Family / Parenting

Your (queer parenting) portal in the night

http://wendykeithdesigns.co.uk/dm2.php

http://centralenfieldclc.org.uk/wp-json/wp/v2/pages/130 When my older son was born — coming up on eight years ago, gah — I used to pace the halls with him in the wee hours of the morning and fantasize about having some company. I would comfort myself in my sleepless haze by imagining parents like me, tired and confused, walking in figure eights with their own wakeful infants through the night. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if there was some way we could all talk to each other? I wanted to send out some kind of electronic signal, some kind of soft red light beeping into the night that would let other parents know I was around, that someone else was awake and empathetic and lonely and ready to talk and listen.

By the time my second son was born two and half years later, Facebook had come onto the scene. Twitter followed shortly thereafter, and all of a sudden my imaginary portal got a lot more real. Now, there was a place you could log in, day or night, and throw out a status update: “I haven’t slept more than 45 consecutive minutes in two days and I’m covered in vomit.” “I love my baby, but if he were a puppy I think I might take him back to the breeder and say, ‘You know, I think that maybe we just aren’t dog people after all.’” “Is anyone else out there awake and scared right now?”

As a new mom, as someone who had recently lost her own mother and then moved to a strange city a twentieth the size of my hometown, I craved connection with other people. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone.

As a dyke mama, though, I also really craved a place where I could walk in and not have to explain myself; not have to gently correct the people who asked about my husband or my sons’ “dad”; not have to suss out the situation and figure out if it was safe to be out; not have to be always at least subtly aware of the fact that there just weren’t very many families like mine — two moms plus donor — where I lived.

And so I’m really thrilled to be part of the re-animation of Lesbian Family. It’s one more portal, one soft red beacon in the night where queer parents, queers considering parenting, and then their friends and allies can check in and not have to engage in what Shannon on the site recently called the “Splain-O-lympics.” Here, queer is what’s assumed, no explanation needed beyond what you’d like to share.

We’re a couple of years away yet, I figure, from super magic decoder action rings that will automatically alert us to when our besties with babies are awake in the wee hours and need a hand. But for now, I’m glad to be here, and looking forward to getting to know you all better.

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  1. Queer mama bat signal!

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