August 19, 2019

"But, now that the children have graduated [from college] and moved back into my house as they search for jobs and eventually first apartments..."

"... I will say the thing that we as parents are not supposed to say: What happened to my empty nest? The very definition of home has changed. Mine will always be their family home, their spiritual home, but it cannot be their primary home. This is now my primary home, alone. I know that this arrangement is temporary, and I want to help my children out in every way possible, but it would be dishonest to say that their reappearance in 'their rooms,' which I now call guest rooms, has not been jarring. No matter how much I try to resist the urge, I’m reverting to my last-phase parenting mode — worrying about whether they’re eating enough and eating healthfully, washing their clothes and taking them to their rooms...."

Writes Charles Blow in the NYT. He also says: "Since my oldest son was 6 and my twins were 3, I have been a single dad." I had to look him up in Wikipedia to try to fill in the facts. It says he's divorced, he's openly bisexual, and his kids went to college at Yale, Middlebury, and Columbia. I'm not sure why young people with such advantages in life don't have jobs immediately upon graduating from college or why they'd want their father musing about their situation in the New York Times. I see that Blow's home is in New York City. Who's lucky enough to have multiple guest rooms in New York City? Is this really a story of real estate?

95 comments:

Michael K said...

"Gender Studies" graduates, probably.

I'm sure they'll find something in HR.

Fernandistein said...

To abuse Robert Frost -

If you're a prisoner, home is the place where, when you leave there, they have to find you and take you back in.

Shouting Thomas said...

Blow is an insufferable black racist. Almost every column he writes is a black racist rant. He's also quite stupid.

Children learn from their parents' example. Blow's children had to learn from him that peddling that blackety-blackety black stuff is their ticket.

There has to be some limit to how many blacks can make their living from blabbing about blackety-blackety black.

How much of this shit can academia and the media absorb?

AAT said...

We told them that learning about oppression was useful and forgot to tell them that getting a job to provide services or make stuff for other people was “helping people” too. Who is more helpful than the petroleum engineer who gets you the gas to get to work on time?

Char Char Binks said...

Did his children learn to code?

rcocean said...

Charles Blow "Blows". The NYT specializes in hiring boring Black guys who are complete Mediocrities. Why they don't hire someone like Glenn Lourey is a mystery.

mockturtle said...

and I want to help my children out in every way possible

There's the problem. How will these young snowflakes learn to deal with life independently if Daddy is always there to support them?

rcocean said...

STEM graduates aren't moving back home.

madAsHell said...

It's a double edged sword. You don't want the kids to move back into the house, but you also cling to the 5 bedroom house.

I watched my in-laws do this, and I'm pretty sure I'm doing it as well.

mockturtle said...

To abuse Robert Frost -

If you're a prisoner, home is the place where, when you leave there, they have to find you and take you back in.


Good one, Fernandistein! ;-)

AAT said...

It’s hard to raise go getter children when they know they can knock about their whole life and still never be uncomfortable. Maybe writing about them in the New York Times is the kick in the ass they seem to sorely need though.

AAT said...

We always have a ton of bedrooms for guests and parties. It does make it hard for the kids not to think of them as for their friends. I can’t take it any longer, just having suffered through another millennial weekend game of “Who’s More Awoke"

Shouting Thomas said...

Who's lucky enough to have multiple guest rooms in New York City?

Black quota babies hired to produce black racist rants.

MadisonMan said...

If your kids are living with you, and aren't actively seeking out an apt elsewhere, that's a parenting fail. Children are meant to become independent adults. Blow's Children didn't do this. He failed.

Craig Howard said...

My parents were so messed up for a while in the seventies that I couldn't wait to get out of the house. The thought of ever returning never occurred to me.

They did straighten out their act eventually.

Ambrose said...

I am surprised he didn't find some way to blame Trump for this.

Skeptical Voter said...

At the risk of piling on to Blow here---I don't give a tinkers toot what problems this idiot has. And I'm not fond of anyone spilling family dirty linen in a newspaper of widespread (if absolutely undeserved) distribution.

