Defining Family and Support

Family is simply defined as the people who you are related to either by blood or marriage. Support is defined as something that provides strength to an overall structure. Pretty simple definitions, however when you combine the two words together the definitions become a little more complicated. Family support is defined as support provided to you by your family. Seems simple enough, but when you look at all the different types of support and all the different kinds of family, well that’s where the complication sets in.

To you, family may be your parents, siblings, and other closely related relatives like aunts, uncles, and grandparents. To others family includes close friends as well. Some will say that in order for a person to be considered a part of the family they have to be related. Others will tell you this isn’t the case. To be honest, only you can decide if you want to consider some of your closest friends as family, too.

Support can be defined by so many things that it can sometimes get lost in translation. To many people support is monetary. Child support, welfare, Medicaid, and food assistance are all forms of support. Support can be so much more than monetary aid or gifts.

Family support can come in all forms. Here is a list of supports that family may be able to provide you.

  • Babysitting is always helpful. If a family member offers to babysit so that you can have some “me time”, go for it. Babysitters can be costly so having a family member, or close friend, offer to babysit is a gift that shouldn’t be turned away if at all possible.
  • Light house cleaning is wonderful. Sometime family or close friends will offer to help out with some of the house cleaning, especially after you’ve had a baby. Usually, this includes picking up the trash to tack it to the dump or doing some vacuuming. This is truly helpful for a single mother who may be working two jobs or working and going to school.
  • Picking up last minute items from the grocery store so you don’t have to take the kids out is an awesome way to be supported. Anyone with children knows that taking kids, especially young ones, into a grocery store is asking for a headache. Before you can even get to the meat section you’ve already heard 50 “I want”. That may be exaggerating a little, but you get the picture. If you have family member or friend who is at the store and calls to ask if you need anything, don’t be afraid to take them up on the offer. They wouldn’t be offering if they weren’t willing to help you. Just be sure to offer to pay them back. Even if they refuse the payback, at least you’ve been respectful and grateful enough to offer it.

So, in a nutshell, family support is any form of support provided to you by those who you consider to be family. The support is not always monetary and any type of support should always be met with a thank you. Never be too proud to accept support. Everyone needs it sometimes.



About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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