What makes a family typical? Is it a Mom and a Dad living under the same roof raising 2 perfect children? I don’t think so. The only thing about that sentence that is true is the fact that there is a Mom and there is a Dad. There is a Mom and a Dad in every creation of life. After the creation is when the lines get blurred.
So today let’s take a look at the myth of “every family need a Mom and a Dad, living under the same roof, united in raising the child together, in order for that child to grow up into a successful human.”
What every family needs are loving parent(s) who have a like minded goal in giving their offspring the best chance that it has in the difficult thing we call life. They work together as partners to achieve this goal with the least amount of trauma to the individual that they are trying to raise. Point blank, old myths need to be thrown out and a new fresh approach needs to take its place.
I happen to know a lot about raising children outside of the 2 parent household. I left my ex-husband with my boys, when they were only 7 and 5. I thought long and hard about what was right for them. It was a long painful decision that I had to make. I went through some very unpleasant times with him and I didn’t want to be married to him anymore, but I also didn’t want to break that perfect family mold. We lived in a nice house, had good cars and everything looked great on the outside. It was hard to express to others the pain I was feeling when everything looked so perfect. I only had one person who I knew was going to be able to see through the bullshit and be able to give me sane advise. The person was my Sister.
I remember sitting down with her one Sunday afternoon and spilling everything that I was feeling and just how generally unhappy I was. She listened, asked a couple of questions and then came up with the answer that I have used to help others in their situations.
Her response was this….
“Lonni, it really isn’t about you at this point. It’s about your kids. You need to take a long hard look at them and ask yourself. Are they okay? Are they going to have the better chance in succeeding in life if you stay or if you go? Once you truthfully answer that question you will know what you need to do.”
I was truly shocked at how simple the answer was but how true it was. My decision to go or stay wasn’t about me, it was about my children. So that evening and the following week I studied my children. How were they really doing? I have to say, once I took the blinders off I was amazed at how fucked up my children were becoming. One cried at a drop of the hat, the other was starving or attention. They were not doing well in school and basically were as miserable as I was, they were just showing it instead of saying it. So with that new found realization, I decided to leave. When I focused my energy on doing what was best for them, it made it easier for me to made the hard choices and not cave in when he tried to be nice. I went through death threats, threats of violence and complete mental warfare, but kept my head down and finished the job I started to freedom.
So it was the three of us and it has always been the three of us. Yes, I had some stupid boyfriends, yes I made horrible choices in men, yes it was hard, yes it was lonely and yes it was hard to do it with one income but it was worth every single struggle. There was guilt when I saw other families with expensive toys for their kids and I could barely keep the electricity on. There was guilt when I saw Dad’s teaching their sons how to work on cars or fix a bicycle.
I wish I could have known then what I know now. Most of those people who caused my guilt before are now dealing with drug issues, or drinking or children having children. I look at them now and I have to scratch my head. If society had it’s way those would be my kids down those things, not the other way around. Society tells us that with we break up that typical family that will happen to our kids. Well I have a surprise for you folks, just because you don’t fit into what is considered typical or normal, this does not mean that your children are doomed.
Look at all the amazing same sex parents who love and adores their child. Do you think that baby cares what they do behind closed doors. Ummmm I have never spoken to a baby, buy I gaurantee you they don’t care. They just want to feel loved and protected.
Look at the single hard working parent who struggles to put food on the table. Do you think the child cares if they are eating hotdogs again for the 3rd straight night because it’s cheap? Ummmmm I would have to say they don’t care, because that same hard working parent sits down with them and eats hotdogs with them instead of staring at their phone.
It’s called being a good loving parent.
So here’s to breaking the mold of what society says a “Typical Family” should be and let’s sing the praises to all the loving parents who stop and listen to their children.
Until tomorrow ……
Side note: I will not be getting into the subject of should you or shouldn’t you leave a spouse. There are many reasons why people end a marriage and I feel that there is no right or wrong answer. BUT I will say, if you are in danger of either physical harm and mental abuse I would say run and don’t look back. Male or Female domestic abuse comes in all shapes and sizes and fear is real. Here is a phone number that I found if you need help and don’t know where else to turn. Sending strength and love your way.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline 800-799-7233