The concept of extended family is, to me, something that is foreign and historically rejected for the insular arrogance of ‘only needing us’.
I grew up as an only child to a single parent. I was loved absolutely and completely but withheld from the extended family that many of my contemporaries enjoyed. It is not something I judge as such, it was simply the actions of a parent who was doing the best as she saw it. As a mum I can relate to those feelings, whether in hindsight I think it was right or wrong is irrelevant. All I can do is take lessons learnt and experiences and apply what I have learnt to how we raise Moose.
With marriage and the birth of Moose I gained my own little family unit and a mother in law who has been wonderful and is wholly part of our little family. With the loss of my mum 18 months ago I gained the extended family I’d not know growing up. Amazing people who have smoothly fitted into our lives, into gaps that we didn’t know where there.
It is this family that has taught me so much about holding onto the people you love, enjoying every moment and how important it is for our daughter to have individuals in her life who love her unconditionally and form different relationships and dynamics. They bring experiences unique to them, and it enhances life.
Hold onto family, do not let rivalries and misunderstandings come between people, forgive and let go. I learned this from my mum, not letting go eats you up, it makes you dark and twisty and it effects those around you, those you love.
Embrace those who want to be part of your family, they enhance life, they make moments special and they bring their own brand of unique love.