A Mouse's Tale

Random scurryings of a writer.

Mixed Families: Part 1

So, as I promised myself, I’ve finally started to make time to work through the mixed families study that I talked about previously. Even at just the beginning my mind is reeling with a whirlwind of thoughts.

It aims to provide insights into how parents from different backgrounds negotiate bringing up their children. The central focus is on mothers and fathers in couple relationships, rather than separated parents, so as to identify the ongoing negotiation of cultural difference between them as part of everyday family life. – Pg. 1

Automatically I’m caught, hook, line, and sinker. I hadn’t had time to read any of the introduction before and the above two sentences just caught my eye. The concept of focusing on the parents and how they deal with integrating their cultural differences is something that no one studies at all, or at least not that I’ve ever heard. People are always too quick to make a study of the children and to blame any negative issues on the parents, keeping the positive ones labeled as “self discipline.” Granted, that’s an American mindset and this study is from Britain. Maybe there’s something there that we can learn about their researchers?
But I digress.

Mixing and mixedness are often posed as fraught with difficulty in common assumptions and media portrayals. […] Mixed relationships are usually posed as short-lived in the mainstream media. – Pg. 2

Yes, most definitely. How often do you actually see mixed couples that work out on TV, in the movies, or even in novels? The example that comes flying to my mind is a more recent, race and possibly religion mixed paring of Sandra Oh and Isiah Washington’s character on Grey’s Anatomy: the relationship had him leaving her at the alter. (While Washington did get fired and so it was a quick write-out, they could have picked from a plethora of other ways to bump out the character without throwing out the entire relationship.)

Another idea pops to mind from my middle and high school years of being a Charmed junky: Why is it that any of the numerous Witches (and I use that term loosely) on there never got into an issue with a boyfriend and potential mates religion? Even if they weren’t supposed to run around chanting in the streets that they were one of The Sisters, I would assume that they would be able to tell a lover that they were a Witch. Perhaps I’m just the odd duck out of the Pagan Witch flock as one of the first things I told my now husband upon meeting him was that I was a Witch. I figured he was going to find out eventually and I would rather he go running for the hills before I had my heart set on him, which thankfully he didn’t, but it took a lot of explaining for his family not to throw crosses and bibles at me. (I kid, I kid!) Given how “on the edge” Charmed was, it would have been interesting to see this issue come about.

If anyone out there can think of other examples, good or bad, of couples that are a mix and raising children, PLEASE share! I’m interested to see what else is out there in mainstream media. The only “pop” couple that I can think of Seal and Heidi Klum, who, while they had a good run of it, still ended up getting divorced.

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