Today is the 4th annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day. It's a time to bring attention to LGBT families and things we have to go through. Even though I don't blog much about my family and personal life I felt today would be a good day to change it up.
Life as a parent is challenging. You are always worried about something – are my children learning enough? Am I spending enough time with them? Are they eating right? Are they learning to share? Did they out grow their shoes yet?
The funny thing is, none of these things are new and none of them are about being a lesbian parent – they are just things that every parent deals with. But there are some things that are specific to LGBT parents. For example, the choices of how to have a child in the first place – adoption, artificial insemination, or surrogacy. Also, second parent adoptions (or lack there of here in Arizona), and other legal protections are something LGBT parents are constantly struggling with.
My family is like many in Arizona. I have a 7 year old daughter that I have shared custody with my ex-partner. I have a two year old son with my current partner. So we have a little bit of everything – divorce (not legally since their of course was no “marriage”), stepmoms, the fun of explaining that our princess has four moms every school year, as well as the terrible twos.
I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child and our situation is no different. Our village comes equipped with four sets of grandparents. Some days it seems like it takes every one of them to just make it through. Let me share a typical day in our house.
My wife gets up at 5am to go to work. I am up at 6:45am (if the little man lets me sleep that late) to get ready to go pick up the princess from my ex. With the little man in tow, we head to the rendezvous point and bring the princess back. Now it’s time for breakfast and the finishing touches on getting ready for school. At 8:30am it’s off to school.
After the big drop off, it’s back home to spend some time with the little man. Some days this includes playing with friends, play-doh, or playing outside. Then around noon it’s time to meet up with Grammie so I can head to work. From there she and Granddad are in charge of the little man and picking the princess up from school. Then my ex will pick up the princess when she is done with work and have her until the morning.
Some evenings Grandma and Grandpa will pick the little man up and take care of him until my wife is done with work. Then she will pick him up and have him for the evening. Sometimes I see him before he is asleep for the night but not usually.
See what I mean about a village. Somehow we all make it work and the kids get to be with family all day everyday – except for school. I can’t think of a better team to have my kids around. And my wife and I are so grateful to all our friends and family that make our village such a great place for our kids to grow up.