By Jody Valley
Calling all support
Q: My lover, “Hal,” makes more money than I do. So, he thinks that I should compensate for this by doing more work around the house. I think this sucks. I work as hard as he does, even work more hours a week, sometimes. So, Mr. Big Bucks sits on his butt and knits while I run the vacuum, cook the dinner, and take the dog for his walks. How do I let him know that this is unfair?
Maid of the House
A: What century does this guy, Hal, come from? And, in what closet did you hide your backbone? Need I go further?
Q: When my partner, “Lisa,” and I got together, she had two children, a boy (3 years old) and girl (5 years old). There was no father involved and I took on the role of the second parent, totally. I love those children and see them completely as my own. I have been active in every facet of their lives, from taking care of them when they are sick to taking time off from work to take them to the doctor’s or to a school function.
Three years ago, I decided that I wanted to experience having a child. I talked to Lisa about it and she agreed to my having a baby as well. She also said that she would totally want to parent my child, and make the baby hers like I have with her biological two children.
Now, I have given birth to a beautiful baby boy. The other children love him and think of him as their brother. I was so happy to see how well he blended into our family – that is, with the kids. At first, I felt that Lisa was happy, too. I swear she seemed like she loved the baby. But now, it feels like she has distanced herself from him. She pays most all of her attention to her bio kids, and very little to the baby.
The other day when she came home from work, I brought this to her attention and she got really angry with me. She said that she loves the baby, but she just feels tired from working all day and taking care of all the needs of the two older kids. She then said that since I had the baby, I haven’t paid as much attention to the older kids and that she has had to give them extra attention.
It is true that I have had to give the baby attention and surely that does take time away from the older kids, but how can I help that? If Lisa helped me more with the baby, I could give the older ones more of my attention.
Now, I sometimes think we made the wrong decision to let me give birth and bring another child into our family. I hate feeling that way. This baby deserves two parents who really want him. Last night, I woke up and couldn’t sleep. All I could do was cry. I’m a mess. I so wanted this to be a good thing, not something that pulls our family apart. But the baby is here, so what can we do?
A: I think I’m hearing about two moms who are pretty overwhelmed and tired with work and raising children. I think you both need a get-away weekend to have some time to yourselves, and relax. At that time, you need to talk about how you are both feeling. I think you will probably find that you are both just feeling some of the natural feelings other young families feel trying to work, and then come home and take care of your kids. I would also suggest that you join, if available in your area, a lesbian/gay family group, so you can compare family-raising notes with other young families. Maybe I’m wrong, but I really don”t think from what you have said that this is about your bio kid vs. her bio kids.