What’s with This “Instant Family” Trend?

What’s with This “Instant Family” Trend?

What’s with This “Instant Family” Trend?


I recently read an article where Michael Phelps talks about the group of swimmers he has just begun training with in Arizona, and already calls them family as in “Just a normal day with the fam!”

Family? . . . Hunh.

As best I can tell, he met most of these people a couple of weeks ago.

Without a doubt, he has most likely never even come close to: finding himself yelling at them to stop yelling, sharing a bedroom closet roughly the size of a large shoebox, or suffering through an endlessly noxious 26-hour car ride home from the west coast in a faux wood-paneled station wagon after one particular sibling had over-served himself dried apricots.

When you’re truly family, you can, more often than not, fill in cartoon thought bubbles above others’ heads in photographs with astonishing accuracy. You know their food preferences and aversions almost as well as your own. And you know precisely what to say or do to make them blow volcanic clouds of black smoke out of their ears, give you a sideways stink eye, or laugh until their ribs hurt.

In my book, time and perfectly imperfect experiences are required to make someone a member of your family. It’s not even a blood relative thing. For example, there’s not an ounce of blood shared between my husband, my boys, our dog, and me, yet there’s no disputing the fact that we’re a family.

It’s a lifetime spent together learning everything about each other, loving each other, and baring witness to each other’s lives. And if that witnessing just so happens to come while squished in a car with a silent-but-deadly farter in the mix, you get family bonus points. Scads of bonus points will, in fact, be sent your way, my poor, put-upon friend.

What’s with this “instant family” trend?

Have you seen it? It seems to be running rampant.

Where did it come from?

Do you buy into it?



Written by Becky


  • Patty from MMC says:

    I think it’s his effort to create cohesiveness in his group. I’ll bet Logan’s band calls itself a “family”, too – and maybe on road trips they DO have to share a cluttered closet!! BTW, tell Logan he had an audience at the Nebraska game today – my daughter and son-in law and their friends saw the Northwestern band perform. Robyn said that, compared to the Husker band, NU’s was small but good,

    • Becky says:

      Aw, I’ll let him know, Patty. I imagine he’s still on a bus headed home now. What a neat opportunity to be able to play in front of 90,000 people!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Post Comment

About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Your email address will not be shared with anyone else.