Out-of-the-box Families is a community for young families that don’t tend to fit into any neat box. We are too natural-minded for the mainstream and too mainstream for the natural-minded, too stationary for the nomads and too nomadic for the homebodies. Some of us are truly nomads or truly “natural living” families, but we support and appreciate the diversity of the out-of-the-box families around us. We live by the philosophy that we are all the experts on our own families, and we celebrate our differences by practicing mutual respect for the choices of all, even if those choices are different from ours.
We are not your ordinary families.
We’ve either always known or recently discovered that the way the majority lives isn’t necessarily for us, but because we don’t fit into any neat boxes, we sometimes have a hard time finding a place to truly belong.
That’s where Out-of-the-box Families comes in. What unites us is our differences.
What is an out-of-the-box family?
Out-of-the-box families are, by definition, difficult to define, but here’s a sampling of who an out-of-the box family might be:
Families with more than two children
Families who share accommodations with other families
Families where both partners are home because both parents or one parent works online
Families who only have 1 vehicle (by choice)
Families who don’t have a vehicle (by choice)
Families who get around by bicycle/travel by bicycle
Families where both partners work part time by choice so both can have more time with the kids
Families who are debt free and do not have plans for ever borrowing money
Families who have chosen not to ever own a home
Families who live in tiny homes
Young families where the parents have retired early (before 50)
Families who have chosen to adopt children with disabilities
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. If you consider yourself an out-of-the-box family, and you stand with us in our philosophy of acceptance and living life on your terms, you likely are an out-of-the-box family.
We invite you to join us by signing up for our mailing list, contributing your story to the blog (just e-mail mcdougallmariana[at]gmail[dot]com), and joining our community on Facebook.
Who is Mariana Abeid-McDougall?
Hello, and thanks for visiting the blog! I’m a dreamer, a wife, a mom of three young kiddos and an adventurer-at-heart. I followed the regular middle-class route of going into debt to get an education, and then going into debt to buy a house, and I “settled down” to raise my kids, because I thought that’s what you did when you “grew up.” I’m starting to realize that “growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional,” and starting to embrace our family’s adventurous spirit once again.
We find it hard to “fit in” with other families, because we believe taking a little from every philosophy of living life is better than having too harsh of a hold on one single way of doing things. Whereas we are Christians, we accept and welcome people of all belief systems and every walk of life to join our tribe of Out-of-the-box Families. The only requirement is that you consider yourself to be an out-of-the-box family, and that you respect and encourage all members of our community in embracing their own identities as out-of-the-box families.
Whether you’re already living life outside of the norm, or whether you’re just dreaming about doing so, you’re welcome here. Don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to get some awesome freebies and to stay in touch with our families’ great stories and encouragement.
You can find out more about Mariana and her experiences here.