Our family blogger, Which One Is Mummy, on the importance of inclusive education
BY KATY ROBSON-MALONE
And they cant make make babies either according to one of G’s classmates!!
When we were looking at schools for our biggest tiny human, there were the obvious things you would look for, but we also wanted to make sure that our children would be able to grow up in an environment that was safe and accepting of their world and their family.
The school we chose absolutely melted our hearts. It was the perfect choice in so many ways, but I do remember being told we were the first same-sex couple and feeling slightly nervous about what that could mean for our little ones. I mean there are some things where you always want to be the first, like when they’re giving out cake and beer, or if we are sharing bath water with all five of us (sorry Lynz, you’re always last). But sometimes being the first and setting the standard or expectations can be hard and tiresome.
Turns out there was nothing to worry about, so far everything has been absolutely fine thanks to amazing staff at the school. We have found it’s all about open lines of communication. We can talk to the teachers openly and honestly about our lives and what our family is like. Over the last year, they’ve got to know us well and have supported G more than we could have ever imagined. I mean she can read and write and she is five! Just five!!! Seriously, the teacher and teaching assistants in her class are so dedicated, caring and clearly passionate about the wellbeing of every single child who comes through that classroom – it’s a real comfort. We love that they take no nonsense too, as we can’t be doing with faffing either.
For Father’s Day they asked us who we wanted to make something for and the consideration was lovely. G came home with a lovely piece for her grandad in Newcastle, which reduced us all to tears. It’s little things like this that go a long way, but I did wonder if with the girls’ nursery always doing this kind of stuff to support our family, that perhaps we were a bit spoilt and not everywhere was going to be accepting. But so far that’s not the case. This is all new to us too. I actually think that people have started to realise we are actually quite boring really!
However, with the protests at the school in Birmingham about the LGBTQI curriculum, and with our school being a faith school, I was worried that inclusivity would be an issue. I read what it was they were teaching in Birmingham and I thought, “Is that it? Why does anybody have a problem with that?” Have you seen the books they are using? I bought them for the girls when I saw them. They are such sweet story books and all they teach children is that people are different, families are different and that it’s ok to be different. That’s all children need to know.
I couldn’t believe all the fuss, upset and hurt that has been caused by it. When I spoke with the school about it, they reassuringly told me they were already using similar books and don’t have any problems promoting equality and different families. I was so relieved. They were reading a story in class about a thousand mummies. When the child in the story said she just wants her two mummies, something clicked in G’s mind and her eyes lit up. She said, “I have two mummies!” Bless her little heart. It’s like the penny just dropped.
So when we were told two girls can’t get married or make babies, we got the Our Story book out from the donor conception network. Our little saviour. Straight to the point, no messing around and easy to understand. Perfect! We always feel that it’s important for our children to know the truth, so that there’s never a time that they could be made fun of for thinking something that isn’t true. We are not naive enough to think that there won’t still be bullies out there, but facts are always the best way and hopefully that will save them from mean folk. Lynz did tip-toe around the sperm part saying we got “seeds” from a man. I said, “It’s sperm. It’s called sperm” and we laughed. G wasn’t interested really but Lynz and I were both proud of how we handled it.
And the getting married part was easy. No need for explanations. They CAN get married and so can two men and a man and a woman. End of!
We are very much still finding our way in raising our family. We certainly don’t have all of the answers but that’s normal for all parents – not just the lesbian ones!
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