1. We’re too tired to march for gay pride.
Or do anything else, really. When we get coveted downtime on a weekend, we’d rather take the kids hiking up a mountain than along a parade route. We’re still proud, but now we have more pressing commitments — like the kids’ afternoon naps.
2. We are both the “Real Mom.”
My wife may have carried the children, but I’ve changed enough diapers, wiped enough tears, and read enough bedtime stories to earn my parenting stripes. Like adoptive parents, we know biology isn’t what makes us moms.
3. Our kids have donor siblings.
Other people used the same sperm-donor we used to conceive our kids, so biologically, their children are half-siblings with ours. Our oldest daughter has met three of her donor siblings, and we keep in touch with most of the parents. It’s a great opportunity for us to compare notes about our kids, since we lack detailed information about the genetics and medical history of our common donor. And we all met through a great website!
4. Our children’s donor is not their “dad” or “father.”
He is a very generous man who allowed us to bring three beautiful children into the world, but he is not their parent. As the non-bio mom, I already get enough insensitive comments about my relationship to my kids, so it only rubs salt in the wound when people refer to their donor as “dad.”
5. We do what we can to teach our children about all kinds of different families.
There aren’t very many toys or books that represent gay families, so sometimes we have to get creative. When my aunt bought my daughter a Little People wedding set, she bought her an extra set so she would have two brides and two grooms to mix and match.
6. We aren’t raising our kids to be vegetarians.
There are many of stereotypes about lesbians — we’re vegetarians, we like to wear flannel, we listen to folk music, we drive Honda Civics, preferably Hybrid. Though occasionally I will throw on a flannel shirt, I also like to toss a few steaks on the grill. Our beliefs and preferences vary as much as any straight parents, as do our parenting styles.
7. Our kids have plenty of male role models.
Many people have asked us if we’re worried about our kids growing up without male role models. Given that we don’t live in a cave or on a deserted island, this isn’t likely. They’ve got tons of uncles, cousins, and family friends to fill out that perceived void.
8. We don’t worry that our kids will grow up to be gay.
If they are, that’s great. If they’re not, that’s great. We just want them to be happy. Besides, statistically, it’s most likely they will be straight regardless of how we parent them. Our oldest daughter has quickly proven how little we influence her preferences and tastes. Despite a blue nursery and gender-neutral baby toys and clothing, she has grown into an obsessed-with-all-things-princesses-and-pink toddler. There are just some things beyond our control, and we’re okay with that.
9. We’re just like any other family.
Our three-year-old throws temper tantrums. Our twins have the uncanny knack for projectile vomiting – at exactly the same time! My wife and I argue. We make up. The laundry occasionally piles up in a corner of our bedroom. Like any other family, we have ups and downs and get through each day with a mix of love, laughter and patience.
Jen Bauer is a mom of three and founder of the website AdventurousMoms.com
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