Friday, 9 December 2016

Family Made Simple* || With Slater & Gordon

*This is a collaborative post*

It's the 21st century, and the traditional, nuclear family is dead. If it ever existed in the first place, that is. The stereotypical couple and dependant children have been replaced by single parents, step-parents, and half-siblings; in a much more complex family set-up than before. And if proof were needed of the changing makeup of the modern family, 15% of people surveyed by Slater & Gordon have at least one step-sibling! Times, they are a-changing. But whether your family is large or small, traditional or totally modern, there's one thing we can all agree on; Christmas is all about family. 

I grew up in a very non-traditional family. I was raised, in a house full of love, by my single mum and her parents. I remember my grandad doing the school-runs; my grandma doing the dinner, bath and bed routine; and my mum plaiting my hair every morning before school. Shortly before my teenage years, my little family grew even bigger when my grandparents, mum and I moved into an even bigger house with my aunt, uncle and two cousins. Although I moved out some time ago, along with my mum, and now live with my fiance, my grandparents still live with my aunt, uncle and two cousins. Or, is it the other way around? 

The eight of us made up what I'd refer to as the 'core family.' Parenting was shared; my mum looked after my cousin, India, when my aunt went back to work. And my grandma looked after all of us; cooking our meals, ironing our clothes, and making sure we did our homework. When there were problems, there was always someone to talk to. And if you didn't want to talk? There was always someone who'd figure out there was a problem; and resolve it. I remember my aunt picking up on the fact that I was miserable at school, and after a discussion with my grandma, and mum, it was decided I would move schools. I was much happier after that!

Over the years, my family has grown larger. I've welcomed my fiance and his parents, my soon-to-be in-laws, into my family. And recently, I found out I have a half-brother, and half-sister. Finding out you have half-siblings when you've grown up as an only child is pretty mind boggling, let me tell you! I'm now the oldest of three; something I never imagined myself saying! 

Nowadays, I live in a two-up two-down with my fiance, and our cat. Although my family have split up a little, in the way that families do, some of us have moved out or away, we still come home for Christmas. Although I do have to juggle the limited time of Christmas carefully - we like to get to my mum and the in-laws on Christmas Day - we spend Boxing Day in the family home, effectively having a second Christmas! Because Christmas really wouldn't be the same without family, would it?!

I feel very lucky to have grown up in such a loving and supportive family. It's shocking to me that only 49% of over 2000 people surveyed consider their relationship with their family to be 'very good.' Unfortunately, a simple fact of families is that sometimes things go wrong. Whether it's a loved one's passing, or a parental divorce, there may come a point when you need legal assistance. 42% of people surveyed have required legal assistance in family law; and whether you need guidance with executing a will, or confidential advice moving forward with a divorce, Slater & Gordon are there to help make family simple with their Family Law services. 

Do you spend Christmas with family? 

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