Yes, I have sister-wives. No, I’m not actually a polygamist.
I social parent (or co-parent, or multiparent – whatever term you choose to use).
Social Parenting (or Sister Wife–ing as I like to call it) is the idea of working through the days of child-raising with another mom (or several) and her children. It may not be every day but it's definitely more days than not.
I joined forces with two incredible moms, who we call them "the Stephs," to tackle the challenges of raising energetic toddlers. Our walks and coffee dates soon led to park dates, baking, and craft activities. This led to free play (or "moms' time to recover from the activity). Then it was lunch and nap time. But then we thought, why bother packing up only to miss the nap window. We all had playpens, so we put all our littles ones to sleep and naptime became work time for some, housework for others, and time to run errands alone or eat lunch in peace. Our social parenting group was born.
Our days became easier and two of the three houses were much cleaner.
Sister-Wife-ing is a brilliant concept. Two heads are better than one, four eyes can see more, and four hands can make/fix/find/cook/hug even more. The more we joked about our situation the more intrigued I became. Do other people do this? Are we strange for leaving our doors open to each other for 8-9 hours at a time?
Yes, our kids fight with one another, but they also love one another like siblings. They eat like food is going extinct, laugh and cry (loudly), and create a mess like you have never seen. But somehow it seems easier to manage when you can laugh it off, roll your eyes, or clean it up together.
Being a sister-wife means dropping off your kids last-minute to run to the dentist, to cook dinner for eight instead of four, to grab extra milk and bread because you know your wifey is out of them too, to buy groceries in your weekly shop that your “other” children like as much as your own, to show up bleary-eyed and in your pajamas after a long sleepless night just to have a coffee. To endlessly share recipes and ideas that would be fun for your brood, to ask questions/vent/brag or cry about your kid genius and your more troublesome two-headed child.
Being a mom is hard work, sometimes feeling like a thankless job that is full of ups and downs. You question yourself constantly. Knowing your sister-wife is struggling with these things makes you feel more human, more normal and less of a hot mess.
The sister-wife life may not be for everyone, but it certainly is one of my favorite parts of being a mom.
Previously published at BuiltWithJoy
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