Being a Mama Past & Present

This weekend we had dinner with friends of ours that are expecting. During our conversation the topic of being a mom now vs. 50 years ago came up. It got me thinking of my own childhood (I am 41) vs. the life that our son will have/grow up in now.

My mom was able to stay home and sell Avon with me and while I would like to be a stay at home mom it isn’t feasible. Women now are expected to be career driven as well as a wife and a mom. In turn we are more financially secure than my parents were.

I don’t remember ever having play-dates. I do remember going outside and playing with your friends until the porch light came on, then you better get to the house in a hurry. We were able to go anywhere on our bikes we wanted, as long as mama knew and we didn’t have a worry about getting snatched etc.

I do believe we spend more time with our kids now than 50 years ago. We are more involved in sports and activities with our children. If we can now stop the “everyone gets a participation trophy phenomenon” we will teach our children that hard work is what makes you successful not just participating. We are also more educated about child development not only socially but mentally. I would like to think mothers now are also healthier through pregnancy. Social drinking and smoking were not uncommon. Now that we have more knowledge about birth defects that both cause we are much healthier and cautious during pregnancy.

The Village Mentality has turned into Social Media posts and opinions. If you are fortunate enough to live close to family you can still go to your mom, grandmother, aunt etc. and get advice.

For most though it is Google or posting on social media.

The only downside to that is you get so much advice across the board it is tough to decipher what is good advice and what isn’t. We have become more opinionated in that our way has to be the right way and if a mama doesn’t agree hostility can and normally does ensue.

We are a bit more uptight and paranoid about raising our kids now. My brother, that is fifteen years old, has never had a broken bone. I can’t even count how many broken bones and stitches I had by fifteen. We coddle more and are nervous if they get hurt how will it look? Will people look at you with accusatory eyes? This brings me to discipline. I had my butt tore up a many of times and I survived. I learned respect for my elders and most importantly consequences. There is a major difference between disciplining a child and abuse. I do not believe in disciplining out of anger and if you find yourself at that point walk away. Take a time out and come back to address the matter at hand. I am sure some kids have never had a spanking and they turned out just fine. I wasn’t that child however and again I turned out ok.

So I suppose we have pro’s and con’s about raising children now vs. fifty years ago. Maybe if we can adopt some of the good from the past and incorporate it in the now we will find raising a child much easier and less stressful than it has to be.


  • Megan

    I liked reading this my children are 1,5 and 8. My daughter the oldest thinks she should have a phone because lots of kids her age have them and I’m so against it. I didn’t have my first phone till I was 15 or 16. Nowadays it’s all about technology and when I was kid all we wanted to-do was play outside. We had dial up internet and no caller ID. Back then I agree with you we didn’t have to worry about kids getting abducted and now we have to worry about it because the world is a different place than it once was. But I am so glad you wrote this. It makes you really think how different the world is how different kids are being raised. Every parenting style is different.

    • themamalife

      So very true! We live in a much different society these days. I agree I would have a tough time letting my 8 year old have a phone. I guess I will use the old adage if Sally jumps off a bridge would you? I know old fashioned but I heard it a 100 times over as a kid! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Amber

    I completely understand this struggle HOWEVER my husband and I (me 25 him 33) are actually very “old fashioned”. I’m SAHM and he the breadwinner. We’re very low tech, spend a lot of time out side. I don’t ask for advice on social media very often if at all. We plan to homeschool and enroll our daughter into Dance classes (ballet),4-H, and athletics for socialization but not to an extent where we are so engulfed in extra curricular and losing family time. Our Village is our tiny rural church, family and a non-profit I volunteer at a couple hours a week just to get out (baby gets to come with). We’re not as financially stable as some couples that we know but we are blessed with what we have and we prefer to just keep humble and enjoy the simplicity of “minimalism”.

    • themamalife

      Love that you guys have a plan! My hubby and I both grew up in small southern towns and that is what we are used to. We are still debating if we want to stay in a large city (now) or make the move back home to raise our lil dude. It is a tough decision with a large city having so much to offer but on the other side of that you lose your small town feel with help from your neighbors. We have time to decide so stay tuned. Thank you for reading and responding!

        • themamalife

          We are looking at the same thing! I was raised in the country with horses and tons of room to run. I wouldn’t trade the simple country life for anything and would love for him to grow up in the same environment.

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