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe writing about this is Blow's way of motivating the kids to get going.

JPS said...

I don't get the hostility here. Blow has written plenty that I disagree with and some I dislike, but this is a pretty harmless musing, it seems to me. Columnists get paid to write about what's on their minds, right?

"When your children return to your empty nest, it is a good thing to firmly nudge them out. That, too, is what love looks like."

Nonapod said...

Oh dear! My kids who are graduates of extremely prestigous private schools won't leave my gorgeous multi-bedroom NYC home. Yeesh, rich people problems.

Wilson Carroll said...

"his sons went to college at Yale, Middlebury, and Columbia. I'm not sure why young men with such advantages in life don't have jobs immediately upon graduating from college . . ."

It's because they're almost certainly mediocrities who only got into those school based on their father's name and reputation (like a seemingly infinite number of Kennedys). Kids like that wash out from the real job market pretty quickly. If their parents are rich enough (Chelsea?) it doesn't matter that much. I question whether the esteemed Mr. Blow has the resources to sustain those three layabouts indefinitely.

But on a serious note, a bisexual named "Blow"??? Sounds like more of a stage name.

Shouting Thomas said...

The quota system rewarded Blow for constantly gassing about racism.

That has to make me wonder whether his children aren't also quota babies.

You may not think that the quota system can promote absolutely incompetent blacks in arenas like medicine and law, but I've seen it happen.

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narayanan said...

After reading his employer NYTimes 1619 magazine - Mr Blow may be asking the white man to break up his family as he did to his slave ancestors?

narayanan said...

I heard about a game called ""suck and blow"" in the movie AFTER.

sean said...

"I'm not sure why young men with such advantages in life don't have jobs immediately upon graduating from college . . ."

If they are looking for artsy/creative jobs, this doesn't surprise me. Those types of employers don't interview on campus. It's also possible that they had really bad grades (i.e., below 3.0), which will put most employers off.

Ann Althouse said...

It's possible that the sons have the summer off but are going on to grad school of some kind.

I don't think it's good for a father to make a display his sons' unemployment.

mockturtle said...

It's possible that the sons have the summer off but are going on to grad school of some kind.

But the writer specifically said that they were searching for jobs and 'eventually first apartments'. Were grad schools in their immediate future, he would have said so, right?

bagoh20 said...

My parents were fun, and pretty easy to live with, but I wanted out ASAP, and I finally left unemployed, no degree, no money, and no real plan other than getting out and making it work somehow. I spent my last $300 getting as far away as I could (the opposite coast) to make sure I couldn't get back. I don't think they wanted me to leave, at least not that far, but I felt like a loser living off them, and I was not going to spend any longer being that lame-ass loser. It was hard, and my lifestyle definitely took a serious downturn for a while, but I think I would have been ruined for life if I stayed much longer.

Kids (grown adults) who do this are often ruined for life, and unfortunately the social shame of that failure (which is what it is) is nearly gone now. These live-in adult children are not doing it out of necessity. They could find their way on their own, but they are just lazy, cheap, and selfish. They just want stuff for free, and to avoid any hardship on themselves. They don't give a shit if their parents don't like it. Each generation seem to get more selfish, and lack of gratitude is one of the most dangerous and destructive conditions of man.

Shouting Thomas said...

Blow is constantly blowing hot air about the awful suffering of blacks, but as Althouse points out, he lives in quite pleasant circumstances most New Yorkers would envy.

Althouse is constantly blowing hot air about the awful suffering of women, but every campus in the U.S. houses a women's studies program that enforces her political beliefs and demands that every student take his feminist beating in order to graduate.

Anybody see a pattern here?

mccullough said...

Trump 2020 is hiring

Bob Boyd said...

I had friend who's dad gave him a sleeping bag for a high school graduation present and told him, "Go."
He did alright though. Became an engineer.

mockturtle said...

Althouse: Just tell Ms. M.G. to fuck off.

bagoh20 said...

