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Queer parents - Page 5

post #81 of 577

Seraf--outside of Cleveland.  


1mommy1mama--We went to Great Wolf Lodge in February and had a blast!  DS1 talks about the waterpark all the time and really looks forward to going again next year.  As far as suck needs, now that DS2 getting milk (DW's milk came in) the suck need has chilled out a bit...he still likes the paci to re-settle, but is quite content in general (I am praying that colic doesn't rear its ugly head--it was brutal with DS1).  

post #82 of 577
Originally Posted by prettyisa View Post

Starling--how long have you been a mod? smile.gif Do you ever listen to Josh Ritter? Every time I see your name I get his Snow is Gone song stuck in my head (which is lovely for spring).


Isa ... I've been a mod for several months, but they've just now assigned forums.  The ones I'm moderating are the ones I've spent the most time in over the years.

I don't know Josh Ritter, but now I'll go check him out!  I'm always looking for new music ... thanks!



Originally Posted by wishin'&hopin' View Post

Speaking of DW, she is starting to feel a bit better--the day her milk came in was ROUGH.  Currently she has an appt to get a unit of blood tomorrow, but we are debating whether to stick to another round of IV iron (it takes two weeks to kick in).  I think the hardest part at the moment for her is feeling like she can't help--the hardest part for me is feeling like she can't help.  We'll make it tho'!  It helps that the little is so chill--he is good errand company and I'm able to give DW breaks from both boys between nursing sessions (DS1 didn't have breaks between nursing sessions!).  We are hoping he stays "easy" once he really wakes up!  

Wishin ... SO GLAD to hear that she's starting to feel better.  Our first never stopped nursing until she was about 18 months old.  She wanted to nurse all. the. time.  I was so surprised when H didn't have that same need.  It was like parenting a totally different species!  I used to think that E was our 'easy' baby, but H is waaaaaaaay more laid back than she is.  So interesting to get to know your new kid. 

Originally Posted by onemommyonemama View Post


starling - are you in Toronto area?


Funny, H and I were in TO just last week, for an author tour, but now we're home again in Vancouver.  Do you ever come out this way?


Originally Posted by seraf View Post

Starling, you have to rub in Canada's maternity leave? Just kidding. I'm glad to see more of you again. What is your oldest doing school-wise?

QOTD: What do you and your partner look like? Just generally, hair, style, masculinity or femininity, visible tattoos, other things strangers notice?

Oh Seraf, how I wish I could wrangle all you fine Americans a fine national parental leave program like ours!  I *truly* believe that it is the best asset a nation can have towards building a compassionate future.  I think it's criminal that you are all denied the amount of time that so many other countries enjoy!  


About schooling for E ... We're not doing anything, per se.  Just continuing what we've been doing (it's all over my blog), which is project-based homelearning, loosely put.  It's interesting to see what her peers are and will be doing.  So many options!  We've always been set on homeschooling, so we're not having to deal with the turmoil that a lot of our friends with similarly aged children are going through.  There is a lot of choice within homeschooling too, mind you, but we're set on interest-led learning, so that takes care of that.  So, no packaged curriculum, no adhering to provincial curriculum, no public school "homeschool programs," and no weekly accounting to a distributed-learning school either.  


A lot of people do DL here, because you get $1000/yr towards lessons, classes, etc, but the trade off is that you have to be accountable to prescribed learning outcomes.  We don't have to register her at all until she's nearly 7 (kindy is optional, and she's a January baby), and at that point we plan to register her as Section 12, which means that we take full and sole responsibility for her education, and therefore don't get the $1000 annually, but nor do we have to do anything with any curriculum or learning outcomes and no testing whatsoever.  


Basically, provincially sanctioned unschooling.  I balk at the unschooling label though, because we actually do a lot of deliberate learning, even though we don't do many structured classes or lessons.  Also, we don't fit into the unschooling milleu in that we limit screentime, have regular bedtimes, monitor what our kids eat, and require and expect certain behaviours from them.  I guess we're more eclectic homelearners, if we had to pick a label. 


QOTD allowance:  No plans to do any kind of allowance any time soon. Both children have bank accounts.  We put in the government supplement each month, plus they get Christmas and birthday money.  When E wants something specific, she can use her own money or ask us for it.  If she wants something we encourage her to take careful note of it and put it on her Christmas or birthday lists.  She has a piggy bank with change in it, and she can use coins out of there to buy a cookie to share with H.  She goes into the store and does the purchase herself (chooses, asks, pays, gets change, says thanks, etc) and often is in charge of buying our groceries, etc.  


QOTD looks:

Me: short, fluffy, tattooed, glasses, longer hair, femme-please-and-thank-you.

