I am a non-resident parent to my son – there is no ‘perfect’ family

I’d like to share my story, as I think the more LGBTQ+ voices that are heard, the less alone I hope people feel if they go through the more difficult times of a gay parenting journey. 

I am a non-resident parent to my son who is almost 3 and it has been a turbulent few years but things are finally settling down to our new normality. My son stays with me regularly, including during the week and alternate weekends. We’ve had two short holidays this year and made the most incredible memories.

For me one of the most challenging things is not being able to talk to other parents in a similar situation about my circumstances. Being gay and a mother not living with their child full time is certainly not commonplace and so it can feel very isolating at times despite having amazingly supportive friends and family.

When I talk about my situation to other parents at groups, it sometimes feels like they don’t quite know what to say and often it is easier not to go into details. This then can make it feel more isolating and that you don’t have things in common with ‘normal’ parents, especially mothers.

As time has gone on, it has helped me to slowly start being more open about my situation and learning to be proud of who I am as a mother to my little boy. Just realising that there are lots of different types of families out there is very reassuring- there is no ‘perfect’ family!

When I’m with my son, I love planning nice things to do; either going to groups or special times just the two of us. These don’t have to be extravagant and expensive- it’s lovely going on little coffee and cake dates together and exploring our local area. It really helps me when I’m not with him to think of what we can do when I next see him. I’ve even started writing a book for young children in LGBTQ families!

There are more and more LGBTQ+ support networks on social media and communities like ‘queer parenting’ and ‘Bristol queer parents’ are invaluable platforms to help you feel you’re not alone.

I really hope that sharing my experience might encourage other parents in similar situations to reach out and share their stories. The biggest think I’ve learnt is that there are so many ways to raise a loving family and they are all equally as important as each other!

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The Queer Parenting Partnership was launched in 2020, in response to the shocking lack of birth and parenting support services for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

Everyone is welcome at The Queer Parenting Partnership.

Our values are of equality, fairness, power, love, community, laughter and fun. We aim to build a community for queer families to learn and grow together and to celebrate our presence in the world.


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