Tuesday, November 8, 2016

On Living an Authentic Life and Parenting

A few months ago, a certain blogger-author announced she was leaving her husband for the second and final time, just one week before her book on marriage was released. I'm sure her publisher was thrilled with her decision. I debated with a few of my close female friends about the authenticity of her choice (as if we had any right to have an opinion). This author-blogger proclaimed the timing to be less important than being true to herself. I raised the question with my friends: but wasn't it odd that this same author-blogger left her husband the first time the same week her first book came out?

That same week that she left her husband, her good friend, another author, left her husband for a woman. In the sake of honesty, of living an authentic life. And last week the author-blogger mentioned above who left her husband a few months ago just shared with a live audience that she is in a relationship with a woman.

I feel like I'm moving up and down on the wake of these two women's decisions. I feel off balance and affected though the only way I'll meet either one of them is by standing in a long line for hours with fellow fans in order to get five second with her and my book signed (which I did once). The fluidity of the world has me on shifting ground. I have no problem with alternative lifestyles (or do I? I've examined myself because of my reaction to these women's decisions in the past week), and support gay marriage and have taught my children that love matters most, no matter the coupling.

But, speaking of children, here is what is eating at me: How does this change of pace, this "living an authentic life," this changing of direction affect the children in the picture? I'm no child psychologist, but as children grow and change and experiment themselves, what if their foundation--their parents--are still growing and changing and experimenting themselves? What are the lasting effects on children if their foundation is constantly shifting? It's not just changing the gender of one's partner. It's also divorce, which has been around for long enough.

It's not just the children that matter, but I think they matter more. As parents, do we give up some of our own right to live an authentic life when we have children? Or do we have all of the same rights, and we get to make decisions without carefully and deliberately thinking of how those decisions might affect our children now and in the future? Shouldn't we just make a choice and stick to it--whatever that choice is, whatever the consequences of commitment (because, remember, there are moments when any commitment is fraught with discomfort and challenges and hard stuff)?

I'm full of questions this week. I don't know the answers, but my gut says that there are going to be some consequences for our children if we parents don't provide a firmer foundation for our children. There are so many unknowns out there for them--shouldn't we be their Known, their Familiar, their Rock? Or can we be even if we leave our partners once or twice, or fall out of love with a woman and in love with a man?


4 comments:

  1. You raise so many questions that allow us to ponder today! Thanks for the shot of authentic voice as I start this historic day.

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  2. Lots of questions for sure. I think we need to be careful when thinking this through - the original relationship might have been more unstable for the children. The new relationship - male or female - may provide a more stable setting. It really depends on the people and how they choose to support their children during this time. No matter what it will be hard for everyone for awhile. Always hard to see these transitions in everyones life.

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  3. Such deep, thought provoking questions. I'm not sure there is any one answer, but I applaud you for asking.

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  4. I'm not sure the questions are ours to ask, unless it is us who are in the shoes of these women.

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