Here is a post I wrote for the website Family Friendly HQ, an amazing resource for Irish parents.
Same-sex parent Ranae von Meding talks about the "new normal" Irish family and her opinions on the Church's role in modern-day Ireland.
When it comes to what your typical Irish family looks like, things have changed a lot in the last 20 years. Hell, even in the last 10 years. More and more often we are seeing all types of families. What was once ‘normal’ is changing.
We have a new normal now.
Modern families are made up of people of all shapes and sizes. From single parents to stay at home dads. Same-sex/trans/non-binary parents to families created through adoption, fertility treatment and surrogacy. Things are changing- and it’s great to see.
We are lucky in Ireland that for the most part, there is acceptance and tolerance of all races, religions and sexual orientations.
As a same-sex parent to our two girls, it’s very important to me that I see all family types respected and represented in our everyday culture. If we don’t have visibility, how can we expect it to be normalized? If my girls don’t see other families that look like their own, how can I expect them not to feel different? And they aren’t different. They just happen to have two moms instead of a mom and a dad.
History was made recently when three schools decided to take a step away from their traditional Catholic ethos and become multi-denominational state-run schools. I see this as an incredibly positive move towards a more inclusive society. While I have no problem with anyone wanting to raise their child in a particular faith, I do not believe that education should be dictated by a church. For too long the church was in charge of our education and health care systems. And look where that got us?
Something which has really struck me as a parent to little ones, is how much more accepting they are than adults, who can be stuck in their ways. So many times my 3-year-old's friends have asked me, ‘does Ava have a daddy?’ I’ll reply no. That she has two moms. ‘Oh, she has 2 moms?’ They pause for thought and then say something along the lines of, ‘Wow. She’s so lucky.’ And that’s the end of the conversation.
They carry on with their life and no more is said about it.
Kids have no judgement. No preconceptions of what is ‘normal’. They accept what they see at face value. And when they look at my family they see two very happy little girls with two very loving moms.
We could all do well to take some lessons from our kids now and then.