I always refer to us as “My big fat Greek family”, we are in each other’s pockets, knowing each other’s business.
We do not go a day without checking in with the granny and all have front doors where there is never a need to knock – we have households where you are not a visitor or guest and you can make your own drink and help yourself to anything in the fridge.
Matriarch Mammar (grandma) – the head of our family and the woman whom without we would not exist.
She provides love, warmth, encouragement, criticism and always makes sure our belly’s are full.
She also as a practising Greek Orthodox Church goer, always makes sure we are anointed with holy oil and have a thousand blessing before leaving her house.
My mama – there is not a fiercer woman I know; witty, humorous, strong willed and the one who no matter how old we all get can still give you the “mum look” to bring you back in check.
My siblings – ranging in age gaps from 18 months to 10 years between one another, we all have our own unique personalities.
We can be best friends or worst enemies at any given point but will all congregate for a lecture off mum and some macaroni cheese when summoned.
Last but not by any means least - My husband, the person who is my best friend; my rock, who gets my quirky strange ways and who wholeheartedly loves, encourages and supports me in anything and everything I want to do……… even knocking down random walls in our house unplanned of a Saturday afternoon!
Who never questions my decisions or if he does question them, will do this with the upmost respect or (more often than not) humour before going along with my original plan!
Who offers pure love and appreciation of everything I do as a wife and mother and will sing my praises to anyone who will listen.
We are also a multiplex family and between us have a handful of children on the SEN spectrum.
We share our experiences and each situation and hardship helps us grow and learn for the next person to be able to make the necessary improvements, so come their turn the process is not as daunting or stressful.
We cry together, share burdens and reassure one another when we are trying to mend a hurting heart.
I think the key to maintaining healthy relationships is love and respect.
We will not all always see eye to eye or even get on all of the time and that’s fine so there also needs to be a lot of acceptance and forgiveness.
We can get through anything if we are as one, work as a collective and instil the values we practice onto our children for the next generation.
Family are those that accept you at your strongest and support you at your weakest.
The ones that you only have to look at them in a certain way and they know that you are struggling and need their love and guidance.
Not everyone is fortunate to have these relationships or family – I am and so grateful!
I like to think of us like Liquorice All Sorts - all a bit different; a few misshapen, or may seem even broken – they are not, they are just a bit different.