"I don't think it's good for a father to make a display his sons' unemployment."


It's far worse to accept it and support it. You can't really love someone if are willing to rob them of their spirit and independence just so you don't have to feel bad. That too is selfish, and it's little wonder that a selfish parent would produce a selfish child.

Unknown said...

"openly bisexual" LOL..yeah...sure ...bisexual

bagoh20 said...

M.G., Please don't agree with me. It makes me feel like an asshole.

gspencer said...

"It says he's divorced, he's openly bisexual, and his kids went to college at Yale, Middlebury, and Columbia. I'm not sure why young people with such advantages in life don't have jobs immediately upon graduating from college"

Gee, I so wonder how they got into those kinds of schools. I'm just beside myself with curiosity how the children of a perpetual blowhard (the two puns are intended), (who works at the NYT and lives in liberal NYC) just don't have the goods/brains to get jobs.

Could it be that AA only got them so far. Their father is trading on that card.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Your children need to grow up, become adults and independent people. Otherwise you have failed as parents.

When my daughter went off to college, we were living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath 950 sq foot house.... and that is being generous in estimation.

After a several years of her successfully managing college and adulthood, we decided to remodel her old bedroom and turn it into an office/guest room. We needed room!!! Out were the old bed, bulky dresser. In was converting the double closet with louvered doors into a desk,computer, bookcase office area that can be closed off. Boxed up and put into storage anything that was personal to her for when she gets her own place (stuffed animals, knicknacks, posters, High school stuff etc. It had been hanging around for 2 years already) Decorated a wall with some family photos and art including some of her drawings. Got a small hide-a-bed couch, lamps and reading chair. Opened the wall of the room to access the kitchen/living room, with glass french doors that could be closed for guests.

She came home (after the remodel) for a visit during school break and was shocked! What happened to my room!!!

"Well, it really isn't your room anymore. We love you and look forward to you to coming to visit and stay as long as you like, but really.....you don't live here permanently now. Did you think it was a shrine??? (or something like that but maybe nicer)." She agreed and laughed.

It wasn't like she was kicked out of the house at 18 yrs with no support or anywhere to go. There was college including the dormitory, meal plan. Supplemental funding from us, scholarships, grants, parent plus loans..... and ..... of course if the bottom fell out of her world, she could always come back and get back on her feet. Thankfully, that never happened :-)

Tough love. It is a good thing.

hombre said...

They don’t have jobs because those elite schools only prepare people to be Democrat operatives, Antifa or SJWs and the non-volunteer ranks are already overcrowded until Soros comes up with more funding.

Blow could claim “white privilege,” but it’s not going to fly given their privileged lives.

Jupiter said...

I'm surprised Blow is writing about some trivial difficulties his children are having with their lives, when we're all going to be dead from climate change in less than a decade. These years are precious, Charlie! Would you really rather have another three or four hundred drug-addled one-night stands, than spend these final remaining years with your children?

bagoh20 said...

It has never been easier it make it out there. With record low unemployment and record high wages, employers are begging for anybody with just some drive, skilled or not. You can learn thousands of well paying skills online for free. Networking has never been easier, and you can learn all about an employer before you even apply.

I'm always learning new skills on my own via the internet. I'm currently learning Solidworks CAD software. We used other much cheaper software in my company, but I recently bit the bullet and bought the expensive thing. I'm learning it entirely on-line. In about a month you could get very proficient, and lots of employers would pay you good money if you just sent them some drawing you did. You can learn all kinds of skills like that, which are in high demand. There really is no excuse for not finding a job today, but if the bills are getting paid by Mom and Dad, I can binge watch Netflix instead.

Birkel said...

Charles Blow supports the Trump economy but not the DiBlasio/Bloomberg economy.

I wonder (just kidding) if he realizes that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What happened in your life that you were a grown up with a child and a spouse living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath 950 sq foot house.

What makes you think this is a bad thing? I bought the house, outright, on several acres when single/divorced. Got remarried. We remodeled. We flipped it for 4 times the purchase price and built a new home.

