My Family Is Just Like Yours

**Posted for Blogging About LGBT Families Day (June 3rd)**

At the end of the day, that’s the simple truth. It doesn’t matter what parents head a family. In the end, my family is the same as yours. While your husband may go to work and provide for the family, that is my job in my family. You may stay home with your child and care for the needs of their everyday, we have a stay at home mom too, and it’s my daughter’s Mama, my partner.

The one thing I can never wrap my head around is that simple fact.

It doesn’t matter if the family is headed by two moms or a mom and a dad. It doesn’t matter if the family is headed by two dads or a single mom. When it comes down to the nitty gritty all we should really care about is whether or not the children in the family are being cared for, whether or not they are loved. I can say that I am sure your children are loved and well cared for and you do it in your own way.

The same courtesy is all I am asking for. This isn’t just about being a two mom house hold, it’s about being a family who parents differently than someone else. It’s about the “Mommy Wars” and judging other people’s decisions. Just because you didn’t allow your child to cry it out, doesn’t make my child a future sociopath. Just because we didn’t allow our daughter to co-sleep, doesn’t mean yours will grow up to be a clingy co-dependent adult.

See what I did there? I changed the way things look.

Imagine if you were me and your children were told that their father was not really their father because your marriage wasn’t legal and it wasn’t allowed because of some archaic rules from who knows where. Imagine for a moment if your husband passed away and your marriage was not fully recognized and your relationship to your child was not legally binding, thus, the moment he passed away, your child could be ripped from your arms. Imagine for a moment, you are sitting at a bench at the park with your daughter and you are sharing a nice little chicken nugget meal and someone were to come up and give you a judging look for feeding your child fast food. Now, imagine that you didn’t have time to cook a meal for your daughter because you just got off work, but your main priority was to take her out to play at the park and bond with her for a few hours.

Instead of judging the dynamic of another family, put yourself in their shoes. Feel what they feel. Regardless of what it is you are “being helpful” about. You aren’t being helpful. In the end, your comments and judgments are unfounded, because my family is just as normal as yours.

Does your daughter like to play at the park? Mine does.

playground

Do you come up with new ways to entertain your kid or spend time with them? We do!

playplace

Do you have a specific bedtime routine for your little one? We do.

nighttime

Do you read stories to your kid at night or during nap time? We do.

books

Does your toddler eat things they shouldn’t? Mine does.

chalk

Do you require your kid to eat their veggies? We do.

veggies

Does your daughter go to your spouse for comfort over you? Mine does.

comfort

And, let’s not forget, that because my family is not recognized as ‘legal’ and my partner is not considered my daughter’s mother, if I were to get a car accident tomorrow, my daughter would be ripped away from the person she seeks comfort from. Is that better for her? I doubt it. Does that cause damaging affects on a child’s psyche? I believe so.

If you have the same experiences that we do with our children, then as you can see, we are just like you. Our families are no different; our children are neither better nor worse off. In the end, it doesn’t matter who heads the family – what matters are the loves that comes with the family you have.

Celebrate the differences of the families around you. Remember that just because my daughter has two moms, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have male role models in her life. Just because my daughter has two moms, doesn’t mean she will lack for a male figure in her life.

And, frankly, how to single moms do it without a male figure in the children’s lives? Do we condemn them for not having a mom and a dad household? We sure don’t stigmatize them or say those moms are punishing their children for depriving them from having a male role model.

If you get anything out of this, just remember, my family is just like yours. Full of love and laughter, tears and fears. We all have the same common goal. Love our children and raise them to be good people in the world.

Check out more awesome blog posts about this:

Master List at Mobian

Real families on Equally Family

Reflecting on 2012 Presidential Election Results

I do my best to keep the politics light as a rule. However, this election in particular has been very dear to my heart. Last election, I voted for Barack Obama, not because I really knew what was going on. Admittedly  I am not the most politically minded person in the world. I didn’t pay attention to the issues, because for the most part, none of them effected me.

