How to Stay Positive when you are Distant with your Family

Having my own children someday has both been exciting and terrifying to think about. Exciting for the obvious reasons, but terrifying because I knew that one day, I’d have to inevitably expose them to my whole family….a family that I’ve never felt quite apart of.

Being the middle child of a (very) Catholic and Polish family had a huge effect on my child rearing. No matter how many A’s I got on my report card, dinners I made for my siblings when my mom refused to cook, or how good my manners were, because I was independent and wanted to pursue another’s path in my future (other than getting married, spitting out five kids, and living on the Southside all while being as religious as possible), it made me become the black sheep. I was looked over because I wasn’t the “first born son” and I wasn’t the baby of the family needing extra hand holding. But I was told, “Family is forever & sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do.” However, it seemed like I was only doing things for family out of obligation, rather than love. As I got older, graduated from college, and moved out of the house, that feeling of not belonging became even more noticeable. It’s almost like because I didn’t follow the way I was told to live my life, I was only given 50% of support and love a family member needs.

Even experiencing the lack of genuine love/ excitement during our engagement, wedding, miscarriage, and most recent birth announcement, it makes me feel even more protective of Bdub 👶🏼. I’m aware that just because I have a distant relationship with my immediate family doesn’t mean that my child will. However, it also doesn’t mean that I need to feel obligated to bring my child around my family when there isn’t no effort being made on their end to better our relationship.

You definitely you can’t choose the family your born into, but you have a part in the people you surround yourself with later in life. Ultimately, what has gotten me thru the years is relying on my close friends and my husband. These few individuals have satisfied the missing pieces in my life and have given me such love, support, and happiness. I wouldn’t have been able to remain as strong or (somewhat) positive as I have been over the last handful of years.

Besides surrounding yourself with your “people,” another piece I would urge anyone similar in my position is to focus on YOU and the people you love. There will always be people who are negative and things you don’t want to do, but that doesn’t mean you are obligated to make it your priority. My blinders have been on these last few months for this specific reason and only as of recently, has really started to work in my favor. Although Denver is is not where we ultimately want to stay long term, it’s a blessing in disguise that we are on the other side of the country. This allows us to have physical/ mental space from issues we’ve been dealing with and to 100% focus on our growing little family. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about- caring for your tribe?

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