Boomer Non-Traditions: One Size Families
Boomer lifestyles have changed what we have come to understand as family. Â In the past 20 years, we can now say without fear of being stoned that a nuclear family while totally desirable is not the only true expression of a family.
The morning news showed Jessica Simpson, Â Mommy to-be, in a Halloween mummy costume and a full belly. Â No value judgment was included in the commentary which to a large degree has to be understood as an indication of a value shift and as saying something about popular culture. There she was, pregnant and unmarried. This used to be a circumstance causing women to be hidden away at certain socio-economic levels. Â But the focus was on her belly and how beautiful she looked. Heck the news even gave Kim Kardashian props for her brief but new family even though it lasted only 72 days. Our acceptance of this information is a function of baby boomers having been more accepting of the lifestyle choices other people made, including what constitutes family.
By the 1980s, single motherhood had become a choice even though society still frowned upon it. We had a friend who chose artificial insemination and ordered her child based upon her ideal characteristics. She gave birth to a beautiful, blond blue-eyed intelligent daughter who was one of my sonâ€™s playmates. The kid looked nothing like her mother. But before this child, I had never met anyone who had chosen motherhood via artificial insemination and a database. And I wondered what my friend would tell her daughter when she began asking about her father. Â Those children are looking for their parents now. So we are getting answers to that question. But even then I knew that family is about a feeling, itâ€™s a place where you feel safe and can grow and thrive. Â There are no absolute formulas for making this happen.
How do you define family? Please share.