Out with Mommy

Archive for the ‘lesbian mom’ Category

Julianne Moore who starred with Annette Bening as lesbian couple  rasing children together in “The Kids are Alright” recently talked about same-sex couple parenting skills.

Julianne Moore, a mother of two, commentedin  an interview that same-sex couples may make better parents because their children are planned.

“You know what else is really nice, is if you’re in a same-sex relationship, you can’t have a kid by accident, so these children are planned and loved and wanted, well-educated and well-adjusted — and that’s what you want,” she said.

That’s what we’re all here for, right?”

Last week my partner and I were shopping yesterday at Target in West Hollywood, buying some decorations and favors for a Halloween party we are hosting for the kids in the neighborhood, and we were having a delightful time picking out multi-colored flashlights and jack-o-lantern treat buckets, but the shopping trip turned ugly when my son wanted every bag of candy in the Halloween aisle.

A smart boy, he learned long ago how to Houdini out of the safety straps on shopping carts, so it has become a regular challenge to keep him seated in the cart.  After he stood up in the cart several times, and we firmly told him to sit back down, explained to him that it was dangerous, that the store manager would tell us to leave if he didn’t sit down, yadda, yadda, yadda, we finally warned him that if he stood up in the cart one more time, he would have to go with Mommy to the car and wait.

Always testing, as three year olds do, he stood up.  That was it.  I plucked him from the cart and plopped in on my hip.  “Ok, now we’re going to the car.”

He turned to my partner, whom my son calls “Momma,” for reinforcement.  In solidarity with me, she told him, “No, you have to go to the car with your Mommy, because you didn’t sit in the cart.”

I carried him, kicking and screaming all the way to the elevator to the parking garage.  The whole way he screamed, “Momma, Momma.  I want Momma.”

The other people in the elevator starred as I tried to calm down the desparate child in my arms.  I gently reinforced to him, “Next time if you sit in the cart like a good boy, then we can stay.”

All the way to the car he threw a fit and wailed for “Momma.”‘  Slightly embarrassed, I grimaced at the people trapped in the elevator with me and this squirming, screaming child.  As I crossed the parking lot  two men were following me.  I stopped beside my car and was fumbling to find my keys in my purse when one of the men approached me.  In a quiet but demanding tone, “Can you tell me, where is his mother?”

I realized that he thought I was not this child’s mother, and that he thought I might be kidnapping him.  I took a deep breath.  “I am his mother.  He lives with me and my partner.  He calls her ‘Momma.’  That’s why he was calling for ‘Momma.’ ”

Still unconvinced, he stood watching me while my son screamed even louder because a threatening looking stranger was looming over his mom. The man was wearing (no lie) Bermuda shorts, socks and sandals.  He definitely did not look like he was from  our part of town.  Possibly a tourist, maybe from the Midwest.

“I want to make sure nobody is taking him who shouldn’t be,” said the man, his friend stepping in closer.

“I appreciate that,” I said, “But I am his mother.  I gave birth to him.”

Here I was in a parking lot telling way too much information to a total stranger, and I was stunned at the idea that someone could think I was a kidnapper.  After all, I was in West Hollywood, gay central.

I tried to sooth my son with, “It’s’ okay, it’s okay,” as I opened the rear door of my car to put him in the carseat.  The man wasn’t budging.  I supposed I could have asked my son to tell the man who I was, but the way my son was throwing a fit who knows what he might have said.  What could I do?  I had already told the man my life story in 20 seconds.  I focused on loading my son into the car, but with two men staring down his mom — and by now my heart beat racing and me exuding shaky nerves — my son was completely rattled.  He refused to go into the carseat.

I decided it best not to escalate the scene.  “Come sit up front with Mommy, OK?  You can honk the horn.”  Finally, my son heard something he liked.  Saved by the horn.  He quit crying, and we went around to the driver’s side where I sat with him in my lap and shut the door.

“Just one time,” I told him.  He tooted the horn.  The men were still standing behind my car.  Now, because of the horn, other people were looking at us.  On the passenger seat floor I spied the bag of candy that we had just gotten at the Westside Families Halloween party at Plumber Park.  A Tootsie Roll sucker!  Normally the one piece of sticky, sugary candy that he’s normally forbidden. I handed it to him for a guaranteed distraction.  He quickly unwrapped it and stuck it in his mouth.  Peace and quiet.

After about a minute, the men walked away.

I sat in the car with my son not sure what to think.  Part of me was glad that strangers would step up to make sure a child was safe.  it was a like an episode of that hidden-camera show, “What Would You Do?” where actors play out some sort of unfair or dangerous social situation to see if passersby will intervene.  Then again, the incident was a reminder of the assumptions some people make and their ignorance about alternative family structures.