(I realize this will likely be deleted) No biggie :-)

gilbar said...

so, this article was an article about the dangers of raising the minimum wage?
Youth Unemployment Rate Drops to 50-Year Low

bagoh20 said...

First thing: Get the hell out of New York. The cost of living is a 60% unnecessary tax on every dime you make. Even with the high salaries there it still leaves you poor. It ain't what you make - it's what you keep.

bleh said...

It's that faux-modesty bullshit that some people do to seem relatable while at the same time subtly bragging.

Roughcoat said...

"Humble Brag."

Big Mike said...

The one son basically moved out as a college freshman except for summers, and never really moved back in. The other got conned into a poorly paid internship at a do-gooder organization and was living at home for years until he wised up and got a real job. What he didn’t realize was that every year there’s a crop of starry-eyed fresh graduates from college determined to “make a difference,” so there’s no incentive ever to pay a living wage. I view supporting kids like that to be part of parenting, too.

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Minnow Wrangler said...

My married son, his wife, and my granddaughter lived with me for a few months last year. I thought it was great, I had plenty of time to cook and do laundry for them, and they had my whole second floor with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a "living room" to themselves. I loved seeing my granddaughter every day and helping with her care.

Sadly, my daughter in law did not enjoy living with me (it is a pretty big house and they had to walk quite a ways to get to the "smoking porch"). I don't really blame her, I would not have wanted to live with my in laws either. They moved out and things are not the same between us now.

The apartment they lived in before and after has no yard, very few windows, and is cluttered to put it nicely. When granddaughter comes over now her greatest enjoyment comes from running around with nothing to trip over.

buster said...

It could be he's hoping (expecting) that someone will read the column and call up to offer one of them a job.

SDaly said...

If you do any genealogical research, you realize what an aberration the "empty nest" phenomenon is. Until very recently, it was not uncommon for children to live with their parents until marriage or to stay in the family home if unmarried.

Both of my kids are in college now, the youngest just starting, so we are facing this issue now. I want them to have families of their own, but I don't think that pushing them out of the house so they can live alone in an overpriced apartment with cats is preferable to a family home.

vanderleun said...

In this article as in his other sub-bottom blather, Blow is aptly named.

narciso said...

This bot doesnt understand pride in ones familys achievements.

stever said...

He's got to write about something.

Jon Ericson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan markus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan markus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Left Bank of the Charles said...

"Who's lucky enough to have multiple guest rooms in New York City? Is this really a story of real estate?"

People in the boroughs. Wikipedia indicates that Charles Blow lives in Brooklyn.

Krumhorn said...

Actually, I’d be thrilled to have my kids back in the house. I miss ‘em

Of course, I could do without the daughter in law. The son in law I really like a lot even though he’s a brain-dead leftie.

- Krumhorn

stevew said...

He could have just said no.

Our daughter lived with us for about three months after graduating. She was working, had just started a new job when she moved in, and asked if she could stay with us while she looked for her own place. She went back to her old room, moved out a couple of months later.

Our son and daughter-in-law asked if they could live with us while they looked for work in Boston. They were living near Bangor ME, having graduated from UMaine Orono. Both were working up there but when daughter-in-law's position at the school was eliminated decided to come here where there were, presumably, more jobs. Similar to our daughter they moved into an empty room (actually daughter's old room). Daughter-in-law got a job at MIT, son found work as a software engineer at a local software company. Were with us about three months, IIRC.

In both cases the experience was wonderful. We didn't revert to being the parents we were when they were teens, and they respected the fact that they were essentially guests, i.e.; didn't behave like teen children.

I'm thinking Charles Blow's problems are of his own making.

Bruce Hayden said...

Most of a half century ago, my mother found her oldest two having moved back in after college. Eventually, we all ended up in family counseling. Turns out, the problem was that she made it too easy on us. Decent rent, free food, someone doing your laundry, etc. Why would any son move out? (Daughters are different - they have this nesting thing going on). When she quit being so hospitable, the boys were out in a month or two.

