The Announcement To K’s Mums

Early on, we always agreed that the one thing we would do when (or if) we found out to be pregnant was to wait until the 3 month safety zone before we would announce to anyone. We couldn’t bare the thought of announcing something great and everyone being over the moon, only to have to re-announce to a lot of people that something tragic had happened.
Of course, we would probably have told our nearest and dearest if the worst had happened if we hadn’t got to the 3 months as I feel they’d deserve to know, but during the twelve week wait we wanted to keep quiet so that we could be left alone when it came to brewing a baby without any questions.

I had to tell my work colleagues pretty much straight away as I have a very active job, meaning as soon as someone falls pregnant they have to become office-bound. I didn’t want to become office bound to be honest, as I enjoy being out and about, but there was no way I was going to take any risks. As soon as I told people at work, it spread like wild fire and I had to keep reminding people not to mention anything on Facebook which actually turned out to be ok as people were surprisingly respectful of that wish considering people were really happy for us and wanted to share the news.

Anyway, the weeks went by and we had several sticky situations, for example, I usually eat my steaks medium rare; so when I went round to my sister and boyfriends house for dinner one night with S, my sister was surprised when I asked for a well done steak. Thankfully, I boshed her looks away by saying that it’s easier just to go along with S (who liked well done steaks) to make cooking easier for the boyfriend who was cooking his first steak. Score.

Other sticky instances have include being subtly slapped by S to uncross my legs (I can do this and actually enjoy it now I lost a ton of weight on my legs!), which was covered up by S saying I’ve been moaning about veins – lie – when she was caught doing it. I’ve also been questioned about asking for non-alcoholic drinks at pubs when we’ve been with friends (thankfully, I still have the “driving” card), and finally the fact that I went back into baggy clothing.

A lot of the time, people were afraid to ask as they understood that it’s not very polite to ask a couple who have been TTC for a while whether they are pregnant, but at the same time I understand the signs they see before them.

Anyway, the day finally came when we could announce. We had had a few “trial runs” or “red herrings” between S and I over the years where we would arrange to see everyone at my mums house for a nice catch up – we usually planned this around a time we came back from a holiday, for example, so we could hand out gifts. During these occasions, I would get asked, how “everything” was going, and I would answer “same ol’ same ol” and the conversation was dropped. Perfect. I know deep down that every time I had arranged these get togethers that my mum and sister would be sat at the edge of their seats waiting for THE announcement, but when it didn’t come they soon calmed down. I knew what they were thinking.

So when they day finally came, we had arranged that we would visit on the pretence of doing some gardening for mum and as we hadn’t seen the rest of the family for a while, it would be nice to see everyone. I would be bringing cake (an announcement cake in my head) which wasn’t an odd thing to do.

We bought a plain cake from our local supermarket that you could print things like photos onto and decided to write our message on that so than rather than going “Guess what” we would let someone else open the lid to the cake and get a huge surprise… and what a surprise it was.

Hand-Decorated by K!

Hand-Decorated by K!

There were tears and genuine sobbing, as well as a lot of happy screaming. It was the best reaction we could have asked for. Plus, we got to eat cake! What topped it off was that we were also able to present the 12 week scan picture – which meant that we had passed the danger zone and they were free to ask questions and that they did – hell, they had 3 months to catch up on!

K

Pick A Card, Any Card… Or Not… Part Two.

Whilst writing our previous post; talking about my mother’s wife, my Mac (or perhaps the application I was using (Pages)), decided that it was acceptable to notify me that “wife” was a gender specific term and that perhaps the word “spouse” would be more appropriate in the sentence I was using.

Words are beyond me at the moment.

K

 

Pick A Card, Any Card… Or Not.

As some of you probably know by now, I am an LGBT child. The most important years of my life were shared with my mum’s wife, A. She raised me through my teenage years, through the good times and the bad and because of this, both my sister and I class her as our mum. We have done for many many years.

So, with this, every year my sister and I buy cards for Birthdays, Christmases and pretty much any occasion that we see fit, with “To a Special Mum” or the like on the front. We don’t have to think about it, we just do it.

However, it has only been of recent when S and I have been doing joint “To you, from Us” cards that the lack of cards for “To My Mum and her Wife” or “To my wonderful Mothers” and the like are practically non-existant and it has really angered me. (Whether it is because I am coming to the end of AF and I’m a little emotional, but I almost cried with anger today).

