What are We?

First a quick line about “why” I have Jacob posting on my blog. There really isn’t a “why”. I asked him a question and he had an interesting answer that I liked and wanted to hear more of his thoughts. I thought I would share them with others. That’s pretty much it. I think that a lot of times it is easy to discuss issues and forget that what we are really talking about are human beings with thoughts, feelings, lives and dignity. We say that we respect the dignity of others and then talk about “issues” disregarding what those others are living. I hope that makes sense.

It leads to what I’m gong to write about today. I know that in this day and age everyone is offended by every single thing ever said. The “but what about me”s are annoying and anyone who spends a lot of time online knows what I’m talking about. There is no one person who speak for their entire group on one thing. Not one. No one Catholic can speak for all Catholics, not even the Pope (I’m not talking about doctrine here, I’m talking about him just speaking as a man) because everyone has different points of views and life experiences. This isn’t a “what about me” post, but it is one that I want to write from the perspective of someone who was in an invalid marriage and is now married in the Church. I have 4 children by two different men and neither of them are my husband. I’m a real person with real issues and I’m Catholic. When I hear people say that gay couples and their children can’t be families because marriage is between one man and one woman and children have the right to be raised by their parents, I start to itch. My family has more in common with families with gay parents than it does with traditional families. That isn’t an emotional statement, it’s a statement of fact. My children are only biologically connected to one parent in this house.

My oldest son considers my first husband his dad and my now husband his dad. And his “real” dad, is just Homer. None of that fits into the mold of a traditional family.  When people say they don’t know how to talk to their kids about same sex couples and their kids, I wonder what they say to them about my family. Because if you tell little Susie that the child that has two mommies doesn’t have two mommies because that is impossible then what would you tell my son? That he doesn’t have two dads and a father? Because that is what he had grown up with.

It’s not that I am hurt or offended, because I am not, I could care less what anyone thinks of my family. We have been through hell and back and the fact that we survived says something about us. We are all working on ourselves and taking care of our affairs and forgiving when it is needed. We are good. My point in this post is that maybe as parents what we need to do is teach our kids right from wrong but also that not everyone looks and thinks like us and how to accept them anyway. Not in condoning the crazy, but because they are made in the image of God. And because we aren’t always perfect either.

Instead of teaching kids how to judge others as the right kind of family we can teach them to be kind to others no matter what we believe and what others live. My kids have a very clear understanding of why me and their dad were not in a valid marriage and Stacey and I are. They get that doesn’t change that they were created out of love and that they can love their dad and my husband. And that Homer is Homer. (It’s just the place that he has in our family, he’s Homer, my baby daddy.) They know what marriage is and what it isn’t and they also know that not everyone else does know so we have to be kind to everyone no matter what. My children also understand the damage that can be done when we try to force our beliefs on others because I did that to my oldest son and he no longer goes to Mass.

My oldest son and his girlfriend are not married and have a child together. They live together and are not Catholic. My oldest step son is so anti-religion that it’s not even funny. There is no way for me to shelter my youngest children from the “evils of the world” the way some may be able to because their families are normal. For my family we have no concept of normal and if we ever had the chance to be “normal” we would die of boredom, because we would have NO IDEA what to do with ourselves.

I just wonder what people say about my family? And if we get a pass from the “you’re not a real family” thing, why? Because we are now Catholic? That doesn’t make sense logically. I’m not even for gay couples adopting, IVF, or anything but once it has happened then things are different. Telling a child that her parents aren’t her parents and their family isn’t a “real family” isn’t going to bring them to Christ. If that’s the goal, then that should be taken into consideration. I’m not even saying that we can’t speak out against things, but I do think that we should take into consideration what we are saying and what people will read when we say it. The way that I’m now considering what people will think when reading this as if I’m saying I’m down with gay adoption and IVF.

I really don’t have any point other than some families don’t look like the “normal” mom and dad, siblings, cat and dog family. In mine there is an ex-wife and her husband, three sons of my husband, my husband, me, my four kids, my son’s girlfriend, a grandchild, my ex-husband and a baby daddy. There is nothing about one man, one woman and children in that at all so if that is what a real family is, then what are we?


14 thoughts on “What are We?

  1. Life is messy sometimes! Good thing that Jesus loves all of us, no matter what messes we’ve made.

    Another part of this conversation deals with gay people having sex. Okay, so that’s a sin. But it is not the Worst Sin Ever. And *everybody* has sinned; we just mostly don’t think our own sins are as bad as those sins to which we aren’t tempted, those sins that *other* people have.


  2. Of course you are a real family, but one has to differentiate with who we are in our imperfect state (all of us) and God’s plan for us. We strive for God’s plan and He loves us always – it is not judgemental except that when sin enters in we are fallen. I say this about all sin. I gossip, am jellious and envious of others- God’s plan is for me to be a better human beaing than to gossip, be jellious and envious. We can’t “not” teach God’s plan just because it is too hard to do.
    So God’s plan is for a man and a woman to bring children into the world as a family. Our bodies are made this way.
    It doesnt always happen in that way.
    It is so hard to talk about this without people getting angry.


