Don’t we get grumpy about hosting extended family for extended period of time?
If you could host the extended family, howmany days of tolerance you have!?
How many of us worry about not giving the children an opportunity to live in a joint family?
From summer 2015, it has been real busy here! It started with the extended families visiting us from India, all of us going on Europe trip, having celebrations back in India, (and the grief of losing my sister’s premature baby last Christmas!), DD1’s exams and tournaments!!!!
Well, it might be quieter for a while!
It was manic, busy, loud, and never been calm, BUT IT WAS NICE in few ways!!! I couldn’t honestly list out many advantages of having extended family around but the main thing is the loneliness that has been taken away when we had them around.
You feel the values of their presence only when you are left alone in the house after your loved ones left to the home country, hubby left to work and kids been to school, and you are all by yourself at home staring at the TV, though not a percent of your attention is on the TV, and your mind is filled with flashbacks and chitter, chatter you enjoyed when you were surrounded by many.
There are many things you loose out when you have the extended family (Privacy being the top of the missing aspects) but there are a few benefits of having them around!
- Kids getting better attention!!!! – Yes, I agree both good and bad!
I could clearly see how my kids enjoyed having someone else to play with and just not have to stick to me and hubby all the time for anything and everything! My little one enjoyed running around, playing hide and seek with my Aunt, still coming to me for a hug and kiss and keeps reminding me that she loves me loads despite playing with other grown ups in the house! :). They had a chance to hear some different stories, not the same old Cinderella and snow white!
When I was busy in the kitchen, the kids didn’t have to be in front of the TV, doing their boring homework, and in best case if they were playing with each other, they would really be playing with less arguments and in case of arguments, atleast there was someone else to sort it out, so I can be least bothered!
On the other hand, they got pampered a lot and at times, there has been less listening to parents! You hardly get a chance to raise your voice as there is a highly, likely chance that you would be projected as a monster parent! All the efforts you have spent in getting them into early bedtime habits gets ruined!!!and if you still insists, then you will hear a complaint that you are not letting the kids spend more time with them!
- A lot less to worry about meal times: (But, yes you need to spend more time in the kitchen than usual but it is the “Shared task”)
There was hardly any meals skipped and though, staying with extended family means more time in the kitchen, we enjoyed more meal times at home, tasting home made food, prepared from scratch!!! ( a take away would cost a fortune though 🙂 )Making sure everyone is on the table ready to have dinner makes the food more delicious and there were loads of topics to discuss!
Making sure everyone is on the table ready to have dinner makes the food more delicious and there were loads of topics to discuss!
- Fewer arguments between the couples: (maybe!, I should say “Quieter arguments” although there would be more conflicts to discuss)
Though the loss of privacy is the main worry of living in a joint family, there are fewer opportunities to shout and argue about conflicts as there are people around you all the time (Well, it is applicable only if you are conscious about shouting in front of others and not making things much worse)! Sometimes you had to wait until it is time to lock the bedroom door so you can murmur to your partner, but most days you would be knackered that you would be fast asleep before your partner comes to bed!!!, and you know, when you sleep through a night, atleast a few of the problems happened the day before would look silly the next morning! But I agree, it could all possibly pile up and burst out very badly!
On the other hand, if you are in a Nuclear family, there is a tendency to resolve issues as and when possible, although sometimes, the arguments grow to their worst as there is no one to interfere and advice!
It’s just a few days after everyone left, but being left alone gave me some time to think about anything that went wrong during their stay and the right things I did to make the situations better!
Having the thirst to explore opportunities and few other constraints force us to live far away from other family members and children of this modern society know far less about the relationships! Back home, not everyone is called Aunt and Uncle, but every relation has a name to call based on how they are related to mum and dad. But, how many of these modern children know about the relations and the exact way to call them!? Calling everyone Aunt and Uncle makes it easier for the kids and most of us don’t bother teaching the specific names to each relation!
Although I feel that being brought up in a Nuclear family, children miss out the closeness with extended family members, I couldn’t argue in favour of the joint family.
Unless there is an extremely good understanding and adjustment capability, a joint family may not be something for everyone and it is definitely not always possible in the modern world where demands seem to be more!
Everyone would love to have their own space and I did see it with my parents, in-laws and every other who visited us!
I honestly felt that the Nuclear family has it’s own advantage and unless there is a need to stay together and being looked after, it’s better to give everyone their own space! Kids do benefit a lot being in a joint family (They are kids and blessed to worry less about conflicts and gossips) but it is essential to protect them from being affected by the conflicts!
And, all we could do is make use of every opportunity to meet and greet the extended family and make sure the children get time to spend with other family members as much as possible to keep the relation stronger.
Have you been in a joint family!? Do you prefer a Nuclear family or would you love to live in a joint family? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.