DP: taller, fluffy, tattooed +++, buzz cut, butch-thank-you-very-much.

post #83 of 577
Thread Starter 
Starling, government supplement? Your description of the term unschooling made me snort with laughter. Thanks. We don't have sanctioned unschooling here (or 1000 a year) but we write up a list of basic educational media (maps! Books! Internet!) and re-submit the same stuff every year. Once a year they see a teacher of our choosing who sits and chats with them about all things educational and signs a form saying they're learning according to their abilities. We bring in whatever scraps of paper we can find showing the beginning and end of year so she can see that they probably learned something. I haven't been to your blog in a while, I'll add it to my list.
post #84 of 577

Off to the infusion center for blood today (woo-hoo!)  And, can I just say, if we'd had DS2 first we'd have been tricked into thinking parenting was easy ;)  It's absolutely amazing, once DW stopped eating broccoli, he morphed into sleepy/easy boy.  Of course, if he gets colic in another week I'll be eating my words!  I hadn't realized how HIGH needs DS1 was as a newborn (and infant and toddler) until we think about what our newborn experiences with him were like.  


And, Starling, we saw Josh Ritter in concert before he was at all "famous" (at an Oberlin college folk festival)--we really enjoyed him and his music.  

post #85 of 577
Thread Starter 
Wishin, I hope he stays easy. The broccoli issue might be a short lived one, so don't be afraid to test it every now and again.
post #86 of 577

Hey everyone,


Do you have any important reads on discipline that you would recommend?  What resources have been important/ key for you? I learn best by reading about things - and I'm finding myself needing some more direction lately. Thanks!

post #87 of 577
Hi Everyone,

OMOM: My kid is younger than your oldest, but recently I've been reading and enjoying How to Talk So Kids Will Listen..., Siblings without Rivalry, and 1, 2, 3... The Toddler Years. I'll be interested to hear what other people recommend.

Wishin: I'm glad that your little one is turning out to be an easy newborn. I hope that your wife feels much better soon!

Carmen: That's some fantastic maternity leave you're going to have!

Hi to everyone else! Sorry I don't have the energy for more personals right now.

AFM: We're still trying to figure out what I should do about a two night work trip I have scheduled for next week. It would be the first time our son didn't have both moms home at night, and last week when we did a trial run of me not being around at night he cried a lot in the middle of the night and I eventually went in to nurse. I feel like I'm being overprotective if I don't go on the trip, but I hate to do it when I know that it is likely to make him quite unhappy.
post #88 of 577
Thread Starter 
OMOM, I haven't read anything good in ages. I just did what all my friends did with discipline because their kids were awesome. It sounds like that REI (RIE?) stuff is the name for it.

Escher, from the other thread, I know you live in a more urban environment and walk more than us, otherwise I'd say to let him walk. Lol. I did high back carries and hip slings when I was pregnant with #2. I really hated anything touching my belly with #3 so the rare times DD was carried, she went on my back. I wasn't a carrier gal, so I used above belly carries. I also utilized the stroller more while pregnant. We bought our first stroller for DP to walk Shay when I was at work when she hit third trimester. No good advice about work. Too bad he can't come. Haha. I doubt it would scar him to spend two nights with his loving mom. He knows he's safe with her even if he can't have milk whenever. I nightweaned DD when she was almost 2 and I knew I was going to be away from her for the first overnight (I took a night shift job, so I knew it would be a long term thing). Good luck with whatever feels right for your family.
post #89 of 577

Carmen--that is sooo awesome you're able to take that much leave! what are the maternity leave laws in Canada? Does everyone get that much leave? Paid? Just curious. :) I get 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Woop. I'm grateful for it, but I do envy those in other countries that get more (I know France gets 1 year paid leave, and I think they are the ones who get the government paid nanny/housekeeper for a year too).


Isa--Mywife and I both moved here separately and for different reasons, but I think we both have decided to stay because it is so progressive, there are many more like-minded folk, it is super queer friendly, and it is beautiful here. I moved here from the midwest when I was 22 after hitchhiking around the country for a while. It just felt like home when I arrived. Lots of friendly down-to-earth people, lots and lots of trees, water nearby...I love it. My wife moved here from LA...she was sort of following her cousin after being in the conservation corp. She was in her early 20s at the time. I am completely set against living in LA and she does not want to move too far away from California, so though I miss my family in MIchigan, this is a good place for our family. Our girls get to grow up in a place where our family is mostly accepted and welcomed, and where we are not the only queer family. That is nice for them. And we have beautiful hiking and camping around here, and lots of cool things to do.


