Half a year since my last post, and there’s a lot to write about.
I’ve recently returned from a wonderful but challenging trip with the entire poly-clan, but I’ll save that story for another post, when I have more time to process and write properly about the events that transpired and the issues that were raised.
While on that trip, we met up with several poly friends, including some I’d never met in person but had become rather chatty with on various social networks. These new friends were all members of their own same clan, and they’re unique amongst my poly friends because they are totally and completely out to all their family and friends. They’re also quite political and are very much poly-activists.
On the night of my husband’s birthday, I wandered off with one member (on whom I have a humungous girl/admiration/lusty crush) and her, um, one of her male escorts (I’m still a bit shaky on the who’s with who of their clan) in search of a burrito.* I don’t recall all the details of the conversation due to a minor amount of alcohol in my system, but somehow the subject veered to parenting, motherhood and feminism. She is one of my feminist friends** so I guess it wasn’t surprising. She is, if I recall correctly, child-free by choice (should that be capitalised?) and either she was asking about my choice to become a mother, or I volunteered the information.
The conversation is one I’ve had before, but this recent iteration was at an interesting time for me. I’m 2 years into being a Poly Momma. I’ve got a great, loving relationship with my husband, a steady boyfriend who I absolutely adore and with whom I have a thriving relationship, and most recently, I’m about to go back to Uni to finish my degree so I can finally start in a Diploma of Education program next year. On that particular trip, Husband and I left the Little Man at his grandma’s house for pretty much the entire trip, meaning I had a lot of time to be myself and relax without having to be Momma. I was able to reflect on my parenthood without actively being a parent at the time, so I was much more in touch with all the other aspects of me than usual.
Back before Husband and I decided to spawn, back before I had even met Husband, I never considered that being a parent was something I needed to do. Maybe one day I could adopt, but making a baby in my body was out of the question. The idea freaked me out and disgusted me and I couldn’t see myself doing it. I didn’t care much for babies, and no matter what anyone said, I said I was not interested. Biological clock? Pfft. Not this chick. ‘One day you’ll see,’ ‘When you’re older, you’ll get it,’ ‘Just wait until you’re thirty’… yeah, I’d heard all that. In fact, I’ve already covered most of that in another post.
When asked why I chose to have children, I always jokingly say, ‘I had nothing better to do,’ or ‘We were thinking of getting a dog, but it’s easier to get a lease with a baby.’ I decided to take another approach this time and I explained the real reasons: My reasons not to have a kid didn’t add up when stacked against the very strong desire of my chosen life partner to have a kid. My reasons were mostly based on fear, and when that fear faded to ambivalence and then a sort of apathy about it – “I don’t not want to have a baby” – partner’s WANT to have a baby greatly outweighed my feelings about it, and I decided to go for it. I also found out that I would have to wait three more years before I could become a citizen and therefore eligible for government help with my education costs; I had some time to kill. So I put my plans on hold for a few years and told Mike I was ready. My mom had always told me not to have a baby until I can’t stand not having one, but if I waited out those three years until after I finished my degree and started teaching, I’d be in the danger zone for various genetic conditions and I thought it might be better to have a kid while I still had the energy.
When it came to how I felt now, three years after making that decision, I felt great, but still a bit ambivalent. I still sometimes don’t feel like I’m really a Momma. It is still very foreign to me, yet here I am every day, being a Momma. I feel a bit fractured sometimes, like the actor me, the wannabe teacher me, the party girl me, the writer me etc. are all these different people and Momma is the newcomer. But all of those things are me; just because Momma’s late to the party doesn’t mean she’s not welcome and I’ve learned so much since she got here.
*For the record, it was a decent burrito for Australia, though very overpriced considering I didn’t even get a beverage.
**I have several friends with whom the majority of my interactions on social network sites is posting, sharing and commenting on various feminist issues, mostly agreeing and occasionally taking turns flaming the inevitable MRA trolls.