The New "Normal" American Family

My best friend has five kids: Two from her first marriage plus two stepsons and a bio-baby from her second. She is also brilliant, successful and ridiculously happy and I have never even given the whole who’s-your-daddy thing a second thought.

Then I read about a new study from the University of Michigan which reminded me that it wasn’t long ago that having a bunch of kids from a bunch of different dads was considered kind of slutty. Today, one in five women has children with more than one man -- across all income and education levels -- and a staggering forty percent of moms are raising their kids as unmarried moms.

When I look at my friends, I can’t think of a single “family” configuration that’s not represented (or frankly that wouldn’t have been considered odd just a few decades ago). We have same-sex parent friends, single-parent (male and female) friends, Goldie and Kurt type friends who never actually tied the knot but remain committed to the brood of offspring they have together, friends who have divorced and remarried (each other) and couple friends -- both with children -- who partner-swapped and each started a new family (I swear it).  

Of course I’m glad that my kids have -- and hopefully always will -- the traditional mom/dad setup, but I also know we probably won’t be the norm for long.

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