When you have a family as big as mine, there's always something happening.
We've had our share of divorces--and I've seen what happens to the poor kids when mom and dad finally split. Fortunately, I've also seen how the kids have managed to become decent adults after a few mishaps along the way.
Recently touched base with a grandniece (yes, I have a bunch of those too) whose parents divorced when she was a kid, and she's had four kids who are now 10 and under. She's working on her GED because she wants to go to the police academy. Her goal is to have a decent job so her kids can go to college and she can retire sometime and not be like her parents. Her father is remarried and raising a new six year old of his and his new wife's as well as her two teenage daughters. He has his own business, but has to work really hard to make ends meet. Retirement isn't in his near future. The ex-wife still works as a bartender.
Seems like things go along fine for awhile, then we hear some scary news about someone--an accident or a bad diagnosis, or someone has decided to end a marriage, or one of the grandkids has gotten into trouble. Once in awhile, it's a new baby on the way.
In some ways it's almost like living in a soap opera except we're related to everyone. Maybe that's why hubby and I like to watch General Hospital, the soap opera, worse things happen to those folks than what happens in the extended Meredith family.
You might ask if I've ever used any of our family drama in any of my books--of course I have, not that anyone would recognize it. But how could I not use such a wealth of material when it's unfolding right in front of my eyes. Usually I don't use it while it's fresh--but someday, sometime, one of those incidents will be the perfect element for a story I'm writing.
And of course, having relatives in law enforcement gave me the desire to write about police officers and their families.