How to keep your family together!

Hello lovelies!

Since so many of you comment about how close my family is, I thought I would write a post on things we do to stay connected. It’s not easy, and it does take work, but the rewards are astonishing. 
Photo by Jendella

I’ve lived away in my own place a couple of times, and I’ve lived in America twice. It was probably, during those times that I realised that I had to work at maintaining a connection with my family. I did this by using social media including Skype, FaceTime, iMessage, whatsapp, and even letters.

1. You have to choose to stay in connection. 
I currently live with my parents, brother, and (soon-coming) foster siblings, and we all lead individually hectic lives, but we choose to hang out with each other. It’s a daily decision.
 
2. Use whatever you have to stay connected. 
We text all day, I set up a “McIntosh Household” whatsapp group when I moved to California so that I could keep in touch with everyone at once. I also started a whatsapp group for my mum’s side of the family, “The Wilson’s” where we keep each other entertained on a daily basis, as well as make plans to meet up, or share information.
 
3. Don’t take them for granted. 
It’s so easy to just expect your relationship with your family to grow just because you’re related, but it actually doesn’t work like that. Little things like going to B&Q with my parents are ways that I spend a few minutes with them on a busy day. Birthdays are a big deal in my house, so we’ll probably have some sort of event, we always decorate the house and there will be cake!
4. Make an effort, even when it feels like a thankless task. 
My mum and her 3 sisters; Janet, Jennifer and Angela
The Wilson’s are a big family, my mum has 4 brothers, 2 sisters, and 1 deceased. My aunts and uncles, and mum have (approx lol) 20 children, and the next generation is currently at 6 (I think). This number grows every year, and not to mention everyone’s partner, plus the children we all foster (currently at 6) ….so we’re currently at around 50 for any kind of family gathering. It’s hard to get us all organised as we range from new born to early 50’s, and I do get frustrated. But I’ve realised that it’s worth the hassle to keep the family together, even when it seems like the minority actually care. Persevere!

Mum’s brothers; Michael, Lloyd, Anthony and Raymond
5. Don’t worry if your family is different. 
My dad also has 3 sisters, and 3 brothers, his parents live here, and most of their family do.  However, we’re not as close to them and there isn’t really a reason. Meet people where they are, and also know who you’re dealing with. Deep and often connection isn’t something the McIntosh’s need and that isn’t a negative thing, it’s just different. They’re a much quieter, reserved family and their family dynamic is different from the Wilson’s. Life goes much smoother when you work out the personalities, temperaments and dispositions of the people you love. I love how different each side of my family is.
6. What works for one family may not work for yours. 
So as I’ve said, we talk often, and for you texting your mum all day might not feel natural and that’s fine! But when was the last time you saw her? If your schedules don’t quite match, then try and set up a monthly meeting. If that’s too much, what about a call every 6 weeks? You can build the connection as slowly or as fast as you like. For us, it’s unusual to not have had at least 3 conversations in a day, and that’s all before 3pm! I recently started a new job, and we’re all adjusting to the fact that I really can’t check my phone as often as I’d like 😉
On Friday night, my parents were teaching in South London, and my brother was playing keyboards there too. I was really tired from a busy day, but made to effort to travel from Essex to see them. I was late but I’m glad I got the opportunity to support their work.Love you all,Rach xx

The McIntosh’s: Caleb, Yvonne, Nathanael and Rachel-Yvonne

 

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rachelyvonne

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