Saturday, February 12, 2011

"We are a Family Too"

The other day I was shopping, alone (!), E was in school and until Feb 28, I only work job1 M-W, read about that here.

Anyways I was trying on some work attire, I am running low on my choices for job1 and shadowing (& b/c I had a GC). While I was in the dressing room I over heard a few ladies talking, I never saw them but if I had to guess their ages, I would say mid-late 30s.

It was kind of hard NOT to hear them, I was the only other person in the dressing rooms and it sounded as if they were shouting. They probably weren't and it was just echoing, but srsly.

They were discussing running their mouths about how to be a real "legit" (their word not mine) family it can't just be you and your husband or a single parent and their kid(s).

My initial thought was WTF?! Then, I thought how that is one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard. Then I felt sorry for them, as they have a fucked up view of what a family is.

I wanted so badly to say something, to correct them. Tell them how wrong they were. That I am a single parent; THAT MY DAUGHTER & I ARE A FAMILY! We DONT have to have a man to make us a family.

But I couldn't open my mouth, I felt paralyzed; I couldn't speak or move.

A family can be 2 people or 30. Since when is a man, woman and children the only kind of "family"? What if a couple decides to live childless? What if a woman decides to be a choice mom? What if a mother abandons her family and the dad is left raising his children alone? or visa versa?

I was raised by my single mom fulltime and my single dad part time with help from my grandmother. I had TWO families. My mom & I and my dad, Gran and I.

But by the standards of thses two women, and majority of America, I did not have a family. My daughter and I are not a family.  I tried to find a picture to accompany this post, but when I typed "Family" all I got was pictures of a mom, dad and 2 kids. My heart broke for Google and its close-mindedness.

I typed "Single Parent Family" and I still got pictures of a mom, dad and children with a black "broken" "jagged" line down the middle to symbolize the divorce. NOT all single parents are divorced, some are choice parents. Some were never married to begin with.

I am still reeling from overhearing that convo and the lack of images via google.

Hearing those women, hurt me to the core; I am a single mother, and I feel that my daughter and I are a complete FAMILY, a family of 2.

I would love to ADD a loving man to our family one day, but I am not going to take the first thing that comes my way b/c we don't need a man to make us a family.

**Tell me, what are your thoughts? Feel free to disagree with me, this is an open forum, no judgements here


Keep up in between posts, I Tweet , A lot.

-Kandid Kelli


Amanda♥Lynne said...

I definitely don't think that there is only definition of a family. I grew up being raised by my single mom and my dad and his wife. In my mind, I had two families that I belonged to. I didn't think of me, my mom and my sister as not being a family. I never look at single moms as not being a family...or single dads...or childless couples...or grandparents raising grandkids...etc. they are all families.

That being said, I also can't help but feel that there is something to be said about coming from an "unbroken" home. I grew up in a "broken" home, and I felt felt broken. I felt the jagged pieces of what we had, it was painful at times...and quite honestly still is. BUT I also know that no one can automatically know and understand why a family is "broken." You for instance, Miss Kelli, really didn't have much choice in the matter, and I honestly believe you and E are better off without living as a family with E's bio-dad. There are so many exceptions to the rule. For me, my heart aches over what I didn't have. My heart aches over thinking what my life-and more importantly, the life of my boys-would be like should my husband ever leave me. We would of course still be family, me and my beloved boys, but I would undobtedly feel as if there were a missing piece.

It is totally wrong for people to throw out such a harsh and wrong statement as those women did in that changing room. They obviously were not thinking or were so oblivious to the real world. Yes, in a perfect world, a family would be a mommy and a daddy who love eachother and love their children. But in the real world, there are widows, dead beat dads, deployments, abusive parents, etc. Just because they don't go on living as a "complete" family, doesn't mean they aren't a real family.

Don't let the ignorant words of two rediculous women get to you. You have a beautiful and perfect little family, and you are an awesome mom. You are doing a great job with E, all on your own-and I bet she is healthier and happier and living in a home with more love and peace than if her bio-dad happened to still be around (this is just a judgement call from all that I have read about him...he didn't seem like the best "family man" and you didn't seem very happy with him. I appologize if it is the wrong judgement call) Keep your chin up, lady!

Fractalmom said...

oh heck, We are a FAMILY, comprised of my husband, me, two granddaughters from ONE daughter who is a (maybe) recovering addict, and one granddaughter who's mother is a nurse that works 2 hours away and who's EX stepfather moved 2500 miles to be back here with her, and bought a house where she has a room and she spends each night here because he has to leave for work at 5 am.

you can't get much weirder than that, yet, we ARE a family.

And, I will get in the face of anyone who says we aren't LOL.

On top of that we have four grown children, and about 12 foster children we have raised and who are still (along with THEIR kids) in our lives.

If we were to have a family reunion, we could have up to 100 people and that is just kids, and grandkids.

Families are whoever, whatever whenever.