I want to start by saying how much I love and value my family.
By my family, I mean "my side" and my in-laws.
I don't like the term in-laws.
In the picture above are most not all of our immediate family.
I have 12 family members in that picture and the rest is all Drew's family.
Drew has a very large, loving family and I come from a very small, loving family.
Drew and I dated for 4 years or so before getting married and I've known him since I was 15 so I've got to spend lots of time with his family as he has with mine.
I come from a very small family.
We got my mom, dad, Cameron my brother, and my grandma.
I do have several aunts, uncles, and cousins but we don't see each other often.
(maybe twice a year?)
My small family is very quiet, private, and nice.
They enjoy being home and recently bought a camper to enjoy which I'm so excited for them about.
I grew up with this small family enjoying the small things in life and valuing times together.
I don't think I realized how use to this and comfortable I was with it until I got married this past June.
As I said Drew and I dated for 4 years before getting married.
I have read and heard in-law/family horror stories and success stories.
When we got married I think I felt because we have been together that the family part would just come together and I didn't realize the work that would come with this.
I should have known better because every kind of relationship needs care and this is no exception.
Drew's family is full of lots of personalities, larger than life of humor, and very open about everything.
Drew's parents divorced when he was young but they put all differences aside and get along all so well. I have so much respect for this and admire this dynamic.
The differences with our families goes beyond the obvious that his family is much larger than mine but the personalities and openness are so different that what I grew up with.
I feel sometimes I struggle with how to balance how to adjust with these differences, even after being together this long.
The great part of a large family is that the laughs never end and more love to go around. The hard part being that it can be easy to feel left out or hurt. Even though this is unintentional and I'm know I'm guilty of it too, it makes balancing a large family a challenge for me at times.
With it being a new year I want to make a point to grow with my families and really appreciate and value each and every one of them. I want to really listen to them. Not just hear them, but really listen. Send some random snail mail or something unexpected to let them know I'm thinking about them. I would like to try to spend more time with everyone. I want everyone to know they are important to me.
How do you adjust and cope with new families in your life?
I'd love to hear your ideas!