Bianca Knows Best ... And Helps a Divorcee 

Dear Bianca,

Earlier this month, my husband and I decided to get a divorce. We haven't really been happy in several years, and we fight all the time lately. It's totally mutual, but it's such a huge life change.

I moved back to my parents' house, along with my 5-year-old son, a few weeks ago. We're staying there until we can find a place of our own, but in the meantime, my parents are driving me crazy!

I'm 25 years old, and they're treating me like I'm 16 again. I went out last weekend with some friends, and they set a 9:30 p.m. curfew! Of course, I didn't follow it and stayed out until about 3 a.m. When I did come home, my dad was up waiting for me, and I got a lecture.

I appreciate their kindness, but I can't live by their strict rules. How can I break it to them that I'm not a teenager any more without making them think I don't appreciate their help?

— Big Girl Now

Dear Big Girl,

Jesus, 9:30 p.m.? I don't even think I had that kind of curfew when I was 16! You definitely need to sit mom and dad down for a nice talk.

Explain to them that you're going through a really tough time and going out with your friends helps keep your mind off your problems. Perhaps you can agree on a check-in time when you can call them and let them know you're okay and when you might return.

Even though you've been on your own for awhile, it's easier for parents to deal with their grown children being out until the wee hours when they aren't living at home. Out of sight, out mind.

Having you back at home has likely sent them back into parenting mode and they feel somewhat responsible for your well-being. Even if their crazy curfew is strict, their hearts are probably in the right place.

It could also have something to do with your child. When you're out until 3 a.m., where's your son? If he's at home with grandma and grandpa, they may not want to be stuck with the responsibility of babysitting. Or they may think that your late-night habits could carry over into your home life after you leave their place. Maybe they're just trying to instill some parenting skills.

Next time you want to stay out late, ask if they mind babysitting. If they do, hire a sitter. It'll show your parents you're being responsible rather than assuming they'll take care of the baby.

Got a problem? Send your questions to Bianca at bphillips@memphisflyer.com.

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