Managing Same-Sex Parenting of Blended Families

Same-sex marriageWith two kids and three moms, Dr. Colleen Logan, a psychotherapist, found her parenting situation to be quite different from the norm. She wrote a few tips in a HuffPost article that any other blended families with same-sex parents might find helpful.

1) Work out a schedule. It’s always easier to figure out who is parenting when well in advance. It avoids favoritism, making the child choose, confusion and frustration. This goes for the split couple as well as the parents who re-married. The child might be biologically yours, but if your partner is also now going to help raise the child, make sure he/she has every opportunity to parent as you do.

2) Include everyone on forms. Your kids will bring home permission/consent forms or you may need to fill them out for things like taking them from school. With at least three, possibly four, parents in the mix it can get confusing. Especially if there’s only one line for “mom,” it can be confusing. Try to include all parents to avoid drama down the road.

3) Meet others as a unit. It can be confusing to some families and you should know that it may take some getting used to. Meet coaches, other parents, etc. as a unit–all three of four of you and explain the situation. Do so with a sense of humor and understanding that it’s different and it will go over smoother than you may expect.

4) Communicate! Most people say this is key to a relationship, and it’s certainly true when your family is unique. There may be complications with who is the “biological” mother and who is married in, who’s step-mom, who’s “real” mom, etc. The kids will naturally accept all parents as parents in their own way and in their own time, but same-sex partners need to communicate with each other honestly and effectively when their is a co-parenting or step-parenting issue. It’s the only way to solve and/or avoid real problems.