Raising our children as a two-mom family isn’t always easy, but we love it
Katie and I are two girls who fell in love, got married and embarked on the journey to have children. The path to having kids was nothing like what we imagined. After a bumpy road, full of many tears, we now have two beautiful daughters. Then we lived happily ever after? Not exactly. Not everyone agrees with our “lifestyle” but there are many who do. We paint a pretty good picture of our lives on social media but we don’t often share all the terrible things we have encountered being gay and raising a family.
Katie and I always say that we are so glad we’re raising a family in the world today. It must have been much harder to be together and raise kids even just decades ago. The world has made a lot of progress for the LGBTQ+ community but there’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made. Raising kids is already hard but raising kids as two moms comes with more difficult tasks we didn’t imagine. I know we will continue to encounter unwanted experiences because we are gay but here are a few things we have experienced and learned.
We encountered discrimination during the birth of our first daughter.
She had jaundice but the hospital told us we could be discharged and come back in a few days for a follow-up appointment. When we returned to the hospital a few days later, we walked up to the counter to state why we were there and the woman behind the desk asked for the mother’s name.
We gave both our names and she made a face. Then she asked, “Okay, so which one of you is the mother? There can only be one.” Katie and I exchanged a look of sadness and I immediately thought, is this what life is going to be like raising our daughter? Only one of us can be the mom? We both knew how the woman should have phrased the question: “Which one of you gave birth to the child?” But that isn’t what came out. We didn’t expect a follow-up appointment to leave us feeling unsettled about parenting.
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Snuggles in bed are the best! I’ll admit we used to spend a lot time lounging in bed, eating ice cream, and watching tv before the kids were born. Our lazy days are definitely gone, but endless giggles from these two are way better. We are enjoying our new @zinus bed frame. We really wanted a headboard because we spend SO many nights sitting up with Charlotte. The #zinus upholstered bed frame has taken a strain off our backs and it also has made our room decor improve 👌 #ad #liveinwonder
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It’s not always easy to make friends with other parents.
Katie and I have always wanted mom friends. When we first moved into our house in a new town, we wondered how to make friends. We are always nervous about telling people we are gay. I don’t know why this is still a concern to this day but we always wonder what people think of us—it seems to be instilled in us.
We showed up at our first new parent class where moms meet to discuss different baby topics. All the babies in the class were born around the same time so we knew this was the place to make some friends. During the entire class, the teacher referred to the “mom” and the “dad.” Being gay, this does get annoying to hear.
I remember hearing things like, “When mom is nursing, dad could be washing the nursing parts and bottles.” Katie and I tried to joke around saying I must be the dad in these parenting suggestions. When it came to introductions, Katie and I even talked about how we would introduce ourselves and who would have to do it. Does a mom/dad typically do this? Would everyone like us?
Our past has made us overly cautious like we are today. If there had been more gay couples in the class, we wouldn’t have been as worried about a silly introduction that would confirm we are a gay couple. Every place we go, we are always seeking out gay couples to see that we aren’t alone. Even after announcing we were gay, the teachers we had in the classes all used stereotypical gender roles for parenting suggestions. We just learned to sit through it and joke about it after.
We found out our top choice daycare wasn’t LGBTQ-friendly.
Then the time came for both of us to be back at work. We had been looking at daycares since before our daughter was born, and we had our hearts set on a daycare that checked all of our boxes. We fell in love with the place. The minute we met the daycare director, she asked if we were sisters. I dreaded saying we weren’t because we really wanted our daughter to go to this daycare.
After I clarified we were married she just said, “Oh,” and continued the tour. At the end, she thanked us for coming by and would let us know if a spot opened. Katie called a few days after to see if a spot opened up and they said one hadn’t. Our friends, a straight couple, went in later that day after Katie called, went on a tour, and were offered a spot.
Were we lied to because we were gay? We’ll never know. What we do know is that our friends had a baby the same age as ours and wanted the same days and hours as we wanted: The only difference between us was we’re gay and they’re straight.
Taking our kids to the doctor’s means coming out over and over.
Every time we go to the pediatrician’s office, it’s like we are introducing ourselves for the first time. I get asked if my husband is sick and that’s why my child is sick or questions about if this runs on both sides of the family. I get so tired of correcting and saying, “No, my wife and I are not sick,” or “I don’t know about those specific details of the donor’s family history of health.”