QOTD: I have short light brown hair, changes often, sometimes a mohawk. I wear glasses and gauged earrings. I am a bit more femme than my wife. She is shorter than I, thin, shaggy short brown hair. Wears mostly men's clothing, but definitely not butch. She is dykey, though, I'd say. Gauged ears. Cute sense of style. I have a couple small tattoos on my arms, one on my ankle, and a tattoo on my foot. My wife has a couple tattoos on her calves. :) I'd say we're a pretty cute couple.

post #90 of 577

QOTD: I think I'm pretty mainstream looking. I'm fairly tall (5'9), short hair, nothing highly unique that strangers notice :) My DP is almost as tall as me. She hasn't had a hair cut for over 20 years so that's fairly noticeable ;) I would say neither of us falls on one side of the butch/femme fence for long - it depends on what we're wearing or how we're feeling I guess.


omom: I heard "Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves" mentioned recently but I haven't read it yet so no personal recommendation. I like "Playful Parenting" and Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting." 


Coco, by law, everyone in Canada gets 52 weeks off. It's a combo of maternity leave and parental leave. The non-gestational parent can take the parental leave if you want to share it. For those 52 weeks you can claim government employment insurance (if you've been paying into it - it's mandatory off your paycheques unless you are self employed - my DP doesn't get it for example). It's not very much money at all - I think 40 percent of your wages up to a limit of about 400.00/week. But it helps pay the bills (and the bills are high over here in Vancouver ;) ). Some companies and unions top up that amount for the 52 weeks to anywhere from 75-100% of your full wage. Unfortunately, I work for the only public union in BC that doesn't top up at all. However, my employer allows for 18 months leave without pay. So basically I get 1 year with a little pay, I'll take 3 months with saved up sick/vacation/OT leave (full pay) and 3 months with nothing. And yes, we're super fortunate for the law up here....I can't believe the US is so far behind...it's terribly unfair. 




post #91 of 577

About Canadian mat leave ... the value in it, as Carmen says, is the *time.*, rather than the income.  We pay ourselves for the privilege, and I'm thankful for it as an enforced way to make sure there is something there to pay your bills when you're off.

It interesting to see some families struggle to manage finances while they're off.

Some go into debt because they cannot afford to live on 1.3 incomes (or whatever it works out to be) and so they lean on lines of credit or credit cards.  I know of one family who will be traveling for the last 6 months of the leave because they won't be able to afford to keep their apartment here.

Some folks off work are so unused to being at home that they end up shopping *a lot* to fill the time ... I see so many stroller posses in the shops, and they're mostly moms to babies <1yr, out for coffee, or lunch, or cruising the baby stores for that one must-have item.  That adds up FAST.

I'd love to see a cultural shift to a point where there isn't the 'must-have' push for baby gear.  Drives me INSANE.



That sucks about the top-up, Carmen!  Our union does it for full timers, so I've never had the top up.  They top up to 85%, which is sure a nice perk!

I did consider (for about three seconds) going full time so that I could get the top up, but then you're obliged to return to that full time position for a minimum of six months after your return to work, or pay back the difference (my friend owes them $6k because she never went back!)  

Keeping in mind that I don't want to be a paramedic at all anymore, that wasn't going to happen.  

post #92 of 577
Input from another Canadian here! I'll be taking the 15 weeks I'm entitled to for giving birth, but may end up starting it at the earliest available opportunity, which is 8 weeks before my EDD. In theory, my company has to accommodate me in my pregnant state, and the union says they'll be putting pressure on them to do so, but I'm not holding my breath. So, the maternity part of my leave may run out as early as 7 weeks after the baby arrives.

As for the remaining 37 weeks, which is parental leave that can be split among parents... Well, the original plan was for me to take it all. Then we found out that because I'm going back to trade school next week, and will be collecting employment insurance for those 10 weeks within the same 52 week time frame as I'll be becoming a parent, I lose that time from my eligible parental benefit. Luckily, it looks like DP will be able to take those 10 weeks instead, and her union gives a top-up to almost full wages (mine has none), so it'll work out. Still, I'm pretty pissed about the situation... I understand that I still have it better than many, but like the others said, we pay for the program: I've been paying into it since I was 15 years old, and yet just because I happen to be having a baby at the same time as developing my skills as a tradesperson, I'm not able to collect my full benefit. Anyway.... End of rant! Really I'm happy that I'll at least get 7 months with my baby, and that the kid'll have DP's undivided attention for a good long while too.
post #93 of 577
Thread crashing because your discussion on parental leave is so fascinating I looked up the laws internationally http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave . Surprisingly it seems that only 4 countries don't provide paid leave through a national law - Liberia, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland and the United States. I am amazed that there is not more public pressure in the US to change that, especially since the American birthrate is pretty high as compared to other western nations, so most people of voting age are affected.
post #94 of 577
Starling: Something you wrote on Offbeat Families just showed up in my RSS reader! What fun!

More later....
post #95 of 577

Granite ... You can take an additional 10 weeks for medical leave, before and not including the 52 weeks.  That means you can take 62 weeks total.

