I met my husband, Michael, at the start of a summer internship while he finished his Master’s degree. Both of our lives and careers were moving forward at full speed when we started a summer romance we both expected to end in three months. Yet when that summer came to its end, we considered our future plans and decided to keep the fires burning. We managed to stay together despite several relocations (together and separately) for work and to complete two PhD programs — mine in industrial/organizational psychology, his in higher education administration — all in the midst of a transformative period in LGBT history.
Fourteen years later, that summer fling became a legally recognized, lifetime commitment. We got married on July 4, 2015 — a week after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage throughout the country. As another momentous summer comes to an end, we are considering our future a second time. Now that we are married in the eyes of our families, the state, and the faith Michael grew up in (Reform Judaism), it seems like the time to consider catching up to many of our straight friends and expanding our family to include children. A change both our mothers probably believe is long overdue.
Of course, we know that the arrangements that have worked for so long will have to change. Even the best laid plans will crumble upon contact with a baby. I accept that we’ll have to improvise again (a lot), and parenting will be an adventure that we’ll have to make up as we go along. I know our child(ren) will have us as their role models, and will look to our choices to help them define what they should be when they embark on their own transitions to parenthood. I hope that what they see when they look at us is not the “right” way to be parents, but instead, the right way to figure out what kind of parents they want to be.
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* Dr. Kenneth Matos is Senior Director of Research at Families and Work Institute.