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Poly Means Many: Time Management

March 2, 2015

Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts will be found at www.polymeansmany.com . This month, our topic is “Time Management”.

My experiences on the topic of time management are so deeply intertwined with my experiences of disability that I don’t think I can write about them separately.

With all polyamorous relationships the fundamental questions of time management are, what do you want to spend your time doing? What is important to you? Who is important to you? What do you need to feel fulfilled? What you need to feel loved? What is it that feeds you and makes you feel satisfied? What common thread runs through the days that end in contentment?

While I would love to say that my family and I have figured this out, we really haven’t. According to our shared google calendar we have date nights set up every week to make sure each couple touches base on a regular schedule. However since moving into the same house together the schedule has fallen apart a bit. Despite the fact that it’s almost three years ago we still haven’t worked out the kinks.

This has been, in no small part, as a result of my worsening disabilities. Since we moved in together, my disabilities have got much worse. I’ve always been the person in the family who is most attached to scheduling and who finds it easiest to maintain diaries. As my chronic fatigue has got worse, more and more of our home lives have become about working around my limitations, and filling in the gaps for the things that I can no longer do. In many respects, this is so much easier for a multi partner family then it would be for a monogamous family. In fact, back in 2011 when I last had a major relapse, my husband found it much more difficult to care for me on his own then he has recently with the support of our two partners.

The challenge, then, is for us to find time to grow and nurture our relationships around the onerous daily requirements of caring for someone who is very sick. Especially when the person who is very sick is also the person who would normally keep track of diaries and schedules, and make sure that things like date night don’t get forgotten in the day to day.

Back, therefore, to those fundamental questions. What is important to you? What do you need out of a relationship? What you need to feel loved?

For me, the most important thing that makes me feel loved, is physical contact. Not necessarily sexual contact, although that’s very nice, but being hugged and physically close to people. To be held and made to feel that I am worthy of their attention. As an extrovert in a relationship with three introverts, this can sometimes be difficult to obtain! Also, if someone spends a lot of time washing your dirty clothes, bringing you food in bed, and generally doing all the tiny things most people do for themselves, it can feel selfish to ask them to spend to yet more time on you, this time fulfilling your relationship needs as well as basic care. But while care is important, it’s just as important to spend time remembering why you agreed to do the care in the first place. For me, it’s also important to know that I give my partners more than just daily tasks and obligations, to know, and put aside time to remind ourselves, that I can make them laugh and smile too.

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