Tomcc said...

When my daughter made the decision to take her comfy bed to her college apartment, I replaced it with a sleeper sofa. Now the bed is in storage and, while she's living with me and working, she is actively looking for apartments.

Sebastian said...

"why they'd want their father musing about their situation in the New York Times"

They don't. But progs need their props.

Yancey Ward said...

Start charging them room and board.

Yancey Ward said...

I can't read the entire essay, but what did the children major in at college? Given what I have read of Blow in the past, I would guess his kids are some sort of bullshit humanities majors unless they aimed at something higher than their father.

Rob said...

What's the matter, the 1619 Project isn't hiring?

mockturtle said...

MG is not merely your garden variety troll. She is here to harass our hostess, who may have stolen her boyfriend years ago or something. I know the type. Similar to the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction.

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

One guest room, bunk beds three-high like we had in the Navy. That'll get 'em to move on.

gerry said...

I'm not sure why young people with such advantages in life don't have jobs immediately upon graduating from college

It could be that they cannot demonstrate an ability to complete a sentence, and, therefore, a thought.

It may be that women's studies majors don't really have a saleable skill.

SJW saturation gives one perpetual rage, which may make one an undesirable employee.

They may have unrealistic expectations and refuse to take a job "beneath them".

TJM said...

Blow is the perfect name for this "guy" and I am not referring to his sexual practices.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

stevew at 1:12 re his kids returning home for a stay

In both cases the experience was wonderful. We didn't revert to being the parents we were when they were teens, and they respected the fact that they were essentially guests, i.e.; didn't behave like teen children.

This is the key and probably the issue with Mr. Blow's children. He reverted to being the parent. The Daddy. Instead of treating his children as responsible adults. He is an enabler!

They are not children who LIVE in his house anymore. They are adults and should be treated as guests. You don't do your guest's laundry, check up on their whereabouts, worry if they are eating, hanging out with the wrong people (unless your guests are bringing the wrong people back to your house and then you boot them all out)

Guests also have the responsibility to follow your house rules and respect you as another adult.

Kids who need some time to regroup or adjust and need a temporary helping hand 'should' be helped. However, those who just find it too convenient to revert back to being lazy entitled teenagers....need to get the boot at some point.

(Thanks for the thread clean up!!!)

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Sablan said...

"They may have unrealistic expectations and refuse to take a job "beneath them"."

-- I hate this thinking from people. "Ugh, I'd never X. That's beneath me."

If the choice is unemployment or X, then no. X is not beneath you. It is in fact, on your level, or perhaps, above you. I've done crap jobs to pay for things like school or text books, including roofing and the like. So, I know it SUCKS.

*Not* having that job? That sucks more.

Michael K said...

Now that she is gone, I can comment that none of my kids came back home after college. All went on to careers.

My son the fireman wanted to be a fireman since 6th grade. Never changed his mind. When they were tested in 1st and 2nd grade, he tested the highest gifted.

AllenS said...

Since Blow has admitted that he is openly bisexual, my question is this: is he fucking a white man?

lauriukas said...

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Achilles said...

Ambrose said...
I am surprised he didn't find some way to blame Trump for this.

The economy is in recession.

Jobs are hard to find.

Prepare for the next 20 months of that in the news. This story fits in just fine.

Paco Wové said...

Is using the pulpit of the New York Times to passive-aggressively shame your children an example of "punching down" or "punching up"?

stevew said...

Michael K: one of my high school classmates scored 1600 on the SATs (1974 or so). We weren't close but he was one of the brightest guys I knew, and not odd or geekish or nerdy. When we all were seniors and talking about which school we were going to and what not, he announced he was going to be an EMT. Saw him a few years later at a reunion and he had fulfilled that dream. Loved it. Loved working with people. Loved the immediacy of it. Loved being in a position to help people in trouble.

alan markus said...

@ Michael K - Now that she is gone, ….

