Did Our Moms Second Guess Their Parenting Choices?

Photo by June Holmes and Lisa Nolan-2

Did Our Moms Second Guess Their Parenting Choices?

A guest post by Lisa Nolan

When I was a kid, did my mom make parenting choices without second guessing herself? Broadly speaking, did moms in the 60s and 70s question their decisions? Decisions like letting kids watch too much TV? Or letting children play outside on rope swings and tire swings, or going down to the schoolyard without an adult? Probably not: There were only a hand full of television channels and very few children’s programs cartoons. And I don’t know about you, but not once did an adult ever accompany us to the playground, a local park, or even out in the front yard!

Speaking of playing outside, did moms back then question the use of rocks and sticks and mud, or the collecting of worms and snails? After all, there were plenty to go around and they were free–no online shopping, shipping, or yearly Amazon Prime charges!

Back when I was a young thang, mothers smoked during early pregnancy, drove without a seat belt, stuck kids in the back of the station wagon, and put babies on their laps.

There were no breast feeding versus bottle feeding wars, baby-wearing blogs, or crunchy moms.

There were no farmers’ markets or locally grown and raised food (unless you lived on a farm).

There were no sensory tubs, water-play walls, or brain breaks.

So what was there to second guess?

Maybe my mom did not second guess her parenting choices because there were so few of them! (Or maybe my mom did stop and ponder a bit, just not out loud, let alone on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs!)

In today’s social-media addicted, Pinterest-induced world there are just TOO MANY options to choose from, including how to spend our free time: like how much time to spend on Facebook or reading kid activity blogs versus how much time to spend playing with our children or cleaning house! But do our children really need our our constant attention anyway? (And who needs a spotless kitchen?)

I don’t feel damaged or that I some how missed out because I spent my childhood playing in the neighborhood schoolyard or park without constant adult supervision, ate a few TV dinners, or watched Bugs Bunny on Sunday mornings.

As a mom of the 21st Century I ask myself not which choices should I make, are they good ones or bad ones, but is my life balanced? Do I spend enough time playing with my family, working in my garden, reading my pile of library books, and socializing outside of the house and off the computer?

And maybe that is the reason moms of yesterday did not constantly question their parenting choices, life (it seemed) was simple back then, milk was served in a glass with dinner without question, no discussions over rice milk or soy milk or goat milk, do you want it in a pink fairy glass or blue Thomas the Train cup.

So the next time you stand in your kitchen, drive to the store, or turn on your computer, strive for balance. Go read a book, play kick ball with your kids, keep an eye on them in the yard while you work in your garden, and take one night off from cooking. And serve milk with dinner… in a glass. *** In celebration of OUR MOMS, we have throw-back, blast-from-the-past photo gallery of some amazing mom bloggers as INFANTS and KIDS to share with you (because we can never get enough pics of babies and children)! Several of these talented (and cute-as-kids) ladies are contributing authors to the newly released anthology, Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches. (Learn more about it on Amazon, add it to your Amazon wish list, or make a purchase–sales go towards paying the contributors–and some expenses! THANK YOU!)

Throw Back Mom Bloggers 02

Throw Back Mom Bloggers 01

BEFORE YOU GO, please show these mamas some social media LOVE on Facebook, they’ve earned it! Allison B. Carter of Go Dansker Mom; Amy Denby of Dear Babies: Crazy Life, Simply Explained; Crystal Cook of The Qwiet Muse; Jenny Kanevski of In Other Words; Lea Grover of Becoming SuperMommy; Lisa Nolan of Monkey Star Press; Liz Cleland of Western New Yorker; Michelle Grewe of Crumpets and Bollocks; Shannon Day of Martinis and Motherhood; Shannon Drury of The Radical Housewife. ~Lisa Nolan Monkey Star Press

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43 thoughts on “Did Our Moms Second Guess Their Parenting Choices?

  1. Pingback: Did Our Moms Second Guess Their Parenting Choices? By Lisa Nolan | What is a Mother TO DO? Adventures in motherhood and mayhem!

  2. I was just thinking about this recently. My son has delays so maybe I’m more protective but honestly very few people I know let their kids wander the way that we did when young. It’s strange to think about now – how much freedom we had. My mom would say “go outside!” and then she wouldn’t really know where we were for hours. How nice that must have been. I LOVE the photo of the bathing suit smoking mom!!

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  3. I have talked with many generations about parenting. They all tell me that they agonized over many decisions and regretted decisions. However they mostly also told me to go with my gut. When they just went with their gut instinct they had no regrets. I too find myself trying to make sure that not only is my life balanced but my daughters as well. Ah yes, I sometimes think to worry that my husbands life is balanced as well.

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  4. I don’t think choices were any easier then. My mom raised 5 kids on her own so for her maybe some were hard and some were simple. True there are more things to choose from now, but in the end all moms go with their gut instinct.

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  5. I agree with most of what you say here, but I have to disagree on one point – there have always been crunchy moms! My mom was definitely a hippie, and raised me to be just as crunchy as she is! πŸ™‚

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  6. Great post, and a lot to think about here. We are definitely a very different generation of mothers than ours were.

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  7. I assume they questioned it somewhat but I doubt they have such serious reservations about their parenting skills as moms today do. It seems like everyone is constantly in a tizzy about if they are doing things “right”. I agree…too much lambasting on social media these days!

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  8. Motherhood is a hard job. I am amazed at some of the stories my mom tells me about her parenting me when I was little. Like she breastfed me till I was 6 months old and then gave me whole milk! What!!!!

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  9. Yes. Balance is key. My mom had raised 3 older kids before me so she was laid back. But I have 6 and I’m super overprotective of them and stuff. It’s a different world now. I wish my kids were around when I was younger, life was much more free.

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  10. I think you hit the nail on the head. As with anything (including parenting), I think it’s best to just try to achieve some balance. All things in moderation! So, we may go to a McDonald’s Drive-Up for dinner once in awhile, but I also make lots of homemade meals in between! πŸ™‚

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