The Role of Family in Times of Struggle

During the past month I have been traveling all over the word from Botswana to Disney World and I have seen many different versions of family.  Matriarchal, patriarchal, and everything in between.  No matter what the family we have looks like, whether or not we consider family to be biological or not, we all need family around us to survive and thrive.  This is true in everyday life, but especially true in times of struggle.

Often when something bad is happening in our life we push others away and keep the information to ourselves.  We don’t want to “burden others” with our troubles and can feel ashamed of what is occurring.  Often we also live in fear of being judged by others for our failures and shortcomings.  I feel this is especially true with mothers and fathers in regards to their children.  We have set up a society, in the social media generation ,that has us constantly feeling like if our child is not headed to an Ivy and a multi sport athlete we have somehow failed as parents.  It is much easier to brag about your child than it is to admit your child is struggling.

However, if we open up and lean on the family around us the stronger you will become and you can find unending support in a time of need.  In fact, relief can ensue when you choose to be open about the trials you are facing.   It has been true for me.  As my son struggles I’ve leaned on all of my friends and family members and been open about the journey.  This has been a relief for me and I could not be as strong at this moment without their support.

Bottom line, we can’t hide from our struggles.  We have to be honest and admit we all need some type of family to support and sustain us.  Whether it is the biological family we were born into or the family we created from dear friends, it is opening up to and leaning on your support network that is the most important.  Within this you can find the strength to move forward and face the challenges upon you.  Plus of course it doesn’t hurt that my son to know he has an amazing supporting cast, (this is just my side of the family above), cheering for him everyday.

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