And I have gone back and deleted my comments. I know that Ann has requested that we do not engage at troll level, but obviously Ann & Meade being temporarily off line for a while provided a window of opportunity for this person to really go off the rails. At least now I know what levers to pull next time she acts up when our blog hosts are taking a break.

Michael K said...

he announced he was going to be an EMT. Saw him a few years later at a reunion and he had fulfilled that dream. Loved it. Loved working with people. Loved the immediacy of it. Loved being in a position to help people in trouble.

My son is now an engineer/Paramedic and loves it. Taking the Captain exam. He'll retire as a Captain.

He has some great stories. He sees them before I do.

Freeman Hunt said...

This doesn't surprise me. I see this with kids who have well-off parents all the time. Without the necessity to support themselves, the kids think it is impossible to do so. If you have to support yourself, you quickly find out that it is doable.

Martin said...

Just today, I was with my daughter's family at a children's museum that had a display that included a bit about TV weather forecasters. A mom said to her kid that being a weatherman is the only job where you can always be wrong and still get paid for it. My son-in-law and I both said, almost together, "politics," and the mom said, "Yeah but you have to be dirty."



We should have also mentioned NYT bylined columnists. Paid well enough to have a NYC apartment with extra rooms.

Degrees from those schools and jobless? Three of them? Sheesh!

Michael K said...

And I have gone back and deleted my comments.

I did, too. I need to avoid the bait

Grand Beagle Fen said...

Dust Bunny Queen: Your children need to grow up, become adults and independent people. Otherwise you have failed as parents.


But sometimes that's just not possible.


I know. I'm evil :)

Brian said...

My parents were married at 21 and had me so it's not like they were going to be living at home.

My grandfather had a deal with one of my uncles. Something like 33% of his income was to be his rent payment. He could stay as long as he wanted, but the childhood rules still applied (no drinking, no bringing girls back to the house, no loud music etc).

When you have no job 33% of nothing is 0 so that's a pretty good deal. When you start making real money, 33% will buy a lot more, and you can get laid and drunk whenever you want.

He moved out.

I had kids late in life. By the time I get them out of the house, it will be full on retirement time. Our plan is to sell everything, buy a boat, sail around the world for a few years, then decide where to move when we're ready to go back to land.

The girls will have a cabin (or maybe just a hammock) available for them whenever they'd like. But it certainly won't be like the bedroom they left behind.

Retreat is easy if you have the option. I'm reminded of how Cortez burned his ships.

glacial erratic said...

My wife's niece had basically been raised by wolves. When she was 17 my wife brought her into our house and set about civilizing her. She succeeded. Now our niece is a college graduate, with a good job, married and with a child. I could not be more surprised.

Anyway, years afterward my niece asked me if she had really been such a horrible roommate. I said "Absolutely! You never cleaned up after yourself, you had a succession of strange boys traipsing through the house at all hours, and you left half-eaten food around constantly." Very indignantly, she replied "I never left half-eaten food around!"

JamesB.BKK said...

My parents were so messed up for a while in the seventies that I couldn't wait to get out of the house. The thought of ever returning never occurred to me.

I'm convinced that one of the mom's main jobs with pre-teens and teens is to build a desire to get the hell out. With no mom around and a rich over-promoted affirmative action racist whiner - who probably gave them "The Talk" [don't ask John Derbyshire about that] - advising them, those boys hardly stood a chance.

J said...

Six months after college when a long interview process did not work out for me I found some one who would give me a bed-The U.S. Army.When I moved back in with family it was as caregiver to an Alzheimer's patient.That lasted much longer than Blow's slight inconvenience.I would tell him to kiss off but he would misinterpret it.

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Michael K said...

Our plan is to sell everything, buy a boat, sail around the world for a few years, then decide where to move when we're ready to go back to land.

That was my plan too, for a while. Never quite got around to it.

Sam L. said...

I have no interest in, nor sympathy for, Chuckie Blow.

Grand Beagle Fen said...

Stay away from New Zeland.

It's mine.