That was how our son (10) introduced himself and his mothers at a school open house last year. He was so casual and cool about it like it was something totally normal (because it is) and what everybody would say (you don’t hear things like that too often). We have a large and “interesting: family. Our son, Landon, is the product of marriage #1 (Jen’s first) and we share custody with him 50/50. We live in the same town just a couple miles apart so it makes things pretty easy. The ex-wife and her new wife have two little ones, a boy about 2 and a girl about 1. We are now expecting a baby as well. So Landon has two siblings at one house and will have at least one at ours. We are all very involved in Landon’s life and equally share pickups and drop-offs from school, sports, music, etc. We all even get involved with coaching, volunteer activities, PTO, school board, you name it! This means that all the mothers (all the wives), all 4 of us, and the little ones, spend quite a bit of time together. There is definitely always some awkwardness but for the most part we all get along fine and we don’t “not” enjoy when we have to hang out. We as a couple absolutely love babies and kids so getting to play with the other wives’ babies is fun for us! We even babysit them at our house sometimes. Landon loves it and so do they!
Landon loves his siblings so much and they love him. We don’t ever want to make them feel like they’re being kept away from spending time together. Which reminds us…we try so hard to make Landon feel welcome and comfortable in our home and not feel like he has “our” family and “their” family. But, they don’t really feel the same way. When we got married, Landon got a ring during the ceremony, and he loves to wear it on his finger or on a chain around his neck. He wore it one day to the other house and one of his other mothers told him that he couldn’t wear it over there because it wasn’t a part of “her” family. To me, that is super effed up. Why would you put that kind of stress on a child?! Why would you make your child feel like they have to watch what they wear and how they act just to please you and to be sensitive to your feelings?!
Jules: That’s like when my mother said she wouldn’t go to my graduation from college if my step-mom came. It was MY graduation from COLLEGE. I want who I want there. Step-mom was a huge part of me accomplishing what I did and I wanted her there too. It was a day about ME, it wasn’t fair of my mother to ask me to think of her on my own day.
The same logic applies here, except to a 10 year old, not a grown woman in her 20’s. Parents accommodate their children, NOT the other way around. That is just cruel and causing anxiety and mixed feelings in your child. Shit, we’ve talked about combined Christmases at some point so Landon can be with all of his siblings and doesn’t feel like he has to choose. We are ALL his family, there isn’t a separation. We are connected through him and that’s just the way that it is. We are all happy in love in our own marriages and we share this wonderful relationship with this amazing boy. We, as mothers, need to put on our big girl pants and be the bigger people here, be the awesome parents, and give him the happiest life we can!
Living life with this outlook and practice is all part of living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle together as a family!
Good luck our there to all of you with crazy families. We welcome your stories and input so feel free to comment!
Happy living, happy sustaining (in ALL the ways)
-The Two Wives