Myth of the Perfect Family: An Interview with Elisa Morgan
"There's no such thing as a perfect family." This phrase, printed across the top of Elisa Morgan's new book, The Beauty of Broken: My Story and Likely Yours Too, caught my attention. While most people might tell you they agree with this statement, many of us don't believe it. That's why we covet our friends' families as children and struggle to accept our own family's flaws as adults. In The Beauty of Broken, Morgan pulls back the curtain on how messed up most families really are--including her own.
It's an interesting message for Morgan to champion because she is President Emerita of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International. If you’re the leader of a Christian organization that inspires and equips mothers, you might understandably succumb to the enormous pressure to present your family as flawless. Not Morgan. Here, we discuss the destructive myth of the perfect family.
JM: In this book, you’ve told the truth. Give us the dirty. In what ways is your family decidedly NOT perfect?
EM: In every way? Well…depends on your definition of “perfect.” To begin with, I come from a broken family – broken through divorce and addiction. My husband comes from an intact, conservatively Christian family. We both brought certain “expectations” with us into forming our second family. As our family was formed by adoption, early on I became aware that my children would arrive in my arms with certain wounds of their own. While my husband and I poured our efforts into raising an intact, “perfect” family, we unexpectedly encountered issues like teen pregnancy, substance abuse, legal issues, financial problems, disease and death…and…and…and…revealing that we were surely not a “perfect” family after all.
JM: Say something about the myth of the perfect family. What is it and why is it?