Poly Parents Logistics Question.


New member
So my wife and I are proud parents of a 5 and 7 year old. At the moment I am mono and she is open and dates other women. Regardless of our relationship status we both recognize the need to create space and time for both of us to pursue our own interests and to create space and time for us as a couple. Our options for child care are pretty limited at the moment so when we can get it we like to use it on us. We have been talking recently about trying to be better about creating a schedule or finding a way to plan for each of us to have our own time and for us to have time as a couple. I have found so much help and information here I would love to hear from any other folks here about what they have found successful and what they have learned to avoid. I can imagine that time management in polyamory is a real thing, even without kids. So please don't feel you have to be a parent to respond.
I think I'm lucky in that both Knight and I are poly and have been seeing other people since MiniMe was, like, under 2? So it's always been normal for him that a parent would be gone for an evening, or a partner would be over, etc - not a huge change to his life as it ends up feeling like for a lot of other parents I've seen post here.

That said, our system from when kiddo was 3 to around 8 was basically to trade off one evening a week spent "out" with the other parent handling the kid; I sometimes would end up with an extra one as I was dating a bit more actively but given that Knight had to travel more for work it felt pretty fair. Now his other partner lives with us and mine is over a couple times a week, but I think as Plague ends our "one night out, no questions asked" still will be the rule with other activities being negotiated for on a case by case basis. It also helps, now, that kiddo spends one night a week at his grandmother's house, sometimes two, and that kid-free time ends up being used semi-evenly between (Joan and Knight ) and (me and Knight). You're totally correct in that it's utterly essential that you plan for couple time for you and your spouse, even while dating other people, else you end up with the "poly vacation" effect where you have one fun partner and one boring partner.

You being mono does add an interesting dimension to this; do you have hobbies or friends that you spend time with instead of partners that you could use a night out with?
Before pandemic when kids were small? We each had 2 days a week to do what we wanted. Whether we went out with friends or stayed home? The other parent was the "parent in charge." So they dealt with whatever kid stuff. If they wanted to be out on the same night? As the parent in charge they had to be the one to line up babysitting and whatnot.

For spending time together? At home we'd just plan in house dates for after kids went to bed. For going out? We'd hire a sitter, trade babysitting with other families, etc. Oh, and we'd take same days off and do day dates so the kids were at school. Several of the schools and parks do a "parent's night out" where you can drop your kid for activities and go out, then come back and pick up.

Once children were of age to be left on their own? We sometimes did that too. The age/laws differ by state as to how old but yours are pretty small still.

Maybe that gives you some ideas.

You being mono does add an interesting dimension to this; do you have hobbies or friends that you spend time with instead of partners that you could use a night out with?
I do have interest in being open and we are just reaching the point where we are discussing it. While we have work to do before we get to the point where I might interact with anyone else romantically or sexually we are focusing on the need to create space. COVID kind of has us both feeling severe cabin fever with both of us working from home and our 5 year old being at home for more than a year. I have plenty I like to go out and do both on my own and with friends and such. In our recent conversations about me being open she told me that most of her jealous feelings surrounded missing me and sharing time more than the thought of me actually having sex with someone. That is what kind of led to this discussion. We realized that having time to pursue our own interests and needs outside our relationship is not only healthy but important.

From my point of view, I do miss her when she is not here. What her being open has taught me is that what she is doing when she is out does not have an impact on how I feel. I still miss her but it makes me happy that she is having fun but it does not matter if she is at girls night, hanging at a friends house, having sex or playing bingo. She understands the logic but has not done the work to process the part that could include sex or romantic interaction with anyone else but her. We agreed that it was a good idea to address the time aspect now while giving us the time to work through the other things. So that is where we are at.

At the moment we were talking about us each having one night a week and having one night a week for us. Our 7 year old is on the Autism Spectrum and that has a few challenges with child care. We manage an overnight with grandparents about once a month. We have been talking about making sure we have date nights even at home, after the kids go to bed where we do something together without screen time or doing the business of running a household. We have talked about keeping one weekend night for us and alternating the other between us every other week with the partner who does not have the solo weekend night having their pick of the weekdays.
Hi Mbalmr,

I think the key thing is to trade off parenting responsibilities. So that if you babysit the kids on a Friday while your wife has a night out, then she will babysit the kids on the next Friday so that you can have a night out. Of course, the hardest part is, figuring out how to make time for you and your wife to do something together. The overnight with grandparents is one example of how to do this. Setting aside time after the kids are in bed is another example. There are no easy answers, poly is very time-intensive, and having young children while being poly is an enormous challenge. Some people wait until the kids are grown before going poly. You have to decide what's right for you.

Kevin T.