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The draining reality of living with an extended family

The draining reality of living with an extended family

Blood is thicker than water, or so my mom believes. For five years, our house has been filled with too many voices. Imagine fifteen people living in one space as an extended family. Draining is an understatement. However, as my mom usually says, family is family.

A conventional family is usually made up of a father, mother, and children. Unconventionally, it could be two fathers or two mothers and their children. There could also be just single parents. Or, no children at all. Still, it’s a family. the varieties of these remain limitless.

For my family, it looks like this – my grandma, my mother, my father, my sister, two uncles, and six cousins. There are also two other extended cousins, who are cousins of my cousins. I know…

There are a lot of complications that arise from living with an extended family. Two of the main factors are emotional and financial setbacks. But, it is not all bad. Sometimes, it is fun to have a lot of people around, especially during birthdays and holidays. Then again, it is all fun and games until it is time to clean up the tables and wash the dishes.

The draining reality of living with an extended family

The emotional toll on the whole family

My mother has a complicated relationship with her siblings. As do any other brothers and sisters out there, they do have their differences. Too many of them in fact. The struggle with living with an extended family is that there are too many minds and voices at work.

It is inevitable that at least once a week, an argument occurs amongst the relatives, and it creates an awkward environment for everyone else. Raised voices and sharp tones: are very common in a household where adult egos are soaring high and sensitive.

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Financial dependency

Aside from the emotional aspect, financial dependency is also pretty draining. Sometimes, the other families tend to rely on or “leech off” from one of the families whom they deem as the most financially independent. This is one of the main things that adults fight about because… bills and expenses, am I right? Since the house is shared by multiple families, the division of payments could sometimes feel unfair.

Extended families are not unusual, but they do take emotional tolls, particularly on the children.

Imagine going to bed and hearing a heated argument in the living room because the adults are fighting about paying for the electricity. For a child, I cannot expect that kind of atmosphere to be conducive and healthy for growth.

Huge families tend to clash messier than smaller families do. I mean, conventional families are already messy, to begin with. What more about having additional numbers of family members? It would be impossible to always be at peace.

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