Category Archives: Lesbian Parenting

finding our tribe

One of the reasons J and I moved out of Humboldt County and into the Bay Area was because we felt we were really missing out on our community of lesbians and particularly lesbian moms. We tried when we first moved here to meet up with some lesbian moms and moms to be, but we didn’t really hit it off with the ladies we met. They seemed fairly judgemental about our process (they went all medicated and got sperm from the expensive local queer sperm bank–and had two kids as a result, whereas we were still doing home insems with fresh shipped sperm). We tried contacting them one more time, but they never returned the email, and we knew it was probably for the best.

For the next year and a half, we just sort of gave up on trying to find our tribe. We have wanted desperately to be around other like-minded two-mom families, but we had no idea how to find them, and after our first attempt, we were more than a little gun-shy.

But then something really cool happened. The lesbians in our county decided to start a Meet.Up group. I promptly joined, and amidst the dozens of ladies in the over-fifty crowd, I started seeing profile photos of women with kids. Just a couple of weeks later, on the message boards, there was suddenly a “Moms With Small Children” board, and shortly thereafter, I started getting private messages from other moms and moms to be. I was cautiously optimistic about finally being in contact with potential tribe members, but neither J nor I could hide that we were very, very excited at the prospect of finally meeting other lesbian moms and that maybe, just maybe, they might someday be our friends.

And then came last weekend. We had our very first meeting with a two-mom family for coffee. We actually showed up early (which we never do), and we spotted them immediately when they came through the door. They were carrying their sleepy toddler, and we were working on finding out where to change our son’s diaper. The conversation was easy and everyone seemed fairly comfortable for a first meeting such as this. After their one-year-old daughter had clearly had enough of the coffee shop, we made our way to a park down the street where we continued to chat and get to know one another because no one was really ready for the day to end. It felt a bit like a first date–if a first date can be had with six people involved–and it was a success.

As we walked away, J and I were so relieved that we had really hit it off with these women. These ladies are smart and funny; they are into attachment and cloth diapering and co-sleeping; they’re really lovely and grounded–and most importantly we all seem to like each other.

And then, just a week later–yesterday–we were able to get together yet again, but at our home this time. Their little girl kissed Baby Genius and chased our cats. We read to their daughter, and they bounced our son. We were able to talk about everything from family issues to dealing with a heterocentric culture as queer parents to balancing work and motherhood to relationship issues. We talked about what we were reading and how that informed our parenting. We shared food and laughs, but more than that, we shared a very clear understanding of what it is to be two moms raising a child in this world. It was so, so refreshing to be amongst people who didn’t need an explanation to understand our lives because they live some very similar experiences.

It’s hard to even articulate how good it feels to finally be making friends with such a similar worldview, to see that our people really are out there–and not just in blogland, but in our very own community. Next week, we’re going to a bigger meetup with the larger group of “moms with small children.” Ironically enough, this group is being organized by one of those women we met two years ago, but that doesn’t matter. We both seem to be so much more open now that we see what this is like, now that we know what it means to be finding our tribe.

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Filed under friends, Lesbian Parenting

On being the Non-biological Mother (to be)

I’m J, T’s partner of 9 years, and I’ll be blogging here from time to time, offering an added perspective on this journey of ours to concieve a child.  In preparation for the upcoming insemination, I’ve been doing some reading, and recently I’ve started reading “Confessions of the Other Mother.”  That would be me, the other mother, also known as the “non-biological/birth mother.”  I understand that to some women this is a perjorative, and that’s understandable.  Often times,  anything with the word “non” in it has a negative connotation, just as “other” has an excusionary feel to it, but I promise not to get too hung up on semantics or delve too deeply into the problems with the modern lexicon or its ability to adequately express our unique situation.  At least not today 😉

 I admit the terminology grates on me a bit, and, just as it took some time for me to feel comfortable with words like queer, dyke, domestic partner, artificial insemination, etc., I imagine I will get used to, and perhaps even embrace, “non birth mom,” referred to henceforth as “NBM.”

Terminology notwithstanding, I, perhaps unlike some NBM’s, have  no desire of my own to be pregnant, though my biological clock is completely intact and ticking like a timebomb.  Therefore, how lucky am I? Not only do I get this fantastic partner, but she wants to have a baby!  We didn’t have to draw straws; no one had to delay her own needs or desires; I said “I don’t want to,” and she said “I do.”  And I just can’t express how lucky, proud, and happy I am that we are finally–finally–getting this show on the road!!!! It’s been a long journey already, Readers.

One “problem” with being the NBM is the feeling of uselessness prior to pregancy, which is where T and I are right now.  She has activities like temperature-taking and ovulation tests to keep her occupied, but me?  I don’t have too much to do really.  I can listen and learn, but I can’t do anything yet.  It’s maddening, particularly for a girl who likes to be involved in all aspects of life. No obserever am I; I like to roll up my sleeves and get things done.  Possibly not the image I should be conjuring considering what we’ll be doing tomorrow, but I really do best when I’m busy and active. 

 For now, though, I wait…anxiously, happily for the day my partner tells me she’s pregnant. 

 I’ll delve into terminology and semantics more later.

 J

    

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Filed under Lesbian Parenting, ttc