Mother's Day poly manifesto: "It takes a child to raise a village."
Speaking of poly women webcomic artists with kids (my last post)... Anna Hirsch, who draws The New PolyAnna, posts this article to the Strong Families Project1 for today's theme of Mother's Day:
It Takes a Child to Raise a Village
By Anna Hirsch
Anna with her friend's oldest child.
My Mama's Day story begins in a place that is unfamiliar to many: polyamory. If you don't know that word, that's probably because you've never known any way to have a romantic relationship other than with one other person, or with one person at a time. That's the way most people do relationships, and it may be the only way you've ever learned relationships can be. But the truth is that you have always had the power to choose how your relationships work. I didn’t know growing up that one day I would be married and have a boyfriend. But here I am with two loving and committed relationships. Plus, my husband and my boyfriend are friends.
...And it has transformed how I love myself and how I treat others in almost every way, including how I understand family and build community.
A year and a half ago, I leaned into my sister's cheek while she clutched my hand. Instead of telling her to breathe, I just breathed deeply myself, letting her hear my love in every calm inhale and every strong exhale. I couldn't do what she was doing. And neither I nor my sister could do what that little baby inside her was doing. But all of us somehow were working together to reveal the mystery of life.
I am so grateful for that first birth experience, watching my sister become a mama. Yet some of my dearest polyamorous friends are still surprised to hear me say that. You see, this woman is not my biological sister. She is my friend and someone whose camaraderie I have cherished. She is also one of my husband’s sweethearts.
After a year spent preparing for the birth of an adorable, smart, incredibly delightful baby, we adopted each other as sisters. We also adopted each other as sisters because we had decided — like many of my closest friends — that love is thicker than blood, and that love is abundant. It was love that gave me the courage to ask my friend to be her birthing companion. We were a team, in fact, with both of the potential fathers pitching in as well.
No, it was not the pregnancy that my husband and I had been hoping or planning for....
Read on (May 10, 2013).
Anna Hirsch, awesomeness whisperer, is an activist, artist, counselor, and runner who lives and loves in Oakland, CA, and invites you to visit her blog www.newpolyanna.com to learn more about polyamory, and to check out her portfolio at www.activisteditor.com to learn about hiring her for your editing/writing needs.
This blog post is part of the Strong Families Mama’s Day Our Way celebration. You can read more posts in the series on the Strong Families blog. Strong Families is a national initiative led by Forward Together. Our goal is to change the way people think, act and talk about families.
1. Description: "Strong Families is a home for the 4 out of 5 people living in the US who do not live behind the picket fence — whose lives fall outside outdated notions of family, with a mom at home and a dad at work. While that life has never been the reality for most of our families, too many of the policies that affect us are based on this fantasy. From a lack of affordable childcare and afterschool programs, to immigration policy and marriage equality, the way we make policy and allocate resources needs to catch up to the way we live.
"We see the trend of families defining themselves beyond the picket fence — across generation, race, gender, immigration status, and sexuality — as a powerful and promising development for the US, and we want to help policy makers catch up.
"Our vision is that every family have the rights, recognition and resources it needs to thrive. We are engaging hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals in our work to get there."