You read the title right. I think having a broken family has molded me into the person I am today, and the person I strive to be throughout life. These are my personal reasons why I think having a broken family is great.
1. Stepfamilies and blended families allow you to meet and be close with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
I have gone through my fair share of meeting my dad’s girlfriends and their children through the past 18 years, and although I may not remember all their names, they all taught me a lesson of some kind. My dad’s first girlfriend after my parents’ split inspired me to study hard and work for the job I want (she was in pharmacy school at the time) and still remain true to myself by being able to laugh at my mistakes. Another one of his girlfriend’s was quite a few years younger than him, and it sounds weird, but it made me realize I can date up. She also was free-spirited and outgoing, and always seemed to have fun.
2. You (generally) get two sets of holidays!
This is my favorite perk of having a broken family. Although it would be nice not to drive all over town during major holidays, being able to have several homemade meals and different sets of presents in one (or two) days is a lovely bonus! It’s especially great for birthday celebrations, because instead of one family meal, you get at least two! Hello, free food!
L to R – My cousin, Noelle, sister, Paige, me, and my brother, Brennan.
3. Two homes means two times the fun.
Growing up, I always had to refer to my house by the parent who owned it. After school, I’d be stopping by mom’s house to get an overnight bag for dad’s house, and I’d be on my merry way. Having less than half of the week to be with my dad, we tried to spend as much quality time together as we could, so our evenings were spent with batting cages, renting movies, and binge-eating nachos while jamming out to Guitar Hero. When I was at my mom’s house (home base), I spent the weekends picnicking at local parks, watching drive-in movies, and indulging in the baked goods that I would *try* to help my mom make.
My brother, Caden, and I. Photo courtesy of myself and Inspired Lens Photography.
4. Your family is extended.
This isn’t true for everyone, but you may acquire half-siblings, step-siblings, step-parents/grandparents, and other relatives that can become close to you. On my mom’s side, I have a half-brother and a half-sister, and on my dad’s side, I have a half-brother and his brother who I have always considered my brother, too. I have aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family members that aren’t blood or even related by marriage, but I still call them those names because of the many years they have spent in my life, supporting me every step of the way. If my parents never split, I wouldn’t have my siblings or any of the other people that I consider family to me now.
Growing up, I always wondered what it would be like if my parents stayed together, but I couldn’t imagine my life any other way than it right now. I have the highest of respect and love for those families who remain together, but I understand that we are all humans, and sometimes love just doesn’t work out the way we want it to. What is important in a broken family is that the love is still shared by both sides and support is given to the peacekeeper no matter what. Broken families can be tricky, confusing to explain, and a little hectic, but I love mine…and all the food that comes with it.
Cover image courtesy of blogspot.com.