Posts for gay parenting

Being 8

Forever Family, Go Girl! - Allison Kenny - June 15, 2017


Being 8 is sitting in the car

Without a booster seat

It’s being able to scooter in front of the house

From here to there

With a friend

While Mamas stay inside

And peek through the window

Being 8

Is no longer needing

Morning snuggles

Most days

Cause you are too busy in your own bed

Memorizing Hamilton lyrics

Or finishing up that Chapter Book

On Your Own

Being 8 is understanding

Cause & Effect


So chores and morning jobs and “Yes, Mamas”

Are no big deal

They lead to fun and Yes and more of what you love

Being 8 is all about


Where you design cookbooks

With recipes like, “Allison’s Amazing Applesauce”

And “Lynn’s Lovely Lemonade”

Being 8 is safe

Being 8 is free

Being 8 is choice

Being 8 is just the tiniest bit sad for Mama A

Because it means you will never again be 7

You will never be again 6

6 is the age that you were born to us

Our baby years with you only lasted a very little while

And you are already


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How We Celebrated a Big Anniversary on a Little Budget

Gay Parenting, Love Wins, Uncategorized - Allison Kenny - June 29, 2016

If you don’t know already, Oakland is one of the priciest places to live in the country. As mampreneurs, my wife and I have had to get real about our spending since bringing our little Squirrel home. I looked to other mommy bloggers for inspiration about living an abundant life on a budget and came across some great stuff by Amiyrah on her blog, 4 Hats and Frugal. After watching her video on creating a family budget and reading some posts on 64 dollar grocery bills, I was ready to help our family shift some things…especially while living in the Bay Area!

But…a 10 year anniversary is very special thing. It only comes round…well, every 10 years. So what if we couldn’t afford the Hawaiin vacation I dreamt of? What COULD we do, given the income we have TODAY? Well, one of our favorite things of all time is to hole up in a nice hotel and eat a fancy picnic. For this anniversary, our “hotel” was a super clean house and gorgeous bunch of flowers my sister gave us to celebrate. We gave ourselves a $50 dinner budget and chose to spend it at Whole Foods, instead of our usual Trader Joe’s.

Fresh flowers + clean house + Whole Foods= ABUNDANCE IMG_2322

We hurried to pick out our all time favorite decadent cheese and some good wine. We rushed to get home in time for the massage therapists who were coming by. That’s right. Our “at home Hawaii” included side by side massages in our living room. Who knew you could book this the day before? Turns out Soothe is the Uber of massage therapy. Yes please!


I’m aware that spending $200 on massages and $50 on a picnic is not considered a low cost night to most folks. BUT let’s be honest- a trip to Hawaii would have been 2-5K so I’d say we did pretty good. Plus, we chose this budget, based on Amiyrah’s fabulously frugal advice. Our new family budget has us spending 5% of our monthly income on entertainment and another 5% on personal expenses (aka massages!). This is after giving away 10% every month, saving another 10% and paying all our bills.


It felt so good to know we were being choiceful and smart about the cash we earn AND got to celebrate our marriage according to our values- beauty, self care, fancy cheese…oh and FUN.

Do you think my wife of 10 years busted out the kareoke machine and insisted that we sing all the love songs that were played at our wedding? Oh yes. Yes she did.

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What it’s like to “father” as a mother

Love Wins - Lynn Johnson - February 6, 2015

I am a woman and I am a parent.  This means that, according to the English language, I am  a “mother,” right? Well…I’m not so sure.  In my family, I am clearly the “father”.  Here’s why…

My wife is the “mother.”

