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Does anyone else cringe when people talk about having their own little family now

138 replies

StephfromMarketing · 05/11/2018 15:40

Which is far more important than the family they or their DH have had since birth.

It's such a mean spirited little phrase "don't bother about them, you've got your own little family now"

It comes up over and over again on MN over Christmas "we want to start our own traditions with our own little family."

Fortunately, I never hear it in real life.

OP posts:
PurpleDaisies · 05/11/2018 15:41

I hate it and I do hear it in real life.

ManonBlackbeak · 05/11/2018 15:49

What's wrong with it? Some people have difficult relationships with their birth families who are toxic, and actually it's perfectly normal to want to start doing your own thing with regards to traditions when you grow up and leave the family home.

I hear it said all the time in real life, but it's more a figure of speech. Why has it hit such a nerve OP?

MoistCantaloupe · 05/11/2018 15:51

It's the word 'little' that does it. Overtly cutesy.

livefornaps · 05/11/2018 15:51

Yes it makes me want to vomit.

TokyoSushi · 05/11/2018 15:52

Yes, it's the 'little!!'

MrsStrowman · 05/11/2018 15:52

Someone said this irl when they found out I was pregnant, ohhh you'll have your own little family now.. Like if I hadn't had children I didn't have a family, just DH and I don't count. I just asked them not to say that in ear shot of the cat as he'd be mortally offended.

Firesuit · 05/11/2018 15:53

Yes, and I agree it's the word "little" that's the problem.

StephfromMarketing · 05/11/2018 15:53

Some people have difficult relationships with their birth families who are toxic

I'm not talking about people with crap families. It's usually people who've spent plenty of happy times with their parents and siblings but once they have children they become quite precious and want to exclude their loved ones "so it can be just the four of us cos we've got our own little family now"

^Why has it hit such a nerve OP?"

It's irritated me for years so I thought I'd start my own little thread about it.

OP posts:
RangeRider · 05/11/2018 15:54

I just asked them not to say that in ear shot of the cat as he'd be mortally offended.

BertrandRussell · 05/11/2018 15:56

It's almost always used as a war to try to detach men from their family of origin as well. A man wants to see his parents? "Tell him he needs to remember he has his own little family now that must always come first"....

7salmonswimming · 05/11/2018 15:57


I’ve only ever heard women say it, and to me it smacks of “I’m the matriarch/main woman, now that I have a child. I get to be boss”. So so much wrong with that.

And, 90% of the time, their own “traditions” around this time of year tend to bear a close resemblance to their own childhood traditions, not their partner’s...

StephfromMarketing · 05/11/2018 16:05

Yes, the cutsey "little" is very irksome.

And I agree with Bert about it being a way to detach the man from his family. It happens on Mother's Day too "get your DP to tell his mum to fuck off - she's had her turn - you're the mother now."

OP posts:
Quipsandquotes · 05/11/2018 16:09

YANBU. It seems to be used a lot on here to imply that once someone becomes a parent, their own parents and siblings cease to be part of their immediate family. There's something very exclusive and possessive about it.

Quipsandquotes · 05/11/2018 16:11

And I absolutely hate the expression 'she's had her turn', usually used to excuse keeping MIL at arms length from her grandchild and denying her any involvement in his/her life.

RiverTam · 05/11/2018 16:15

yes and no. My family (parents, siblings, ILs etc) are very important to me and I like to see them a lot and do things with them.

But sometimes, when the chips are down, I just want to wrap myself in my little family.

RiverTam · 05/11/2018 16:15

and my family is little as we have only been able to have 1 DC.

picklemepumpkin · 05/11/2018 16:16

'Little' family is in contrast to 'extended' family.

I think if parents have been controlling, then the next generation may feel the need to grab some power back and be in charge of themselves for once.

It is more to do with fighting free of oppressive parents than anything else.

Quipsandquotes · 05/11/2018 16:17

"It is more to do with fighting free of oppressive parents than anything else."

I disagree.

NicePieceOfPlaid · 05/11/2018 16:17

Nauseating and very selfish. Agree it's usually to separate a man from his family.

ladymariner · 05/11/2018 16:23

Absolutely awful phrase, makes my toes curl and I actually feel embarrassed for the person (And yes, usually a woman trying to assert her authority over her in laws), that they could say something so trite!

RiverTam · 05/11/2018 16:23

Laos, what's the matter with starting new traditions? My family have theirs, DH's have theirs, they're both different so we could create our own. What's the matter with that?

And I say that as someone who has no truck with MNers who think GPs are a hindrance.

RiverTam · 05/11/2018 16:24

Laos?? Where's that come from??? I can't even think now what I meant to type!


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picklemepumpkin · 05/11/2018 16:27

I've never needed to fight free from my in laws- lovely people.

I've seen my sister and I fight free from our parents though.

When people are put under pressure particularly from both sides of the family, they just want to get away from it all and do things their own way.

Should we never get to do a Christmas the way we'd like to, until after our parents die?

The fact that anyone needs to say it at all suggests they are having to pull away from something,

Mookatron · 05/11/2018 16:27

I don't think it's to separate anyone from anyone. I think it's to help people through the passing of time/ growing up stuff that is often really highlighted at times like Christmas.

So they may have obligations to their original family but their bigger obligation is to the one they've produced themselves - because in the 'own little family' case that family is dependent on them and should be their focus.

bookworm14 · 05/11/2018 16:28

It is a rather twee phrase. I do find the MN emphasis on spending Christmas with one's 'own little family' as opposed to extended family/relatives a bit odd. I personally love seeing everyone at Christmas, and am looking forward to my DD being able to open her stocking with her cousins, for example. I don't mind travelling a bit if it means seeing people I love. However if you have a poor/toxic relationship with your wider family, that's a different thing.

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