Marrying into a family of seven (spouses and children not included) has had it's fair share of challenges. Coming from a family comprised, essentially, of my mom and sister (both of whom are incredibly independent, free-spirited individuals) to my husband's clan has been straight-up culture shock. We've been together for four years now and sometimes it wears on me. Being in a tight-knit group of 7+ means that when one member has a problem, it becomes everyone's problem. And with that many people, you're a part of other people's problems a large majority of the time. Coincidentally, as the youngest, my husband has found himself in the "peacemaker" role. A role that he gladly, and willingly takes on...with me a long for the ride.
There are so many things that I love about this family. I love that every get-together is an automatic celebration with so many personalities in the room. I love that Charlie will grow up with cousins who he can also count as best friends. I love that while there will probably always be someone rubbing you the wrong way, there are also at least two or three others to vent to about it. Everyone will always have your back and there is always someone to help you out in a pinch.
But when your husband is the peacemaker, sometimes that comes at a price. The price of being his #1. It's not a good feeling not to feel like his top priority. If I'm not his #1, who will be? You know.
Marrying the youngest of seven is a constant practice in grace, forgiveness and sacrifice.
However, sometimes when #1 has it all figured out, and #'s 3, 6, and 7 do not, they require more attention. And I need to be okay with that. Marrying the peacemaker is a blessing and a curse. But I love that it is my husband's nature to never question whether it's his responsibility to be there for his family members whenever they need him. He will be there. Always. That is the man I married and I love him for it. And I am so thankful that my children will be raised with that kind of example.
The old cliche continues to be true- you don't marry an individual, you marry a family. Though it's not always easy, I love the family I married.