  3. I didn’t say for us to not teach God’s
    Plan for us but we almost must teach mercy and compassion for those who don’t know God’s plan or reject it. We have to do both, does that make sense? I think some people do one and others do the other big rarely do we see them both taught together. I think Pope Benedict and Pope Francis do but because the media creates the narrative of how each one comes off, we don’t really hear it.


  4. You have a really good point here. My earliest struggles with how to teach my children about sexuality with truth and compassion for those who don’t know or understand the truth has had nothing to do with homosexuality. For each of my children there has been a conversation that started with them asking me why their friend’s parents don’t live together. That is just the reality of the world we live in. Most of their friends are from single parent households or blended families. Explaining gay marriage after watching a reality show on the Food Network (one of the contestants was visited by her wife and daughter during the show) was unexpected but essentially the same conversation.


  5. My family also does not fit the traditional mold. We have the step-children and the ex-spouses etc. You mentioned that your family had been “through hell and back.” So has mine (and more importantly my children). I think that the real point on this topic of marriage and family is that the traditional mold of marriage is not broken; we are broken. How wonderful would it have been for our children to have been born into a marriage in which they were able to be raised by their biological mother and father? We all know that stuff happens and we do the best we can with it; but lets not make that the norm. Lets not make the “shit happens” approach our model. Children can survive and even thrive outside of the traditional mold; but there are real consequences for all. I see them lived out by my own children every day; I don’t want that to be defined as the societal norm. I want to advocate for the rights of other children (that they don’t have to go through hell and back) You mentioned that your son’s “real” father is a Homer. At least your son knows who his real father is (even if a big disappointment). We all have a natural curiosity to know who our biological parents are. Masculinity and femininity offer different but equally important gifts to children. Same sex parents deny children this. They deny at least one or both biological parents and either the feminine or masculine genius. Often the press, writers and bloggers want to educate the Christians on the challenges, success and love of the nontraditional family mold. Traditional marriage supporters are aware and informed, we just don’t think that it should be made the norm. I want better for children than was given to my kids due to our nontraditional family. The voice for the nontraditional family has be heard loud and clear. We understand. I understand. I just don’t agree that our desires (even when sincere and heartfelt) as adults outweigh the rights of children.


  6. I agree with everything you are saying here. I didn’t even know what my father looked like, so I get it. What I have an issue with are statements like “same sex parents deny children this”, as if straight parents don’t deny their children things out of selfishness. After a year of dealing with my own shit, I have realized just how much my children suffered because of my own choices. And all children do at some point or another. No, it isn’t how God planned things. God didn’t plan for sin to enter in the world, but it did and that is when these things became the “norm” not when gay people decided to adopt children, but when Adam and Eve decided to not trust in God’s plan.

    What do we do about it? We do our best to be good parents and to show our children what marriage is AND teach them to be kind to others who aren’t living the ideal situation, because neither are we in a lot of ways. Does that makes sense? To me it isn’t about making anything the norm (and honestly, straight people failing at marriage made these things the norm) it is about understanding that we are all broken and having mercy on people who don’t have their shit together, because on a good day, I don’t either.


  7. Its does make sense! I totally agree that the breakdown in traditional marriage was the start of denying children of the ideal. 100% I just feel frustrated at times with the “Love is Love” movement. There are real consequences for our children. We should always strive for children being raised with their mother and father. My prayer is that we strive for this as a society and support each other when we fail. We all fail. We are all fallen (thanks Adam and Eve). God does not want our success, but he does want our obedience (inclusive of loving the sinner). I never want to kick a man when they are down. I don’t want to deny when other people are hurting, regardless of how they got there. But I don’t want to be intellectually dishonest either by pretending there are not real consequences to the breakdown and/or redefinition of families.


  8. True, I just don’t project my frustration at the Love is Love movement, because I feel that they really aren’t at fault, what else is there to think when the straight couples are acting like “love is love” and when one falls out of it, you can just move on and not worry about what it does to children? How many of those who support gay marriage are children of divorced straight parents? The love is love movement is a product of generations of straight couples failing. IMHO

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for your comments because I’ve been meaning to write a post about how my children were also robbed by addiction and divorce. I have just not made time to do it.


  10. Oh my goodness THANK YOU!!!! Every time I see that, where someone says how do I explain gay parents to my child, I think wow, how do you explain life? Where I’m from parents sat on porches shooting up heroin and smoking crack, and there were no “intact families” except ours. And while ours might have been drug free and divorce free and straight, it had all manner of abusive and mental illness hiding behind the doors. So please, folks, remember that “broken families” weren’t invented in the recent court decision. Nor does the presence of two straight married parents with their biological kids mean all is well. It could be a nightmare inside, but it’s so much easier to hide.


  11. Kids who hear their parents berate homosexual parents will go on to torment and bully the children. Just as they bullied kids who were poor or immigrants or black. So parents, be careful not to make such a big deal about the “nuclear family.” Even if your exact words aren’t ugly, your kids’ might be. The last thing you want is for your kids to think they’re better than someone else because their parents are married and straight. And Leticia I agree with what you’re saying about the two daddies/two mommies thing too. That happens with lots of kids, including those who were adopted.


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