The Day We Made the News

The Skinner-Jamals - photo by Galit Rodan

The Skinner-Jamals – photo by Galit Rodan

Our family was featured in the Life section of the Globe and Mail today.  Check it out here.

I like Leah McLaren’s unbiased interpretation of  our two interviews. I wish she hadn’t referred to me as a stay-at-home-mom. I mean, in some respects that’s true, but I feel like I’m also an entrepreneur and an educator. I would have appreciated a fuller picture. I also don’t love that she lumped us in with the “orgy-obsessed swingers” and “S&M enthusiasts” who she claims are included in the polyamorous group. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of consenting adults doing what they want – I just don’t think that McLaren needed to draw that parallel in an article that I thought was supposed to be about how much we love our kids. Those who are gonna lump us in don’t need their hands held. Also, based on my experience of the world, S&M lovers and swingers can be found in two-partner hetero culture and homosexual culture. Finally, I wish Sarah would have blown off her work duties for half an hour to add a couple of her incredible witticisms to the piece. She is, after all, the boss.

Oh, and one more – I wish that she hadn’t suggested that Nekky is free to come and go “at will” between my bedroom and Sarah’s. Those of you who know us know that our sleep schedule was forged through pain, tears, metamorphosis, care, love, epic amounts of communication, and finally some truly profound self-realization and vulnerability. I wasn’t about to get into all that with a reporter. It also makes Nekky sound like some kind of iron-fisted patriarch, who calls all the shots about when he decides to lay with his women, which is kind of ridiculous. We share our sleeping time with each other carefully, and if we change plans, it’s not without a careful check-in with one other.

We did feel like the article was well written, and McLaren seems careful to not be judgemental. It was almost totally accurate, and we LOVED the photo that the paper chose to print, even if it is a bit sombre.  My sister-in-love pointed out that it’s very Wes Anderson, and I agree. In fact, I often feel like our life would make a great Wes Anderson film. The highlight of the whole “we’re-gonna-be-in-the-news”  was the incredible day we spent with the photographer, Galit Rodan. What a lovely, talented young woman! She came and hung out and Noah took such a liking to her (Noah is usually very disinterested in women who aren’t either his Mamas or his sisters). We made pizza together, played in the snow, and just let her shoot us enjoying family time. I hope she’ll let me share some of her photos here, but you should also check out Galit’s beautiful blog.

As I expected, the comments have been amusing, interesting and not terribly surprising. I’m pleased to see that there isn’t anything terribly inflammatory or rude posted thus far. We’ve had such an outpouring of support and it’s only noon. I love our community of friends and family. We’d never be as strong as we are without them.




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  1. Sarah
    March 7, 2014 / 4:26 pm

    I loved this article. We are a poly triad with two females, one male and five kids between us. We’ve been making it work for a year and a half and while it has challenges, it’s been incredibly rewarding too. After the initial shock wore off our family has been very supportive – friends just never seemed all that shocked. Good luck to you!

  2. Carol
    March 7, 2014 / 6:02 pm

    Great article! I too am from a polyfi triad; in our case my wife and I were together and it was our husband who joined us. We have two kids, and while in theory it’s scary what they might face, in actuality they’ve had nothing but people treating us normally. Hopefully they’ll have time to grow up before they have to face any intolerance about our family.

    I chuckled at the S&M reference because the few times I tried to join poly online groups or listservs, I always found the S&M enthusiasts to be really overly vocal, in a way they weren’t in any other part of life (other than the leather flag at the Pride parade, which is only once a year). So I kind of do associate S&M with poly, and I’m glad she made the distinction. 🙂

  3. Vera
    March 8, 2014 / 7:44 am

    The most telling comment is actually that you have no legal status so basically are a single-mom with no survivor benefits. Time really does speed up in your 40s then poof you’re an old lady living on the goodwill of others.

    • Mama C
      March 9, 2014 / 2:37 pm

      Wow Vera,

      Thank you for your carefully worded, obviously kind words of concern. I think it’s pretty presumptuous to suggest that my partners and I wouldn’t be taking the necessary steps to protect all of our interests. I’m very much looking forward to sharing that process here. Perhaps you’ll visit again in the future, and I can put your mind at ease.

  4. Lindsay Kemble
    March 27, 2014 / 12:27 am

    I am so happy to read this blog and see your personal perspective on the article written by Leah Mclaren, and would be interested to read a blog from each member of your family. I have been studying about the ways which mainstream media reflects and upholds heteronormative perceptions of sexuality, and chose the article from the Globe and Mail to discuss and analyze. I do believe Leah Mclaren did a great job, especially after reading your personal response, however I can see the way there is an inevitable bias in her writing from a dominant heteronormative perspective. Even the language she uses when she says; ̋But there is one aspect of Skinner’s life that is far from regular: Her family is polyamorous. ̋ (Mclaren, 2014), reflects the norm in saying that a polyamorous family is far from regular, deviating away from what is normal. This imposes that there is a ̋normal ̋ in the first place, and I believe that consenting individuals should be free to do what they want sexually and romantically, without sanction.