I was brought up living in a house in middle-class suburbia with a red door and a white picket fence. We were an All American Caucasian family with a mother, father and two children with a golden retriever named Duke. My father was the bread winner while my mother was a homemaker who cooked and cleaned for the fun of it. My elder brother did everything a regular little boy would do–road bikes with friends, played in the mud, got dirty, played baseball–while I stayed at home to learn how to cook a meal that could be featured on the cover of Bon Appétit and a house so clean you could eat off the floor. I wore dresses, kept my finger nails well manicured, and had teeth that pinged whenever I smiled.
If you haven’t realized it, the above it completely and utterly false; I take that back, it wasn’t all false, but here’s what was false. My family was not at all what people would refer to as the “nuclear family.” Firstly, my parents were not both white; my father black and my mother is white, making my brother and myself half black and half white. My mother and father both worked; there was no “bread winner” or “home maker.” My brother was one who went out to play with friends, got dirty, and played baseball, but I was far from the home maker in training I made myself out to be. I didn’t wear dresses, I bit my nails, my room was a mess, and I’ve only recently learned how to cook a proper meal. We also didn’t have a golden retriever; though, we did have a beagle and some cats. And to top it all off, my parents were divorced when I was still young, but continued to live in the same house so my brother and I would have both of our parents. My situation is just one example of how the nuclear family is changing.
Families are no longer just made up of a single race or a single ethnicity–instead, they are often made up of multiples of each. Families are more mixed and diverse than they were ten or even twenty years ago. It seems to be becoming rare to find a family that consists of a single race, let alone a single ethnicity. It’s not just the race and ethnicity that are mixed, it’s also the sexuality of families.
In today’s world, there are families not only of the opposite gender, but also of the same gender. Some may see this as “unholy,” “disgusting,” or ever “wrong,” but times are changing and no one can stop that. Acceptance is becoming a key factor in today’s world and if you cannot accept others for who they are, you may find your social circle shrinking and maybe even find that your family members are slowly pulling away from you, but that is not something I will go into depth with at this point in time.
The point of this specific post is to express that families are changing in many different ways. There is no longer such a thing as a “nuclear family” (if such an ideal was ever that stable). Instead of all families consisting of two parents, two kids, and a couple of pets, there are families with one parent, five kids, and no pets or two mothers, one child, and a few pets. The family structure is ever changing.
Posted on December 30, 2011 by Felicia