognized and respected as my third parent. They keep pushing that on me. When I push back, they make me feel like I’m a bad seed. They don’t want her to feel like a dirty secret and promote equality.

        Recently I was on the homecoming court. The parentals were going to talk to the administrators to get her added to my list of my escorts during halftime. I told them no because for one night I wanted to be normal and share the moment with my mom and dad. I was ok with her supporting from the stands. They told me I was being inconsiderate of HER feelings because I didn’t want to share that moment with her and didn’t consider her my parent. She isn’t a parent to me so I saw like no reason for her to be introduced as one. They were determined to make my moment about validating her and showing the world that three parents and polyamory isn’t harmful to kids. Nevermind that I didn’t want it. They did and that’s all that mattered.

        There’s so many flaws I can talk about. Let’s talk about how I’ve lost friends. Let’s talk about all the partners and how much it hurts when they leave my life. Let’s talk about how they’d miss school functions because of dates and sleepovers. Don’t get me started. I’ve seen and been thru too much behind them. My dislike has been a long time coming.

      • ElleJai

        I should have been clearer. I see their need to be out, validate each other and change societal norms while not listening to or prioritising you as selfish behaviour. Certainly they’re allowed to have a life outside of parenting but common sense puts your child before dates, whether that’s attending their school, or keeping your dates away until it’s looking likely to last a while, and even so, proceed with caution or don’t let them meet the kids.

        I don’t wish to be rude, but I’m getting the strong desire to yell at your parents on your behalf. Or I’ll kidnap you to Australia and you can live with me :P

      • Guest

        Parentals get stupid brain when it comes to relationships. They want to seek that rush of something fun and new. They think they’re all in love and they believe relationship will last forever and ever. Once they deem the people as “safe” or “longer term,” they start coming around. 6 months-1 year mark. Relationships don’t always last. Once that stupid brain wears off in 1 1/2-2 years, the work to maintain the relationship starts, and some people decide it’s too much. Lust isn’t enough to keep them together. By then, that person had been around us for 6-24 months, shared holidays, been around for birthdays, maybe even went on family vacations to Disney, and then poof, they’re gone, if it doesn’t end on good terms or if they decide not to have contact. Kids feel that. It’s like having a trusted adult and building a relationship. Only to lose them. I’m sure any parent who dates faces these issues, so it’s not polyamorous specific or as frequently. The part that is specific is because some polyamorous parents have multiple relationships, and sometimes they lose them in clusters. If they’re dating three other people, and persons 1-3 decide they need more than seeing them once or twice a week, we all lose those those three people at the same time.

        Most people know there are only 24 hours in the day. 18 are taken up for sleeping, work, school, and after school stuff. That leaves roughly 6 hours. In that time, they have to do household stuff, cook dinner, have adult time split four ways (dad and mom, mom and her, dad and her, and all of them together), and see other partners. It’s almost a given that dates be scheduled during the week, family time is never with the whole family. Two or three or here. Two here. Some dates and sleepovers will be on the same nights as school functions. Sometimes they’re too far out to get back in time, and traffic is horrible. If they were only dating the one other person, it wouldn’t be as bad. There’s just not enough time. They have to cut corners somewhere. Many people in these relationships encounter the same problems with time, so that’s not specific to just my parents.

      • Karen

        You have a good head on your shoulders. I’ve been seeing the poly world up close for 2 years, and I see a lot of inherent flaws with it. You’re very articulately defining exactly what some of those problems are. I hope you’ll continue writing about this.

      • Guest

        Thanks. If you don’t mind me asking, what flaws have you encountered?

        I see the flaws b/c I’ve been around them for awhile. Nobody wants to talk about all the negatives and the sacrifices that have to be made to maintain those relationships. My parentals have been in long distance relationships, too. They couldn’t be cheering us on at games or attending science fairs, if they were 3500 miles away with their significant others. Nobody wants to admit that sometimes those sacrifices mean missing time with their kids. That’s a major sacrifice for the sake of love and having freedom. Those sacrifices and flaws are where some of my dislike started.

      • Karen

        Currently, I could list off dozens. I’ll start with these:

        1) Risks .. physical health risks, emotional, risks to marriage and family, social risks ie, career /employment and status within the community. Regarding physical risks: each additional partner accepts those risks by proxy. One drunken bacterial/viral bachelor or bachelorette party puts the whole network at risk. Some “great” guy you met 2 months ago on Craigslist puts everyone at risk.
        Risks to Marriage: Lots of people enter into this thinking their marriage and family’s are strong enough to do this only to find out they were wrong. Many relationships have been horribly damaged and lost.

        2) TIME : ZERO SUM GAME Time and attention. Time, attention and focus. If you’re off making memories or building a relationship with somebody as a consequence you can’t be making memories with someone else. In most cases the addition of a partner someone or somethings are going to take a hit in the time and attention category. The more partners the thiner the slices.

        The idea that scheduled time is quality time is at least partially a myth.Special moments and memories spring out of unplanned time …”durational” time…the boring have to …nothing better to do time. The hang out time …unscripted time. I think this is especially true with kids. For instance, I had many quality moments driving my kids to school, or things that arose simply in the course of our daily lives. Things that don’t happen when you ‘schedule’ dinner or a movie or an ‘event’ in order to be with them.

        3) Emotional management. Treating negative emotions as a character flaw or weakness instead of the guidance system it was designed as. To look at these as hurdles or points of growth to jump over seems counter to nature. To desensitize or distract oneself as a coping tool seems to be an elaborate attempt in denial.

        a) being the emotional tampon when fights in satellite relationships break bad.

        4) demotion, displacement , and intrusion or Poly hell. This happens in which one partner of an established couple awakens to their new poly /non monogamy identity. In most cases it’s not if these will occur but how big the changes will be and thus how bad it will be felt and for how long. The mourning of the loss of the marriage that was and the feeling demotion and displacement can trigger spiraling depression which then triggers it’s own set of problems.

        5) DRAMA. Romantic relationship generate drama by themselves. Multiple relationships the drama doesn’t seem increase in a linear way but a geometric progression Frequent break-ups and new relationships….see above #3. Compare this to the generations that build the railroads, invented the lightbulb, fought wars, built corporations, raised families. Hold these lives up side by side, and this group of people looks like the cast of Sweet Valley High instead of the adults who ought to be raising our country up. They’re too busy having their meet ups and breakups to actually raise the next generation or build the next company.

        6) Narcissism/entitlement and Needs Vs wants This is what ” I” need. This is who” I ” am …”Here is a list of books and websites to help you understand and get on the same page and if you have issues it could help you with those as well. I’m willing to go see a “poly friendly” counselor to help you/us. HOWEVER I’m not interested in going to a regular counselor because “I ” wont be judged or told I’m wrong.

        7) The loss of special (out side of the moment.) There is a human need to BE SPECIAL, to HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR JUST THE TWO OF YOU. The more people you have who have something special with you, the more it simply evens the playing field, and none of them is really special. Or one of them really IS, and thus they’re not really equal.

        Within the “special ” discussion, transference happens. Making the “new sacred” or new special. No sex in “our” bed …. Our home ….our car …. or a specific sex act …. .or no going to our favorite restaurant ….our park …or honeymoon hotel or vacation spot etc etc. These locations or things hold the sacred meaning and not the relationship or sexual acts themselves.

      • Guest

        Where’s the love button? You hit it out of the park. I could cry b/c someone sees it other than me.