 I voted Democrat and that was mostly it. Until 2008 – when Barack Obama was a powerful speaker. He swept up this nation in 2008, with an eloquent voice and stance on hope and change. With Bush’s track record, I was just ready for a change. 
This year, I was more invested in the outcome of this election. This year there were so many issues that were going on that actually affected me. Some people have asked me if I was only supporting Barack Obama because of his stance on marriage equality and gay rights.
Well, of course, if you looked at a pie chart of my life, marriage equality and gay rights would be on the top of my list. I am a lesbian mom who has been with her partner for going on 10 years. Why shouldn’t I be able to share in the same rights as any straight married couple? Why shouldn’t I vote in favor of equality for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, religion, race, or gender? The marriage equality vote was a done deal when Barack Obama removed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” When he stood up for the families like mine and said, “I support you.” I never had a president talk to me – speak about my concerns to plainly. He looked into the camera and said, “I will fight for you.”
I personally look up to Barack Obama and his family. I look up to his marriage. I want my marriage to be as inspiring and loving and committed as his is. He and Michelle really give us a great look at what marriage should look like. Devotion, commitment, and genuine unconditional love. I feel as though my relationship reflects the same values and it makes me so proud to know that our President was fighting for me to be able to share in the same happiness he has with his own wife.
So, yes, marriage equality was the main reason that I got up at 5 AM yesterday and voted for Barack Obama. I won’t say that wasn’t the driving force of my voting motivation.
There were other things that were important to me. Just because I identify as lesbian, doesn’t mean that’s all I am.
I am also a woman. I am also a worker in the healthcare industry. I am also a MOM. I am also a person in debt. I am also a person who would love to go back to college. I am also a woman who believes in opportunities for every one, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. I am also a working class person. I am also an American.
It also doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for a woman’s right to choose. I stand up for a woman’s right to contraception. I stand up for a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body, in any circumstance.
I deal with people every day who can’t afford their medication. I deal with people every day who are denied coverage on their life saving medications that are now covered by ‘Obamacare’. I personally know people who struggle every day to pay their hospital bills because they have no access to healthcare. I know people who have to decide between their medications and their dinner. The elderly who get screwed by vague statements by insurance companies and loopholes in coverage. So, yes. I support Healthcare for everyone. Yes, I support asking those uninsured to get insurance. It is just like driving a car. You legally have to have insurance.  
I also believe that people from other countries who come here to make something of themselves should be accepted. If they go about it the right way, they shouldn’t be shunned. Why is it, because we had the luck of being born in this country, we are the only people allowed to live here, work here, be accepted here. I thought our country was founded on diversity. We broke away from England to get away from oppression. Everyone always talks about what our country was founded on. Did we forget that we ‘immigrated’ to America? Did we forget that just because in the modern world we are here, we didn’t start out here. We were just like all the immigrants out there. We came in and made something of ourselves in a new land.

I don’t believe that money makes the world go ’round. Yes, money is important, but only because society has made it so. What about love? What about happiness? What about the compassion you should have for another human being? 
I don’t understand how ‘Christians’ can spout about how they love everyone and then shun those who don’t believe what they do. This whole concept of loving thy neighbor has been shoved under the rug. Its not what Jesus would do. I am no longer identified as a Christian woman, but I grew up in a Christian home with a Christian family. However, Christians are acting very Christian lately and thus, I just decided not to be affiliated with that particular label. It doesn’t make me proud anymore.
Since when did politics and religion get all tangled up in one another? They are completely different topics.
Bottom line, 
I am so happy right now that the man who will stand up for my rights was re-elected last night. I am overjoyed that the man who has the backs of women was re-elected last night. I am ecstatic that the man who cares for the uninsured was re-elected last night. I am so overwhelmed by the idea that people of all religions, races, gender, and sexual orientation will be represented again these next four years.
Barack Obama is not the President of the people who supported him. He is the President of the United States of America. Whether you voted for him or not, he is your President and I believe he will stand up for the people of this country as he has done the last four years.
I am so thrilled to say that I had a hand in this historic moment of a second term for Barack Obama. Its inspiring to me. Its a beautiful moment in my own history to watch it unfold. It restores a little of my faith in Americans again. I just wish we could all be united in the United States of America and put politics aside. 
Work for the people not the politics. Let’s heal this country and go at it from the angle of love and compassion and equality.
Congratulations, Mr. President. I stand behind you 100% just as you have stood behind me as a woman, as a lesbian, as a mom, as a human and as an American.
Take Care ❤
Rachael