Thinking back on how families used to be built "in the old days" makes me realize that it's time to re-define what's normal. It used to be that a man and a woman met, fell in love, got married, and then had children. And up until the last 50 years or so, it was assumed that a woman would stay home with the children while the man worked to support his family.
Now, it's not so simple. Children now come into this world and into families in a large variety of ways. Women are waiting longer to have children or not having them at all or having them alone. Children are being conceived and raised in same-sex households. More families are made up of adoptive children from all over the world. There are blended families made up of step-children; cousins are treated and loved as brothers and sisters. There are more mixed-race families. Fertility treatments are widely used and accepted so that many more loving people can become parents.
This has forced our society to re-define what's normal when it comes to building families. I used to pine for the old normal and I grieved for the old normal when it came time to begin fertility treatments. But eventually I was able to embrace the new normal and appreciate the family it's given me. Not just my own two (and hopefully 3 next year) children but the extended family that I've been blessed with.
So let's embrace the new normal or create our own version of normal, not because we're forced to, but because we want to.