        I felt the emotional and impacts more than anything. My mom has four relationships. One of them is outside of the country. I haven’t seen my mom since Wednesday morning, and last I heard, she’s still not back. Even if things weren’t messed up btw us, she’s not here. That’s precious time we can’t get back. In a few years, I’ll be gone to college, getting married, and having kids of my own. This has been years of her maintaining multiple relationships and picking them over me. It’s not a late breaking development.

        The three of them have lost so many relationships, and it’s like getting stabbed in the heart every time. I stopped getting close b/c it was a sure way to get let down. I have to listen to them crying, moping, and being depressed about some loser who broke their heart. Then we have to comfort them. “It’s ok. They didn’t deserve you anyway.” You called it an emo tampon? Sounds right. Soaking up the tears and the sadness. Stop getting in relationships that you don’t have the time to maintain.

        When Ms. Eve asked me to e-mail her, I was like, “I could talk about ___, ___, ___, etc.” There are 2000 flaws that I could write a detailed article about and not a single one could be refuted b/c I’ve seen them and been around them.

        Nobody can argue with the fact that you can’t be in two places at once. Mom can’t be in Europe and in Cali at the same time. Mom can’t be on a brunch date and helping me cope with the death of a classmate. Dad can’t take me on a father-daughter night if he’s with one of his girlfriends for the night.

        Nobody can argue with the fact that sexual health is a risk. If you’re “fluid bonded” with five people and one person cheats on one of your partners, everybody might be screwed. Call it a domino effect.

        I could go all day and never run out. I have so more commentary for this b/c somebody like gets it. Bravissimo.

      • Ry

        You are referencing New Relationship Energy. You are spot on, dearie.

        It is going to be pain me to admit this, but you are right on both fronts. 24 hours is not much time. I will admit that I have missed time with my children because of my second relationship. It made me feel like the worst mum ever. To be blunt, I had to get my shit together, or my baby would be walking in your shoes in about 10-12 years. I posted about this on my blog because it made me reevaluate and say, “This could be the future voice of my baby.” When she told me she wanted nothing to do with my now ex-girlfriend, I took her seriously.

        I really hope it gets better for you. If you need someone to talk to, I am willing to lisen. I have been a teenager, and I was a polyamorist for 18 years. I still cannot find one positive. I can name off the inherent flaws, though. You touched on two of them. Time and children getting hurt when relationships go south. My babies got hurt when things got rocky with my ex. She turned on them and shut them out. Those are two things that cannot be refuted. I respect you a tremendous amount because you are speaking your truth. Sometimes the truth is a pain in the arse. I implore you to keep doing it. It can be very cathartic.

    • Katia

      I think you should just hide it (the polyamory) forever. I think there’s very little chance they won’t be ashamed of it, and that it won’t have an effect on them. The only time I would tell them is if they also turned out to want a poly relationship and told you about it, but even then it’s not necessary. I say just be a nice mom and do your thing when you are out. Is it really inevitable that that you will have sex with someone else in the family home? yikes. Oh, and no you don’t tell your kids that husband was screwing you good that’s why you screamed. Sometimes I think you are so obsessed with your lifestyle and sexlife that you don’t focus on basic concepts of parenting… Like put the kids needs first, and talk about your issues with your therapist and not your kids.

    • FF4life

      While I enjoy reading this column, I feel kinda put off by the graphics that are chosen to represent it. The first impression I get from them is, “look at how awesomely more glamorous I am than you”. But the articles aren’t really written in that voice. In my mind this is another parent who has different hurdles to jump than a single parent or a monogamous one. Different, but not better or easier. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but they are which is why advertising is so important.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Awww, see, I picked the image because I thought it was cute and kitchy. I get so tired of like stock photos of harried moms. Next time I will choose something more standard.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        I liked it Eve :)

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Man, I am gonna start bombarding you with stock pics every time you write something :D

    • Annona

      So, what if you tell your kids about your lifestyle, and they don’t like it? I imagine that it happens. Monogamy is a pretty strong social norm. Not saying that it’s right, but it is what it is. What if, once they figure out what is going on, they’re not OK with mommy and daddy having boyfriends and girlfriends? If understanding what you’re doing with those other people causes the kids distress, how would you handle it? I really hope you’ve read that child’s comments above, the one who has poly parents. There is no guarantee that every child of poly parents would feel as she does or have her experience, but it’s worth considering. Being a kid is hard; feeling like you have to justify your parents lifestyle to your peers is probably harder. I don’t know how “out” you are within your community…but that might factor into what you choose to tell your kids one way or another.

      As for the screaming thing…yeah sex is normal and great and healthy and whatever. But I’m middle aged, and I’m still grossed out by all the many times I heard my parents getting it on in our tiny little thin walled home. As an adult, I appreciate that they love each other, and am glad that they (still) have a normal healthy sex life. But I still wouldn’t want to hear them going at it. Obviously the one-time scream and the kid’s reaction to it are pretty cute and harmless….but in the future you might want to consider trying to be quieter. I know many people who have heard or seen their parents doing it and are still a little scarred…and I’ve never met a single soul who felt otherwise. Even the children of wonderful poly hippies who tried their best to teach their children that sex is great and nothing to be ashamed of, and for the most part succeeded fantastically…even their kids get green at the thought of actually hearing or seeing either set of parents in the act. (Otherwise, they’re all happy and well adjusted and all hang out together and love one another even though the grown kids are not poly, so it is totally doable and possible for that to happen. Even in a fairly conservative place like our hometown.)

      • Andrea

        I was trying to be more open minded earlier in my posts and kinda thought that kids just accept the dynamic of what it is. Like, for instance, being in a single parent household, or even having two moms or two dads or whatever, they accept it and think it’s their normal, because it is.
        But apparently while single parent households, or divorced parents, or even gay parents are pretty accepted nowadays and lots of kids experience those, the poly thing is just not there yet. I was saddened (although not TOO surprised I guess) when I read that girl’s post. I was hoping it wasn’t like that.

      • Annona

        I don’t suppose it always HAS to be like that. I think that kids learn to accept their “normal”, like you say, and in many cases kids are super flexible and open minded. But then, if their normal brings about bullshit from their peers, that can be hard. Certainly nobody should tailor their lives based on what might or might not cause their kids trouble in school, either (I mean, not completely). I can see that every situation would be really individual. Some kids (like my friends’ kids) might grow up with it and be totally fine and never have any problem with how their parents choose to view relationships. Other kids maybe not so much. Just like some kids are fine with a parent remarrying after divorce and get along with a step-parent, and some don’t.

      • Guest

        Kids can be flexible and very open minded. They like knowing that they’re loved and valued. I don’t want my parents to live to make me happy. I wish they had practiced what they preached. They’re the ones who told me about how people were like not accepting when they first came out and how it’s still that way now. They decided to out themselves at both schools I’ve attended, and the results have been disastrous. I feel the heat because I have to walk those halls every day. The same applied at my old school. It got to be too much. The whispers, the stares, the raised eyebrows of disapproval, and being invited to birthday parties with special requests. Those requests? Pass the message along from my friends parents that my three “parents” weren’t welcome at birthday parties for fear that they’d have to explain their “unique situation” and answer questions like why Mr. X was holding hands someone other than the woman they all knew as, Mrs. X, his wife and my mom. It was hard on them, so I don’t know what possessed them to think I’d have it easy.

