The definition of a family unit is changing. According to The Free Dictionary, a family unit is a primary social group of parents and children. Traditionally, it refers to the parents as a man and wife who are married.
However, that isn’t always the case anymore. Some couples are choosing not to marry but are living together and raising their children. Some children are being raised by a single parent, and some children are being raised by two fathers or two mothers. It doesn’t matter if your family unit doesn’t fit the definition; what matters is that you show up for your family.
Sean Lowe, most well-known for his time on The Bachelor, believes that his family’s relentless love and support for one another has made the biggest impact on his life. He writes, “. . . the simple act of just showing up has made me a better person. And this is the biggest legacy I want to pass on to my son or daughter. No matter what they pursue in their life, their family will be there with them cheering them on.”
So, what does it mean to show up for your family?
In the most obvious way, it means showing up for the big and small moments in their lives, whether it be dance recitals, swimming lessons, baseball games, or plays. It might mean going to the hospital to meet a newborn cousin or taking a meal to their home after the baby is born so they don’t have to cook one night.
If there is an event going on that you can’t make it to, it means calling that family member later on in the evening to see how it went. It means sending texts or emails of encouragement.
These things might not seem big, but they establish a foundation for your family. By showing up, you are showing that you care. You are showing loyalty. According to New Kids Center, loyalty is an important value to instill in your family because it shows that you support your family and that you can always be counted on in the good times and bad.
“Showing up” doesn’t just refer to the good times and the fun stuff. It doesn’t mean just showing up when you feel like it or when you are in a good mood. It means being there for your family when times get tough; more importantly, it means leaning on your family and offering support when you are having difficulties in your life.
Dr. Kathy Bosch reminds us that it’s normal to be self-centered when times get tough, but at times such as these, it’s essential to look around you and take stock of how your family and friends are faring. How are the people you care most about doing? Family members and friends are the people who care most about you. It’s crucial to nurture these relationships, especially during the difficult moments of life. Lean on each other.