Monday, June 14, 2010

When We Were Little....

Ahhh, you know you're getting old when you start uttering those 4 words. It's true though, don't you think? Times are really so different now for kids and parents. It's all so wacky to me, I thought I'd reminisce about the way things used to be when I was a youngster.

Yes, "I was young once too", is another thing I hear myself saying. Argh!!

When we were little:

1. There were no "Play Dates". We just went to the neighbor's house to play for hours and our parents never ever checked on us. They must have figured, the less they knew, the better. Now, kids have scheduled playtime and it's written on a calendar (in my world of paper and pen, or on one of those new-fangled techno-devices people are using nowadays). We played well into the night, a game called "Manhunt" which today, sounds like something on the Nancy Grace show.

2. There were no SAHMs (Stay At Home Moms). Well, they were there, but they just weren't called that! The SAHMs from days of yore actually STAYED HOME, whereas the SAHMs of today are always gallivanting. Amen sisters.

3. To enrich our lives we played "school", "ice cream truck", Monopoly, Sorry, CandyLand, Yahtzee, Checkers, etc. In our house, we played "Step on Stomachs" to see who could endure the most pain. There was no Little Gym, no Mommy & Me Yoga class, no Baby Einstein DVDs (what the heck was a DVD, we didn't even have VCRs back then), no toddler piano and French lessons, and certainly no Gymboree.

4. Our mothers didn't obsess or stress over which diapers to use (most of them used cloth as it was before the invention of Pampers!), which formula to use, which car seats to buy (ha, lucky we all made it out alive!), there were no choices and no crash studies. There was no Babies R' Us. Just K-Mart, Ann & Hope, & Sears. There were no Binky holders, Baby Bjorns, travel systems, and wipe warmers.
We were bathed in a basin at the foot of our driveway (and if you don't believe me, I have a picture of my brother in one to prove it.)

5. Some of our mothers smoke and drank during pregnancy (not that I am condoning this!) and now, you can't even eat feta cheese or lunch meat while prego. Just merely pointing out one of the many differences in prenatal care.

6. Positive Reinforcement was not yet invented. Its evil sister, "The Secret Pinch" you got in public, was however, very much alive.

Somehow, my generation managed to produce some highly successful people. We did not suffer irreparable harm, only required a standard dose of psychotherapy here and there, and escaped with minimal scarring.

When I am struggling with a parenting dilemma, big or small, I ask myself just one question:
Will this decision adversely affect my child in 20 years? The answer is always a resounding "no" and always keeps me grounded in reality.

So truly, bathing a baby in the driveway is OK. Although, my brother might disagree!


Goal Getters said...

YOu have to read the chapter in FatLand that explains the changed that happened between then and now and how people's parenting skills changed. A very interesting read!

TwinMommy said...

I absolutely love this post! Though, I'm only 24, I do see these changes that you are talking about!! I enjoyed the one about playdates because it's not really my thing, but I always read about playdates in magazines! I think every generation thinks the same thing. I often wonder if older women in the 1800's thought, "Wow, I wouldn't want to have a child in this day and age!"

Brenda De Sousa said...

Very well said! I'm 47 and could relate so well to this post. Loved it!!

Amy said...

I remember summer night staying out well into dark running thru our neighborhood and my parents didn't blink an eye ... And goodness knows, being a SAHM/MOM is a lot harder and more time consuming and requires more dates & reviews & research than teaching full time ever did!

Fun post, Becky!