'Choosing' family members

doodlebooMarch 3, 2009

There is alot of brewhaha about choosing on this board.

Either the bio parent shouldn't have to get along with the step parent because they didn't "choose" him/her to parent their child or the child doesn't get to "choose" their parents step or bio...etc etc.

If you really think about it there is no picking and choosing family at all. You can't pick your parents new spouse. Ex's can't hand pick step parents. Step siblings can't pick each other. Blood relatives are family because of blood not choices. Blood relatives do not choose to be family. I did not hand pick Layla but she is my child and I love her none the less. I didn't go to Wal-Mart and pull the twins off a shelf on a two for one deal either but I love them and consider them very much to be my family.

Family is not something that can be scored or validated with "choices" or the in this case the lack thereof. A family is no less a family because one member feels they didn't have a say....if that was the case there would be no families! Sometimes the best families happen by "accident".

P.S. I sure as hell didn't get to pick out the girls biomom. I'm still having to deal with her though and so is everyone else in the family.

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finedreams

with the exception of few things everything in life is about choices. it is my strong belief.

saying that, yes, there are exceptions...

many people have abusive or nonexistant parents and they should never be punished for that- they didn't choose parents, they didn't even choose to be born. as adults if we make a mistake and hook up wiht wrong people, we deal with consequences of it. but children don't pick their parents. also as an adult you can walk away but children usually are not able to walk away from abusive parents.

You didn't pick your daughter, but you made a choice to have a child. that's when your choice comes in to be a mother. She didn't make a choice, but you did. you didn't pull twins from the shelf but you made a choice to marry a man with children so now you have stepchildren. they however did not decide for dad to remarry, they cannot make that decision.

i didn't choose my sibling, but my parents chose to marry each other and then have another child. they made that choice.

wiht few exceptions (which we have no control over like wars, natural disasters, many (not all) diseases, our sexual orientation or gender etc) our life is all about our or other people's good or bad choices (adult choices, children cannot make too many choices yet). it's been always my strong belief.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 3:46PM
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mom_of_4

I've made the virtually same comment before. We dont get to choose family... simple as that. About the only family we choose is our spouse. To me it's ridiculous to use as an excuse or reason why people should or should not have to do things. Family is family and family should always be number one on your list. Like them or not they are yours... and you do HAVE to treat them with kindness respect and love.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 3:50PM
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finedreams

P.S. I sure as hell didn't get to pick out the girls biomom. I'm still having to deal with her though and so is everyone else in the family.

but he made a chocie to marry her in the past and then you made a choice to marry a man with the messed up exwife, so you did make a choice. i am not saying you shouldn't have. but you did. all of us make such choices.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 3:59PM
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doodleboo

That's really sad that you seem to base family on choice to me. I'm sorry. The girls didn't choos me and I didn't choose them either. They came with the package. My choice was their father. I fell in love with their father and then this bond happened naturally between us all. Even though we didn't choose each other we became a family.

Saying "I didn't ask to be born" is about the most ridiculous statement anyone could ever make. This is such a cry baby statement all the way around and if I heard someone say it I'd laugh at them.

The "choosing" in a family setting to me just sounds like another excuse and we humans LOVE excuses. It's the Family version of the get out of jail free card.

Nobody here is saying anything about anyone being punished for anything. The girls didn't choose their S*** pile mother but guess what? She's still their mother. The facts are the facts. It doesn't matter if they chose her or not. We have to go to court to FIGHT for custody because unfortunatly she IS their biomother. They didn't choose me as a step mother either but guess what? YOU GUESSED IT!

lIFE SUCKS AND THEN YOU DIE. It's unrealistic to believe you get to have things go your way all the time. It doesn't work like that...not even with families.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:00PM
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doodleboo

and you do HAVE to treat them with kindness respect and love.

Ditto to this. Even though I am just disgusted by how the girls mother has done them I always have to have a certain amount of respect and a whole lot of restraint. She is their mother and it would hurt them if I was nasty to her. She is family.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:04PM
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imamommy

"About the only family we choose is our spouse."

