Mommies and Daddies
I’ve mentioned before that we are taking a parenting class. It is more of a group than a class – we talk about different topics but it’s not really about how to parent.
Two weeks ago we did an activity in this class where the group was split: Moms and Dads. Our facilitator was great – she split us into three groups, two mom groups and one dad groups. Lesley and I were in separate groups as we did the activity. THe activity asked us to talk about things we appreciate about our partner and things we miss from prebaby life. At the end of ten minutes we got together and shared with the group.
As we drove home we talked about the activity. Lesley said that she felt kind of out of place in the mom group. Both mom groups had similar answers to the question of things we appreciate about our partner – we appreciate when our partner gets up with baby at night at and when they do ANYTHING without being asked. The dad group was more that their partner supports them in pursuing their outside hobbies. Lesley’s group had that one listed, too, upon Lesley’s suggestion. Lesley said that next time she might opt to be in the dad group.
There was talk at our last group meeting about a daddy beer night where the daddies decided to get together for beer. One dad came over to us and told us that either one of us or both of us were welcome to come. Though our group’s Facebook page there was talk that there should be a mommies’ night. Lesley and I paused – what do we do? She decided that she would go to daddy beer night (and campaign for it to be “nongestational parent beer night”) as “I don’t need to sit around here while y’all talk about your boobs”. I offered to host mommy night, she found a place for her and August to go, and I started pumping after bedtime.
Last night was mommies night and as I type Lesley is off at daddy beer night. I’ll admit I was nervous leading up to the night. This is the first time this group of women has really hung out. Maybe it is my midwest upbringing but I constantly feel like I am waiting for people to discriminate against us. While I did not expect hostility from this group I did wonder if everyone would have a glass of wine and start to ask me the dreaded questions – the things I figure they really want to know about lesbian parents. But there was nothing. It was fun and I found like I could really have conversations with them. Two different moms commented that they also like games on our game shelf (bonanza and ticket to ride), mom’s commented about how they also like our favorite artists (nikki mclure and brian andreas). The mom I like the best (who Lesley and I both think is the pretty one) also wants her son to play hockey. We talked about birth and breastfeeding and our lives and it was fun. I honestly never considered that this night might be fun.
I really wanted to connect with other LGBT families once we had a baby. I still do. I wanted to find families like ours to talk to and talk through challenges with. We are very lucky that we have a handful of those families. We joined this parenting class because we’ve heard such good things. This is where everyone in town has met their baby friends. I went into it hoping to meet some people and am surprised how much I like them. They are all very different than us. Very straight. Mostly very mainstream. But I find that I fit in there more than I expected. For the last 13 years my main identity has been as a dyke. Not just a lesbian, a dyke. Out, loud, shaved head, second wave feminist, Ferron listening dyke. And last night I realized for the first time that now my main identity is a mom. I wouldn’t change a single thing.