Friday, January 21, 2011

Got Milk? Uh, no that's not what I mean...

Got kids?

A lot of poly people do. Tons of them do and it’s a tricky subject to maneuver around.

When do the OSO’s meet the kids?

Do you ever tell the kids the extent of the relationship?

Do you let the OSO live with the kids?

How much authority does the OSO have over the kids?

Ummmm……there are no guidelines on this. I tried to think about it and you can’t determine exactly what to do because there are so many factors.

Environmental…who do you live with? How do you live?

If it’s been Mommy and Daddy the whole time and there’s suddenly a new person it’s more difficult than for the Mommy and Daddy who’ve had room or housemates for most of the kid’s lives.

How social are you? If friends are in and out of the house, one more friend is no big deal. If you’re quiet and more reserved, the new person is going to bring up a brow from the children.

Dynamics…what kind of relationship do you have with…everyone?

Are you close to your kids and they know practically everything? Or are they kept in the dark? (Or what you think is the dark because kids are incredibly perceptive?)

The new OSO, is it a typical romantic relationship? Or is a D/s one? Is there kink involved or not? I mention this because those in an M/f or F/m (etc.) type of relationship will give off the vibe of it even when they are not engaging in the activity. It’s just the dynamic and if it’s different from the dynamic you have with the primary, it’ll show up. If not, it might not.

Also, NRE is striking. If you have it, the energy sears and everyone notices it whether you or they realize it or not.

The Kids themselves…each are different.

Some kids can handle anything, know everything and nothing is a surprise. You not saying anything is a formality. They know and it’s probably better just to be honest.

Other kids, may not notice a thing. They may still be in their highly egocentric stage and your world is trivial compared to theirs.

Also, some kids may be mature enough to handle it, some may not be. You may have one of each and decide not to bring it up or to only bring it up to one. It really depends on you and what you think is right. You are the one who knows you’re children and what they can and cannot handle. I sure as hell don’t.

But, the one guideline I would give is to make sure that the person is sticking around. I have a sense that the younger a child will cling more to OSO’s. It’s not fair to bring in a relationship, allow one to be built between your child and them and then break it away out of nowhere.

No, you can never be sure that a relationship will last. However, if you allow a person to become a parental figure of any kind I hope that you’re plan is for that person to stay. If it’s not… may be too rough on the child.

Of course, it all depends, but I have a friend who got involved with a woman. He spent a year and half with her, met her kid, fell in love with the kid and that kid with him. 18 months later, she broke up with him out of the blue. This will have been the third time this 8 year old has gone through this. How will this pattern affect the child?

Well, you can argue that it will affect this particular child more because in this string of monogamy the child only has mommy and in a poly relationship the child would have both mommy and daddy, however….loss is loss. It will affect them somehow. It may be mild it may be not. Who knows?

My sister’s cat died recently. Child one was devastated. Child two was okay with it after a week of grief, two different reactions to the same event of losing a loving, family pet. I hope relationships with the OSO’s are just as strong if not stronger than your relationship with your pets.

And I hope you don’t underestimate your children’s emotional attachment to the adults you bring into your life. I also hope that you understand that being poly is a big deal. You are not just adding a lover, but a friend, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a myriad of possibilities as this person interacts with people in your lives. Do it justice and treat it with the same reality you did when you met your husband or wife and don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s anything less. To do otherwise is treating Polyamory like a game, not like the lifestyle and commitment is it.