Two Words that Seriously Don’t Belong Together: Family and Normal

Written by on August 22, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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Every family is different and in today’s present age what defines a family is no longer the quintessential picture of Ma and Pa and a gaggle of children; it has evolved to more accurately represent the multitude of family arrangements, relationships and dynamics that truly make up a “FAMILY”

At some point we all are likely to find ourselves thinking or saying “That’s not normal.”  We think for a moment our kids must not be normal because they won’t sit still like all the others in a room. We think that our relationship with our spouse must not be normal because we fight more, or fight less than other couples we know. We think our parents are not normal, our brothers, our sisters, ourselves etc. etc.  Listen people, THERE IS NO NORMAL.  A quote I’ve often heard my brother say, “Normal is just a setting on the dryer.”

No relationship, family arrangement or set of circumstances that families go through will ever be or ever should be considered NORMAL. Given that every single human being on the planet is completely unique, all combinations of individuals that make up families will always, without a doubt be 100% unique and original.  Therefore NORMAL is not even physically possible; it can never exist and quite frankly the word should be banned.

What works or doesn’t work for your family has no bearing on what works or doesn’t work for another family.

You can be inspired by how other families operate, you can strive to model certain families, or you can adopt values and ideas of other families, but no matter what, no matter how hard you try, your family will never the same as another; you will never be “NORMAL”

Therefore, we should also give up the idea that any family out there, that does not mirror our own, is abnormal.

I strongly believe that a “FAMILY” is based on respect, freedom, encouragement, acceptance, understanding and LOVE. It has nothing to do with race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, or an idealistic view of NORMAL.  If the parties involved in your family have respect and love for one another, while accepting and encouraging your freedoms and rights as an individual, then it certainly does not matter what your family “looks like.”

I have read stories of divorced couples who re-marry and yet all live in the same household together. Sound abnormal? But if that household is filled with love and respect and works, then who’s to judge? Plenty of traditional families with Moms and Dads and a boatload of kids are colossal failures. Tradition does not equate normality.

Whether you are struggling with strained family relationships and feel lost and alone and feel as though your family is not NORMAL, or have a modern family not defined by the traditions and ideals of times gone by and feel as though people judge you as not NORMAL, or whether you are the one doing the judging and are staring down a family that is not a clone of your own and thinking, “well, that’s not NORMAL.”  …….DITCH THE WORD PEOPLE!

Family’s are messy and hard, and sometimes awful and sometimes wonderful. Step 1) Forget about wanting yours to be NORMAL, Step2) Forget about wanting others to be NORMAL, because there is no such thing.  You’ll have more luck wishing for it to rain cabbages and hairbrushes.

Love, respect, encouragement, acceptance, freedoms and rights, understanding…focus on that.

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About the Author

Jenessa Blanchet

I am a working mother of two, with a passion for writing and lending a literary helping hand to fellow parents and family enthusiasts. Born and raised on the west coast, I have a love of the outdoors; sailing, beaching and all things wonderful including constantly trying to keep a handle on family life. View all posts on Family Life.