“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.” Stitch, Disney’s Lilo & Stitch 2002

How do you keep your family intact when it’s broken up? That makes absolutely no sense. Or so I thought. Until I had a little one asking me if  we were still family. And I had to figure how to make him see that with or without daddy being in the home, we were still a family.

There are so many articles out there telling me how to continue being a family with my ex still involved. And I get all that, but what about the day to day.  Daddy isn’t here everyday. And to my son, his family was everything and family meant Daddy was with us in the home. Not only did my son not have his father, but we also had to leave what he always knew as home.

So, now what?

Well, I had to show him that his family was not broken…it had just changed.

I had to go back to doing what we were doing before we broke up.  Back to routines and traditions that my son could depend on and enjoy.  Jax expected donuts & kolaches on Saturday.  Family Movie Night w/ popcorn on Friday.   If it was raining or
someone was sick, Mommy made “Shicken Soupies”. It went beyond going to Church on Sundays and stories at bedtime.

We still have Family Movie Night with popcorn.  I still make my chicken soup if it’s rainy or someone is sick. I’ve added things like Saturday night he spends time with my mom at his favorite indoor playground.  Monday night we have family dinner with everyone. On days that he doesn’t have school, we take a morning walk to get coffee & “banilla milkies”.

I’ve made it okay that it’s only the two of us for some of these family things. And it’s okay that he will do some of these  things with just his daddy.   Two people in a family is okay.

I don’t discount, Daddy. It may just be me and Jax most of the time, but when Daddy comes into town, the three of us will do something together, because the three of us are still a family. But, I don’t want Jax to think that the only time we are a family, is when Daddy is here. I want my child to understand that family changes, evolves and grows. Family can live together and they can live apart. That as long as there is love, there will be a family.


 Brooke Abbott: An artist,  mom blogger at The Crazy Creole Mommy, entrepreneur and home  cook with a philanthropic  heart. My life is filled with  laughter and love, led by  a rambunctious, sweet,  brilliant toddler named  Jax Lee Coltrane. I love  being a mother. I love  eating. I love  photographing. I love  conversing. I love life!  

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9 Responses to Are we still a family?

  1. LJG says:

    Great article! Thanks for the insight. I always depend on your helpful hints to enhance me & my son’s days!

  2. Cleonia Abron says:

    Wonderful article.

  3. […] Are We Still A Family? Bite this:TwitterFacebookEmailPinterestTumblrStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  4. Christina says:

    I really enjoyed this. I know it will reach out and touch families everywhere!

  5. Marina L.K. says:

    Strong commentary on single parenthood and how loving a child transcends everything else!

  6. Rochelle says:

    What a wonderful place to be, with yourself and your son. Enjoy every moment, as he gets older he will remember this special time and will remind you “Mommy remember when we use to…” You may or may not remember exactly but it won’t matter. The warmth that he carries from those memories is all a mother ask for. What a wonderful place to be.

  7. Anne Galivan says:

    Family does change. Even when there isn’t a divorce, children grow up and move out. That is a HUGE change that is hard to comprehend when your children are young.

    I’m in my 23rd year of homeschooling, and I love having my kids at home AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. I hear many parents who say they can’t wait until their kids turn 18 and move out. My oldest child (and only daughter) didn’t move out until she was 26. I kept her bedroom door closed, after she moved out, because I couldn’t bear to see it empty during the year it took us to finally getting around to converting it to a bedroom for one of her younger brothers.

    I still have my three boys at home, ages 24, 18 and 10. I know the day is coming sooner rather than later when my oldest son will be moving out. The job market is tough; he worked part-time for three years after college and is looking for full-time work now. And it may end up that he has to move out-of-town for a job. And I know that will be another huge adjustment for me and his brothers.

    Additionally, I’ve recently filed for divorce, after 30 years of marriage, because my body could no longer tolerate my husband’s emotional abuse. My husband had already not been coming home overnight, two or three nights a week, for months. But July 22nd I told him to pack and leave. My older children are used to him not being around, but it was tough for my 10-year old for a little while. He even told me I needed to get remarried so he could have a “stepdad” to be here at night. I explained to him that he still has his dad and brothers and doesn’t need a stepdad.

    As you say, we need to assure our kids that we are still a family. And that is an evolving state regardless of whether we are married or divorced, simply because our kids grow up.

    Unlike the author here however, I have realized that I cannot handle activities that include the whole family. I simply cannot tolerate the way my husband continues to attempt to manipulate me. Every time he comes around it is as if I am experiencing the same abuse that I have FINALLY escaped from, and I have no intention of going back to that experience of oppression. I hate that it has to be that way. But I will not subject myself to my husband’s abuse anymore.

    It is a time of transition for my children and me but the Lord has assured me that He will carry us through. That is the promise I trust in and depend on day by day.

  8. Great job Brooke!. I especially love this : I’ve made it okay that it’s only the two of us for some of these family things.

  9. […] Are We Still A Family? Filed Under: Couple's Corner, Mommy Advice, Singledom Tagged With: African-American, baby, break up, Brooke Abbott, brooklynbites, co-parenting, Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles, family, family fun, family night, jax, kid fun, kids, post divorce, single daddy, Single Mommy, The Right Start, The Right Start Blog, toddler […]

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