Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Introducing the Poster Family

by The Next Family October 06, 2011

By: Wendy Rhein

There are a plethora of labeling adjectives in modern marketing speak meant to define my family demographic: multi-ethnic, single parent by choice, multi-racial, adoptive, sandwich generation, multi-generational. Just the other day someone told me we are the poster family for modern diversity. I suppose that should be a good thing and it is certainly something to think about when I’m folding laundry at midnight on a Tuesday.

I am a single mother of two young boys. My six-year-old son says that I’m not white, I’m pink. And that goes well with his tan and his 19-month-old brother’s chocolate brown. He adds his Nana, who lives with us, and says she is whitish with brown spots. Nate is his name, and I’m Wendy. Sam is the baby who is not really a baby anymore. And Nana is also known as Mom – my mom. A little over a year ago, just months after I had adopted Sam at birth in an open, domestic, third-party adoption (more adjectives), and after losing my job when he was 5 weeks old and only two months after once again taking Nate’s father to court for child support he refuses to this day to pay, I was offered a new job in a new city. I took the whole family to visit the new city one weekend and while strolling through a Farmer’s Market on that first Saturday, Nate looked at me with a big smile and said “Mom, there are families like ours here!” That was all it took. One month later, we loaded up two cars with me, my then 4-month-old, 5-year-old, the cat, and my 70-year-old mother, and moved. We left behind two large condos with a lot of the stuff that filled them, many memories, and a collection of friends that had gotten me through more crises than I care to repeat. Think the Clampetts but without the Texas Tea.

Now, we live in a smaller, much more urban apartment complex with a pool, playgrounds, and big parking lots. For the first four months Nate thought we were living in a hotel complete with a lobby, elevators, and maintenance staff.

My mother is aging and desperately wants to feel useful but also needs some looking after. We struck an arrangement that she would be Sam’s primary caretaker during the day, meet the kindergarten bus at the end of the day, and I would work and care for all of us. I am incredibly grateful for not having to pay full time childcare for an infant but adjusting to living with another adult, especially in such a charged mother-daughter relationship, has not been easy. Add to that different ideas and approaches to raising children (no, we don’t need to put six layers of clothes on the baby in August; he’s really not cold), and you’ve got a recipe for a reality show or a courtroom, depending on the day. In the end it is actually recipes that save my sanity. To regroup, de-stress, and celebrate, I cook. It is motherhood at its most efficient: I am serving a purpose to my family by preparing home-cooked meals seven nights a week while also getting my groove on in the kitchen. In future posts, I hope to share some of these recipes with you, since for me, food and family are intertwined.

The post Introducing the Poster Family appeared first on The Next Family.

The Next Family
The Next Family


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →