Our Polyamorous Family Life Probably Looks a Lot Like Your Monogamous One

Our dinner table may look a little different than what we might envision as average, but what is average anyway?

We’re all familiar with monogamy. We see it everywhere. On tv, in movies, in our stories, and our personal lives. Our society revolves around it. For tens of thousands of Canadians, however, monogamy just doesn’t fit and we practice some form of consensual nonmonogamy. Polyamory falls under that umbrella, and is defined as having more than one romantic and/or sexual relationship at a time. There are many ways to do non-monogamy; this is just a peek into our polyamorous household. Here is a snapshot of a day last week.

It’s a typical Friday morning. My alarm goes off and I hit snooze once, of course. When the alarm goes off again, I get up to make school lunches and make sure the kids get off to school successfully. Before they head out the door, I remind them my partner Dean may or may not be here by the time they get home. I kiss my husband, Cameron, as he heads out to the office, and I go about my day. I catch up on some emails, notifications, admin online communities, get some writing done.

Before I know it, the school day is done and my kids come bursting through the door, followed not too long after by Cam. I’ve received a text from Dean letting me know his ETA is around 5:30. My husband gets dinner going with the aim of being ready around 6 PM, giving Dean a bit of a buffer to make it here in time for dinner.

This is where our dinner table may look a little different than what we might envision as average, but what is average anyway? Around the table sit our kids, their dad, their mom, and their mom’s partner.

Dean hangs out with the family for the evening. We say goodnight to the kids and head out for a screening of The Room. At the theatre, we’re joined by Cameron’s partner, Emma, and a couple other friends, and we enjoy a night at the movies.

The plan is for Dean to stay the night, since he’s from out of town. We’ve already given the kids the heads up that Dean will be staying in the guest room. Cam had offered to stay in the guest room so that Dean and I could have some more time together, but since it’s the first time the kids have met Dean, we decide it’s best if we don’t shake up our sleeping arrangements.

The next morning, I join Dean in the guest room for chats and snuggles while Cameron makes breakfast for us all. We all need to leave around 10 AM. The kids and Cam say goodbye to Dean and get into the car. Dean and I give each other a goodbye kiss in the driveway and we go our separate ways.

Our family looks a lot like many other families. Our life is pretty similar to that of our monogamous friends, except sometimes when mom goes out she’s going on a date with her girlfriend instead of with friends. Sometimes when dad heads out, it’s to spend time with his partner instead of games night with the guys.

Maybe movie night at home isn’t just mom, dad, and the kids. Sometimes it includes mom, dad, his girlfriend and her kids, too. It doesn’t look a lot different from a family friend and their kids coming over except they may hold hands, or kiss, or snuggle.

There are more people involved, but the love is just the same.




RELATED: Keeping Things Sexy with Little Ones at Home

Jacki is a sex and relationship coach, sexuality educator, and graduate of University of Waterloo's Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies. With four children in her blended household, Jacki strives to find a balance between open, honest communication and too much information. She's trying to learn more and do better every day. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.