What family looks like

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Recently, I was talking about the idea of “family” with two friends who were roommates. Both women were single. But if one of them met someone and got married, the other would move out.

“But why? Why couldn’t we keep living together?” Someone said. We played around with that concept for a while. It would certainly involve upfront communication and some ground rules, but if it works for those involved, why not? It’s certainly not conventional, but is that enough of a reason to shut the door on the idea?

“I think we need to use some imagination when it comes to what family looks like,” one of them wisely said.

I recently came across this CBC article about a brand new kind of family that recently set a precedent in Canada. A single woman found a sperm donor and got pregnant. Her best friend offered to be her birthing coach, and quickly fell in love with this child – who was born with profound special needs. Long story short, both friends now have equal legal parenting rights of this child.

Two straight friends who are not in a romantic relationship with each other have equal legal parenting rights. #mindblown

“I think we need to use some imagination when it comes to what family looks like.”

I had always assumed I would meet a nice boy, we would get married, and we would have children. But as I’ve recently officially entered mid-30’s territory, I’m starting to use my imagination when it comes to what my future family might look like.

Maybe I’ll still meet the nice boy and we’ll have kids.

Maybe I’ll meet a nice boy who already has kids and I’ll embrace being a stepmom.

Maybe I’ll meet a nice boy and we’ll adopt kids.

Maybe I won’t meet a nice boy and I’ll still adopt kids.

Maybe I won’t meet a nice boy, and instead of having my own kids, I’ll keep being a fun aunt to the various kids in my life. Which are some of my most treasured relationships right now.

Maybe there’s a whole other possibility that I haven’t even dreamt up yet.

And while I sometimes mourn the idea of a “traditional family” in my own life (though it could still happen, I know that), I’m slowly becoming okay, if not a little excited, about how a non-traditional family might exist in my future.

We just need to use a little imagination when it comes to what family might look like.

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