I can let you know how to do this, if you want to PM me, or email me through my blog (link in my signature).  It can be a bit tricky, but in your case (trades) and mine (paramedic) it is totally legitimate.


escher ... Thanks for the reminder!  I'll go see how it looks.  Love offbeat! 

post #96 of 577
OMOM—it’s definitely helpful to realize that this stage isn’t forever. Edie just needs us so much of the time now, and we are wondering if we’ll ever be able to do anything in our house without one of us being designated the full-time baby watcher (and, these days, book reader). I get a little sad thinking about her not wanting to cuddle so much, but the idea of her getting passionate about something and really investing her attention in it is exciting, too.

Seraf—You’re back in Columbus, though, right? Have you been able to make any friends there? It’s got to be harder once your kids are older and pulling you in different directions, but there must be some other cool people in that city! Ugh to spending 13 years in a place you dislike, even if it is for the best reason.

Wishin—how is your DP? Did the extra blood help? I’m glad your DS2 is a laid back little guy!

I think my DP and I both look pretty mainstream, as Carmen put it. I’m taller, she’s shorter, we both have brown hair and fair skin. She’s got green eyes, which is more exciting than my brown. I dress more femmey (dresses, skirts, etc), but she’s much more particular about her top matching her pants matching her socks, and so on. We have wedding rings in gold and silver so we never have to mismatch our jewelry (luckily we had two weddings so it made some small amount of sense to buy two sets). And for the first time this weekend someone thought that she was Edie’s bio-mom, so apparently we all look like each other, which I’d long suspected to be the truth anyway.

As for mat leaves—the time would be SO much more valuable to me than the money. If there were a way to take a longer unpaid leave I would have done it instantly, but with my job there’s no option. DP and I are both eligible for the 12 weeks unpaid FMLA leave, and my job did let me use three weeks of vacation and sick time before starting the FMLA, so I got 15 off, total—and found out that I got 50% of my paycheck for 8 weeks because it was counted as short term disability, which was a really nice surprise. DP started her leave before mine ended so we could have three weeks together to travel down to Florida and visit her family, and then stayed home for an additional two months after I was back at work. It was kind of complicated, but totally worth it to be able to each have a good period of time to spend getting used to parenthood.

Starling—I know! I felt like I had to get out of the house every day when the baby was little, and I think it’s hard for most people to come up with something to do in that situation—shopping is such an easy default. Luckily I found a moms group that had a lot of outings, so between that, visiting my DP for lunch at her office, and my friends having weird work schedules I managed to come up with something nearly every day.
post #97 of 577
Thread Starter 
Isa, there are plenty of cool people, I'm just not one of them. ;-) let's say I'm socially awkward and leave it at that.

Maternity leave, sigh, I took 8 weeks after S to save 4 weeks for S2 and I almost lost my job for taking it. They cut my hours severely to punish me for taking them as it was. All unpaid, of course.
post #98 of 577




Popping up from the non stop feedings and diaper changes.. LOL :)


The boys are 12 weeks old and getting big. Aug weighs in at 11 pds.. Gage is 7-15 ,,, and Finn our smallest at birth is now 8 -12.. ..they are starting to talk and the smiles are endless.. they are starting to know when I am in the room.. and really start to smile at me now intentionally.. I love it... They are getting easier in some ways but sleep is a huge thing right now.. 



I can not keep up much..but I do read along.. 


Someone asked about a good discipline book.. we really like 1-2-3 magic.. its simple and effective  ( i have used this meathod with many nanny kids)


Pat/Mat leave.. I am not going back to work .. and DP only got 1 week.. it was hard.. her going back to work so soon .. but we have made it work.. we just be sure she spends a lot of time with them when she is home.


Ill leave you with some pics



post #99 of 577
Thanks, starling&diesel! I've just PMed you.
post #100 of 577
Cananny: What cuties! It's sweet that they smile so much.

Canadians: As always, I'm envious of your parental leave. But, as Starling said, you do pay for it.

Seraf: I can see how an above-the-belly carry would be better for my wife right now. It's too bad we didn't ever really get into slings. Oh well. Our stroller is working ok, and our little guy likes the stroller a lot these days anyway.

Here's another QOTD: What do you do to help your child(ren) feel comfortable with your family structure?

Our son is still young enough that he isn't terribly aware of differences in family structures yet, but we're trying to be conscious of what we need to do to make sure he is comfortable when he gets older. We make a point of having regular playdates with other kids from two-mom families. We show him pictures of his friends with their parents and point out the different kinds of families. We read books about two-mom families, both ones designed that way and ones where we change the words. I'm curious to hear what other people do.

AFU: 18 months is such a fun age. So far I have been convinced that every age is the very best age, but I am pretty sure that 18 months has to be the peak of delightfulness.
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