You can’t choose your family the way you choose your friends. So the idea is just to make the most of what you have. This is a very valuable lesson which we could probably apply to other areas of our life, but usually we have options. With family, there is no other option. They are our family. Even if we don’t like them, don’t know them or no longer have them around –they exist and they play a very significant part in who we are as individuals and also what we go through in life.

I can’t count the amount of people who advised me “you don’t fully appreciate your parents until you become one yourself” or “you’ll understand where your parents were coming from when you have children of your own” TRUE and TRUE! Like all advice though, I didn’t really hear the words until they became my reality, then I was like “ohh, that’s what they meant—they were right!”

So whether you have a big family or an only child, whether you’re a new Mum or have kids that’ve grown up too fast. Whether you’re a stay at home mum or balancing a career and your family, even if you are just considering starting a family, you’ll agree that operating a family is the most CHALLENGING, LIFE CHANGING, TIME-CONSUMING yet REWARDING job you will ever experience! That’s pretty powerful. And so very common. Everyone is doing it.

Are they doing it well? Who knows? Who cares? If you can just do it, that is enough, that is life.

I don’t want to come across as implying that starting a family is so dreaded and horrible and hard that you shouldn’t do it. The rewards far outweigh the challenges.

As a parent (relatively new and inexperienced) I’ve discovered that we want to give our kids EVERYTHING! All the material things they desire, all the love and wisdom in the world. This is not at all possible (not in this lifetime anyway!) So there is a fine line we need to draw to ensure our kids hold values, respect and dignity. (THIS is why my mum was so strict/mean/unreasonable when I was 15!! . . . now I get it!)

Everyone has problems; everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. I’ve learnt we need challenges to teach us lessons. If we remain willing to learn, and attempt to work through these problems we can add meaning to our lives – we’ll always have room to grow. However, if we choose NOT to learn from our mistakes (or others mistakes) and fall victim to our circumstances –then we will remain stuck with the pain and heartache that each problem brings. There’s no point in laying blame on your family.

We can’t compare ourselves to others, although we ALL do it! ALL families are different, in so many ways. Families aren’t stupid – they’re generally just misunderstood. NO family is perfect. Someone else’s family may have values you wish you had, or possessions you wish you had, or experiences or circumstances –you wish YOU had. But did you ever think that people can see your values too? Did you even know you HAD values? There is soooo much we can take from our family that impacts which direction we’re headed or even where we stand. Everything about us –physical, psychological, even spiritual is derived from family. There are things we don’t like (about ourselves, about our partner, about our parents, about our children, about our siblings) but again, nobody is perfect. It is all necessary.  The key is to recognise everybody’s’ strengths and try to take something from that. Overcome weaknesses by working on improving these areas. Take a real look at the blessings you’ve been dealt and start to make the most of what you do have. You’ll be surprised at the opportunities presenting themselves as you really open up and understand your FAMILY STRENGTHS.

You might even begin to really like your family….. you might even want to “thank” them for being them!

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  • Some parents forget to tell their adult children that they love them too.
    It is only when they are sick in hospital that some show any affection at all. It is so sad that it happens in so many families. My relatives’ kids after giving me hugs and kisses, when leaving often call out “love you” while they are being strapped into their booster seats. If I mind them they always say thank you as well as their parents. I was a little amused when the youngest one was here last time. He spilt his drink. The first I knew of it was he called out and said “I am so so sorry”. When I went to see what he was sorry and upset a bit, he said the same again then “I love you so so much” held his arms out and said “this much”. I had to turn away as it brought tears to my eyes and he would have got very upset and said he made me sad.


  • I love adore and worship MY little family, that’s hubby and our kids. Everyone else is disposable. I have little to do with my relatives and hubby’s relatives, they’re simply not worth the drama aggro poison


  • i love that little hands pic! very cute!


  • Thank you for a very interesting article – a good reminder


  • Great article, really hits home.


  • Loved reading this. Such a positive writing. Made my day


  • My most memorable family moment was meeting my half-sister for the first time, when we were both in our late thirties. Despite being brought up in different countries, we were so alike, and it was like we’d been friends for years. Now we live five minutes apart, and she’s my best friend. And having her in my life truly makes my feel complete, and she makes up for those couple of family members that I don’t particularly care for.


  • Families. All different but, also the same.


  • I loved reading this, Family comes first.


  • Family of origin is really important, most of life decisions as adults stem from our experiences growing up with our parents’ example, which means our kids are soaking in our actions and reactions and will carry them into their adult lives. Yes, families are important, and I love mine.


  • I really loved reading this. I took my family for granted until the day my dad passed away, now I cherish every minute I get to spend with them.


  • No matter what happens family comes first!

    • I agree with you, for me family comes first and foremost.


  • family is so important, you miss the ties when they are gone.


  • The photo at the bottom is beautiful


  • love the photo down the bottom! True all our families are different, enjoy what you have!


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