Parenting

Is Parenting Easier or Harder Than It Was 30 Years Ago?

Let’s face it, parenting is hard. But how hard it is as compared to 30 years ago? If sleepless nights are the worst thing that could happen to you, I think that it’s just a matter of time. When the kids grow older, you’ll get back all your precious sleep.

I complain about the loss of freedom, you might say that it’s also a matter of time. When the kids grow up and gain their independence, we will get our freedom and time back. I agree with you.

I had a conversation with my MIL few days ago; she shared with me how she struggled to take care of her two sons (without the help from her own mom or MIL). At that time, she also babysitted another kid for extra income. Seriously, I don’t know how she did it.

My mom took care of me and my two younger siblings all by herself. She was a part-time tailor too; sewing clothes at night when we were asleep for extra income to supplement the family.

“It is so much easier now”, she said this as she points to the disposable diapers and washing machine. I agree with her. I can’t imagine life without these two items. Thanks to the modern technology; it has provided many conveniences in our life.

Easier? Yes!

In my opinion, things that are easier now include:

(1) Modern conveniences, i.e. disposable diapers, stroller, etc. My brother is one year younger than me. My mom told me that she woke up few times at night to change us, and she had to handwash the cloth diapers few times a day. Phew! Can you imagine that?

(2) Electrical appliances, i.e. washing machine, microwave, bottle warmer, sterilizer, etc. I shudder to think how complicated life is without these.

(3) Ease of travelling. Looking at the price of COE, I can’t say that car is affordable but most families have cars now. When I was young, my family didn’t have a car. My mom sent us to school on her bicycle until we were old enough to cycle on our own.

(4) Better medical facilities. PDs, clinics and pharmacies are everywhere.

In general, our life has been made comfortable and luxurious with modern technology and scientific inventions.

What is making it more difficult now?

(1) Modern materialistic society where our lust is often greater than our needs. Our neighbor went for a holiday, should we go too? My friend spent $2K on her son’s birthday party, should I follow? I could go on…

(2) We’re often spoilt by choices and we want only the BEST. This is especially so for schooling matters. We don’t mind spending 80 hours for volunteer works or queuing overnight to get out kids into reputable schools.

(3) Easier for kids to go on the wrong path these days. Maybe due to greater peer pressure, I don’t know.

In my point of view, I think that parenting is EASIER now than 30 years ago although we may have different set of challenges or problems that might not exist 30 years ago. Most of us have a car for travelling, a nice comfortable house to live in, a healthy income and almost all the comforts of life, only if we know how to manage our expectations and live within our means.

What do you think?

 

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