Having been at the procreation thing for the past 18 years I realized I have the unique perspective to see how things have changed since Gen X was raising their kids compared to Millennials.
The biggest and most obvious difference is technology, I didn’t have a cell phone when Bella was born and the internet was new, slow and stuck to the wall. We weren’t able to look up information at a moments notice, our parenting choices came from what we learned from our moms and grandmothers, our own intuition, and a few select books, (thank you Dr. Sears.) There weren’t thousands of articles on everything that could go wrong, filling us with fear, just common sense and maybe a leaflet from the pediatrician.
We didn’t have social media slamming us in the face with what motherhood should look like, we didn’t compare ourselves to the millions of online moms who always seem perfectly groomed and happy, who make parenthood look like some blissed out magazine shoot with homemade cupcakes, tree forts and frolics in the ocean….nope, we only had each other, and while there was still a few moms who always seemed to have their shit together, it wasn’t such an in your face feeling of failure.
Not to say it’s all bad, I like being able to text my teens when they’re out, coordinate the kids schedule with Sean and Amazon Prime whatever I need (I will never forget having to lug all the kids around for hours looking for the right shower hook!) I love being able to chronicle our lives online for my future grandkids and great-grandkids to see.
The not so obvious difference has been a gradual shift from putting the kids first, to putting yourself first.
I’m not sure exactly when I started to notice this, but somewhere between Jacob and the twins the role of “Mother” began to change, “do what’s best for you,” became something I read often, and I’m still trying to figure out the reason for the sudden change.
Mom boards became cruel, basic manners went out the door and I often felt like I was in a world of Kristin Cavallari’s who once said “it’s not mean, it’s honest,” when in fact, it was both.
Women suggest cutting out family and laying ground rules for “their” kids, somehow assuming they know more then the older women in their life, despite never having done any of this before, and a feeling of entitlement kinda permeated most of my interactions.
On the flip side , husbands and fathers are stepping up as full time parents and partners, men walking around with a baby carrier strapped to their chest is completely common and the work environment is allowing parents to be at home with their kids.
As much as I sometimes miss the pre digital age of parenting, I know it’s not going anywhere, so I’ve embraced it (obviously since I’m writing a blog 😂)
I’m trying to raise my kids to respect their elders (this is not going well,) to remember the world doesn’t revolve around the number of likes or followers they have , and to listen more then they speak sometimes, because you don’t know it all. If I can bring some old school kindness and respect, hopefully it’ll be a perfect blend of the two generations mixed together….
At least I can hope 😬😂
(Sean says I could write an entire book on this, I think he has a point so I’ll try and add to this one when I’m not late for school drop off!!)