Sure, I can find the cards I want in “special” shops where you can find “Mrs and Mrs” cards, but I am lucky to live in one of the gay capitals of England where shops like these can be found with ease and not down a dark alley, but what about other locations? Gays don’t just live in gay capitals, we’re everywhere! Regardless of whether I can get the card elsewhere, I shouldn’t have to go to these special shops to get a “mum and mum” card, I should be able to grab it in a mainstream store, right?

I can accept that perhaps there won’t be a card for every occasion or scenario such as “To My Father and his ginger partner”, I can accept that, but in this era where ladies and gentleman are now (legally) marrying the same sex, surely someone like Hallmark should be adding us to their stock? It should be embraced; not just as a money making chance but to accept that LBGT couples/parents exist on the same shelf as hetro-sexual couples and have done for a long time not just because the law has now changed.

I know that the guys at Hallmark are pretty slow on the uptake, it’s only been a few years since the “To my Mum and her Partner” card was released (trust me, I know) but I find it unacceptable that there are still no LGBT cards, even if we were stowed away with the “To my Cat at Christmas” cards – at least it was something.

From a more personal note, I am disgusted and saddened to think that when our child comes to buy their Christmas cards, there won’t be any “Mum and Mum” or “To my Mums” cards, and they will have to be restricted to buying two separate cards because I am sure as hell not being the partner side of the “To My Mum and her Partner” card!

So, come on Hallmark, get with the times! Don’t make me have to add an “S” on the end of “Mum” again.

K

LGBT Families – A Post From an LGBT Child.

This week, I have read several posts about “Blogging for LGBT Families”. All of them were really interesting reads, however it was clear that the majority of the writers were those already with child. There weren’t many in the TTC process – which made me sad. I really wanted to be included, because we’re trying at the end of the day and are trying to create an LGBT family, but I guess that didn’t count. Plus, I didn’t know what to write about.

And then it struck me… I AM an LGBT child.

After my dad died when I was ten, my mum was a single mum for a number of years. She raised my sister and I, and did a sterling job at it too. She always put us first and for a number of years it was just us three. When I was fourteen, however, she came out. (Now, we could go on for days about the history of it all, but this isn’t what this post is about – maybe I’ll write about it one day).

So, we accepted the change. Not that it was hard; nothing really changed – her love was still there and we still loved her. She was the same person after all. Over time, she met several people but finally settled down with our now step-mum, A, and they got married ten years ago.

My Mums.

My Mums.

Now, it wasn’t all plain sailing. A had a lot to get used to. A had to get used to teenagers and their mood swings. She also had to get used to being in an LGBT family. She had to get used to being asked questions, whether my sister and I were “theirs”. Likewise, we had to get used to people asking about our situation and whether A was the “Dad”. I was literally the only person in the school with two mums… and not because of divorce like other kids but because my mum was a fucking lesbian! How awesome! Kids at school would sometimes be mean, but that was nothing a swift kick to the shin wouldn’t fix.

Nevertheless, my sister and I knew we were “different” not that we felt that way, but we really couldn’t care less. At first I looked on and wondered whether it would be different if my dad was around and whether I would be different if he was, but I quickly found out I really couldn’t answer that.

If anything, I thrived on being “different”. I enjoyed having a cool story to tell (apart from the death bit, that’s never cool) about having two mums. Even as an adult, people would ask questions, expecting me to have a third eye or a twitch, but I didn’t. I was “normal” and survived having two mums!

At the end of the day, my mum and A raised my sister and I through the teenage years… The years I think are one of the most important periods. You have painful love losses, your body changes and you’re making important decisions about everything from your career to yourself. I really don’t think it would have made a blind bit of difference if it was just my mum with me making those decisions or my mum and A. I would have made them regardless. But nevertheless, A was there, and she made a difference in whatdecision I made and for that I am thankful.

Now, we’re here with S and I. We’re trying to have a baby of our own and I couldn’t be more excited! Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared as hell about the questions my child will ask and how we will explain them, or what questions kids at school will ask and how our child will deal with them. It’s terrifying. I just hope that we raise them well to stand up and be proud and not hate us for putting them in that situation, or think that they’re freaks.

I guess this is the society we live in (at the moment, anyway). Gayby’s are still perceived rare, certainly in the UK.

I just hope one day, LGBT families can walk down the road and not have someone take a double take to “work it out” or even have to take the time to ask “so who’s the mum”, that it is just something that happens and another option in baby making for everyone.

Let’s hope anyway.

K

2013familyday

Mum – Version 1.2

I guess today, of all the days, is a good day to tell you about my up-bringing. See, today is my 2nd mums’, mum #2’s, my mums’ wife’s’ birthday! Happy Birthday, A. It’s her 31st Anniversary of being 21.