        They have the whole, “It’s not our fault if the world, friends, family, and coworkers don’t understand. That’s their issue. If we lose friends and family, they’re just too close minded to understand,” mentality. That same stupid mentality is why my mom doesn’t have a relationship with her step-mom or any of her half-siblings. She blocks me from having relationships with them because they don’t accept HER. So I can’t contact my family because they don’t approve of how she lives? They didn’t even call her when my grandpa died, so she had no say in the funeral arrangements. But it’s the world’s fault, huh?

      • Annona

        That sucks that you’re going through that. I do think that, once someone makes the choice to have children, the happiness and safety of that child trumps a lot of their own desires, or it should. Yes, the world has a hard time understanding polyamory….so perhaps until your children are grown and out of the house, you keep what you are doing on the down low for the sake of the children. I understand that people want to be who they are…but at what point does what makes mom and dad happy trump what makes it possible for the kid to exist in a world that might not understand? Forcing a child into a position where they feel like they have to be advocates for their parents’ lifestyles is pretty irresponsible, IMO. And cutting off a child’s contact with relatives because they don’t approve of your sex life is pretty wrong, I think. Kids don’t get to choose their parents, and they have very little control over how the adults in their lives behave; if something that the parents are doing is causing the child to be suffering and ostracized, that’s pretty selfish.

      • Annona

        And I should qualify my earlier statement that people shouldn’t live their lives around what causes their kids trouble in school, I mean life in general. I honestly feel like poly parents bringing their girlfriend to a child’s school functions and making it obvious that she is their girlfriend is….well, selfish and stupid and “Look at ME!”

      • Guest

        They want her to be treated and recognized as a parent on paper and face-to-face. That means they can’t hide her. They want her to be actively involved in my education and for teachers to e-mail her if they have any problems with me. They want her to be able to check me out of my school. They want to school to give her a username and password so she can check my assignments and know my grades. They want her to be known as a parent at my school. Notice how I’m not saying “I” want any of that because I don’t. It’s about them and her. They want her to be recognized and treated as an equal everywhere we go. They can’t make her a legal spouse, but they’re making sure she is involved in every aspect of our lives. Including the parent club, conferences, and all school functions that parents help host. Chaperoning at homecoming, prom, and school trips? All of those things that you guys as parents do, their girlfriend is doing that. I’ll likely have to explain who and what she is to me when she’s around during those times. It’s too much, selfish, and more about the three of them than me. 3:1. I’ll always lose that fight.

      • Andrea

        You know I was trying VERY hard to give your parents the benefit of the doubt on this. But if what you are saying is true, they are being VERY selfish. Please, please talk to someone about this. A counselor, another family member, anyone. You cannot deal with this alone.

      • Guest

        We’re in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Every time something happens, a status update, tweet, or tweegram, immediately follows. I’ll gladly give my names on each, and you’ll be able to read it day by day.

        To give you an idea, I’m attaching a pic of an update from 10/30. My mom only commented because it ticked her off.

      • ElleJai

        Yep, great, lovely. My stepmom (legally) couldn’t do any of that, even when I lived with her, except pick me up. And you can say “friend” or “housemate” and leave out the implied sex.

        Still sounds like you’re a casualty of their “social change” campaign and I for one think they’re giving both parents and polyamorists a bad name, and I’m so sorry you have to be on the front line promoting a lifestyle you hate.

        Also, may I ask why you can’t stand your parents girlfriend? I’ve been wondering and my curiosity is now overpowering my desire to not be nosy. If you’d rather not answer that’s ok too btw!

      • Guest

        She’s supposedly helping to raise me, helping to pay for my education, able to be there when they can’t be, and blah blah blah. My parentals are pushing this b/c she’s been in my life since I was in diapers. That doesn’t make her any more a parent that it makes the teachers at a daycare.

        Knowing them, if they didn’t like the school’s response or felt that they were discriminating against them for being different, they would’ve taken it to the diocese and made a huge production. I’d bet my last pack of Skittles that mom and dad are probably buying that kind of access for their girlfriend. It’s not being given for free. A nice hefty check to the scholarship fund, helping to fund the renovations, or being pals with the right people is more like it.

        I dislike her for so many different reasons. I’d have to do an A-Z of reasons why I do. It’s everything about her. She wants respect, but she doesn’t give it. When we got into an argument a week and a half ago, I ended up screaming at her what I really thought of her. I told her that she was never really part of our family and that the only reason she changed her last name to match ours was to feel validated and so her kid wouldn’t wonder why her mom and our dad had different last names. I told her she wasn’t my mom and that if she left that day, it wouldn’t be too soon. I told her that she couldn’t tell me what to do because her name wasn’t on my birth certificate or any legal documents. I told her that I felt sorry for her because all she’d ever be was the girlfriend to a married couple. I told her that if something were to happen to my dad and he was on life support, she’d have no rights or say if my mom wanted to take him off because my mom is the legal and recognized spouse. She looked like she wanted to cry. I called my mom that night and asked her if I could stay with my grandma until they returned that Sunday. I couldn’t stand being in that house with her another day.

        I’ve never lashed out like that. We haven’t exchanged any words since that day. I haven’t apologized either. The tension is bad. They’ve all been arguing the entire past week. They all look stressed.

      • Kaylara

        Does she have a parent relationship with you? If she’s being a parent to you, and you have an actual parent/child relationship with her, then I see no reason why she shouldn’t have the same privileges as a parent. (Which should be kept in check by your mother and father.) I had step-parents growing up, and at times grandparents taking care of me, and at the point in time that they had custody, they were the ones making the decisions. That means that a lot of people wind up having access to those roles and responsibilities.

        I feel for you, I really do. If you are really feeling too much pressure because of this, refuse to play the game. Someone asks you about the relationship? Just answer “Oh, you can ask her that.” and drop the subject. If you truly think that you are being pushed aside by their relationship with their girlfriend, then you need to calmly tell them that. And then you probably all need to go see a therapist.

      • Guest

        NO, NO, NO. I don’t feel like she’s a parent to me. I don’t have that bond with her. There’s no emotional link. That’s just not what she is or how I see her. That’s how she sees herself. That’s how my parents see her, too. Not even a stepparent. The three of them make decisions regarding me and my sibling. They all have equal input and say. Final decisions are negotiated on amongst the three of them.

        I don’t call her anything these days. We’re not on speaking terms. In convo, I refer to her as their girlfriend, her, or mommy fakest. My refusal to call her mom or treat her like one has caused arguments because I don’t see her like they do or even how she sees herself fitting into my life. She treats her child differently, so I can’t say it’s a lack of experience with kids. She’s been around for a decade and some change. I didn’t come out of her hoo-ha, but she’s been around long enough to have tried to form a bond with me. I’m not talking about now that I’m walking, talking, and using my brain. What about all the years before? She wants to act like a parent, be treated like a parent, and for me to call her mom, but she doesn’t act like one.

        I don’t feel anything towards her. She’s not loving or maternal towards me. I can’t remember ever being hugged by her. She’s never told me she loves me. Her actions don’t correspond. I don’t feel like I can turn to her for any reason. We’re not meant to be close. My life wouldn’t be impacted if she left today. That’s just how distant we are. It has nothing to do with me being a teenager. We’re going into the sixth year of rounds.

