Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Proper Care & Feeding of (Multiple) Husbands


This post is more of a "how-to" than anything.  But if you're working on a poly family dynamic and this helps, I'm glad!

As we work together to create a poly house, we are starting to come up against some struggles that I knew were coming, but wasn't really prepared for.  With three adults, there are suddenly about twice as many dishes to do every day.  My grocery expectations have been adjusted not once, not twice, but three times.  Keeping up with general housework has become an incredible challenge with the additional foot traffic and clutter.  Along with the physcial clutter is mental clutter.  We each have work stress we need to deal with, we each need our alone time, and some time with our partner, every day.  We each want kid time, too.  Finding time for it all is extremely difficult.  There are times I need to stop and remind myself that this is what we want.  We want a house full of the people we love.  We all want to come home to each other at the end of the day.  But the insanity of it all can sometimes overwhelm me.  

I like to take care of my men.  I like to try to keep their laundry done and the house in at least a general state of order so that when they do find a moment to help with household tasks, they aren't overwhelmed from the start.  The Mister and the Libertine take turns doing the dishes, and they also try to help the boys pick up toys and miscellaneous stuff throughout the house.  I ask them to help when they can.  I try not to get angry when they don't, I try to simply keep my thoughts in my head and do what needs doing.  I don't always succeed, but I try.

I work outside the house, so getting dinner on the table has become something of an art for me.  Two nights a week I'm not even home at dinnertime.  I try to make sure my family has something substantial to eat, no matter if I'm home or not.  The Mister doesn't really cook, and one night a week he and the kids get their favorite "Mom's not home" dinner - mac & cheese and hot dogs.  The rest of the week we try to get an actual dinner on the table.  

A lot of prep work goes into this whole dinner thing.  This past weekend, while we were playing with the Princess and the boys, I cooked my ass off.  I made lasagna in the biggest turkey roaster I own, I made a triple batch of white chili, I made muffins to freeze for quick breakfasts, I made meatballs (so. many. meatballs.), and I made cake and frosting for the Princess's birthday.  Today I'm going to prep chicken for fajitas, for fried rice, and for salads.  Oh, and I'm going to make chicken tenders.

The idea comes from Once a Month Cooking, but I only do it for a two week span because I only have a small freezer.  We realized after this weekend that we're going to have to budget for a chest freezer in the next month or so.  

The idea is this.  All of this stuff is basically ready to go.  The Mister is usually home with the kids in the afternoon because he works third shift, and the Libertine usually gets home before me anyway.  All they need to do is reheat whatever is for dinner that night, and prep the side dish.  Let's say we're having chicken fajitas.  I'll take the chicken out of the freezer in the morning and leave it in the fridge.  The Mister or the Libertine just has to reheat it in a frying pan (the veggies are already frozen in with the chicken), and then prep cheese, tortillas, beans, or whatever.  One of them will usually make a batch of rice so I can throw a quick Spanish rice together when I walk in the door.  Lots of what I pre-freeze is crockpot ready, like the meatballs.  If you didn't know, a meatball is one versatile little dish!  

Cooking like this sounds expensive, and it can be if you don't plan carefully.  I try to stock up on meat when it goes on sale, and I try to keep things simple so that I'm not making really complicated dishes with a million ingredients.  If you can scratch cook, and you're a good planner, you can do this for less than you think.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Anticipating Some Fun


This weekend I don't have to work, and the Libertine and the Princess are coming to spend the weekend with us.  We are so excited to spend the weekend together, to let the kids play and run around, to just be.

The Princess is turning six at the beginning of September, so we are going to make cake, and spaghetti and meatballs, and just have a grand time celebrating.  We're hoping the kids really get into the swing of the weekend and have a camp out in our playroom, complete with sleeping bags and our play tent.  The image in my head is of piles of pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, the kids' mattresses and all of us sleeping after a night of playing and watching movies.

And in the morning, I'm making waffles!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Poly House


There are so many different flavors of polyamory.  My favorite particular flavor involves lots of family time, whether it's with the Libertine taking a day off with me, or just spending an afternoon with him and the Princess and my kids.  Our children are surrounded by adults that love each other, that support each other.  I love that my kids get to see their mother be loved by multiple partners.  I love that we are raising them in an atmosphere of honesty and consent and trust.  They trust the Libertine, and ask after him when he isn't around.  The Monkey is constantly asking if we get to see the Princess this weekend.  They love the extended pieces of our family.

