Music Power Couple On Being the Only Same-Sex Couple At Their Kids’ School + Breaking Stereotypes
living in cities you tend to come across a higher percentage of families who don’t fit the “stereotypical mold” and we are here for it. Single parents, same-sex parents, Divorced parents, trans parents, cohabitating parents, Citykin wants to spotlight all of it. today we’re going to make you feel way conscious about your bad nursery rendition of “twinkle Twinkle” to your tiny human (#itslok) because Music power couple ALERT! Citykin spoke to sony exec + activist Lauren Blitzer-Wright about city parenting with her wife, country music star chely Wright. You are welcome y’all!
How long have you and your wife been together? Chely and I have been together for 9 years and married for 8, this August!
How many kids do you have? Names and ages (if comfortable disclosing!) We have 6-year old identical twin boys named George and Everett.
Today, it's really normal to have same-sex parenting households (at least in NYC!)...do you recall a time where that was not the norm? Did you ever think when you were younger that you'd have the family life you have now? As much as we can say it's normal to have same-sex parenting households (at least in NYC) I have to say, that might be true in the west village or Chelsea, but on the upper east side, we are one of VERY few same sex parents. In fact, at the boys school, we are the ONLY same sex couple, out of 800 kids that attend the school. Almost all of my mom friends are straight, and while they look at me and Chely no differently that their straight mom friends and husbands, it's still alarming to me that families like us are nearly non-existent in our neighborhood. While I feel like I come out everyday, as we walk on the street and questions come up like "are they twins, are YOU two twins' "who's the mom" - it just means it's even more important for us to be living in this neighborhood and showing our neighbors and friends and strangers that we are no different.
We know a lot of younger women might not know what’s involved if they go down the path of having a child so we’re just going to ask…how hard is it to have a child if a dad is not involved? Is it insane expensive or is the process relatively simple?
It's not particularly hard to have a child when a dad is not involved. There are two paths - seeing the donor part as just the other anonymous biological material to get this done, and the other is choosing to have another person, who is genetically tied to your child, in their life in some capacity. If you go with the first, less potentially complicated path, finding and buying sperm is like almost like online dating. You chose all the characteristics you would be looking for, whether you are open to your future spawn being able to contact the donor (open) or not (closed). Then with a push of a few buttons and a credit card number you basically have your missing ingredient. After that, it's either IUI or IVF and fingers crossed you see two lines on the pregnancy test. More companies are offering programs to cover the costs associated with getting pregnant, whether it be storage for the sperm or eggs, or IVF treatment. Even in the past six years since our boys were born it's becoming more of a common practice to offer more benefits that pertain to the LGBT community.
Do your kids ever ask about their dad? How do you handle those conversations? Has it ever been a tough talk? Any advice to other couples you are a few years behind you or don't have kids yet?
My kids haven't really asked about that yet. The closest we have come to that conversation was, why don't we have a dad, and that was last year when they were 5. At that point, we felt it was appropriate to talk about other families we knew that were different. Their best friend has just a mom, and another friend from pre-school has 2 dads. My niece and nephew have 2 moms. We were sweating the follow-up questions, but none came! I think when they get older there will likely be more questions, which, honestly, we are likely not very prepared to answer right now. I envision a lot of googling for advice and reading in our future. Thank god for the internet.
What is the BEST thing about having two moms?!
The best thing about having two moms is, we both show up for almost everything, together. Where we see at lot of moms taking their kids to their annual check-ups we both take them. We both go to school events and functions and we are both equally involved with their teachers and after school activities, etc. Since they were both babies, we both got up, every time they woke up (which was every 2 hours at the beginning) and had a routine. One would go to the kitchen, heat up the bottles, while the other preset 2 diapers. We would take a baby, change it, grab the bottles and sit in peace for the 15-20 minutes they ate, music playing on low, fatigue running high. It's a true partnership.
Who is the fun parent!?!? ;)
Everyone thinks they are the fun parent! But obviously, it's me. Just kidding, I think we are both fun in our own ways. I want to go rock climbing with them and get them into skateboarding lessons in between trips to chuck E cheese. A lot of the joy I had as a kid came from sports. While I don't want to push that on the boys, I want to find out what they are into and what brings them joy, then support the hell out of that.
We know you’re basically dealing with Beyonce and Adele + grabbing drinks with Faith Hill & Shania;) so we’re so thankful for you taking the time to answer these questions!!!
Lauren’s wife Chely has used her celebrity platform to be an advocate for the LGBT community. She was the first major country music star to come out and continues to break barriers and trail blaze in her music circles and community. An excerpt from a 2010 “Newsweek” article. "I had a gun in my mouth. That's the most compelling reason. I was going to kill myself. In early 2006, during my breakdown, during a time I couldn't connect the dots, I took inventory of my life. I had been and always was a lesbian; I always knew it. I had always been hostage by my secret. I realized I didn't have a way to work out my problem. I had had a partner for 12 years, and the hiding ripped us apart. There had never been an openly gay male or female homosexual who had had success in country music.”