        There have been a string of fatal car accidents involving kids who were 17 and under. In one case, the other driver crossed the center line. The driver died. One boy died, and the other is fighting for his life in ICU. He had to have a number of operations. They don’t know if he’ll make it. In the second accident, the girl pulled over because her windshield shattered. Someone pulled over to offer help. Another driver didn’t see them and was driving too fast. One of the drivers hit her as she was examining her car. In an accident over the weekend, this boy’s truck flipped. He died, and his passenger, a boy from my school, is in ICU. We’re out of school today because two of those accidents involved people from my school. I didn’t know them personally, but I’m praying for all of their families. No parent should have to bury their child. My school thought it would be best if parents provided comfort to their kids and reminded them how much they loved them because tomorrow isn’t promised. Where are my parents or even their girlfriend? Not here. The one time I’d actually want them around and could use some emotional support. Too caught up in themselves to see I’m struggling to make sense of all the recent deaths. Yeah, what a great help they are. I hate to say it, but even if I wanted it, asking for their support is ridiculous. That could easily be me laying in a casket at a funeral home. That could easily be my body having to be identified in a morgue. They could easily be planning my funeral and deciding where my final resting place should be. They’re too mad at me and stressed due to all of the arguing to see that. I’ve never felt their girlfriend was supportive towards me. I’d say it’s normal for her.

        Dad’s at work. Gotta work to pay the bills. He texted me to check in. Mom could be here watching movies with me or just offering some comforting words. She’s out on a brunch date. The school sent out e-mails regarding why school was out, so I’m waiting someone to make up an excuse as to why she isn’t here. This is my fault. Yeah, I should’ve asked her to cancel the date, wipe my tears, eat cookies with me, and asked her to tell me she loves me. Yeah, that makes sense. This is excusable, right? Mom’s gotta get it how she lives. How dare the bratty teenager dare to ask her mom to cancel a date to tend to her emotional needs with all the sadness around? Silly me for expecting the woman who gave birth to me feel a bit of empathy and cancel it on her own.

        I’m not going to therapy with them. I’ll be bulldozed by them. I’ll go by myself.

      • Kaylara

        Listen, nothing is going to be fixed by fighting, and arguing and screaming at each other. If you need your mother, then you need to tell her that you need her there, helping you deal with this. There is no excuse for her to ignore your needs. But are you sure that she actually knows them? If you’re both fighting all the time, maybe she thinks you wouldn’t want her to be there. Maybe she’s not thinking about what’s going on with you at all. I don’t know, I’m not your mother. Maybe you really need to spell out for her, calmly, what you want from her. Some people are incredibly dense, and don’t realize that they’re acting like jerks until you are really, really blunt about it. That doesn’t mean, btw, that I think it’s your fault. I think that your situation has gotten really out of hand and has escalated to the point where something HAS to change because it can’t keep going on the way it is without any more severe emotional damage being done to everyone involved.

      • Guest

        I’m fine with mom and dad expressing themselves and being individuals. I shouldn’t have to explain what polyamory is to people and telling them, “No, mom and dad aren’t divorcing. They’re married and dating. They both know about the other people each other’s lives.” I shouldn’t have to answer questions like why did they get married if they couldn’t be faithful? I shouldn’t have to justify it, defend them, or do anything other than go to school, do chores, and make something of myself.

      • Annona

        You’re right. You shouldn’t have to do those things, nor should you be forced to participate in things like being walked down for Homecoming court with someone who you do not like, is not your kin, and has no legal right to you. If you wanted those things, that would be one thing…but obviously you do not and it should not be being forced on you. I agree with other posters; I hope you find a good, grounded adult like a counselor or therapist, to help you talk through this situation. I wish I could say something profound or do something to help you. All I can say is, I’m sorry that it’s happening to you.

      • Kaylara

        You don’t have to. Just say “If you want to talk about this, ask them.”

      • fivebyfive55

        Right. That would make everything all better.

      • Kaylara

        Not in the least, but she wouldn’t be stuck having to explain her parents love life. Why not let the people involved in that actually take responsibility and explain it instead of leaving that in the hands of the child? If she doesn’t want to deal with it, then she should shut down that line of inquiry as soon as it starts. She doesn’t approve of their relationship, why should she be stuck trying to defend it when people ask questions? Let the adults do that, since they’re the one who are open and fine with the situation.

      • fivebyfive55

        You’re writing the script for how you believe this should go. Looks/sounds great on paper. Maybe that makes you feel righteous, to say it should just go like “this.”

        Living it is an entirely different story and you’re not the one living it. If only all the world would just go along with how you say things should be.

      • Kaylara

        You can certainly contact that side of the family, if you are an adult. If they won’t accept you as a child of the one that they’re shunning, maybe your parents were right to cut them out of your lives.

        I agree with your parents. It’s not a stupid mentality. People who are worth your time, effort, love, and attention will not care that you also love someone else. If people at school are being jerks to you, then at least they’ve identified themselves ahead of time so that you don’t have to bother with them.

        I am sorry that you’re having a hard time with this, and obviously you need to sit down with your parents and have a good and in-depth discussion about this situation and how it’s effecting you.

        I think your opinion and problems need to be addressed with them, directly. But I also hear that it sounds like they’re embarrassing YOU, and frankly, if you’re a teenager, that will happen regardless of how normal your parents are. Don’t be embarrassed by them. You’re not responsible for them or their actions. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a pretty horrible human being.

      • Guest

        I’m not going to be 18 for a few more years. That’s a minimum of 18 years of missed time. It’s not them that won’t accept me. It’s my mom and her feelings. She doesn’t get that I hate her without their influence. You don’t understand how out of place I felt when my grandpa died. A room full of family, and I didn’t know any of them. I couldn’t even cry for him because he was a stranger. She kept me away from him. You try reconciling that and making it sound ok.

        Jessica, I’ve been talking to my parentals. This has been years of fighting with them, and they’re not changing. I’ve stopped respecting them, and I don’t feel an ounce of love for them. I resent them and everything they stand for. I might say two words to my mom every day, and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter.

        The relationship with my parentals is broken, and there’s no coming back from the years of damage. I’ve forgiven my parents because my faith has guided me to do so, but I want nothing to do with any of them.

        Are all adults are one in the same? You’re so busy justifying them, their actions, and their behavior, that you’re negating the effects that it’s having on me. Just because I can’t control them doesn’t mean I’m not suffering b/c of said actions. You’re doing the same thing they’ve been doing.

      • Kaylara

        I’m not at all justifying their behavior to you. Please understand, I have a different perspective from you, and that means that I may say things that you don’t like. I doesn’t mean that I don’t understand where you’re coming from, or that I agree with them. I think that first and foremost, the emotional, physical, and psychological well-being of the children must be provided. It’s obvious at this point in the conversation that that is not what has been happening in your situation. Your parents should absolutely be putting you and your sibling first. They are not doing that and you are suffering because of it and then they are 100% wrong.

        They need to be made aware without yelling and screaming just how upset you are about this situation and how badly it is effecting you. Yelling, screaming, arguing, even being disrespectful are only going to serve to escalate the problems and will not solve anything. It will be an excuse for them to not take you seriously because they think that you’re just being a moody teenager. I honestly think that this is the only course of action that you have that could possibly have any positive effect on the situation. And even that is iffy if they are not making you a priority. I’m sorry if that upsets you, I really am.

        All that being said, I don’t think that you’ve actually forgiven them because you are clearly still very upset. I personally don’t think that you are under any obligation to forgive them, either. Forgiveness is something you might choose to extend to them in the future if they acknowledge what the did wrong and that it hurt you and that they’re sorry for it. I know that you’ve probably heard people say that you’ll understand when you get older, or that your opinion will change. But I seriously doubt that, if your parents don’t change their behavior. I’m 32 years old, and I still haven’t changed my opinion about my parents behavior while I was growing up.

