Dear Sangita: My mom’s mid-life crisis is freaking me out

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Sangita Patel is Streets of Toronto’s advice columnist and was previously an entertainment reporter with ET Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. 

Dear Sangita: My mom is going through what some might call a mid-life crisis since divorcing my dad, and it’s giving me a lot of stress! I’ll call her at 11 p.m., and she’ll be getting ready to head to an all-nighter club. I’ll visit her house in the morning, and she won’t be there because she stayed at a random guy’s place. I want her to be happy, but I also want her to be safe. What should I do? — Mid-life mom

Dear Mid-Life: I had a friend who was in a great relationship with a great husband, but their relationship was mundane. She felt kind of lost and bored, and she decided to leave him. She started living to the extreme, similar to the way your mom is. She felt she was missing something, so she went out and experienced it — and now she’s done with it. For your mom, this is a woman who’s already a mother. She’s experienced life, and she’s doing what she feels is fun for her now, but I can’t see this lasting that long. You can definitely have a talk with your mom and tell her you feel fearful for her and you want to put some logistics in place with her, such as asking her to let you know when she’s home. But she’s going to have to go through this. 

Dear Sangita: Growing up, my parents always seemed to have lots of money. Now that I’m older, I’m starting to realize that it might be for nefarious reasons. I’m scared to find out what they’re involved in, and I’m even more terrified that they’ll lie to me if I ask. What do I do? — Parents in peril

Dear Peril: Do you really want to know? That’s the ultimate question. Before you ask, you need to think about the possible outcomes and decide if they’re worth it to you. If you find out that your parents are making money in unethical ways, what will you do? Are you going to leave the house or sever ties with your parents? If you’re scared that they’ll lie to you, perhaps you know that you’ve already been lied to. That would mean that your parents have lied to you all your life about something important, so you need to be prepared for that too. As a parent, I think it’s likely you may learn they were doing this to protect you from the truth and to give their kids their best life. You need to decide whether you’re going to be comfortable with that answer. 

Dear Sangita: I live with my partner and they love cooking — but they’re really, really bad at it. I’ve tried to offer to cook more myself to avoid this issue, but they always insist they love cooking for me. It’s really sweet, but it’s killing me! How do I have this conversation without breaking their heart? — Kitchen catastrophe

Dear Kitchen: They’re doing it out of love; you really can’t say anything. I think your partner probably knows they’re not great at cooking — they have to eat the food too. So they’re doing it from the heart, and maybe with time they’ll get better. But for now I would just suck it up or figure out a way to cook before they get to it! You could also suggest that you both cook together as a reconnection opportunity, and then you’ll at least be in charge of one of the dishes, and maybe with time your partner will learn a bit from you too.

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More from Sangita:

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Dear Sangita: ​​My friend is obsessed with her dog, and it’s getting to be too much. She invites us all to her dog’s birthday parties, and she often will turn down invites from us because she “needs” to stay with her dog. I’ve spent a lot of money on gifts for this dog and I’m tired of it. Am I being unfair?

Dear Sangita: My New Year’s resolution is to break up with my awful boyfriend and start dating his best friend! His best friend is just a much better fit for me. Neither of us have acted on it, but I want to. How do I do this without breaking up their friendship?

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