Our family experienced some interesting family dynamics this weekend.
My brother and his girlfriend welcomed their new daughter into our family. My children now have a baby cousin, and I have a baby niece. The challenge comes in explaining why my the mommy is not my children's aunt. I call her "Aunt C." to my children, but my brother consistently refers to her as "Miss C." to my children. We will have to discuss this, as it's more confusing to my kids than it should be. We have close friends that we refer to as aunts, so why should this be any different?
Then, we attended my husband's cousin's wedding. The family dynamic with these cousins has always been interesting and strange, because the culture in which the cousins were raised is completely different. My husband grew up with very hard-working, blue-collar parents, who provided everything for their five children, but counted the pennies in doing so, as to not go into debt. His cousins were raised with more money than they knew what to do with, summer homes in multiple states, and a mom who was always concerned with having the more expensive luxuries in life. Different family cultures, one not necessarily better than the other, just different.
To blend the families is always a challenge.
My husband and I belong to both of these unique situations, and try to fit in as best we can. Neither of us really care about the expensive things, nor do we really worry about labels and names. So, that being said, there is some stress in both situations. We choose not to let it ruin our lives, or our attitudes. We simply choose to let people be as they choose to be, and not to judge their decisions and actions.
Sometimes this is very difficult, while other times it's easy.
I don't think ANY families in this world are truly without their drama, or easy all of the time.
I am blessed to have wonderful families to belong to. My own small nuclear family is wonderful. We come from these extended families, and they do effect how we interact with each other, but they do not define us completely.
I am very thankful for these extended family differences, and the opportunities they offer us to learn about ourselves.
"Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. "How can Satan cast out Satan?" he asked. "A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart."" Mark 3:23-25
"So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church?" 1 Timothy 3:2-5