Friday, October 10, 2014

Less Than Ideal

It's Friday night, which is a pretty lonely night for me these days. Our kids all go with their other parent on Friday nights, and my husband works until 11, so it's just me, writing about our mixed up life.

I haven't had a lot of time to read or write - and I have felt like I haven't had very many interesting things to say.

But I am active on a Facebook group of LDS women who elicit tidbits from me every now and then when I have a minute to check in on what they are chatting about. I love those ladies - they keep me grounded in my faith, they remind me of the important things in life, and they help me keep my covenants. They are women from all over the world, from all walks of life, with one thing in common - they are faithful covenant keepers.

We've had a lot of conversations lately, and one of them in particular has been about the attack on family in society today. The attack comes in several different ways, and I don't want to debate about feminism, women in the church, same sex marriage, or any other hot topic. I want to talk about blended families.

I am a staunch advocate of traditional marriage - one man, one woman, raising their children together. We can get all sorts of specific with the types of families that don't fit this mold, but I want to get specific with only one...

Lately I have been mulling over the idea of our blended family. My children have two "fathers" now - their biological father, and their step father. Both fathers are very real fathers to them, and fill very important roles for my children. Similarly, my step children have two "mothers" now - their biological mother, and me - both also very important and very real to them, fulfilling much needed roles in their lives.

So it got me to thinking... how is my children have two "moms" and two "dads" different from a child being raised in a same-sex relationship by two moms, or two dads? This is an earnest question, and deep down I know that a mom and a step dad raising kids together is different than a dad and a step dad raising kids together, but the question is still rattling around in my brain - far from being satisfactorily answered.

And honestly, I have more questions than answers. Which is not unusual for me.

I read this article today about another type of blended family popping up around the world - the family where the step dad is married to the biological dad, rather than the biological mom. It is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever read.

The thing is, divorce is heartbreaking for me. Remarriage is heartbreaking for me. Sure there are fantastic things about my life now - but in the back of my mind there is always that nagging reminder that we are not in an "ideal" family situation.  Which is why I keep thinking about less-than-ideal family situations, and what differentiates them from one another.

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. For what its worth, I have some of those same thoughts on the different types of families. From my experience, children can be raised to be fine members of society in a variety of situations. Even in the "ideal" of one man and one woman, some children do not fare well. I feel it is more about the relationships than it is about who the relationships are with. Perhaps in an "ideal" world, we would go back to raising children as a community and not so much as a two parent, family unit. When people talk about the family being the basic unit of society, I think that is not a two parent and however many children that entails. I think the "basic unit" is parents, children, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and even neighbors. Until we can consider the entire planet our family, we will always have problems.