Some of us love our necklaces, studded with jewels.
While some prefer a simple diamond ring.
Is the necklace more valuable than the ring? Maybe. Maybe not.
If you don’t like necklaces, you might say yes. But if you love your bling and a ring simply isn’t your thing, then a necklace might hit your ‘ah’ spot just nicely. The value isn’t merely in the cost. The value is in it’s worth to the wearer, the person who uses it, who enjoys it’s shine, who delights in being given it (or working hard for it!).
Families are like jewellery.
There are many sorts, many shapes, each with a beauty quite uniquely all its own.
Why do we so often compare? Why this pressure to conform to the 2.5child average family (come on people, it’s not like you can actually HAVE 2.5 children anyway!!!).
I just love this picture I found recently. It’s part of a photo shoot challenging our need as women (and men) to make judgements about our choices or the choices of others. Check out the whole shoot here.
Why is it that we have such tightly held views about how the ‘perfect’ family should look, despite very few actually fulfilling those expectations? I know a couple parenting their grandchild. We had a foster brother for much of my growing up years. I’ve got a friend who is home schooling five children, friends with children in state schools, and others going private. I know some folks with children just a year apart, and others who span a decade gap between siblings. You name it, someone somewhere is doing it. This is family. It’s different for all of us. There are the core things that matter. Having someone who loves you, someone who will protect and be there for you, someone to raise you (train, develop, mentor, coach, guide, discipline, encourage, support, and generally parent you!). And we each have our ideals, often closely guarded, and closely aligned to our values and our heritage.
I’d always thought I’d have three or four children. But how much of that was because I grew up in a family of three-to-four? Now that I’m living my own life, I’m not so sure. The realities of raising a child are suddenly before me. The great responsibility it is. And our lives simply haven’t happened how I thought they would. Being sick for four years. Having a terrible labour and post-recovery. Trying to finish a degree while raising my family. These are all part of the scenario for us. But not just for us. Every family faces their own challenges, and their own ways of dealing with those. Some choose a large family. Some choose small. Some don’t necessarily even ‘choose’ but rather have it thrust upon them. That career driven woman you see, who might seem selfish and absorbed in her job? Well, she might just be that way because they’ve been trying by every means possible to have a baby for more years than you could imagine. That chaotic family of six children might have had an unexpected pregnancy or a cousin needing a home and have simply widened their circle of love to squeeze everyone in. You just don’t know.
We seem incredibly skilled at guilting ourselves and others around us into feeling like we should be choosing x number of children. Which isn’t true.
Children are like jewellery. Some of us just love necklaces in a rainbow of colours, glittering about our necks. Many jewels together create the perfect necklace just as many children join together to form the perfect family.
Others like theirs in twos. A matching pair of earrings, so to speak. One of each. Or simply two. One for you and one for me, that’s what makes a happy family.
And others are drawn to a single gem. A pearl or diamond ring perhaps, or a pendant on a chain. One is all we need.
Once I read a post on Facebook about how children are a gift from God so why wouldn’t you want more to fill your cup to overflowing? I felt like replying that some of us have smaller cups than others. Mine is pretty full with one child! Hers sounded like it needed quite a few more than me to reach that overflowing blessing point!
Here’s a challenge for you: Think of at least 2 families you know that are at polar opposites in some way, and what it is that makes them beautiful. What do you admire about them and why? And do your two opposite families in fact have commonalities?
Amy – the diamond ringer.