But The Kids Are Home!
My husband and I have been in a classic polyamory discussion for weeks now about whether we should have our lovers over while the kids are home. We are clear that they do not need to know details about what goes on in our sex lives most of the time. It’s not like I announce to the kids “Mama and Daddy are gonna have anal sex tonight, kids! Or even “Daddy is gonna go down on Mama tonight and give her multiple orgasms! So why would my kids need to know what happens in the bedroom if its NOT Mama and Daddy, but instead Mama and one of her “friends or Daddy and one of his “friends? I don’t need to tell them that what we are doing in the bedroom with one of our friends. They just need to know so they are not surprised, that someone might be in the house when they wake up. Even if the person is in our room. This makes sense to me.
Tonight we thought we had an opportunity to see how this situation worked since my husband was going out on a date and one of my lovers mentioned spontaneously that he would like to see me tonight. I invited him over. Then we thoroughly discussed all the ramifications. First of all, since it would be my home and the bed I share with my husband, my lover felt that since he had not met my husband yet, this needed to be okay with him, as it was a big gift to give to a stranger. I thought this was so thoughtful and incredibly sweet. But I assured him that my husband and I had agreed to this arrangement in the past with several lovers, one of whom I have still never met, and that we were very settled with the idea. So he felt satisfied with this answer.
Then my lover stated that he wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be weird with the kids. Both my lover and I agreed this was true, so I called my husband and we brainstormed a few situations that could come up. My 5 year old still comes into our bed sometimes if he has had a bad dream, and even at times in the morning will crawl into bed with us to sleep. I usually hear him before he gets to our room, and I assured both my lover and my husband that I would be MUCH more aware this time, listening carefully for the door opening and the pitter patter of little feet and could probably head him back to bed before he even reached the bedroom. This would be true for both of the children, although the 11 yr old rarely comes into our room anymore. He will go to the bathroom at night sometimes, but doesn’t need to see us.
It seemed like it was a fine time to try out this arrangement and everyone felt pretty good about it at the end of the discussions. As it turned out, however, logistics foiled the brilliant plan anyway. My lover lives about an hour away and our time together was going to be very limited. He could not come over until later in the evening and my husband would actually be coming back home in the wee hours of the night, so spending the night was not really an option. It was too much effort for too little time, and we decided to arrange something later in the week. But my curiosity about the whole situation was aroused. I wanted to know more clearly how my boys would feel about the situation. So I proceeded to have the following conversation with my boys, mostly with my 11 year old:
“Hey buddy, can you turn off your game and give me your attention for a minute?
Eye rolling, slight delay and then the game is paused.
“You know how Mama and Daddy sometimes have sleepovers with their friends?
“Yes¦. fidgeting with his DS¦
“Well, what if we started having our friends sleep over here? Would you like that instead?
“Okay. Chomping at the bit to turn his game back on¦
“Remember, you complained that you didn’t like it that I was gone so much, right?
“Ummm¦.yeah. I think so.
“So wouldn’t you like it if I was here instead of being gone?
“I don’t care either way. as he turns the DS back on¦
“Wait, turn the DS off again, this is really important to me. Really? You don’t mind if I am gone or here?
“Nope. Do what you want to do, Mom. Reaching for the DS¦
“Wait, is that because you want me to be happy or you truly don’t care?
“I guess. I mean, I like having you here, but you can do what you want. With a tone not of dismissiveness so much, but more as if he is granting me his permission, which bemuses me. I refrain from giggling.
“Hmmmm¦.so it would be okay if my friends stayed over here sometimes? You wouldn’t mind having other people stay at our house?
The five year old pipes up “Jen stayed over here with Dad once!
“That’s true. She stayed a few times, huh? And you liked that?
Easy peasy. I always think these conversations might be uncomfortable or weird. But kids are actually pretty open to new things, new ideas and have no real investment in the “norms of society until they are bombarded by them more thoroughly by the rest of the world. Now granted, my children are a little sheltered. We do not have TV. We have a screen or two and we watch movies and use the internet to look up interesting facts and get more information. But most of their free time they are outside, in nature, enjoying the trees, the grass, the pond, the creek and all the creatures they can find. They spend a great deal of time making up games with sticks, string and cardboard boxes. My kids also read books of imagination and adventure. They have been exposed to some media at their friend’s homes and in some areas of their lives, but mostly when they share their ideas of how the world operates, it sounds a LOT like what their dad and I believe.
I am blessed with incredibly smart and intuitive children who are excellent learners. I believe that their father and I are making reasonable choices around introducing them slowly to our new lifestyle and exposing them to the beauty of love and how much is available in the world and in ourselves. I hope that we can continue to make good choices to expose our children to the fullness of life without overwhelming them with adult ideas. I want them to grow up believing both that they are worthy of love and that they have plenty of love to give others. Our hearts can hold so much. Why not teach them now?
Here is the rest of the same conversation:
“So you want me to be happy, right? Not like when I was unhappy. Do you remember that time?
“Uh. No, not really.
“Remember when your dad and I separated?
“Did you realize that I was unhappy before we separated?
“Did you know I was unhappy WHILE we were separated?
“I think so.
“Did you notice that your dad was unhappy?
“Yeah. I remember that.
“Were you unhappy?
“A little bit.
“I was worried you would get divorced.
“Do you know that one of the things we figured out back then was that we needed to spend more time with our friends? And that we started going out more at night so we could spend more time alone with our friends?
“Yeah, I remember that.
“Does that feel okay to you?
“Does that make sense to you?
He pauses, then states, “I think you should have figured out that you need to “spend more money on me. With a BIG CHEESY GRIN. We laughed. Conversation over.