Family First

I am always talking about the Frugal Fam core values, but I just realised that I have never devoted a blog to each one; to explain what it means to me. So for the rest of this week, that is exactly what I thought I would do. Of course, family first comes first. And today is a good day to talk about that.

My oldest son came over yesterday so I could help him with a job application and to drop off those suits we bought last week for hemming. He also joined us for dinner…and then spent the night. For a day, it was almost like before: a house full of people and excitement. I miss that now that our house is just hubby, my 18 year old son, Emily and me.

As a doula, I often hear from new mums about how much time a new baby takes. I remember that feeling too: like all I ever did was feed the baby and nothing was getting done. It is hard for me sometimes, while I remember and understand that feeling, I want desperately to tell them how short those days will be. How tomorrow those babies will be all grown up, in university and moving away. Sometimes I can’t resist the temptation, even though I am sure that is the last thing they want to hear.

Of course, Emily’s illness has made me even more aware of how important family, especially children, really are. This is not the first time I have dealt with childhood epilepsy; my 18 year old also had seizures as a small child. But back then, I had four children under seven and was a full-time student. I simply had to get on with it. Now whether because of time, age or my new avocation as a writer, I spend a great deal more time just thinking about…everything.

There is a reason that Family First is the first of the Frugal Fam core values. It is by far the one that I consider most important. I save money, because it allows me to work less and have more time for my family. I try to be environmentally friendly, because I want there to be a planet left for my children and grandchildren…and great-great-great grandchildren. I try to be healthier, because I want to live long enough to see all my children grown, happy and hold my grandchildren. I won’t hold out much hope of seeing my great-great-great grandchildren; although given the progress of science, I suppose it is not beyond the realm of possibility. Family First is to me the central value upon which all the other rest.

Of course, as I know better than many, modern families are ever changing. Each of us must define what family means to us. For some people, they do not see the need for children. I can’t imagine it for me, but I definitely think that some people should not have children. For some families, there will be two mums or two dads. And for some, like mine, there will be ex’s that remain a part of your extended family for the children’s sake. But whatever form the family takes it still plays a central role in maintaining the society and bringing happiness, fulfilment and grey hairs to adults.

So tonight take a moment to watch them sleep…your children, your partner, or whomever you consider family. Be thankful for the simple things, the everyday moments you share together, and the hope for tomorrow. Make Family First a core value every day.

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