In the beginning, there was a lot of fear regarding the kids.  The first time the Libertine stayed the night, I made him get up well before the kids and be gone before they were awake.  I didn't want to confuse them.  Slowly, and sort of by accident (alarm clocks can be cruel), the boys became used to the Libertine being home in the morning.  That first morning, we got up and made waffles, and spent a morning being a family.  The Mister came home from work (he works 3rd shift) and the five of us played, watched TV, and relaxed.  And it was awesome.  

We're coming up on six months together, and the Libertine, the Mister, and I are discussing cohabitation.  The Monkey and the Mongoose are so used to seeing the Libertine almost every day, going grocery shopping as a family, just being together, that I doubt it will even register to them that this isn't a nuclear family dynamic until they get to the age where they compare against their peers.  The Monkey goes to preschool, but at his age he doesn't yet understand what a "normal" family is.

Cohabitation sounds like such a big deal, but for us it's just the next thing.  Everyone is on board.  The Mister and I are not struggling anymore.  We're figuring out how to give everyone alone time, how to give each end of the V a chance to connect on a daily basis.  There's a lot of negotiation, and communication.  I know that "communicate!" is something you hear over and over in the poly community, but it is so critical that it can't be stressed enough.  

Without communicating, I wouldn't know that the Mister just wants to hear "I love you" a little more.  Or that the Libertine wanted a space to keep his laptop so that he could work on side projects while at home with us.  Neither of them would know that I need at least 30 minutes to myself when I get home, without interruption from kids or dogs or partners, just to recenter.  

Right now it looks like we'll be changing things and making a second adult bedroom space within the next 6-8 weeks.  The Libertine is keeping his apartment, but at this point he really only stays there 1 or 2 nights a week.  We eat dinner together just about every night.  

It's truly becoming a poly household, and I couldn't be happier.
 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Visceral

Some things are universal, whether you're poly or not. The connections we make with people imprint on us for years after those connections are gone. Relationships have the power to lift us up, throw us down, and fuck us up.

Last night I came within 50 feet of an ex-boyfriend, and the panic that rose in my throat shocked me. I was overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, and the impulse to run. The loop in my head was "don't see me, don't see me, don't see me."

This person is at the core of so much of my baggage. We lived together for several years, none of them great, and when I finally asked him to leave it was messy, awful, scary, and life changing. I'm still unable to tell the story, even to the Mister.

Even this morning, thinking of that brief glimpse of him, I'm stuck in a headspace that reminds me of rock bottom, moving home at 25, broke and with nothing but the clothes on my back. Depression, shame, and guilt are creeping up on me uncontrollably. Rationally I know that it wasn't really my fault, that I needed to go through that experience to get where I am now, but it broke me so completely that 7 years later I can't talk about it.

I love my life right now. I love my partners and my job and myself. I just don't love what it took to get here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

So... that happened.


The Libertine and I have a very active sex life.  In the just over 5 months we have been dating, if you did some math, you would come up with, very conservatively, roughly 450 instances of us fucking.  Which, we admit, is a bit excessive.  The point is, we fuck a lot.

In early June the Libertine moved into a new apartment, and bought a new bed.  We haven't spent much more than a handful of nights at his apartment for logistical reasons, but it would be safe to say we've had sex in his bed somewhere between 20 and 40 times in the roughly 60 days he's owned it.  One afternoon recently we stopped at his apartment for some afternoon delight, and things got even more ... energetic than normal.  Downright acrobatic, even.  So, there we are, with our heads at the foot of the bed, having a great time, and suddenly this amazing metallic groaning began.  It was the same sound of incredible stress and fatigue that the Titanic made when the aft half of the ship separated from the bow, right before it hit the water. Finally, there came the sound of welds popping and the resounding thud of the bed frame slamming into the floor.  

After the initial shock and realization of what had just happened came the most ridiculous bout of laughter I've ever had. We were still mid-fuck, still entwined in each other, but now at the crazy 60 degree angle of a bed that has suddenly lost a corner support. Once the laughter died down, we did the only sensible thing - we kept fucking! For a brief moment I thought we were going to be okay and that we could ride out the crazy angle of the bed until we were finished. Not a second after I finished that thought, the mattress slid even further, depositing me on the floor on my shoulders and neck with my ankles by my ears. The Libertine barely managed to catch himself from going totally over with me by bracing his hands on the wall behind me, legs still trailing behind him on the bed.  

For those of you that know us in real life, I apologize for that mental image.

Also, did you know that trying to have sex while your partner is laughing uncontrollably is extremely uncomfortable for men?  Awkward position and physical and emotional discomfort aside, the Libertine still managed a grand finale. He performed with aplomb. So... that happened.