We have failed you, dear readers. I promised we would return to our regular postings, but we haven’t, and that makes me a gross liar. We have been busy bees this fall. School, new jobs, and puppies have filled our time. Sometimes, all I want to do is cuddle and play with this babybabe, Geoff, all day long:
I have discussed family and babies on this blog before and really, I think all these Chickz know where I’m coming from as well as many of our young female readers. Basically, I wanted to talk about the connotations to “family.” It can change so much when you are a successful professional woman (or some other “other”). How do you manipulate that line so it wraps around you and your decisions instead of dissecting your place in the world.
Why must it always be one or the other?
Here are 4 scenarios:
Family 1) Two loving parents, a mother and a father with one child. They move around a lot, still restless even though they have decided to “settle down.” Neither the mother nor the father has any living parents.
Family 2) Two loving parents, two mothers. They are both successful women, they live in a comfortable home with two children. They invite each of their extended family over for every holiday (both their parents are divorced so it can get hectic).
Family 3) One loving parent, a father, who cares deeply for his 3 daughters, his wife having died in childbirth. He is successful, but must be rather reclusive in order of complete most of his work. His daughters see him less and less as they age but know he is only working his hardest so they can have a comfortable life.
Family 4) One loving parent, a single mother, who with the help of her own mother and father raises her adopted child. She doesn’t really need the help as she is financially successful and lives comfortably, but she likes having the 4 extra hands. Together, they love the child and foster a good learning environment.
Ok: Each of these scenarios are not the standard family unit.
What do we define as a family unit? See Webster’s various definitions: here.
Now, the English language is constantly evolving, Webster even referenced the single parent family as something that is socially construed as correct. But, why is it that, even if all the above families are successful and happy and content in their early years, a child might still turn out “messed up?” Haven’t you heard that? Or even said it yourself? “Mom, you and dad really messed me up?”
or “Why am I so messed up? It must be my parents.”
or the ever so common, “My mom and dad did _____ and ______ but I turned out ok.”
(see, they don’t say “good” the say just “ok.”) And, in this statement, they are triumphing in the face of some adversity, even though their family might love them and be wonderful. The adversity is more than likely, the fact that they were not developed in a standard family unit.
We developed this idea of family, this schema, way back when—when the space was too small to really define. And, with our language continually changing, why aren’t we changing our mindsets to match? Why do so many people in this world frown on the single parent family, the homosexual parent family, the family that is without extension? Each of these units is just as capable of loving a child and producing a secure environment in which to raise a child or multiple children.
I imagine the worst backlash for the a-typical family unit is most likely the outcome of the child as some sort of damaged good. But, the children aren’t coming up with this on their own. They might be teased on the play ground, scorned by teachers or PTA mothers. They might grow up to think their family strange and uncouth and then revolt against the parents that merely secured their dreams before taking the time to focus on a child.
Really, I just want some opinions on this. These are all my ideas on the subject (I think). So, what do you Chickz think about families? Do you look back on your own a-typical family units or those of your friends and consider them strange, consider them at fault for your own problems? Or, are you happy/content?
Moms and dads?
Post your comments below. Let’s discuss things.