Friday, 6 December 2013

Family Values

I am warning you.  You might not be interested in this post, so feel free to not bother reading this.  Something has been annoying me for a while and it raised it's ugly little head tonight, so it seems to be stopping me from sleeping.  I think that the only way I will be able to get to sleep is for me to blog about it.  So please feel free to do something else rather than reading this post.  I won't be offended.

When I was little, this was my family.  From the day I was born until now, it has always been like this.  My mum, my dad and little me.  Dogs have come and gone, but it has always been the three of us.

Actually, this is technically my family, minus two aunties.  My parents migrated to Australia from England before I was born, so I didn't get to spend much time with my full family.  I only saw my cousins a hand full of times and we were all bad a writing letters (this was before email had been invented), therefore I never had a proper relationship with them.  So, my little family of three people was all I had.

I love my little family to bits!  My mum is one of the nicest ladies in the whole wide world!  And my dad... well, as much as I thought he was so embarrassing (actually, I still think that), I thought he was really cool and I had so much fun with him.

When I was little I always wanted to marry someone with a lovely family, and that is what happened.  Whilst B only has one sister, he has many aunties, uncles, cousins (and their partners) and grandparents.  At first it was sort of weird to me as I had never been in a family so big, but now I love it!  Family occasions with B's side of the family are very different to the ones I had growing up.  They are crazy, but fun!  And Christmas dinner with my mother-in-law's side of the family goes for ever, but I love it!

B's cousins and partners on his mum's side of the family

Whilst I have this new family that I am still getting to know (I think that will be happening forever as there are so many people), it is really important that B and I remember that we have three families that we need to take care of.  The first family is us and our two fur children (yes, my cats get treated like children).  We love this little family and one day, in the distant future, we hope to add a few more members, but not the furry kind :)

The other family is B's family.

And of course my family.

We both love these families equally, so it is really important that we treat both of them equally.  We don't prefer any one over the other.  We always make sure that things are even, like any parent would do with their children.  All Christmas and birthday presents are of the same or of similar value.  Most importantly, we make sure that we spend an equal amount of time with each family.  B and I will often go away with B's parents to their holiday house.  In return, we make sure that we spend good quality time with my parents afterwards (such as spending an entire day with them, inviting them over for a very long dinner with about 4 courses, etc).  We have also started inviting B's parents over to our house when my parents and I watch the footy at our house.  See, we keep things equal.

I will admit that I haven't told B's family much about my issues with anxiety and depression.  My parents, in particular my mum, knows every single little thing about what is going on with me at the moment.  But I do find it easy to tell my mum these things - she is my mum of course and we have been through thick and thin together.  B's parents know that I am going through a hard time and they offer me support by just being there.  Sometimes being invited over for dinner and talking about anything other than my issues is what I need.

I do know people who are in relationships who do not treat their families equally.   One family gets a lot of preference over the other.  I personally think that this is really unfair.  It is unfair to pull a child away from their parents.  It leads to the non-preferred family thinking that their love and support isn't enough for their child.  It makes them wonder what they did wrong.  It creates a lot of pain and resentment.  I do understand that their are extreme circumstances where one family is not favoured due to various reasons, such as a traumatic event or whatever.  I am not talking about these instances.  I am talking about two people who come from loving families and these families not being treated equally.

I know someone who is in a relationship with a woman who he was going to marry.  He would always spend most of this time with her family and very little time with his own parents (who are very awesome people).  His fiance ended up telling him that she didn't want to marry him but wanted to still be with him.  Her parents knew the ins and outs.  They knew the reason why she no longer wanted to get married.  However, his parents knew nothing.  They had no idea why the wedding had been cancelled.  I know that is parents feel hurt by the situation as they are on the outside and unable to help their child.

I don't care if you agree or disagree with me.  But I think that family is really important and when you are in a relationship both sides should be treated equally.  Unfortunately, I am in a situation where I feel like my family is being a little left out, and it kinda really sucks!  But I won't go into that now.

Well, since I have gotten that off my chest I feel like I can finally go to bed and get a good nights sleep.  My cats can also stop being naughty now and come to bed with me too!

I promise that tomorrow I will have a better blog post!

Take care!

Lady Lou!

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