In the end, I decided I was glad that the men had approached me.  If someone really had been abducting my son, then I’m glad someone risked their own comfort to approach a stranger to find out what was really happening.  Also, the confrontation gave me the opportunity to educate the men about another family formation.  So maybe next time they see two women with a child they will consider that the women might not be sisters, friends or co-workers but partners.

All in all, a happy ending.

A couple of years ago one of the major mommy magazines ran a short feature on Cat Cora with nary a mention of her partner or the fact she was raising her children in a two-mom household, but Working Mother was anything but mum about the topic in their recent cover story on the out and proud lesbian and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef of America.

The article featured a family photo of Cat, her partner Jennifer and their four boys.  In a Q&A format the story covers everything from Cat’s coming out to her IVF adventures with Jennifer and their arrangement of having each other’s eggs transferred into the other mother so that they gave birth to each other’s biological children, except for the one boy who they don’t know who is bio mom because they mixed their eggs.

Thanks Working Mother for coming out with such a wonderful, honest and inspiring story of an accomplished working mom who happens to be gay.

Posted on: September 10, 2010

Saw this post on Mombian which is several months old but timeless!  Ok, so my partner and I are not on the list, but we feel pretty powerful each time we say no to chocolate ice cream at 8 o’clock at night.

Mombian Blog Archive  The Most Powerful Lesbian Moms in America.

POV (Point of View), the award-winning PBS documentary series, is proud to present POV Adoption Stories, three acclaimed films about international and domestic adoption, airing on PBS from Tuesday, Aug. 31 – Tuesday, Sept. 14.

The films explore the challenges of adoptees forging new identities while holding on to their cultural roots. The award-winning film Off and Running,  a story about lesbian parents raising a multiracial family, will air as part of the series on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. (check local PBS listings) In addition the TV premiere, POV will be streaming Off and Running in its entirety beyond the broadcast, from Sept. 8 – Dec. 7 at www.pbs.org/pov/video  to commemorate National Adoption Month in November.

Off and Running, by Nicole Opper, is the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white, Jewish lesbians. Her two brothers are black and Puerto Rican and Korean-American. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems her life will unravel, Avery begins to make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.  

Nicole Opper (Director/Producer)

Nicole Opper’s filmmaking credits include producing the Emmy-nominated “The Killer Within” (Toronto International Film Festival, Discovery Channel), “Sacco and Vanzetti” (Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Winner of Best Historical Film by the American Historical Society) and the Here! network’s five-part documentary series LSS. She was selected for Filmmaker magazine’s annual list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2009 and for Heeb magazine’s list of “100 Jews You Need To Know About” in 2008.

Off and Running was an Audience Favorite Finalist at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, winner of the Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary at Outfest, Best Documentary at the Milan International Women’s Film Festival, Best Documentary at Philadelphia QFest, winner of the SILVERDOCS WGA Award for Best Documentary Screenplay and winner of the Audience Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

 Opper is pursuing a master’s in media, culture and communication at New York University’s school of education. A Brooklyn resident, she is currently a Fulbright Fellow in Mexico, where she is in production on “The Ipo Boys” (working title), a documentary about an innovative group home for abandoned youth.

Watch the trailer and find out more about this film at www.pbs.org/pov/offandrunning.

My son has adored dolls since he held his first one around age one.  He relishes playing tea party with Tara and Michaela, my partner’s nieces and their dolls when we visit Grandma’s house, and he just delights in pushing along my neighbor Stella’s doll in her play-stroller during their playdates.

When I see him very naturally cradling a doll and talking to it, I see glimpses of a conscious boy growing into a caring and sensitive man who will one day be the most wonderful loving father imaginable.

My son is lucky.  Many young boys are deprived of the privilege of developing their nurturing instincts with dolls because of a bias toward dolls as girls’ toys, but Baby GoGo is helping to change that perception.

For today’s modern boy, the folks at Baby GoGo have created a doll outfitted in gender neutral clothing and that comes with a story book that instructs how to care for baby.  The book, soon to be in its second printing, will be updated and revised to include images of a single parent figure, alternating male and female, in order to broaden the accessibility to families with same-sex parents and single parents.

Products from Baby GoGo include the Baby GoGo Goes Home Baby Set ($39.99), with doll, PJs, bottle, blankie and other accessories; the Baby GoGo Diaper bag, sized for little ones and complete with play diapering supplies ($24.99); and the Moses Bed, a carry-around travel bed for the doll ($29.99)

Available at babygogodoll.com.

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