        Because I can’t change my parents, I will do the best I can to not make those same mistakes. I no longer let them have the power to cause me problems with their behavior. I understand that it’s practically next to impossible to accomplish while you’re still in their house, while it’s still effecting every facet of your life. But for your own mental health, you have to work towards your own happiness. You can’t accept responsibility for their relationships, because you have no control over it, and should have no guilt because of it. You haven’t done anything wrong.

        And your parents should recognize that you can’t force a relationship on a child. Just because your parents love this woman, doesn’t mean that you will, or have to. That’s a relationship that obviously is not working for you, and they can’t make it happen just because they want it to. Different story entirely if you were fine and wanted a relationship with this woman in some capacity.

      • fivebyfive

        Sorry, it seems you are the horrible human being, Jess, for not giving a damn about how “responsible” adult parents are refusing to provide their child the safe harbor to spend the difficult childhood and teen years. They can freely be all “edgy” and groundbreaking (immature and selfish) when the child is grown and on her own. Until then, they owe her their choice to put her first and not their other girlfriends and boyfriends.

        I find it particularly horrifying that they consider the world’s lack of respect for the extra girlfriend unacceptable while they withhold that same concern for respect for the child they bore.

      • Guest

        Thanks, but you’re not going to get thru to Jessica. She might as well say what she really thinks. I’m a bratty teenager who is overreacting, and I better suck it up b/c it’s not my parentals job to own my problems. They’re causing them, but my feelings are my baggage. That’s that polyamory spiel and anarchist style of relationships. I can turn the other cheek or do whatever it takes. I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with “my” issues all by myself. If that’s the case, emancipation is the answer.

      • Kaylara

        This is the second time in as many replies that you’ve decided to insult and personally attack me because you disagreed with me. I hardly think that someone should be claiming superior morals and moral authority when they decide that the best way to win a debate is personal insults.

        Parents who aren’t polyamorous deal with this all the time, if they’re not married or are divorced and dating again. I actually *agree* that they need to put their children’s needs ahead of their own. To a point. She’s not a small child. The parents should not be expected to be at the beck and whim of their children either. But the are clearly not treating their child well, even outside of the issue of polyamory. I feel for her, she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. She’s not going to do herself any favors by attempting to curb their behavior. And it’s not her responsibility as a child.

        But I disagree about them being “edgy” or “groundbreaking”. If you substitute ‘gay’ into your argumentation against poly people, most people would be pretty horrified with that statement. Being yourself is not edgy or groundbreaking. I do not for one minute think that hiding who and what you are is a good lesson to teach my children. I don’t think it should be hidden, because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being polyamorous. I don’t think that polyamory is the root of the problem in her situation at all, but it seems like it’s made what problems there were much worse.

      • fivebyfive55

        Sexual orientation is not a choice. Openly demonstrative polyamory is. When you become a parent, you’ve chosen to put all you have into giving that child a safe harbor as they grow into adults. Seriously, you can’t remain discreet in situations that cause pain for your children, at least until they’re grown and on their own? Love involves sacrifice. In the child/parent relationship, a good parent bears the sacrifices. A good parent does not expect the child to make the sacrifice.s

        Your words here show nothing but an immature narcissist. Its so gross.

        In fact, I’ll go with using your system of evaluation. You are being disrespectful to me by saying my choices and beliefs on this issue are wrong. I am very hurt and offended. You are so intolerant. You should believe as I do; otherwise you are just a meanie.

      • Kaylara

        Let me put this to you in a way you can understand then. I’m a Pagan. Religions are choices. I’m very openly pagan. I’m not going to stop being a pagan just because other people in the world are bigots. I’m not going to stop being a pagan for the sake of anyone ever being offended. I’m not going to wimper and hide in a closet like I have something to be ashamed of, because I don’t. My children might have to face conflict because of it in the future. My job is to support them, love them, and confront those who are behaving badly towards my children. My job is not to keep them from ever experiencing problems or pain.

        You have no idea of my parenting skills, nor what sacrifices I’ve made for my children. And I hate to inform you of this, sometimes the act of you, the parent, making a sacrifice for the children, also negatively effects the children. I can’t comment on what Jayde’s parents are thinking in her situation, I’m only hearing her side of the story. But if what she is saying is accurate, then her parents have serious issues with their parenting aside from the polyamory. I would be entirely horrified if I let my relationship with my children get to the point that she is at with her parents. And I would blame myself entirely, because as the parent, when all is said and done, you are the responsible party.

        Your choices and beliefs on the issue are fine for you. But I don’t for one second have to agree with them. Disagreement is not disrespect. Name calling and personal attacks are. I hope that your beliefs and choices work for you. Mine certainly do for me. If you’re hurt and offended, then you will have to work on that, or perhaps you shouldn’t respond to me anymore, because I’m fairly sure that you’re going to find everything I post offensive. I wish you all the best,

      • fivebyfive55

        What does being a Pagan have anything to do with anything? And you’ve been calling my disagreement disrespect. I guess words only mean what you say they mean.

        Anon kid in no way benefits from how her parents are handling this situation.

      • fivebyfive55

        And I’ve understood what you’re saying. I’m just calling it narcissistic BS.

      • Bishop Black

        Well said.

      • fivebyfive55

        What insults? I’m pretty sure I’ve refrained from that. You just don’t like what I have to say.

      • Kaylara

        What insults? “Your words here show nothing but an immature narcissist. It’s so gross” “You are so intolerant” “You are just a meanie” “Sorry, it seems you are the horrible human being” “Girl, Jessica is childish, selfish, and apparently delusional. You have every right to feel and act the way you do. Some people (like Jessica) will never see themselves in error at all. All that matters to her is that she is right and those around her should just accept that and love her for it. tl;dr She wants love and respect, but owes it to no one else.” and also “That’s a lie. You do not treat others with love and respect. That comes through in your posting here. In your reality, someone like Jayde should be forced to sacrifice good parental relationships because you want what you want and everyone else should just suck it up because you don’t feel you should be offended and slighted. You’ll treat others with love and respect as long as they accept your choices. But on your end, fuck theirs (their choices.)”

        These are the very definition of personal attacks and insults. If you cannot recognize that, then there is no point in continuing to attempt a conversation with you.

      • fivebyfive55

        So paraphrasing your comments is a personal attack? You’re the one who said these things.

      • fivebyfive55

        So the lesson you teach your kids is, “Sorry, you’re just going to have to bear the brunt of my possibly controversial choices.”

        No one is saying “hide it.” What I’m saying is you don’t need to loudly make it the hill your kids’ social interactions may die on. So brave.

      • Bishop Black

        Actually yes, that is the reality. Children will often get shit by an intolerant society, because their parents “dare” to be open about who they are and not hide it. I’m sure there are children of gay couple too who wish their parents would stay comfortably in the closet because they get shit from people who don’t understand… you know what? Too fucking bad.

      • angie

        The bottom line is they are shitty parents. There are shitty straight parents, shitty gay parents, and clearly shitty poly parents. I don’t think it has anything to do with their lifestyle, more that they are putting their needs before their childs.

    • Guest

      Polyamorous Mom,

      I do enjoy your perspective and follow it with great interest. It’s good to know that not all polyamorous parentals are selfish and irritating like mine. Parents do the best they can, but I don’t get mine.

