Most parents would welcome any extra help they can get to lessen the struggle of sleepless nights, round-the-clock feedings, and countless diaper changes with a new baby. For one Colorado family, their childcare plan for baby daughter Aria Lynn, born in December, has always included an extra set of hands: Lo Taylor, Mike Taylor, and Jess Woodstock are polyamorous parents who shared their story with the Caters News Agency (coming to us via the New York Post).
Lo Taylor, 31, of Denver may have carried the baby, but she and her husband Mike always wanted their girlfriend Jess Woodstock to be another mom to their daughter, even trying to sync up their hormones to stimulate her milk production so she could breastfeed the newborn. While that hasn’t work out, they are rotating the night shift to take care of the infant.
“We all take it in turns to sleep in the spare room and give her a feed throughout the night so whoever is on the late shift doesn’t disturb the other two,” Lo Taylor told Caters. “It’s been a blessing having three pairs of hands instead of two.”
This Colorado threesome is not alone: In 2017, a polyamorous throuple from San Diego won a milestone legal victory in 2017 when California judge put three dads on birth certificate. One of the three dads, Dr. Ian Jenkins wrote a book about their life, Three Dads and a Baby, which is due out in March.
Newsflash, while their family structure is a different than most, their life is pretty normal. “I’m pretty sure it’s lifelong monogamy that’s weird,” Jenkins told San Diego County News. “Our culture is filled with all of these stories about longing and infidelity. It’s natural for us to feel affections for more than one person. What’s exotic is that we actually did it — we made a life many people think of as an unattainable dream, but we’re ordinary people otherwise. We have the same conversations about what to have for dinner, what to watch on TV.”
According to Elizabeth A. Sheff, Ph.D., CSE, there’s no reason for people to fear damage to children of polyamorous families. “Yes, polyamorous families can be healthy,” she wrote in Psychology Today. “There is nothing inherently pathological about polyamorous families, and they are not destined to damage the children who grow up in them. Polyamorous families can create healthy, stable, loving environments for children when the adults provide that kind of environment.”
Sheff says that, just like in other families, the way children are affected depends on how the parents conduct themselves in their relationships. Plus, she says, having multiple adults in a household means there are more people who can provide attention, support, and role models for the children.
“Pooling their resources also allows adults to have more personal time, work more flexible hours, and get more sleep because there are multiple people around to take care of the children,” she wrote. “Poly parents said that they felt more patient and had more energy for their children when they were well rested and had sufficient income — all of which benefitted their children.”