Thursday, February 5, 2009

Message to Divorced Baby Boomers

I was watching Dr. Phil this afternoon and he featured a woman who is showcasing all the classic elements of a mid-life crisis: she recently left her overbearing husband and is now enjoying life while living in a camper tent with her younger boyfriend. She claims she is happy because she is living her own dream and no longer tied to all the material things that supposedly bogged her down. Her daughters, all in their 30s, are very concerned and thus appearing on Dr. Phil.

This is something that has been bugging the shit out of me for some time now, as I have parents who divorced once the kids were "out of the house." This seems to be a pattern with baby boomers, and it needs to stop. Message to divorced parents of grown children: Just because your kids are out of the house and living on their own does not give you the license to stop being parents. It kills me to see how many people of my parent's generation pat themselves on the back for enduring a marriage until their children became adults, then jump off the deep end, all the while congratulating themselves on 'waiting' until their kids were grown. Children, no matter what age, need stability and guidance from their parents!!! You cannot throw away your marriage, hook up with a new boyfriend or girlfriend and go on road trips like you're 20 again, you cannot move to a trailer park for the novelty of it, you cannot sell your children's childhood home and not expect it to pain them. I mean, WTF??? You made the decision to become a parent, and even if it was 30 years ago, you are still held to that decision. You are still a parent, and it is your responsibility to create a stable, loving, safe home for your children, where ever they happen to be living.

I understand the need to re-discover yourself after 30 years of marriage--so take a watercolors class, go on a cruise with your old friends, or pick up yoga. But do not abandon your life, because you are abandoning everything that your children have grown to expect from you, and YES, they still need you to be their parent. In other words, grow the hell up and do the job you decided you wanted to do decades ago. It is still your job, no matter how much you think you've outgrown it. You are not 20 years old and free to live life only for yourself! You had your chance, and you chose marriage and children. No matter how old a child gets, they still need their parents to be solid and sure, not running around making a fool out of themselves. Seriously.

/end of rant.

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