How our lives changed when we became gay parents with kids
I have been through many changes when it comes to relationships. I have been in short-term relationships and long-term relationships before I met the girl I was going to marry. But all these previous relationships were with men. I was never in a serious relationship with a girl until I met Katie. When I realized I liked girls, I knew I wanted a serious relationship with one. Every time I sought one out, it never worked out that way. I turned to online dating and that is when I met Katie.
We met, hit things off right away, and started dating. When we started dating, we both weren’t completely out to our friends and family. This meant we never acted like we were a couple when we were out in public. We both also felt like it wasn’t fully accepted in society so it made us feel awkward. We hung out at each other’s places a lot, watched many movies, went out to eat and traveled on the weekends. We actually don’t have many kissing photos of us at the beginning of our relationship because we didn’t feel safe taking them in public, because of a time early in our relationship when we were taking a kissing photo together and a woman told us that doing that in public was unacceptable and we should get a room. That moment just verified how nervous we were to be a couple in public.
When we were out in public, we never corrected people when they asked if we were sisters, friends, twins? So many weird labels. We didn’t want to be insulted by anyone for being gay and we just wanted to be happy. We were happy. Like most couples starting out, we just couldn’t get enough of each other. Every spare moment we had we wanted to be together.
Fast forward to about a year later and we decided to get married! At this point, we had finally come out to friends and family. We wanted to save as much money as possible to buy a house and start a family of our own, so having a small wedding was ideal. We Googled officiants who performed civil unions (same-sex marriage wasn’t legal yet federally) in Hawaii, picked one, flew to Hawaii and got married on the beach. The only people who attended were my parents.
I remember still feeling nervous that day when people on the beach watched us as we got married. I had made us tank tops that said, “just married” on it and we were nervous to put them on in public, but we did it anyway. If you can’t tell, even a year after being together, being out in public was still a daily challenge for us. When we got back from Hawaii, we celebrated with family and friends. To this day, we still try not to kiss in front of anyone, even family and friends. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because of the way society has made us feel all these years.
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I’m always talking Katie into taking pictures with me. Whether it’s a field I found or by a wall I thought would make an amazing background. Each picture has a story behind it. So going to take pictures isn’t just taking pictures, it’s going on a little adventure and capturing the moment at the same time. My obsession with photos started many years ago. My friends would always say they never had any photos of themselves until they became friends with me. The day I met Katie I had her take a photo with me and my cat 😂 After a few dates in she said, “Wow, you sure do take a lot of pictures.” I think she is used to it now. I like to document every moment and most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I’m not sure if the girls will appreciate it when they are older and they have a picture or video clip of themselves from every day of each year 😉 but I like to think they will. I know I enjoy looking back on them.
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Katie and I moved in together. We adjusted fine. We started saving our money and going on little weekend getaways. We loved traveling. The beach was always calling our name. We also splurged and traveled to the two places we wanted to go before having kids: Ireland and Italy. Even when we traveled, we never told people we were married.
Six years after being married, our first daughter was born and we had moved into a new house. We had to come out several times after having our first kid. I felt like I was always explaining there were two moms, no dad. It was annoying, but most of the time mandatory, so our child wasn’t involved in a lie. Sometimes the reaction was good, other times bad and it was always awkward. We were slowly getting more comfortable telling people we were a gay couple with a child.
We encountered many problems having our first child so traveling was almost non-existent in our lives. This was a huge change for us compared to when we were a couple. When our daughter was a baby, we took her to the beach twice and were exhausted with how much packing was involved for a baby. The couple we used to be was no more when it came to weekend travels. It didn’t bother us though because our lives were consumed with this beautiful little girl who filled our lives with joy.
As time went on, we had another daughter, where we encountered more complications with another pregnancy. Many things change from one baby to two. Even though we still had problems having our second daughter, we were more laid back and not so uptight and worried all the time. We decided to get back out there and travel. We missed the traveling we had craved as a couple.
There really is no good time to travel with kids. You just have to get out there and do it. The kids learn as time goes on to be better behaved and there will always be those moments where you feel like your kids are the worst behaved kids out there. You aren’t alone! I don’t regret taking our kids traveling; it’s been a struggle at times but so is being at home with them. We are taking the kids out of the country for the first time this summer and we are so excited for them to see Canada, Italy, France and Spain.
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Today it’s back to work. Our Arizona trip was filled with lots of laughs, some challenges, millions of photos, and overall, totally worth it. Traveling with kids is not easy. I know all kids are different and every family is different, but it is challenging. We used to be scared to travel with kids and didn’t want to face any challenges with them when it came to traveling but clearly we changed our minds. Traveling with kids is amazing and just like parenting, it’s rough and you continue to learn as you go. Our kids had a blast like us, but also had challenges. We stayed in a different hotel each night and we were on the road between 2-4 hours each day. It was a new experience for us all! Kennedy has grown so much from traveling. We try to stay active on the weekends and even day trips help prepare her for adventures far away. She has been on a few flights now and does such a great job. The first flight she ever took was terrible and I never thought I would take her on a plane again. But look at her now! The last set of photos I’m posting (for now at least 😉) are from our last adventure in Arizona at Lake Powell. The sand was white. The water was teal. Katie and I were like 😍 when we saw it. It wasn’t crowded by tourists (other than us that is 😉). Kennedy couldn’t get enough of that water and had a hard time leaving it. The hike up in the sun was terrible but the time we spent enjoying the water was well worth that hike. Goodbye beautiful Arizona, for now at least 👋
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Since having kids, time by ourselves has become pretty much non-existent. We recently just found ways to fit it in, such as movie nights when the kids are in bed, spending their naptime together, going on short dates when my parents watch the kids. It’s important to make time for one another. We didn’t even realize how we didn’t have any until recently. It’s been three years! Parenthood has had us so busy we sometimes forget important things like quality time together. Another thing we have found ourselves doing is arguing about the kids. So instead of arguing about things we did as a couple, we now argue about how we are raising our children. It’s important to find some common ground and realize that two people will not raise a child the exact same way. You may have to remind yourselves of this several times because Katie and I still forget that we are two different people and we will not tackle everything the same way.
It’s easy to say that things change when you get married and things change when you have kids, but it’s not easy to see what those changes are when they’re still ahead. Our lives have changed a lot since we were a couple: Now we’re married with two children. We are definitely out more to the public. We still don’t act completely like a couple in public but most of the time, that’s because we are on kid duty and not a lot of romance is happening in public when you are dealing with two kids. We’ve had to make time to spend with just the two of us. And we’ve finally been able to prioritize traveling again. Traveling with two kids looks very different than it did as a couple, but seeing our kids experience things for the first time has been amazing.
We are a girl meets girl love story! We fell in love, got married and we now have two children via reciprocal IVF. We love to travel and show our kids as much of the world as possible. You can find Christina and Katie on Instagram and YouTube.
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