Parenting Then Vs Parenting Now

After my recent burnout episode, I started comparing parenting in the past to what it is now. My mom had five children, my grandmother had nine, my great-grandmother had six, but how did they juggle it all? I sometimes have a tough time with just four. The dynamic between then and now has changed considerably. For example, most of our moms before us had their village. Most of their family members lived nearby, which lent extra hands. Their support system was airtight.

parenting then vs now

My siblings & I

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My wee ones

How things were…

Even though there were several children to be cared for, those children always benefited from being outdoors most of the day, giving the mom that time she may have needed to complete her daily activities uninterrupted. Sometimes, cooking was done outside; this allowed the women to have a conversation and talk about everything that was happening to them; this was therapeutic.

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Outdoor playtime is the absolute best time!

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A Sense of Community

My mom had siblings much older than she was, so my grandmother always had a “babysitter.” She always had someone to watch the younger ones if she had an errand to run, like getting groceries. There was a sense of community. I have spoken to my mom before on the subject of juggling motherhood with five children. I have never seen my mom have a moment of needing a break, though they did exist. Everything I have felt she had been there to some extent, but it was a little different.

My Mom’s Village

My mom always had a full-time job, she was a full-time mother and wife, but she understood she needed help. In the early stages of my parents’ marriage, they lived very close to family, so they always had support. When my parents moved to the city, my aunt’s house was our little village; my older cousins would provide childcare and hair braiding services for my siblings and me. It was where we would sometimes congregate after school or church.

Being so far away from most of her village and having five children, my mom had to get help. She understood the importance of being whole for us. There was always someone to assist with the cooking, washing, and cleaning. She would sometimes take solo vacations as well. My parents were both teachers and were capable of helping with our homework, but remember it was five of us, which would have added to their plate, so they got us tutors. In a way, those persons were providing functions of a village.

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parenting then vs parenting now
parenting then vs parenting now

Times Have Changed

Comparing myself to my mom, grandmom, and all the women in my family before me is like apples to oranges. Parenting then vs parenting now is miles apart. I don’t have the benefit of outdoor play all year round. Yes, playing in the winter is possible but uncomfortable, and yes, there are indoor parks, but sometimes, it takes so much extra effort that I am unwilling to expend it. I have no family that is close by and, of course, COVID. Playdates are a thing, but everyone is so busy, picking an exact date is a science. My eldest is ten years old, he’s not old enough for me to leave his siblings with him, so if I have errands, I have to work around my husband’s schedule or haul them all with me.

What’s Next!

I have a full-time job as a stay-at-home mom, I am a full-time wife, soccer mom, tutor, hairstylist, and everything else in between. Today, this is the reality for so many women and we are burnt out. The bottom line is we need a village; we need help. When I say we, I mean us moms, women. After this pandemic passes, I am getting someone to assist me with at least 2 of my chores; the big ones – cleaning and laundry. I am very picky where cooking is concerned; I’ll have to work up to that one.

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19 Replies to “Parenting Then Vs Parenting Now”

  1. Things are definitely much different, especially with the way life is right now. I know one of the things that’s really different is seeing more kids on tech outside versus actually playing outside. It’s so wild that being plugged in at a young age is a way of life now.

    1. Agreed. When we were kids we were outside all day. We didn’t have a TV till I was 8 years old and even then my dad only allowed us about 2 hours per day.

  2. I can’t agree with you more, sometimes I wonder how my mum coped taking care of us with a full time job compared to myself, and I believe there was a sense of community living with family compared to to now when we live far away from them

    1. Having your family around makes a world of difference. It is harder for us being so far away from our families.

    1. I miss my mom so much. She usually used to visit us for about three months every year, but she hasn’t come since the pandemic. She was such a huge help.

  3. Time certainly have changed! Technology really changed the course for families and parenting as well. These tough times are what build character and make us stronger. Hang in there…this too shall pass dear.

    1. Yea, huge difference. I try to incorporate some of what my parents did with me; it doesn’t always work lol.

  4. Good morning ? to you and your immediate family ❤️ sometimes we wonder how our parents kept our lives in balance ⚖️ however this time around we have that support all around us . Thanks ? for sharing

    1. Thanks, Mel. Yeah man, I’m tapping someone else in, time for a village to come in the ring and help us out, lol.

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