It was acceptable in the 80's
Modern day motherhood. It's a bit different to how it used to be isn't it? Why is that? What was so wrong that we have had to change the way that we mother?
That is a question I often ponder. Is it because parenting of yesteryear was so dangerously wrong? Or is it because everything has changed?
Cars, technology, schooling, childcare, the way in which we eat, think, sleep.. you name it, so much has changed.
It is not unusual to hear our kids grandparents or other older relatives, offer their view point or advice. Often, it can be unsolicited and often, it can leave us terrified at their suggestions.
Who puts baby rice in their baby's bottle these days to make them sleep through the night? Who is making a rod for their own back by cuddling their baby to sleep? And, who's child is never going to learn if they are not made to sit on the bottom stair in the dark to think about what they have done?
I could probably write a whole post on the advice given, from parents I have spoken with and from my own experiences too.
Just because it was acceptable in the 80's or any other era for that matter, it doesn't mean it is now. And, just because we survived, it doesn't mean it is ok. Or does it?
It may have been acceptable in the 80's to do things that no are no longer considered safe or good practice but, there are lots of things that are still acceptable which we tend to forget.
There was less expectation placed on mothers back in the 80's and less worry about whether they were doing it right or not. There was less judgement and motherhood, although still hard, was a bit more straightforward. Mothers were more relaxed and tended to worry less about the small things. They didn't over complicate it. They were more confident in their own abilities.
Mothers taught their kids how to make, mend, cook, clean and gave them the chance to be independent. All vital life skills that sadly are missing in this generation of kids. Kids were expected to 'muck in' around the house, there was less time in front of a screen and more time playing outside, using their imaginations.
Modern day mums look up to celebrity mothers, they subscribe to the ideologies of motherhood that they see on the internet. They like to say that they are 'winging it' because, quite frankly, the other mums don't like hearing if they are bossing it.
Modern day mums lack confidence in their own parenting abilities. Unlike their mothers, they rarely use their 'Motherly Instinct' and instead, they seek out advice and reassurance but become confused with the plethora of information out there.
Modern day motherhood is exhausting, and not just because of the kids.
The expectations, the pressure to get it right, the confusion and the daily juggle are all real and shape how modern day mums mother. They don't want to get it wrong and so looking to the past to help shape the future is not something to be considered, if you go on the advice that has been given.
Perhaps though, instead of believing that past motherhood is completely out of date, modern mums should revert back to some of how it once was.
Worry a little less, drop their expectations and be confident in their own abilities, listen to that 'Motherly Instinct'. Teach their kids how to be independent, how to make, mend, cook and clean and encourage more time off screens than on. It was how their mothers raised them after all.
It was acceptable in the 80's and it is still acceptable now.