Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Creating Your Own Hybrid Family

I've always wanted tons of kids.  That is of course, until I had kids.  I realized as much as I adore my children, I'm not the mother that can have a ton of little ones running around and maintain her sanity.  I came to the conclusion I love the idea of a large family, better than the actual number of bodies.  I pictured big Christmases and Thanksgivings, with little ones running around and me cooking a huge meal.  It was great, at least, as a dream.

Having two little kids is like constant chaos.  We've talked about having a third but sometimes I think you have to accept the mother you are, the mother you can be, and the parts of you that you are willing to compromise.  Good mothers do this...bad mothers don't.  So while I do feel a bit guilty about realizing that I'm not made for a huge family, I understand this is part of being a good person and accepting who I am.

For the fourth of July I went camping with my friend Amber and her family.  We have kids the same age and doing anything with Amber is just easy.  She's supportive, understanding, non-judgmental, and laughs at my many flaws and even embraces them.  She's made me realize that friendship should be easy, not work.  Even though it rained every night, causing us to corral four children in small tents and entertain them until it dried out (which, it never really did), we had a great time.

I thought about the time I was explaining to Amber about having children.  I was discussing my stresses about wanting to have more kids because I'd always dreamed of this bigger family, but how I wasn't sure how much more I could handle.  Even typing it hurts a little because I still am not quite ready to give up that dream.  She just shrugged her shoulders and said, "Trina, you don't have to have a lot of kids to have a big family.  Friends are the family you get to choose.  Create your own family.  Have the big holidays you want, with your hybrid family."

This thought had never occurred to me.  How brilliant!  And why not!?  Sometimes, or maybe even often times, you have a family that you not only wouldn't have chose but that you don't get along with, period.  Sometimes you add step-family into that mix and you get a whole lotta crazy going on.  Or, maybe you have the perfect family (sure you do!) and they live somewhere else.  The idea is a great one; one that I'm embracing.

I don't care what anyone says; friendships should be easy.  We work on our marriages, on our family- we work on ourselves.  We shouldn't have to work at friendship.  Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about being you and support your hopes and dreams.  Spend holidays and your free time with those that you love and that make you enjoy life.  Time is precious...so if you dream of having a big family but don't - make one.  A hybrid family is that family you always dreamed of having...you just have to create it yourself.   ~ Trina

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