What is family?

What Is Family?

What is family? 

Family

ˈfamɪli,ˈfam(ə)li/

noun

noun: family; plural noun: families

  1. a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

what is family?

Well thats how the Oxford Dictionary describes it, and I suppose in the traditional sense that’s correct, but times they are a changing.  What was once classed the norm in 1950’s washing powder commercials with an apron wearing mom a clean cut dad and two rosy cheeked children, surely isn’t any more! 

If that were the case, then technically my husband and I wouldn’t be classed as a family as we are two adults living together as a unit with no children.  Obviously there are still my conventional extended family members…parents, uncles & aunts and cousins, but they are still not actually classed as a ‘family unit’.   And what about all the singletons out there who live alone?  Does that mean they don’t have a family unit at all just because they don’t live with them? 

What is family?

There are so many diverse family units these days..single parent homes, couples like us who don’t have children at all, same sex parents, step families, and children raised by other relatives or friends.  Speaking of friends…. many of us have closer relationships with our friends than with members of our ‘actual families’ and some of us no longer have any blood ties, and rely solely on our friendships, seeing them as family members.  After all, friends are chosen and can be more important than the family a person was born into. 

And then there are pets.  Pets bring love and joy and company into our lives, and for many of us, like me, they become our family too.  

What is family?

So, isn’t it time a broader definition of family was embraced by the dictionary?  

So…here’s what I propose:

Family

ˈfamɪli,ˈfam(ə)li/

noun

noun: family; plural noun: families

  1. a group consisting of those that we love

What’s your definition of family?

 

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