      I’ve had experiences that lead to my feelings of dislike and hatred of poly, and sadly, I resent my parentals and don’t accept this. My gripes aren’t with you or all polyamorous parentals. I know there are children who are happy in polyamorous families. I bet their parents handled it differently. My challenges the products of questionable choices and parentals that don’t share my view of the world.

      There are billions of people in the world, and your kids might not have to fight what I’ve had to fight. When or if you tell them, just remember one thing. If you’ve had problems at your job and with people in your life, they just might, too. Remember how those moments felt and ask yourself if you’d like ever want your kids to feel like that. If my mom and dad had done that, things would be different.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        Thanks for this well thought out and intelligent comment Jayde. I am really sorry for your situation, it does not sound like your parents are respecting you, and if you do write a piece about it I look forward to reading it.

      • Guest

        I do have a question for you. I’m not sure if you have a daughter, but what would you say if she came to you and told you that she wanted to be like you? Meaning polyamorous or open and being in 2+ loving, consensual relationships before the age of 18? Would you be ok with that? If no, why not and why the double standard?

        If you’re trying to teach your kids from an early age that it’s normal to have multiple relationships that might include sexual contact, what harm could there be in her doing the same? Seeing as how my mom claims she knew she was polyamorous since her teen years, who’s to say it’s not possible for me or even my half-sibling to come to the same realization and want to act it? This came to me the other night because I wondered how my parentals would react to such a declaration. It’ll never be made by me. :)

      • Polyamorous Mom

        good question Jayde, though the idea of my daughters dating terrifies me. lol. I would not be against my kids being in open relationships if they so choosed. On the other hand, I also would encourage them to have sex at a young age (no offense, im in my 30s so to me under 18 is very young). I would not want my daughters or my son having sex at all, never mind lots of sex, until they were older and sufficiently responsilbe. As far as romance and dating, it would be ok…though I’d warn them they may get alot of backlash for walking around high school with two boyfriends. My biggest concern is to try to protect them as best as possible from the negative reactions others can have.

    • Guest

      I can’t help wondering what people’s reactions would be if PolyMom were lesbian instead of Poly. All of the “well just hide it” or “you should know people will react badly – why are you shoving it in their faces?” and “What if your kid doesn’t approve” really rubs me the wrong way. I’m not poly myself – I’ve tried it, but that’s just not how I’m wired – but most of the poly people I’ve met really don’t seem to have a choice about who they love. Do they have a choice about acting on it? Sure. So does everyone. But we don’t tend to think that’s an acceptable answer to gay or bi people. Not sure why it’s okay to be throwing the same words back at her for being poly. If you don’t have to hide your same-sex partner, why do you have to hide your third?

      • Guest

        There are some places it shouldn’t be aired. It’s not about hiding the person or being ashamed of what you are and who you love. There’s a difference between asking for plus two to weddings, birthday parties, and being out with family and showing and telling everyone. Why does it need to be visible or expressed outside of that immediate circle? If it comes up in a convo with a person who doesn’t know and inquires, that’s one thing. Answer honestly. Is that unrealistic or hiding anyone? No, but don’t make a special point show it off. That’s where my mom and dad keep going wrong.

        Would you walk into church holding hands with your beau and your shared girlfriend, or would you have respect for the sanctuary, God, and the other people in the church? Just like when mom and dad introduced her as their girlfriend. It was distracting and took the focus off what the conference was about. They could’ve chosen to introduce her as my aunt, a family friend, or my nanny. They didn’t want to do that b/c it would’ve meant that she was going to be slighted and not equal in yet another place.

        The sad thing is people do react badly. I don’t know why. You’d have to ask them. Some people don’t like PDA in any amount. Sometimes kids don’t approve. Should parents tell them to suck it up? Sometimes it is best if it’s hidden. Not just from the kids.

      • Kaylara

        I’m against having to hide yourself because other people might be offended or bothered by it. Why shouldn’t it be expressed outside of a close-knit circle? Why should people be forced to claim a relationship that they don’t have, such as a Nanny, Aunt, or family friend just because some other people who are not involved in the relationship at all can’t put on their big girl or big boy panties and behave like an adult. You may not think what you’re requesting here is telling people to hide, but you’d be wrong.
        Consider telling that to a heterosexual, monogamous couple.

        “Oh, you can be together, but you really shouldn’t be flaunting it around everyone. I mean, you’re not doing it because you actually care about or respect each other, you’re just doing it to shove it in every one else’s face. I don’t see why you have to introduce yourselves as husband and wife. You’re just doing that to get attention for yourself. Can’t you just say that you’re friends or something?”

        That’s ridiculous. Period. No adults in a consensual relationship should be forced to hide their relationship or pretend to be something they’re not just because other people are going to behave like idiots.

        Yes, being introduced as something you’re not is degrading. When people call me my husband’s girlfriend, you’re damn right I correct them. If the people involved are not ashamed of their relationship, then you, as a third party, have no right or reason to be ashamed of it for them. Be happy for them and move on.

        It’s ridiculous. It’s not someone else’s job to keep your sensitive sensibilities from being offended. If people can’t treat you, or the people that you care about the most, appropriately, then they’re not worthy of your respect to begin with. And them being offended has exactly 0 impact on your actual life.

        I will show as much respect as I feel is due, and behave as appropriately as I can. I don’t think holding hands with a loved one in Church is inappropriate. But as a pagan, I’m probably spoiled, since we mostly don’t care about that.

        I don’t actually care if people react badly, because I’m not showing affection for their benefit. I don’t actually care if they’re around to see it or not. My affection is reserved for those whom I care about. If they don’t like PDA, then they don’t have to participate. But I’m certainly not going to stop because they might get offended. I’m offended that they think they have the right to stop me. (PS, they totally don’t.) I don’t live my life for someone else nor for their approval.

        No one should have to hide who they are or whom they love just because someone, somewhere might be offended that such a thing exists.

      • Guest

        Why should I be forced to publicly accept her as a parental figure or second mom, when I don’t consider her that privately or in day to day life? That wasn’t about me and nothing you say will make me believe it was. She’s not my effing mother. Point, blank, and simple. If they respected me, as autonomous person and person with my own thoughts and feelings, we’d still go at it, but at least I wouldn’t be looking thru her and not even talking to her.

        I’m Catholic, and I uphold the beliefs. I chose to be Catholic. The only place my parents haven’t tainted is the church I attend. The parentals aren’t, but at the very least, they could respect my faith, my religion, my God, and my right to say who gets to be what to me. I’d love to know why she had to be introduced as such at my school.

        You’re forgetting one thing. They’re behavior is offensive to me, and it’s not about them just being out. Do you want the list of issues I have with them and their lifestyle? I’m sure you’ll be able to make excuses for my parentals and dismiss me as a bratty teenager like all the other adults have. I’m used to it.

      • Kaylara

        I’m not at all dismissing you, nor am I making excuses for your parents. I do, however, want you to understand that the fact that you are offended is on you. You own that. While you want to be respected for your right to be Catholic, you also have to give that them that amount of respect.

        Your religion does not give you the right to force people to behave differently. The only person you can control is yourself. If you try to control other people or their behavior, you will only make yourself miserable. If you don’t like things that they are doing, then you don’t behave like that. But part of being an adult is accepting that other people are going to behave in a way that you don’t like, and you have no control over that.

