Family – Ties or Knots?

What makes up a family?  How would you define your family?

Mama Duck & DucklingsMother’s Day has passed and Father’s Day is coming.  Are your parents living?  Are you a parent?  What do these holidays mean to you?

For me, these are unusual holidays.  My Dad died when I was seven and my Mother never remarried.  There were no Aunts or Uncles and my grandparents had died before I was born.  An only child, I grew up with one parent just like many children do today.   I used to buy my Mom Father’s day cards as well as Mother’s day cards.  Hallmark cards have picked up on this trend!  They’ve expanded it.  You can now even buy cards for your in-laws, thanking them for having the sender’s spouse.  Strange!

I have several single women friends who adopted children.  They too are the sole caregiver for their children just like my Mom was.  When my Mom died in 2005 it struck me that I was now an orphan.  Even though I was an adult, this was a strange identity for me and it left a very empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.  It still does.

My best friend since college is a single parent with an adopted daughter.  I have a great photo of us in a frame.  The caption on the frame states, “Friends are the Family you Choose”.  Those words ring true for me.  I know they ring true for her and for many others I know.  We don’t get to choose our parents.  We don’t get to choose our siblings, if we even have any.  So often the real relatives don’t get along anyway – different personalities, different goals, different belief systems can cause more conflict than harmony.  These differences seem to be magnified when there is a care-giving event or illness of a parent.  All the internalized stuff from childhood seems to bubble up to the surface.  Sometimes conflicts ensue.

Friendship is work.  It takes commitment.  I believe this is why family dynamics can have great divides in them.  Related by birth, not by choice, there often isn’t the commitment to make the relationships work.  Think about your situation.  Does this describe your relationships with your siblings?  If so, do you want to make a change?  Are you willing to do the work?  More importantly, are your siblings?

On family holidays, choose to embrace your family if you enjoy one another.  If not, embrace your good friends and celebrate with them.  Celebrate your children and tell them how special they are to you.

This is the choice we all have.

photo by: rkramer62

About Sara Seasholtz

Sara Seasholtz, CFP®, was voted one of "50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte" by The Mecklenburg Times in 2011, and she's been a trusted financial advisor to her clients for over 30 years. Have a financial question?ASK SARA!

Connect

Get free updates from Financial Strategies for Life™ directly in your email inbox. Your information will be kept completely private.

, ,

Comments are closed.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of CO, CT, FL, MO, NC, NY, SC, TX, VA, WI . No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific state(s) referenced.

IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION
A Broker/dealer, investment adviser, BD agent, or IA rep may only transact business in a state if first registered, or is excluded or exempt from state broker/dealer, investment adviser, BD agent, or IA registration requirements as appropriate. Follow-up, individualized responses to persons in a state by such a firm or individual that involve either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made without first complying with appropriate registration requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. For information concerning the licensing status or disciplinary history of a broker/dealer, investment adviser, BD agent, or IA rep, a consumer should contact his or her state securities law administrator.

Third-party rankings and recognitions are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results. These ratings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client nor are they representative of any one client's evaluation.