It Takes a Village, and Other Cliches
I am terrified of pregnancy and I’m terrified of having children.
This was a conditioned response to elements of my upbringing. These terrors also had resulted in my being terrified of sex. I’ve been doing a lot of work on all these things.
The idea of being pregnant terrifies me for various reasons. First, it’s something that I have fought tooth and nail to avoid. From a young age, I received the unfortunate message that having children requires you to give up everything you want, means probable abandonment…basically, it will likely ruin your life. When I was a teen and a woman in my very early 20’s, this meant no sex. After I got over that, it meant hyper safe sex. And now that I am a woman in my 30’s, I finally have learned to trust the science of birth control. I feel more relaxed about it. Other than all this, the idea of being pregnant in a work place, in a culture that thinks it’s OK to invade the privacy and personal space of pregnant women because, well, everyone is just so happy for you or something, skeeves me out. I don’t want my coworkers to throw me a baby shower. I don’t want to have big conversations about it or know what they think about parenting. My fear of this got so bad that at one point I figured I’d just quit when Wes and I were ready to have kids. I have since abandoned that silly notion.
The idea of actually raising children is terrifying because I am quite scared that I will be a lousy mother, obviously. What if I’m too lenient? Too harsh? What if I have tons of issues that I scar that poor kid with?
And yet now I find that when I think about it, I don’t immediately fall into a state of panic. Don’t get me wrong…I still panic about it if I think too long. But something changed and the idea of becoming a parent seems attractive. It doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
What happened? Why, polyamory of course.
Making the change to a polyamorous lifestyle inspired me to work through a LOT of issues, to become more self-aware, to be more aware of others. It is a continuing evolution. I am learning more all the time and I have to stay vigilant to keep my old bad habits from coming back, but I have the skills to do so. Polyamory inspired me to become a better, clearer communicator. Polyamory inspired me to be more honest and open about, well, everything. And these are the lessons that I can pass on to a child and hopefully keep my insecurities as mine only. If I am unsuccessful at that, at least I can be understanding and hopefully helpful when my child’s own insecurities surface.
Polyamory inspired me to tackle my issues with sex and gender and all that. I feel more comfortable with my body and more comfortable with what it wants and how it works. I feel like actually going through a pregnancy would wipe away the last terrors I harbored for so many years.
But the biggest thing that polyamory has done is make me see that I am not alone. Not only has the commitment Wes and I share grown stronger as a result, but now we have the beginnings of an established strong fabulous family.
When I found myself wanting Jessie to move in, I realized that this step was a step towards the “long haul”. By asking Jessie to share our home, we were asking her to become officially part of our family. As I have mentioned before, when that level of comfort occurred, anything seemed possible. I realized, for instance, that the idea of Jessie having children with Wes didn’t bother me. Even more so, the idea of Wes and I having a kid seemed more possible and less daunting because it wouldn’t just be us doing the raising. If you’ve ever seen Jessie with young kids, you would know why having her present gives me a sense of calm about the whole thing.
We asked Jessie to move in right around the time that Shaun and Ginny came into our lives romantically. After several months of dating, it started to seem plausible that they would become quite integrated into our family life as well (as in we’re talking about communal living possibly a few years down the road). Talk about a network of support to raise a family!
Polyamory of this type really means never having to be alone, never having to take on the world by yourself. When you feel overwhelmed, there are more people to help. Out of the five of us, I am, by far, the least equipped to deal with kids and I know that I have a very high capacity for learning and adjustment. It would likely be the case that people’s schedules would work out that we would have in house child care at all times. It would be a bunch of people equally invested in the welfare of everyone in the household.
Last night, I talked to Wes for a while about when we would like to have kids and we realized that even though we are better off financially than we were a few months ago, our budget is still stretched pretty tight. We made a deal that we wouldn’t have a child before we paid of the car. And I figured that by then there is a high possibility that this whole communal living fantasy I have might be coming true. He also said that we should simply not worry about me getting too old to have a kid because we can always adopt. But if it happens that we do decide to have a child biologically, I can’t imagine a better group of people to help keep me sane and help me see the process for the kind of awesome thing that it is.
Yes, I know, I am still speaking in fantasies, but I think in this case that’s alright. When we all talk about it, we tend to talk in relatively real terms…we seem to be sharing the same fantasy, at least for now. And so I smile as I imagine our Big House, filled with loving relationships and galavanting kids with, as Ginny called it, Mix and Match Genetics.
I just simply love the idea of our own little village.
I want to call it “Frubble Farms”. I want to get a sign made…but no one will let me.