        If it makes you feel better to list all of the problems you have with your parents, please do. I personally don’t just assume that the adults are right and doing the right thing and that the child is wrong. In fact, I’m much more likely to side with the children on any given issue as my parents were horrible, and I dealt with abuse and neglect as a child. And while some of your issues, I think, are definitely age related, the big problems are not. But they’re probably made much worse because of your age. I think that all of you need to sit down with a therapist and work this out. But you can’t just protest what’s going on and expect that they’re going to change everything to suit you because you are offended. You have every right to be offended. And they have every right to keep behaving the way that they want. If they’re not abusing or neglecting you in the process.

        I’m very sorry to be the bearer or bad news. You might never approve of them, their lifestyle, or their relationship. But the good news is that you don’t have to. There are plenty of things that my family members believe or do that I disagree with or find offensive. If it’s not abusive or neglectful, then it’s not my place to tell other people how to behave or believe. I just don’t do the things that I disagree with or find offensive.

      • Guest

        You must’ve missed the part where I said I’m not going to therapy with them. I’ll go on my own but eff them all. I don’t think you realize that this can’t be repaired. That’s not me being bratty.

        The relationship with my parentals is dead. They’re providing financial support and a roof over my head. That’s it. There’s no amount of therapy that will fix either relationship.

        I can’t take it. I can’t take another person standing up for them and making me feel like I’m wrong or just overreacting b/c I’m not an adult. I’ve been contemplating emancipation. Being legally responsible for myself if better than trusting my well-being to three selfish people who don’t care about me.

      • Kaylara

        That’s not at all what I was implying. (And yes, I did miss the part where you said you weren’t going to therapy with them, sorry about that. It’s still a good idea for you to go, for yourself.) I don’t for one second think you’re being bratty, over-reacting, or anything of the sort. It doesn’t matter to me that you’re a teenager. As I stated before, I did not have a good upbringing, and still, to this day, think my parents are full of shit and were completely crappy to me and my siblings. I got out of there at 18, and then worked to take care of my younger siblings. Having crappy parents BLOWS. So please, don’t assume that I’m siding with your parents just because they are adults and you are a teenager. If you say that the relationship with them is irreparable, then I believe you, and would not suggest that you go against what you feel is in your own best interest.

        However, I don’t think for one second that it is helpful to you to take on guilt about their relationship. That being offended wanting them to change, and then being upset when they don’t do it, is not healthy for YOU. I disagree with you on several of your points, but the reality is that we don’t need to agree about things. But continuing to get wounded by them because you are attempting to change their behavior and they refuse is not going to help you. You can’t control other people. You can only control yourself and your own reaction to it. I’m telling you this as someone who cut her own father out of her life because he could not control his alcoholism and I was not about to subject my children to that. Seriously, it’s not that I don’t understand you or where you’re coming from. It SUCKS. But when it comes down to it, allowing them the power to continue to hurt you like that is awful. Don’t give them that kind of power over you.

      • fivebyfive55

        Girl, Jessica is childish, selfish, and apparently delusional. You have every right to feel and act the way you do. Some people (like Jessica) will never see themselves in error at all. All that matters to her is that she is right and those around her should just accept that and love her for it.
        tl;dr She wants love and respect, but owes it to no one else.

      • Kaylara

        I treat everyone around me with love and respect, because I don’t keep people around me who are not loving and respectful to me in return. Period. If they can’t accept me for who and what I am, then I really don’t need them in my life. If that makes me childish, selfish, and delusional, then so be it. I am wrong all the time, and it doesn’t bother me to be wrong, because making mistakes is not a character flaw, it’s the human condition.

        I think she does have every right to feel and believe the way she does. I’m telling her that if she doesn’t take steps to change her situation in some way it’s only going to get worse. And that accepting any kind of responsibility for her parents or their relationship is not good for her and is only going to make her miserable in the long run. I think that she has expectations that are only setting herself up for disappointment.

        I don’t, however, for one second think that anyone should be forced to hide who they are to avoid offending someone else’s sensibilities. I don’t have to live anyone else’s life, and they don’t have to live mine. If they don’t like something that I’m doing, then they don’t have to do it. That doesn’t mean that they have the right to dictate that I don’t do it either. My rights end where another person’s begin.

      • fivebyfive55

        That’s a lie. You do not treat others with love and respect. That comes through in your posting here. In your reality, someone like Jayde should be forced to sacrifice good parental relationships because you want what you want and everyone else should just suck it up because you don’t feel you should be offended and slighted. You’ll treat others with love and respect as long as they accept your choices. But on your end, fuck theirs (their choices.)

      • Kaylara

        I don’t treat someone like YOU with love and respect, because frankly, you don’t deserve it. Anyone who continues to use personal attacks to forward their cause is not respectable in my world. You have not responded to me in a way that was respectful. At all. Every response has been a personal attack. If you have something meaningful to post, please do. If all you’re going to do is continue to post personal attacks, please don’t bother. I won’t respond to you after this post.

        Someone like Jayde, unfortunately, doesn’t have a good parent relationship TO sacrifice. If they’re all not willing to work on the problems they are having, then nothing is going to change, it’s only going to get worse.

        I very rarely get offended. Slighted, sure, everyone does. But offended, not really. I really am more concerned about my life and loved ones and my own problems than random people who I might come into contact with on any given day. Yes, if other people are offended, then that’s THEIR problem. I don’t own any piece of that. You don’t have the right to not ever be offended. And I don’t have the right to try to shove my beliefs or choices down other people’s throats, not even if I find something offensive.

        I don’t have to participate, I don’t have to look, I don’t need to stay around it, and I don’t need to accept it if I find it offensive. These are all things that I can do that remove the problem from my life. What I can’t do is badger people, harass people, stare and make nasty comments, etc, just because they’re doing something that I think is wrong. (Unless, of course, what we’re talking about is actually illegal.) I disagree with plenty of the dogma involved in Christianity, that doesn’t mean that I have the right to tell the Christians around me to stop practicing their faith.

      • fivebyfive55

        Again, I see no personal attacks. And, please. It’s not about moral superiority in the slightest. It’s about common sense.

        I don’t care how many who or whats you chose to fuck. Have a great time. I sure do. But I won’t do it at the expense of someone who is in no position to choose her circumstances.

        I’m speaking up for what many times is/are the voiceless in this situation. You’re blinded by your narcissism.

      • Kaylara

        If I called you any of those things, you would most certainly take them as a personal attack, because they are and you know it. Your idea of common sense is nothing of the sort.

        I’m not attacking her in the least, nor lessening what is happening to her. She has every change to effect change in her life. She is NOT powerless. It’s also not her responsibility to FIX her parents. But she can choose how she reacts to it. She’s not voiceless in this situation, her story is the only one we’ve heard! My suggestion has consistently been that she needs to communicate with her parents better and probably go to a therapist.

        I’m done responding to you. You can’t even see that you are making blatant personal attacks, and continue to do so. Go find someone else to troll.

      • fivebyfive55

        I am offended you called me a troll. You should respect my right to say what I want to you. I should not have to change my words and ideas to fit your idea of what they should be.

        See how that works?

      • fivebyfive55

        If you “called me” those things, I would not be offended because I know they are not true.

      • Bishop Black

        So when kids tease those with gay parents for being gay, the parents should care first and foremost that the child is being teased and give up their relationship. Because the only thing that matters is that kids never, ever get teased.

