Sunday, June 7, 2009

Families (not an "ugh" post either)

Families are confusing things. What defines a family? Google tells me lots of things but the first I like the most - "a social unit living together". So that makes my family ManFriend and Zaria the Super Kitty and MidwifeA.

Other people's families:
- two parents, two kids, 2 cats, 4 cars, one caravan
- two women, two children, one from each woman and about to be adopted to complete the family
- three women, one guy, no sex going on in the house as they all have partners outside of their house
- one guy
- two sisters
- married couple plus 4 cats
- cohabitating couple plue 2 birds and a lot of yarn

and so on. No "man woman 2.3 kids" on that list. What is the current standard" family though? Is it still that? Or is it something else? Is it a generational thing? Does a house make a home? Does having a family make a house a home? In my case, yes, it does. I live with TheHusband and one of my closest friends. When we procreate we'll still stay in this arrangement I think. Well that's the aim anyway. Then it'll be Offspring#1 and the rest of us, and maybe by that stage MidwifeA will have a MrMidwife and then there'll be 5 (6!? Zaria counts right?) of us. In a huge 3BR house that is probably 4 times the size of our previous house.

This ramble is brought to you by 2 cups of coffee, an assignment due tonight, and our first party at Casa del ArcherMorgan and our housewarming on 20/06/09.


Anonymous said...

I tend to think of Family as being mainly genetically based plus an assumption of permanence re those who aren't related. Eg cohabiting couple, married couple 1 kid 3 dogs, married couple, each a subset of woman and 2 adult daughters. But this has given me food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Just living together isn't enough - I know lots of housemates where there's two or three close friends who actually do stuff together, plus a random who rents the other bedroom.
When I was living with my BFF I'm not sure either of us would have called eachother family, though I'm probably as close to her as I am to my blood sister. But we both come from families for whom blood ties are an important and special thing. Family for my folks means the people who can't kick you out - those who are obligated to help you when you're down, whether you like eachother as people or not. (This is obviously limited to immediate family - my future kids, my siblings, my parents, and my grandparents. Cousins don't count.) I would never put that kind of expectation on a friendship. Possibly this is a weird definition... It is very much based on helping my genes!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if our definitions differ because our relationship with our relatives differ? I get on fairly well with my mother and very well with my sister, so a fairly traditional definition (without any heterosexual assumptions) has continued to work for me.

Sarah said...

Two parents, three adult kids, two sometimes-live-in partners, plus several hangers-on, a dog, a million canaries, a mosquito fish and a million goldfish.

And I once thought my family was normal. :P