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.