      • fivebyfive55

        I would guess you rarely get offended because you “realize” anyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

      • fivebyfive55

        And Jayde is being hurt by something she has no control over. The world does not go according to your genius script.

      • Kaylara

        Also, you can’t be forced to accept her. I don’t think they should even try that, and I don’t think that’s a good position for her to put herself in. She isn’t your mother, and she never will be your mother. Perhaps she needs to figure out how to be your friend, and leave the parenting to your parents. But also, their respect does not mean that they are going to do everything that you want them to do. You can’t dictate someone else’s behavior, you can only dictate your own.

      • Bishop Black

        I was raised Catholic and I missed the part about not holding hands in church because it’s somehow inherently profane. I’ve read a lot of your comments, and I disagree with a lot of the choices your parents make, but holding hands in public? Yeah, that’s fine, any time, any where. Get over *that*

      • Bishop Black

        I’d go anywhere holding hands. I hold hands with my kids too, it’s not a sign I’m fucking them.

      • Annona

        I think if it’s hurting the child, yes, it needs to be controlled. Obviously, in some situations like Jayde’s, the parents are pretty caught up in their need to be “out” to the detriment of the child and it’s causing pain and friction that does not need to be. I don’t buy that the need to have sex with multiple partners is some kind of “sexual orientation” that can’t be denied, either, though, so maybe that’s just me. I really don’t think that mom and dad making out with their girlfriend at school functions is appropriate; I think it’s a bid for attention and not cool. And maybe talking to your young children about polyamory, the way the OP is doing, is appropriate because it is the life they’re leading…but if mom and dad’s need for multiple partners starts affecting the child’s life in a negative way then, I’m sorry, but the child has input in that situation then and has every right to react negatively or ask the parents to please stop being so in your face with it if that’s what they’re doing. If parents are choosing to bring multiple partners into the home and make them part of the child’s life and “family” then it ceases to be just about what makes mom and dad happy and starts being about the kids too.

        I think it’s a delicate balance. And not everyone can do it, though I suppose I’ve seen evidence that it can be done.

      • Gues

        And yet, if the world is more approving of same sex ‘parents,’ it was done on the backs of the children in those families, exactly as Jayde is describing. Yes, there are plenty of people who don’t really want to know what two women are doing in bed anymore than they want to know Jayde’s dad is sleeping with another woman. There ARE adult children raised by lesbians and gay men who are speaking out and saying much the same things as Jayde is, describing their childhood and how the desire of the two adults trumped anything it was doing to the children.

      • Polyamorous Mom

        I was kind of thinking this too….though I am not sure if you are saying it was “wrong” or not. When I was a kid in the 80s, it would have been startling, shocking, all that for someone to have gay parents. no one i knew did, and a lot of people would have not been understanding. I’m not saying it was right, or that I approve of the behavoir of Jayde’s parents, but maybe social change isnt possible without any negative impact. All we can do is try to minimalize it. I know I dont want my kids questioned at school etc. and as much as I can I willl protect them from that.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        “Yes, there are plenty of people who don’t really want to know what two women are doing in bed…”

        I cringe a little when I hear people equate “knowing someone is in a same-sex relationship (or a poly one, or whatever)” with “knowing what they’re doing in the bedroom”. It’s the same twisted logic many tried to use to defend “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military by saying “sexual things shouldn’t be brought up at all”, while ignoring that it meant getting kicked out if a male soldier mentioned missing his boyfriend (when there would never be an issue with a male soldier saying that he misses his girlfriend), which is very far from actually talking about sex.

      • Bishop Black

        Right, so the solution is that parents should cater to bullies and not live happy lives because some kids make fun of other kids whose parents don’t live a “traditional” one woman/one man lifestyle.

        The issue isn’t with the parents it’s with those in society who take it upon themselves to be assholes to kids for what their parents do.

    • Jack Paxton

      This is always a difficult question, regardless of the kind of relationship the parents are in. I remember thinking I would be so forthright with my children, just to find myself tongue-tied when the time came (thankfully my wife is much better with these things). I’m not going to make any judgement on your lifestyle, since it’s not really about that, but I will say this: learning about sex is a muddled experience that becomes clearer through time. When first introducing the ideas (especially because kids go to school, and talk to their friends) it’s best to keep it as simple as possible. As in, it would greatly complicate their understanding to bring in the idea of something more complicated like polyamory. Perhaps keeping that part of life as hidden from them as possible is best until the ideas of sex aren’t quite as muddled and they can fully understand.

    • Ry

      Children and sex. My mum and daddy never actually had a formal talk with me about sex. I am not entirely sure why. I was certainly not educated by moronic friends and dressing room sexual education. I was telling someone via e-mail that my physical education courses used to be like dirty sexual education with no instructor.

      As a [former] polyamorist, I would say, talk to your children about sex. I am not saying get into the world of BDSM, candle wax, spanking, choking, cutting, or anything that is not child-friendly. In other words, keep it vanilla. No sprinkles, chocolate, whipped cream, or cherries. Let them know that you and Allan are there to answer questions or concerns. Use the technical terms. We are using the building blocks method.

      My oldest child asked where babies came from. We started with the basics, and we are always adding little by little. We do not want overwhelm her and have her jaw dropping to the floor. We built up her vocabulary. We used the technical terms and not cutesy terms like “wee-wee” and “pee-pee.” We taught her the functions of genitals. She is aware of menstrual cycles and the functions. Children these days are getting their menses much earlier, so I do not want her to be alarmed when it happens.

      We explained that a baby is made when the sperm from a daddy joins with a mummy’s egg. She wanted to know what happens before that. We told her that a man and woman have sexual intercourse. We told her that in order to do that, the daddy has to put his penis inside the mummy’s vagina and sperm cells come out. She knows that babies come out of a mummy’s vagina, or from an incision placed on a mummy’s lower abdomen. She calls a C-section a cut section. That is how she remembers it. As far as the emotional and relationship aspects, we told her that intercourse should happen when there is love, trust, and mutual respect. We did explain about relationships, but we stuck to the core, which is our marriage. I did not want to overload her with the idea of mummy loving daddy and someone else, too. It is complex for adults to understand and comprehend. I am not trying to saddle my little duckie with that. It is not even applicable right now because I have agreed to be mono. We wanted her to respect that sometimes it is not just a mummy and a daddy that sometimes mummy or daddy may not be around. She is aware that relationships can be shared between two women and two men. We used the word the homosexual and no loaded or derogatory terms. She is accepting of it and even told me one of her classmates has two mummies. We have taught her that private parts cannot be displayed for the world to see. She knows it is inappropriate to show her body to anyone. We have taught her about good touching and bad touching. She knows how to say no and knows to come to us if someone touches her in a bad way. We add little tidbits here and there, and she asks questions all the time. Not just about sex. She asks about relationships and bodies, too. Once she is older, we will delve much more into sex, pregnancy, and all of that. We want her to adopt a healthy body image, too. For now, this building blocks and expansion method is working.

      We had no idea where to begin, but the words flowed naturally. HTH!

    • shinaweh

      Wow. This is such a well written article and, as a bi / poly person, the tone of the discussion here gives me so much hope. So many times it turns condemning and full of myths and misunderstandings. I’m sure the tone of the article has contributed to the respectful dicussion. Great community here all around.

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    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

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    • Guest

      See? Now _that_ is a “LOOK AT ME!” message.

    • lemon floor wax

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    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

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    • lemon floor wax

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