Starting at the beginning… when I was 10 my dad passed away after battling bowel cancer. My mum and dad had been married just over 21 years. They were best friends and met many moons ago in Devon.

A few months later, after much discussion, my mum, my sister and I moved down to Brighton – to start a new life. The reason why Brighton was chosen was because not only was it a regular haunt for my mum and dad, but it was a vibrant and exciting place in comparison to the Kent village we were born in. We had always visited Brighton as young kids and enjoyed the beach and sea air very much – not to mention the people, who were always so colourful.

Once we moved and were settled, many months later, my mum started dating. However, to cut a loooong story short, it wasn’t working. For she had a big announcement. She was gay – and not in the slang term that’s used today to describe something that’s rubbish – but proper gay.

The fact that my mum felt that she had to date guys to “please” us is beyond me… it’s certainly not something that we requested – but in her eyes, she thought she was doing the right thing in trying to find a father figure (my sister was/is a daddy’s girl), when really, all she was doing was making herself more and more unhappy. To put it in her own words “One day, you’re going to fly the nest. Once this happens, I don’t want to be stuck with someone I don’t particularly want to be with for the sake of giving you a father figure” (again, not that we requested it).

Now, words cannot describe how I felt that day when she came out – I was happy (that she was happy) and yet sad (as we had gotten so used to having mum all to ourselves). That said, it was mainly happiness as we were sat in McDonalds and I had just finished my 2nd cheeseburger.

It was weird (not the burger, that was good) as I, at the age of 13, had not met any gay people, let alone had one in the family! Mum stated that she had always been gay, but at the same time found love in her best friend (my dad). I guess you really can’t help who you fall in love with.

*I could go into detail about their history, but I think I’ll leave that filed in “not for the blog”.*

Anyway, I digress. Once the dust had settled and we got used to everything (I don’t really know what I mean by “everything” as my mum didn’t change at all. She didn’t start wearing new lumberjack boots or shave her head to a number 3 (she already did that!), I guess what I mean by “everything” is simply the fact that I had to get used to the house being an all woman house (awesome)) she started dating… women.

It wasn’t log before my mum found her first partner, J. They were together for a few years before she sadly died. *This is another moment in time whereby I will file this story under “not for the blog”*.

To lighten the mood after all this death, I’d like to let you know that over the years my mum gained the title “The Black Widow”. It still makes me laugh to this today. Morbid, I know, but when you’ve had so much death in your life (and within the early days of life) you have to make do and see the funny side (eventually).

Again, I digress. A few years later, my mum then met A, and a few years after that; they got married (or civil partnered if you prefer). We gained a step-brother in a dog called Charlie and A gained step-daughters in me and my sister as well as our four cats.

Now, A could not have joined the family at a worse time. My sister and I were young teenagers which meant mood-swings, tantrums and arguments every few minutes. A hadn’t had any children and had only had contact with young toddlers via her brother. A had gone from not knowing anything about children to being thrown in between two hormonally charged teenage females. She had to get used to the ten minute rule (whereby when you ask a teenager to do something they won’t do it straight away) and the fact that our lives were over pretty much all the time. To say that she coped is an understatement – not only did she do brilliantly, she survived!

I was 15 when A came into my life and although I had already gone through 15 years of my life, I don’t think I did the main growing up bit until after that time. There wasn’t much (real) life learning (apart from who had the best Pog’s to swap and who so-and-so fancied) before then and no (real) decisions were made. Having A in my life at such a crucial time in my life probably made me who I am today. Sure at the time I didn’t think so when she threw stuff at me because I hadn’t got off my arse to do the washing up after asking me three times (“I’LL DO IT IN A MINUTE!!”) but looking back now, it was great.

Sure, you could go into detail and debate about when a person really starts “growing up”, but for me it’s simple. When a person starts thinking for themselves, starts forming opinions and choices – THAT’S when you’re growing up. Yes, you’re always “growing up” and making choices about whether you like sprouts or not – but when I refer to growing up, I mean maturing and becoming your own person.

My mum was happy and we were happy. What more could you have asked for? Sure we were “different” but who isn’t?

At 25, I still enjoy stating that not only did I get to grow up in Brighton (by the sea) that others who were born here really do take for granted, but I did it in a special way that no-one else can imagine or compare to. I grew up with TWO mum’s. They both taught me and guided me and created the person I am today. The fact that A wasn’t blood made it more unique, she was able to bring her own personality into things. It was great!

Speaking with people who still ask to this day “Do you think you would have been different person growing up in a “normal” family” I quickly correct them and say “No”. For a straight family isn’t “normal” it’s just common.

Happy Birthday, A.

K