Traditional Values in a “Non-Traditional” Family

My family is in the middle of what we loving call “Celebration Week!”  Within one week’s time we celebrate our dating anniversary, our oldest daughter’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, and my birthday! It’s a crazy, fun-filled time that we look forward to every year!  This year is extra special because we were able to add another celebration to our week: my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary!

Now, this is an amazing milestone to be celebrated for any couple.  Weathering whatever life hands you for 60 years, be it tough times or great times, TOGETHER, is something to be honored. Especially when it seems like so many marriages end in divorce these days. My husband and I will be married for 6 years this week and I hope and pray that we will see our 60th wedding anniversary someday too!!

To me, seeing them reach this milestone is EXTRA special because I was raised by my grandparents. In the midst of their retirement they took on the challenge of being parents again. Now, I was a pretty good kid :), but I know that it couldn’t have been easy for them and it certainly wasn’t something they envisioned themselves doing. Yet they selflessly gave of themselves and did everything they could to give me a great life. They would not claim to have done anything great and would not want any acclaim for switching gears in the middle of life and going down a different path than they had planned. But they are my ultimate role models. Throughout my life they have been the example of what it means to love one another, give selflessly to others, and what it means to be a family, even if it looks different from the “norm.”

family graphic

I write this post today because I want to honor them, but I also hope to encourage YOU. I am blessed to have a great husband who is also an incredible father to our children. Maybe you are too; and if so, I celebrate that with you! But I also know what it’s like to grow up in a “non-traditional” family.  Maybe you find yourself in some other “non-traditional” parenting situation. Maybe you’re a single mom or dad. Maybe you’re an aunt, uncle, or grandparent finding yourself in the midst of becoming a parent again when that is something you never envisioned yourself doing. Maybe you’re an adoptive or foster parent, showing love to and providing a home for a child who might not otherwise have a chance to experience being part of a family. Whatever situation you find yourself in, keep hanging in there. Being a parent is tough. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to feel like you’re not good enough. You’re going to have bad days. But you are making a difference in your child’s life! Just keep loving them and showing up for them every single day. They may be too young or too “cool” to express it, but that’s what means the most.

My grandparents are certainly not perfect people. They probably had plenty of days when they asked themselves, “what the heck are we doing?” But they kept hanging in there and I am incredibly thankful that their love and support has helped make me who I am today. I hope that I can set as great an example for my kids as they have set for me, and I’m so thankful to have them around to be part of my kids’ lives as well!! I hope they have many more anniversaries that we can add to our celebration week in the future!

I’d love to hear from you: do any of you come from “non-traditional” families? Or do you find yourself in a “non-traditional” parenting situation? How does that affect you as a parent?


*picture courtesy of Stuart Miles,

Kaitlyn is the owner of Cedar Rapids Moms Blog and is an Iowa girl who has been married to her husband, Joshua, since 2007! She’s a busy work-at-home mama to their 5 children: 3 girls and 2 boys! A true Hawkeye, she graduated from the University of Iowa with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, something that comes in handy on a daily basis while trying to raise 5 kids! Her favorite things to do include spending time with her family, cheering on the Hawkeyes, reading a good book, shopping (of course!), and checking out all the activities the Corridor has to offer!


  1. I love this post, Kaitlyn! Family can mean so many different things, but no matter what it “looks like”, there is nothing more powerful in life than knowing that you have people on your side no matter what. Good stuff.


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