It’s A Family Affair

It’s a family affair
It’s a family affair
It’s a family affair
It’s a family affair
One child grows up to be
Somebody that just loves to learn
And another child grows up to be
Somebody you’d just love to burn
Mom loves the both of them
You see it’s in the blood
Both kids are good to Mom
Blood’s thicker than the mud
It’s a family affair
It’s a family affair

Lyrics to the Sly & The Family Stone song “It’s a Family Affair” circa 1971

Sly and The Family Stone knew what they were talking about – there is no bond stronger than a mother’s love of her children. All mother’s will say they love their children all the same – which is true in a way. I have two children and I love them equally but I have a different and special place in my heart for each of them. My first born was a son, my second a daughter – the amount of love if the same. How I love my children does it effect the way they are shaped as people – most definitely.

But I think family order plays a major role in shaping your own character – whether you are a first born male vs. female; middle child or only child, 6th in a family of 8 children (God knows that must be happening more and more often with the rising success of invitro-fertilization!) Don’t think so? Remember Jon and Kate Plus 8 on TLC and then you have families like the Duggars on what 19 and Counting -good god! Invitro and multiples have become increasing more commonplace. I was blessed not to have to endure the countless injections and many other hardships that those strong women endure. To be sure they are some of the toughest cookies out there to subject themselves to the onslaught of tests, shots, poking and probing in areas that don’t like to be poked – all in the name for the love of their own child. A creation they’ve made together with their beloved spouse – a little part of each of them that will eventually drive them insane as teenagers!

We each share a unique relationship with our mother which I believe has something to do with our birth order. I think a mother tends to remember more things about the first child since it was THE first. No other distractions from siblings to take away from the memories. This drives my daughter nuts that I remember my son’s first movie and not hers. Well excuse me for remembering going to a drive-in movie to see Lion King after being stuck up in the house all winter in sub-zero temperatures. It’s not to say that I don’t remember anything about her birth or things that happened during her first years because of course, I do. However, sometimes when put on the spot I may fail that pop quiz of hers. Mothers love their children unconditionally and whether one kid is a math whiz and the other is not – in the eyes of the mother she loves both equally the same. But kids tend to feel that parents favor one child over another in some way, that someone is the “golden child” and never fully believe them when they are told they are equally loved.

Families these days have evolved – long gone are the days of Leave It To Beaver

and welcome the Modern Family

This must make for some very interesting and complicated family dynamics. When I was growing up more of my friends parents were married (their first marriage) as opposed to divorced. I don’t think that’s the case for kids these days or at the very least its a hell of a lot more common day then it was back in the 1970’s and even 1980’s.

We all know life is not a sitcom but if you watch Modern Family or Parenthood, another favorite of mine,

you see that there is a common thread that families that communicate remain closer and are better off for it, no matter what type of family you have – traditional, or blended. It takes time, effort and a ton of energy to achieve this too. It can be exhausting on you mentally and physically. Even if you feel like you are going through hell and back on the way; it’s your family and aren’t they worth the trouble? Mine is and hopefully yours is too!

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