Almost immediately upon bringing “The Squirrel” home, she favored Allison.  She turns to Allison more often for hugs, hair braiding, and lap sitting.  When she is sad or tired or overwhelmed or that lovely combination of the three, she seeks out Allison for comfort.  Allison is the one that hasn’t gotten a private moment in the shower for 4 months.I must tell you that, since Allison has the whole “mom” role all shored up, I have, “naturally” (I guess) taken on the role of “dad.”  Well, I shouldn’t say I have “taken it on.”  More appropriately, it has been thrust upon me.  I know, it’s weird. And unexpected.  And I know that I am dangerously treading in that incredibly homophobic “who’s the man” territory when analyzing lesbian relationships.  But our social worker has told us that this kind of thing actually is natural.  When kids are adopted into new homes – especially ones with same-sex parents – the child subconsciously assigns one parent to be, what she calls, “the breast parent.”  The parent who is the main source of comfort and tenderness.  The parent who can’t leave the house without a fit being thrown.  Allison is this parent.  I am not.

I understand what it feels like to “babysit” my own kid.

When I told my sister-in-law, a stay-at-home mama of 4 kids, that I was the “dad” in our family, her response was “Lucky!”  I get it.  Unlike Allison, I get plenty of private showers.  At the same time, I get far less hugs and way more attitude.  I get lots of “aw”s in protest of the idea that Mommy has to go out and I have to be the one to put her to bed.  Like SO MANY things that I didn’t understand or even blatantly judged before I became a parent (which is a blog post in and of itself, right), I never understood heterosexual mamas who would talk about their husbands being at home and “watching the kids.”  I was like, “what?  They are the parents too!  Why are you treating them like they are babysitters?!?”  But, my fellow and sister dads, I get it now.  We are the babysitters when mom is gone.  I know what it feels like to be both politely and not-so-politely tolerated until the parent they really want comes home.  So yes, I get a bit more time to myself, but sometimes it feels like it’s because I am not a completely valued member of this family.  And that sucks.

I am celebrated as “provider”…and not much else.

The funny thing about me being the “dad” is that I lack so many of those stereotypical dad skills and interests.  I do own a set of tools because I am supposed to but I have no idea how to use them.  I pay people to hang pictures on the walls.  No exaggeration.  I neither watch nor play any sport.  And I am the absolute worst on the grill.  I overcook every piece of meat I touch.

And yet, the stereotypical “dad” traits that I do possess have totally risen to the surface and are engaged on a daily basis.  I am a master of “the dad joke” (so was my own dad so I learned from the best).  I drink beer and whiskey…proudly.  And, I have definitely embraced by role as the “provider.”  I will run to the store for anything at any time when anyone needs it.  I make sure Allison has her morning cup of coffee, her evening cocktail, back rubs, foot massages and anything else she needs to survive being a mom (duh, of course I am a modern dad).  I am the one that gets to take “The Squirrel” to Target or the library or, god forbid, a classmate’s birthday party – pretty much any place that  Allison just doesn’t want go. Basically, I do my best to stay out of the way until someone needs something.  Then, I know I can fly in and do what I do best.

I fully expect that I will be a total superhero in a couple of years

Right now, being the one who makes sure that my family’s Target needs are met is my main superpower.  However, I fully expect this to change.  I remember when I started to actually like my own dad as a kid.  When I about 7 or 8 and I actually started to understand his stupid jokes and think they were kinda funny.  I started to understand my dad’s job and how freakin’ cool it was that he got to go to work at a television station everyday and work with those same people that I saw on tv every night on the 6 o’clock news.  When I was starting to feel a bit more independent and no longer wanted my mommy in the same ways, I could turn to my dad, not for comfort so much, but for something else.  For…adventure, maybe?  To explore new sides of myself?  Beyond wishful thinking, I fully expect that “The Squirrel”(now just a very young 6) will wake up one day having had a major epiphany that she has been living with one of the coolest people ever this whole time and never noticed it.  She is gonna bonk herself in the head in that shoulda-had-a-V8 style and say “Wow!  My other mom is amazing too!  What have I been thinking rejecting her this whole time?!?”  When that time comes, things will shift.  Our family will feel more in balance.  She will get my stupid jokes and I will be celebrated for the rock star that I am.

But, when that time comes, I will still insist that my showers remain private.

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