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Navigating expectations about parenting roles as LGBTQ parents

Parenting Styles   |   Age: 3 months



Navigating expectations about parenting roles as LGBTQ parents

From picking out parenting titles onward, new parents who fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella face the reality of parenting without having a predefined model for what parenting in their households should look like. Gender roles and parenting roles have been tied together in complex ways for a long time. But it’s one thing to think about alternative ways to approach parenting before your baby is born, and another to try to figure out the way to put those thoughts into action once you and your partner are busy juggling burp cloths.

It’s true that this lack of easy definitions for parenting roles clears space for the opportunity to set up dynamics that will fit your family in a way that can be overwhelmingly positive. On the other hand, this can also be its own kind of challenge, and it comes right on top of all the other challenges that come with having an infant.

To a certain degree, this is something every family deals with - “What sort of ideas about family that I grew up with will I keep as I build this new family? What will I do differently?” - and it’s something every family will need to navigate on its own. But members of the LGBTQ community can have especially complicated relationships with ideas about family. As your family works out the ways it’s going deal with those ideas, it’s important to remember to be patient with yourself and with each other. No one knows exactly what they’re doing when building a family, but it’s not like building a house - knowing what you’re doing isn’t a requirement, and having good intentions and working hard to meet them actually counts for a lot, and it helps ensure that you’re building something sturdy. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you’re building:

As your baby grows, you’ll notice that what she thinks of as “normal” will have as much to do with the choices you make for your family as it will with the world she sees reflected around her from outside your family.


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