Instead of any type of intro here I’m just going to let Jordan’s writing speak for her. Thank you very much for the contribution. As the mom of four daughter who were not raised in a poly household from youth, I very much enjoyed reading your thoughts and appreciate your openness in sharing.
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Hello. My name is Jordan – or at least that is the name you will all know me as. I’m the youngest girl and the third child in this family. While I don’t exactly know where this writing will take me, I do know that my parents asked me if I could please write something for them for their blog. Something about what it was like being raised in a polyamourous family.
The long and short of it? Being raised in a polyamourous family is, surprise, the exact same as being raised in a monogamous one.
Okay, so obviously it is not exactly the same. There is no possible way it could be. But I want you to think about it for a moment. What family is ever the same as any other? Even if they are all monogamous. If you take two families who appear the same, aka a mom, dad, and kid, there will be different dynamics.
So you are here to listen to a child’s perspective. Maybe you are concerned about your own child’s well-being because you want to approach being poly. Maybe you’re concerned about your grandkids because their parents are approaching being poly. Hopefully I can help you with that.
Living in a poly family comes with struggles. There will be people who judge you and your family. There is absolutely no possible way you can prevent that… unless you are willing to live as complete hermits for the rest of your lives – which isn’t healthy. The kids are going to rebel, like any teenager does, and they will target your third if they remember a time without her (I remember both my sisters vividly yelling at my second mother telling her that she is not their mom).
But will your kids suffer mentally, physically, or emotionally? No. Not any more than any other family dynamic risks. I don’t feel like any harm ever came to me because of my parents – because of bigots, yes, people who felt the need and right to judge my family, but not because of my parents. In fact, I think living in this type of family helped me.
It enabled me to grow as a person with more experiences than I would have any other way. It taught me not to judge people, and it taught me to explore myself, which is exactly how I found out that I am asexual, aromantic, which If I didn’t know, I would be immensely unhappy and forcing myself into situations I could never enjoy or be comfortable with.
In a previous post of Kyra’s, she discussed how life within our family worked 7 years ago. She talked about how they never kept – and still don’t keep – any secrets from us, how we know exactly how their relationship dynamic works, and how I, and my brother, don’t have any vivid memories before Kyra came along.
Now most of that post hasn’t changed. It’s pretty much the exact same as it is now. However, there are a few things different. The major one, I suppose, is us referring to Kyra as our ‘parent’s friend’. To be honest, I don’t know what my siblings do, but I make no attempt to hide the fact that my parents are polyamourous.
I can be talking to new classmates in University, or just some friends, and casually mention my ‘second mom’ which is how I refer to Kyra. Most people don’t even blink, and only when I mention all three of my parents are there questions. Living in the city now, and as well as some time passing since I referred to Kyra as my parent’s friend, the questions are pretty simple.
How does that work? What is that like? Isn’t that weird?
The answers are pretty simple too, which I will answer for you now before I go.
How does that work?
Well, short answer is, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. How their relationship works is their business, just like anybody else’s relationship is their own business as long as no one is getting hurt. So I can’t really answer that, and nor do I ever want to from that perspective. As for how does it work for me, it works the same way as any other family dynamic. Sure, it’s unconventional, but decades ago, a single parent household was considered unconventional too.
What is that like?
It’s nice, to put it simply. I have three loving parents who will always try to do their best to look out for me. Sure, they stumble, like all parents do, but knowing someone will always be there no matter what is great.
The only thing I don’t like about it, is, well, bigots. I’ve had friend’s parents in elementary and junior high refuse to let them come over to my house because of my parents. I have people ask me “Oh well… how do they have sex” like I am honestly supposed to know. I have had people call me disgusting for still loving and caring for my parents ‘despite their atrocities’ like I should be the one who shuns them.
But those people are few and far in between now that I’m an adult, and when they do come along… they don’t even have a chance to spew their bigoted bullshit.
Isn’t that weird?
Isn’t it weirder that you feel the need to ask that?