5 Tips for Keeping Your Sanity in a Big Family

Living in a big family isn’t always easy… But I have 5 tips that I have learned over the years that help me keep my sanity and live in harmony (most of the time)

1.  Food.  Feeding the natives always calms everyone down and makes us feel loved.  I know it’s not right.  We are not supposed to associate food with love, but really who doesn’t.  Making yummy food and sharing recipes is one of the many glues that holds us together.  Almost everyone in my family enjoys cooking and loves to exchange recipes.

This is my grandparents kitchen bar.  The number of meals served to my family from this very spot are immeasurable.

2.  Having some dirt on each other.  When you live in a big family it’s important to have dirt on each other.  You know, a story they wouldn’t want leaked to the media.  This keeps everyone in check.  If everyone knows that someone else in the family knows something scandalous about them it keeps them from being a jerk and leaking your goods.  Let’s face it, we all have dirt, some is worse than others.  No one wants their dirt out there for the world to see.  So when you have a blogger in the family you might have reason to be nervous (just kidding I would never tell the really good stuff, unless I had to out of self defense)

These little ladies are too young to have dirt… Must be nice.

3.  Realize that some of you suck.  Yes some of your family members suck.  You have the addict, or the blow hard, or the “I’m always right” person, or the “political person” (oh yeah that’s me).  The truth is we all have something that someone else probably doesn’t like at some point or another.  HOWEVER, the key is realizing that sometimes they are not your favorite person but sometimes you probably aren’t their favorite person either.  When you realize this you are much more likely to forgive their flaws, because they have had to forgive yours. (ps – addict comment only refers to current addicts that are making your life miserable, not the recovering ones)

4.  Reminisce.  Reminisce about good stuff.  Sometimes in my family things can’t get tense if we are discussing touchy subjects.  Or they are just boring, that happens too.  One of my favorite things to do is play the “Remember when” game.  If you say remember when Uncle Dan shot himself in the leg… this tends to lighten the mood and make things much more entertaining.  (yes Uncle Dan really did shoot himself in the leg, we’ll save this story)

The photo at the top – that is Uncle Dan.  He’s funny.  (he’s my favorite uncle, shhhh don’t tell anyone)

5.  Love.  Love on each other.  No matter what.  I will be the first to admit, there are a few characters in my family that are less than my favorite people.  In fact I don’t really like them. LOL.  BUT they are family and I do LOVE them.  If they needed anything, ever, I would be there to help them.  Because that is what family is for.  If you know in the pit of your stomach, the depths of your soul these are the people you could go to if you needed something, then you’ve got it made.

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