The Value of Family

Posted by Tisha Peterson on

Hi, I’m Tisha with Enchanted 3 Boutique. Let’s chat about families. Do family values matter anymore? I am not a typically traditional person. My family did not start out in the most traditional way with marriage coming first, but there are some traditions that I do value. Families come in all shapes & sizes, some happen by chance naturally, some take time to build with hope & love, and some are made by choice. One is not better than the other, but they all take work to keep them together. Do families break down because someone just decides to stop putting in the work or have values really changed so much that exchanging your family for another life is acceptable?

I met my husband online through a dating website. Definitely not unheard of in this digital age, but not necessarily traditional. We moved in together in less than a year, bought a house, and had a son all before we got married. Again, not unheard of in this day & age, but not exactly traditional. After we were married we had a daughter, now people have referred to us as the nuclear family. I’ll be honest and say until that happened I had no idea what a nuclear family even was, let alone why I would be a part of one.

The definition of a nuclear family is a mother, father, and dependent children all living in the same dwelling. The American nuclear family refers to a family of four, mom, dad, sister, & brother with a cat and a dog. All we were missing was the cat, which we will never have because I am so not a cat person. In the 1950s the nuclear family was something to strive for. That was also a time when the mom was expected to stay home to care for the house and the children while fathers went to work, and when they arrived home they were greeted with a home cooked meal. Those days seem to be a forgotten era for most. Did divorce occur less in those days because women did not have a voice? Because their jobs were to tend the house, the children, and their husband and their wants and needs did not matter? I’m not sure. Maybe that wasn’t the case. My great grandparents were part of that era. My great grandfather served in the military and worked after he was honorably discharged. My great grandmother raised 4 daughters with him and yet she volunteered and held jobs, and they were happy. I never remember her not having an equal say in decisions for the family. 

Equal partnership has been the theme in all the marriages that came before me. My grandparents both worked, my grandmother didn’t always due to having 5 children but when she started she worked just as hard as my grandpa. My parents have always been partners and best friends. They did not follow the traditional path when they had me at 17, but they finished school, got jobs and made it work. Times were sometimes hard, they were young and still had growing up to do, but when things were tough they worked it out and stuck together. It didn’t hurt that my entire life I knew they loved each other and they loved me & my sisters. It wasn’t until I was grown and in my 20s that I started to notice how many people around me were having children and not staying together or people that got married and then divorced in a short period of time. Now it seems to be more common than not. So I wonder why is that? Why is this suddenly the norm?

Families come in all shapes and sizes. I don’t care what your orientation is, what your gender is, what color your skin is, or what your nationality is. If you love your family and work to provide the best home you can then you are doing right by them. I think it’s amazing when people decide to adopt children. It’s truly a special act of love to take a child that you did not bore and choose to love them. My questions arise from those that choose to bring children into your family, either by conceiving them or adopting them, and then deciding this lifestyle doesn’t work for you so you are just going to do something else and leave them behind. 

I get that not all relationships work out. I get that some people are just not meant to be together, and I understand that sometimes even with kids you just don’t have it in you to make it work. But have you tried? Have you exhausted every option before you call it quits? I’m not judging anyone and I’m not saying single parent homes aren’t sometimes the best for you and your children. It just seems to me that it’s much more acceptable in today’s society to give up on your family than it used to be. It’s also easier to skip family dinners because life gets busy, and to miss church on Sundays, and to sit your kids in front of the television instead of reading a book. 

I’m asking where are the family values? Why is spending quality time as a family not as important as working your 60 hour work weeks. I am just as guilty about letting life get in the way. Family dinners have been getting away from us so we are making a better effort to have those, but what other values should families have? It doesn’t matter what your family is made up of, a family is a family. What traditions should be important? Work is important, I get it, we all need money to buy the necessities and pay the bills, but is it worth sacrificing your family for? We all have arguments, difference of opinions, but are they not worth the work it takes to work them out and stay together. It seems that compromise has been deemed a bad word. People now feel entitled to have their every desire met, so when change is needed on both sides of the line, no one is willing to bend. This isn’t just an observation of families, but with society itself.

What are your thoughts? What do you value? What traditions do you practice with your family? We’d love to hear from you so comment below. Until next time…be thankful and work hard! See you soon! 

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