I agree with this.. but when I chose to marry my husband, I chose to be a stepmom to his daughter. True, she did not get to choose me to be her stepmom but she also didn't choose to be born into a situation where her parents were not married, her mom is still married to her older sister's father and to have a mom that would not work and live with her own mom until she is 35, then up and leave with a BF and not take her kids with her. She is also lucky to have a dad that was responsible enough to be a parent to her because not all guys are stand up... some leave or just send the monthly support check and visit occasionally. But, she didn't get to choose her dad... that was her mom's choice and probably the best one her mom has ever made!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:05PM
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finedreams

if nothing is our choice, then nothing is our responsibility. every time you make a choice, you face a responsibility.

it didn't just happen. You created it. you created a family of your choosing, you could marry a single man or man with children or not marry at all. it didn't happen naturally. falling in love is partially just natural happening, but decision to stay and create a family is a choice.

plenty of people would never choose someone wiht kids. you did. and it is great but it is a choice.

i think mature adults base most of their decisions on choices. maybe when you are young, you think differently. when i was in my 20s i probably think differently I do not remember. the way you think changes wiht experiences. there is no meant to be, you make a choice.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:37PM
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ceph

This is long, but I made the following blog post a few years ago, not long before I really got involved with DH.
Here are my feelings on the subject of choosing your family.

So, anyhow, I just finished reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver... and it's left me feeling rather appreciative.
I know that I dont usually post about things that are particularly deep or personal, but I think I will tonight. IÂm also not really one for expressing how I feel through song lyrics, but again, I think I will tonight.
Bean Trees got me thinking about family, and how they just sort of happen to you. No one chooses their relatives  you get what you get and youÂre stuck with it. If youÂre lucky, you get something you can work with. IÂm lucky.

Life hasnÂt exactly been a cakewalk for my family; weÂve had a lot of loss and our share of spats but we always come back to each other and are there for when it really counts and thatÂs what makes it good to have who I got.
Like I told my brother almost two years ago "ItÂs ok, K--. ThatÂs why we have each other. Why do you think Mom and Dad had so many kids? So we could all take care of each other."
My family isnÂt perfect, but we love each other, and that makes me happy.

Bean Trees also made me think about the other kind of family, the kind you arenÂt related to, and how they also just sort of happen to you. I donÂt think many people set out in the morning with the purpose of making new families, but it happens all the time.
A few examples from my life include that I got a new family member because of an alphabetical seating plan. I got another when my co-delegate got a crush on some guy in ski-goggles. I cemented one while trying to eat a McChicken in the car one very bad spring night. I got another when her all her friends started doing coke and she didnÂt. I got a new family member when I had no idea where a class had moved to. I didnÂt plan any of those things, but I feel lucky that I got who I got.

That type of family is surprisingly like the biological sort of family  you might not like each other 100% of the time, but when it really comes down it, theyÂre there for you and they love you.

My families have reminded me of A Bowl of Oranges over the past few days:
"... Baby don't worry cause now I got your back
And every time you feel like crying, I'm gonna try and make you laugh
And if I can't, if it just hurts too bad, then weÂll wait for it to pass
And I will keep you company through those days so long and black..."

So I want to say thank you to all of my family (of both kinds) who have helped me through my rather long week and a half I may have a few more long weeks ahead of me here, and I appreciate your support and patience with me.

On a slightly lighter note, I will leave you with part of my favourite song from the freaky movie version of James and the Giant Peach:
"...Love is the sweetest thing
Love does exactly what it wants to do
Love is the way we feel for you
We're family, we're family, we're family
Me and you!"

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 5:48PM
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doodleboo

"falling in love is partially just natural happening"

Falling in love with J was totally a natural thing. As a matter of fact it was so natural and subtle that I didn't even realize it happening. After knowing him amd being friends for a year I just woke up one morning and he was on my mind. It then hit me like a Mac truck "Oh my god! I love this man." It was a totally organic emotion. We evolved into a couple before we knew what had hit us. Love is a natural occurance. It can not be synthesized....not even partially. You can LIE and SAY you love someone when you really don't but real love can't be planned out. It's not like shopping for a car or buying stock.

Ceph-

That was a great post! You are such a kind hearted genuine person:)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 8:33AM
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finedreams

doodle I agree love is a natural hapenning. But deciding to get married is not a natural hapenning, but is a concious choice.

Yes there are people who go through life allowing everything just naturally happening to them wihout much thought. That's why they end up pregnant every time they have sex or getting into relationships every time they see a man/woman or doing stuff not giving it any thinking ("it just happen..." But most people do make concious choices, good or bad, but choices nonetheless.

I gained weight lately and not because of natural hapenning but because I ate too much. LOL

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 11:23AM
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