Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Person or parent?

PF-

This is a bit of a continued thought from the previous post. Last night we had a little family meeting, called by my daughter. She was sharing that there was a level of discomfort on her part with the live-in arrangement, including things like the level of affection that S and I show each other, and some differences in parenting styles.

While I am glad that she feels comfortable enough to speak directly with all of us about how she was feeling, this isn't a democracy. The parents will form the course of action. It becomes incumbent on us, as parents, to help devise ways to improve comfort-zones, or grow skills in coping with uncomfortable feelings. While one does not cease being their own person to become a parent, one cannot cease being a parent in pursuit of their own personal growth. This is equally true for mono and poly parents.

In my work, I spend a goodly amount of time talking with a wide variety of people. What I've heard repeatedly is that disaster awaits when one sublimates their own needs in the raising of children. Even if your relationship makes it to the time that the kids are out of the house, the likelihood of it thriving, in the face of empty nest and having no clue who you are as a person, is extremely low. Well before becoming poly, I had decided that parenting was a role, but it wouldn't become my life.

On days like today, being an individual is pretty tough to see. It's a snow day. S and PG are out of the house. I am it. This is one day though. On Friday, I will be going to a party with S to view porn and enjoy some public play. I have a weekly date with PG on Sunday. I am looking forward to a soak in my tub later on and curling up with a book. There are still massages to be done, people to help heal. There is a person inside that parent that is important to nurture, and it's my job to be mindful of that, even in the face of family meetings and snow days.
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