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Hugging these two extra tight lately ♥️ Simple things like picking the girls up from school makes me happy. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a teacher, but I enjoy the days I get to walk into their school and see them both playing before they notice I’m there to get them. I love watching Kennedy put on her backpack and say “bye school.” These two couldn't look any cuter in their matching zoo backpacks. This first picture makes me think Kennedy is a little more serious about school than Charlotte 🤣 It's so hard for me to get a picture these days with both girls smiling (scroll through these and be prepared to smile and laugh). Both girls are finally at the same school and its definitely easier for Katie's morning routine to drop both girls off (since I leave for work at 6 am). They are both loving school and making new friends. It makes my heart happy to know my girls are having a fun day while their moms are both working. Today @skiphop is doing a giveaway of their adorable zoo products! The girls each have a zoo backpack, zoo lunch pail, and matching lunch containers. This makes it easier for packing lunches. I am not getting their things mixed up since I know ladybug items mean they belong to Charlotte and bumble bee items belong to Kennedy. Head over to @skiphop or watch our stories for more details!
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We went to the grocery store the other day and Kennedy was calling us by our names, “mom” and “mama,” and the cashier asked if we were cousins. We just smiled politely and said we were married. I know that if we were an opposite gender couple, we would not be answering silly questions like this. I almost wish people would just assume we are married so we don’t get asked this question all the time.
We’re always educating our kids about LGBTQ+ families and relationships.
Our two-year-old daughter asked the other day why her friend at school has a mom and a dad. We knew this day was coming—but at age 2? We didn’t expect it that young. We explained that every family is different. Some families have two moms, some have two dads, and some have a mom and a dad. There are families who don’t have a mom or a dad but we didn’t get into that just yet.
She was content with this answer and said, “I have two moms!” It really isn’t hard explaining to kids that families are different so I’m not sure why so many people make such a big deal about it. Kids are accepting if adults explain it right.
Traveling as an LGBTQ+ family is hard.
We are now at a point in our lives where the kids are older and we want to start traveling more as we did before we had kids. Exploring which countries are LGBTQ-safe is challenging. It’s so hard to know if traveling as a lesbian couple is a good choice in certain places.
We get terrified when we see stories on the news of hate crimes. We don’t want that to be us and we would never want to put our kids in a dangerous situation. Traveling is supposed to fun, not terrifying. There are some places we do want to go but we feel like we should have a man with us because that is how we will feel safe, and I wish we didn’t need a man to feel safe. It’s not fair to our children that we have to think about all these logistical hurdles just to go on vacation.
We’re concerned about our kids facing discrimination as they grow up.
Do I slightly worry about the future? What I worry about is other people, not our family. We’re lucky to have supportive family and friends but I can’t control all the people in the world that we may encounter one day. I worry about our kids being treated differently when they are older. I worry about traveling and feeling unsafe because we are gay. I worry about what uncontrolled factors will have a negative impact on our lives due to being gay.
I could spend my whole life worrying. Parents worry whether they are LGBTQ+ or not. We only want the best for our kids and we’ll raise them teaching that love is what matters most. If we raise our kids right, then all these uncontrolled factors shouldn’t be an issue because our kids will know the way to handle it.
Sharing our lives on social media makes us vulnerable to anti-LGBTQ+ hate.
We chose to share our life on social media. I know that by doing this we invite others to view our lives and not everyone who views it will be supportive. We have received so many hate comments since we started blogging and using social media.
So why do we make our lives open for anyone to see? We want those who are LGBTQ+ to see having a family is possible. We want to spread love. We want to help others. When I felt lost during our journey to create our family, I turned to social media and felt relief and support.
It’s comforting to talk to someone or see someone else’s life that you imagine for yourself. It’s hard talking to someone who says they understand but actually doesn’t. We want to be that couple that gives others hope for the future. Since creating our Instagram, we have received so many messages thanking us for what we do. Spreading love and hope is so important to us that I just need to remember that when reading hateful comments.
Some comments that have stuck out to me are: We are torturing our children by having them and being gay, our kids will always have a missing puzzle piece in their life without a father, we are gross, we are sick, our life is a sin, we should be punished. The list goes on and on.
Although Katie and I try to disregard these comments, there are many that hit us hard. We sulk about it for a while and then get over it. You can’t please everyone but you can show others how you stand tall and don’t sink to their unwanted level.
Being gay isn’t a choice for us. It isn’t a lifestyle. It isn’t an alternative way of living. This is who I am. Coming out is a scary thing and usually, you have to come out many more times after the first. You come out to strangers or people you just met. Being gay can be scary but it’s also great to be out with who you are and love who you want to love. My only hope is that more people are accepting.
I know what we have encountered could be worse. I know there are many people in the world who suffer from others opinions and actions. I know that for the most part, my life is amazing. I have more than I could ever imagine and I’m grateful. When I was little girl, I never thought I would be gay, marry a girl, need science to have kids or deal with other people’s opinions of my family.
What I don’t want is for my kids to encounter things I have just for being different. I want them to live in a world where people are not targeted for being outside of society’s norms. I can’t make everyone in the world accept my family, but I can show others that love makes a family.
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.