by Laura Allmayer, co-founder of Journey2Joy, mom to two little people, compulsive blogger and twitter addict. When she’s not blogging she’s plan baby showers and helping moms prepare for their new babies. And all the in between time is spent attending kiddies parties, fighting for alone time with her boyfriend and eating too many jelly beans!
My daughter is busy doing “family” at school. So we chatted over dinner the other night about what family is.
When I asked her who is in her family she replied, me, her dad, her brother, her gran and oupa.
Which may sound normal but her father and I have been divorced for 4 years and both him and I now have new partners.
David and I have been together for 8 months and he is very much a part of our daily life. Their father has been with his girlfriend for 2/3 years already.
When I asked her are they not also part of our family, she was adamant that they are not because we are not married. So to her family is defined by marriage. She acknowledges both David and their dads girlfriend as part of our lives but to her they are not family.
I am in two minds about her definition. While I am glad she still believes in the notion of marriage and family in the true sense of the word, even after everything they have been through, I also want them to learn that family can come in many forms. I have many friends who I consider more my family than cousins and aunts.
In today’s changing world the notion of family has really evolved and morphed into something that barely resembles the white picket fence and 2.5 kids and a dog named Rover. We have same sex parents, we have women willingly becoming single parents, we have a growing number of single parents, which increases the number of blended homes. In South Africa we have child led family’s, we have grans and aunts raising children.
Schools also need to start taking this into account and when they send a family tree to be completed there needs to maybe be blank and not necessarily the traditional “mom” and “dad” boxes that they currently have!
My definition of a family is all those people involved in my daily life. Those people I depend on, who help me through the tough times and who I know will love me no matter what!
What does family mean to you?