You know, I have been hearing a lot of parents complain about how hard it is to raise kids these days, and that our parents and grandparents didn't have it this hard. That got me thinking. Do modern parents have it harder than our predecessors? I am not convinced that is the case.
Modern technology, that's why!
We have freakin' microwaves! What took grandma an hour to cook on the stove top we can now do in minutes, but we conveniently forget that when we are whining about how hard our lives are as parents. Many of us have never lived a day of our lives with out the convenience of a microwave or largely pre-made or pre-pepped meals and complain about how long it takes to cook dinner for our families whenever it takes longer than 5 minutes!
You know that turkey that you have to thaw for an entire week for thanksgiving? Well, all meat used to be thawed that way, and macaroni and cheese didn't used to come from a box either, and Lasagna wasn't always in the frozen food aisle.
A lot of people don't realize that dinner used to take hours to make happen, so, comparatively, our 45 minutes or less it takes to make a typical meal is awesome!
We have T.V.'s with hundreds of channels, computers that have more than paint and a word processor in them, and we don't even have to go anywhere to rent a movie! Keeping our bratty kids occupied is easier than ever!
No wonder Granny and Grampy and our mother and father laugh at us when we complain that we don't have any "me" time. What do you think the thousand tweets and facebook updates throughout the day you do while the brats are watching whatever it is you have them watching on one of the multitude of channels that is neither ABC nor NBC or even CBS on days when you're lucky and the antenna is just right and the sky doesn't have a cloud in it is?
And, movie night used to mean wrangling all the kiddos up, making sure they looked at least semi-presentable, and driving to the movie rental store and spending an hour negotiating what movie would please everybody. There was none of this sitting around a computer screen in sweats looking at the thousands of options you have at your finger tips stuff! Hell, the brats can even all watch a different movie on their phones, and all you have to do is check the rating! What better way is there to have family movie night?
Our cars have DVD players, game stations, or we have access to portable devices like that when on the road. Ask your parents what they had when they were little and going on vacation or even the grocery store for that matter.
I bet they considered it lucky to even have a working radio, and to keep them quiet I bet your grandparents either devised some sort of lame sing along in the car song, a version of "I Spy with my little eyes," or, if all else failed, the threat of your Grandpa stopping the car.
And, they probably had to use that threat over and over again because your parents soon realized that your grandpa really didn't want to stop the car because he would rather make "good time" than stop and yell at the kids for whining about how long it was taking or fighting or whatever it is that kids used to do.
Now, when we go on family vacations we don't even have to hear the annoying movie that the brats are watching unblinkingly because they are wearing headphones and unaware of our very existence.
With this in mind, I don't know, but I think our parents and grandparents may have had it just as hard as we do if not harder, and I am not sure where this claim that "parenting is harder now than ever before" comes from.
Perhaps it comes from so many people these days thinking that the responsibility of parenthood is tedious and inconvenient. But, hasn't it always been so? What is so different now?
It surely can't be that we are all more spoiled and self-centered than ever and realize that it is jackallish to admit having to worry about our children is getting in the way of us worrying about ourselves, so we develop things, like farming our kids out to a crap load of different activities under the guise that "it's what's best for them" when it is really just "stashing them somewhere, anywhere, but please god not here," to complain about.