This time around I thought I’d do things different and have other voices on my blog. I had help writing this post and stole the thoughts and cries of other moms out there. I’ve asked a couple of motherhood groups I participate in to comment on what challenges they are facing in raising their children in the modern day and whether it’s harder to raise children now than it was for our parents and grandparents.
Firstly, EVERYBODY believes it’s harder to raise children today. I tend to think we have quite a subjective view on this. But anyway, this is what parents of today are struggling with in these times.
1. Technology Shmec-nology
This was the leading answer. Incorporating technology into the parenting ideals that were passed down to you can get tricky. A lot of parents are struggling with balancing the two and many of us are not exactly sure what the long-term outcome will be with technology. Many parents would like to see their children playing outside instead of their kids being stuck in front of a screen all day. In addition, these screens come at a hefty price! So, the upkeep of technology adds an additional financial strain to parents. The latest and greatest does not come cheap and there’s still data/wi-fi costs to that.
Another aspect of this topic that brought up much talk is the social media influence. Parents feel pressurized to seem “perfect” and have the “perfect” children who score winning goals and recite Shakespeare on Wednesday. In addition, parents are constantly criticized and scrutinized on almost all decisions they make. From mom choosing to breast feed or not breast feed to the use of plastic in their homes. Let’s not get started with the unsolicited advice.
2. Safety First
With the stats on missing children reports and child trafficking going around, parents of today feel that they have the added worry of their children being more likely exposed to dangers now than before. Which is very valid. I too, as a mom, always worry about my child’s safety but I do believe my mom also had the same worry for us, as her children. It’s just not safe. Anywhere you go. In one city, you worry about child abduction and in another country you worry about drugs and the likes. It’s a constant issue. I guess we have the added advantage of being able to monitor and track our children but this also poses a danger because you can keep a close eye on your kids but so can other creeps out there. Queue ominous music…
3. No man is an island so why are we?
Another perspective brought up by one mom had me appreciate my situation. We live some 2-3km away from our families and we have always had the privilege to have extra hands and baby-sitters around. Tirelo is raised by a community.
She commented, “I feel as though we have moved away from our “community” type of lifestyle. You know that saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. I really believe it. But with out society today and the way that we live, we have removed ourselves from the natural way of parenting and living and working together as a community. I actually envy people all around the world that bring their children up together with the help of grandparents, aunts and family. They also seem to be the happiest people.”
I would believe that this feeling is multiplied for parents who are single parents. A few single moms added on by saying that even though these days you can get extra help through nannies and day-cares, you still have to pay for this assistance. So the strain may be taken away from scheduling but you will meet it again in the pocket.
4. Financing the house
In this economy, count yourselves lucky to be able to afford the lifestyle you have. A lot of parents felt that households are barely making it, even with two salaried adults. The cost of food, good schooling and keeping the lights on adds up.
The sad part of this equation is that, keeping up with the finances requires parents to spend a lot of time away from their families and when they do get home, they’re so tired and switch to auto-pilot just so they can make it past dinner time. We don’t necessarily get to raise our children and enjoy all the moments.
But… children are expensive! “All they need is love’ wont keep the lights on.
5. Working and mommy-ing
And this last point is self-explanatory. No need for details. I’ll use this opportunity to rant from my side for added emphasis.
First of all…RIGHT?! The past two years my daily routine would include waking up after 3-4 hours of sleep, getting ready for work, complete a full day at work (8-9 hours) and return home to my next employer… baby Tirelo. She requires me to cook, entertain, bath, feed and put her to sleep. Somewhere in between that I must find time to feed myself, shower and attempt to be body goals. It is exhausting. Tiresome.
I applaud every parent out there. Every single one of you and I can sympathize with your struggles. I may not be going through the same thing as you at the moment, but boy aren’t we going through the MOST. This is a selfless job that is completely worth it. I struggle too.. a lot. I am not the complete package I’d like to be but I put my best foot forward… on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. The rest of the week….quite frankly you can kiss my ass. So you are allowed to tell them the same, kiss our mommy-fied asses.