What is the word to describe the 21st-century divorced/separated family? My wife and I went our separate ways years ago, but our three teenagers always ensured that we all spent a lot of time together nonetheless. Birthdays, weekends, Christmasses. I think Elizabeth Wurtzel described parental divorce as like never being able to leave the scene of a car crash, or something like that, and while there’s an element of truth to that, it’s also true that – as parents – you’d never want to divorce your kids.

Yet, while the childless can seemingly rewrite social norms as many times as they like, western society still has a problem dealing with any set of social relations involving parents that doesn’t, literally and metaphorically, place them in a box. So, the fact that I am single AND have three adult kids of whom I see a great deal is either regarded as saintly, or weird. When it is neither.


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