Hi everybody! It just occurred to me to come to this forum and see if there was any poly talk going on. I'm glad there is.
I've been poly since I was 19. (I mean, that's when I understood my orientation.) I'm really glad I figured it out at an early age and accepted that it might break up the relationship I was in...w/someone who was intrigued by poly but very keen on monogamous marriage as his ultimate goal. We had other problems as well, and I think if I'd stayed w/him I might be happy enough to get by but wouldn't have grown as much or enjoyed my life as much as I have now.
Basically, if it were up to me I'd be having sex (at least occasionally) w/all my male friends. It isn't up to me: Some of them are in closed relationships, and some don't like the idea of having a sex partner who doesn't make him her one-and-only. So, I've sometimes had 2 simultaneous serious relationships, and I've had up to 4 "friends I occasionally play with" at one time. EnviroDaddy and I have been together 11 years now; he started as a friend and gradually became my main man.
He'd like to have other partners but doesn't want that enough to put a lot of effort into it, and nobody's come along for him since we got together. Sometimes I daydream about the ideal girlfriend for him, who would be my friend too. (He and I both are straight.)
When we were getting ready to TTC, I was involved w/another man long-distance (weekend visits once a month or so) who was dating very actively. I was beginning to realize that he and I had very different ideas about how our relationship was "supposed" to work, partly due to his having never had a really long-term or living-together relationship and having lots of experience dating as an adult, whereas I haven't done any dating (like, going out w/someone I don't really know yet to see if we get along well enough to have sex) since I was in college. We probably could've worked it out if we'd both been really motivated...but he felt there was no point since he wouldn't get me all to himself no matter what he did, and the complications of continuing to be w/him while TTC were obvious!
So, for nearly 2 years of TTC followed by pregnancy, I wasn't w/anyone but EnviroDaddy and felt fine about that. I kind of figured that while I was BFing and preoccupied w/mothering a young child, nobody would be interested in me and I wouldn't have time anyway.
Well...we have a friend w/whom I'd spent 1 night about 5 years ago (I needed to sleep elsewhere due to household disaster when EnviroDaddy was out of town; friend and I fooled around as well as sleeping) but he'd never initiated a repeat. When baby was about 3 months old, friend started calling more often than usual, asking me to come over sometime because he really wanted to talk to me. I said, "Gee, I'll try, but I'm busy, I'm BFing, I dunno..." When baby was 5 months, EnviroDaddy suggested that I take a Sat. afternoon off, take my breastpump, and go visit our friend. Turns out our friend has a thing for mothers! He thinks stretch marks and milky breasts and such are REALLY HOT. I had no idea.
He did want to talk to me (about something unrelated) but also wanted to have some fun. Not only was this an opportunity for me to enjoy without worrying about when baby would wake, but I realized: EnviroDaddy had been admiring my body saying, "Oh good, you're almost back to the way you were," but my friend was admiring my body saying, "Oh good, NOW YOU ARE THE WAY YOU ARE." It blew my mind! I hadn't realized I needed to hear that!
That's the great thing about polyamory, IMO: You can have a solid relationship that fulfills enough of your needs that you feel pretty happy, and ALSO, without harming said relationship, you can explore what other people have to offer, which is sometimes a great benefit.
Ideally, we hope to find the couple of our dreams (another partner for each of us) who have a child or two. I feel sad thinking of EnviroBaby being the only child in the family, but there are many practical reasons why we feel that we two parents shouldn't have more kids...but if there were more parents, that would be cool! I'd be willing to consider a polyfidelitous arrangement, but I prefer to have things "open" in case good opportunities come along and because I just don't see a good philosophical reason to have a "closed" relationship.
Anyway, that's my story! As far as what we'll tell our kid, it depends on what's going on when he's old enough to notice, but we hope to convey the idea that love is not something to be jealously hoarded. I managed to get that idea even from my monogamous married parents (who BTW are horrified that I did
because that's not what they meant to teach me!) so I think it'll be easy. We'll see...