Poly Living – Children and Living Arrangements For the Polyamorous

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Polyamory LivingSo, scratch that. Apparently, it's still “on” with Ark's girl, Anita. During the last week of the year, Anita came down to visit us for a couple of days (I tempted her with wine). On the night she arrived, I was super nervous. I said in my other blog:

“Earlier this week, Anita came to visit us. It also snowed a lot and she got into a mini-accident which damaged her car enough that she had to rent a trailer and tow it home. I am always happy to see friends, and happier to see the really close ones. Ark and I were both super excited and I don't know about him, but I was quite nervous also. I wasn't sure of the status of their relationship, and I wasn't sure where any of us stood, really. So I just went on like nothing had changed. For me, nothing had changed really—I'll always love this girl and that's something I'd accepted awhile ago. Being poly for me isn't just about practicing. I've always been poly, in my heart and my mind, if not in practice. So loving people and not telling them, well, that was just a part of my life and something I learned to live with and will probably continue to live with if purely by habit.

The relationship between Anita and Ark does seem to be “on” more or less, even if not officially. There was snuggling and petting and social grooming between them, sometimes between all three of us. I'm trying not to insert myself into their relationship intentionally, since I want to give Ark the chance to try out poly love without my major interference, but I can easily see the relationship expanding to include me. I'm already emotionally invested, so it isn't much of a stretch.”

I'm really happy for Ark and Anita. And for me, too. Really, the only person who I'm a little nervous about is Kitten. She has abandonment issues and sometimes seems resigned to the “fact” that I'll find someone better and leave her. It isn't in my nature to leave someone because I think I'll be better off with someone else. (I mean, isn't that part of being poly? Loving lots of people and not leaving them in the dust.) Even if Ark and Anita's twosome becomes a triad with me included, I will not love Kitten any less and I will still want to spend time with her.

I just discovered a new blog called Poly Mom. I absolutely love this blog (I'm reading the “back issues” right now, I'm on June). It focuses on a woman who is married with three children, and she is in a polyamorous relationship with a man who is married with one child. At the point where I am reading, they're talking about moving, but I have read a few current entries and I know that currently, her poly lover has moved in with her and her husband. It seems that he's gone through a divorce and is now living with them. I don't know the details yet, but when I read about their household (currently) it makes me so so so happy.

Now, I don't have kids. I don't intend on having kids—in fact, Ark and I have discussed taking permanent measures against it. I don't think I will have the time or patience to focus on my budding career, poly relationships, possibly school, and raise a child. Ark and I are just barely above the poverty line as it is. As a child, I remember being broke all the time. I remember raking through the house with my mom and my sister to find change to roll up so we could buy staples like bread and milk and ramen. I don't look back on these memories and think, “I hated those days,” because in fact they were my happiest days. But I wouldn't want that for my kids. I would want to be able to support them and still be comfortable. I would want at least one of us to be a stay-at-home parent. I have grand dreams, very similar to the dreams Polly (at Poly Mom) has, to own a bit of land and be able to grow my own vegetables and herbs, and have some animals (Ark really wants goats, I want an alpaca and large dogs). I want to do things like make and sell goat's milk soap, and Ark is getting into leather working. And my career could get me into a good school, where I can better myself, and maybe someday open my own bakery. (Yes, I dream of waking up at 2am, going to work and making fresh bread! I really do!)

But anyway, children, they aren't really on my List. The thing is, if I was living in a poly household, I might consider having one or two. Ark and I aren't above adopting (there are so many kids who need a home!) and although I don't want kids right now, I really do want to be pregnant. So much that I have looked into surrogacy, though I was disappointed to discover that in order to be a surrogate mother you'd have to already have a child of your own. I can't explain why I want to be pregnant, be sick, gain weight, be moody… but I just do. Maybe that's my biological clock ticking.

I love the idea of a family living together, multiple adults, all raising and loving the children as parents love children. It just feels right, and it sounds awesome, to be surrounded by love. And, with more people involved, it would be easier and more practical and affordable to have one adult staying home with the children. It gives me warm fuzzies.

We're all young, so there's plenty of time for us to decide later on kids, if we change our mind or if someone we're involved with wants children. This is, of course, depending largely if we all live together in a house. There are tons of complications that come from moving in together. Ark and I have been living together for six years, so we know our way around each other. I handle the finances since I make the most money and I'm a bit of a control freak. My father-in-law currently lives with us and that makes me not want to spend a whole lot of time at home, and since he and Ark are the only other people who live there, need I say that the place is a wreck? I love to have a clean, neat, organized place to live, but it seems like whenever I'm home long enough to clean a room, the next day it's just trashed again.

…men.

In order to get something cleaned, I have to ask for it to be done. It's Ark's job to clean the cat's litter box, for example, since the litter in it aggravates my allergies. Unless I remind him to do it, the cat box will go unchanged for weeks. No, wait, scratch that—if I don't ask him to do it, it just doesn't get done. And that's just gross. I'm resigned to the fact that I have to tell him to do things, like the dishes, or take out trash, or do laundry. It doesn't bother me, really, because I know him and I know what to expect. Bringing new people into the household will change everything, because everyone has their own way of living and things they need in a home that will make them comfortable. It's also very important that we're all compatible with each other.

Ark is not completely useless. We have our own routines, and there are things he does for me regularly that make me feel wonderful. He rubs my feet anytime we happen to be on the couch together (which is almost every day). Every night, he sets my alarm and makes sure my work uniform is running in the dryer. Even though he doesn't get home from work until late at night, he still wakes up super early to drive me to work every morning (a luxury, since work is so close I could walk there in ten minutes or less). He spoils me, and I warned him he'd regret it. Sometimes, maybe he does… but I know he loves me and he knows I love him. I think perhaps without patience and love, the little things would get to us and we wouldn't be so close a couple.

Another topic Poly Mom talks about is marriage. Not legally binding marriage, because obviously that's illegal in most countries (polygamy, that is), the United States included. But a marriage-like commitment. I bring this up because I have a similar commitment to Kitten. She calls me her wife and I even have a ring. I don't personally like the word “wife” (not even Ark calls me that) but it isn't the words that matter, it's the commitment and the idea of forever. I have always been a fan of alternative marriage, and by that I don't mean polyamory because obviously I am polyamorous, but I mean alternatives to marriage. Like having a ceremony and being attached to a person, but without the paperwork. The only place a marriage really matters is in the couples' hearts and mind and soul. (Though Ark and I did get married for the tax break.) So, I feel that it's acceptable and natural to be committed to more than one person for your whole life. If it's possible to love someone for your whole life, even if you aren't with that person anymore, why can't you be committed to someone you are with, even if you are already committed to someone else? Love is not a pie.

While I'm not having any problems in my poly relationships right now, I ordered Tristan Taormino's book “Opening Up” and it should be arriving soon (so expect a follow-up). I'm interested in seeing what she has to say about poly houses, among many other things. So, we'll see in a day or two.

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mad culinary scientist. curious voyeur. aimless wanderer. geek, nerd, procrastinator. panromantic polyamorous pagan. bdsm switch. refuses to adhere to any of your silly preconceptions.

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