5 Reasons I'm Glad to be Raising Kids in 2013

Whenever I talk to a seasoned parent who raised their children in the 90s, 80s or before, I have a tendency to stare at them in awe. I just cannot even comprehend how they successfully parented children, let alone survived themselves in a time before the necessities we have as parents now. Yes, I said necessities. Because I would crawl into a hole and cry if I didn’t have the following parental aids:

1. Cell phones I simply CANNOT imagine having to wait by a phone for an important call. No leaving the house. No escape. You’re trapped with tiny people who are probably foaming at the mouth to see the sun. And once those tiny people turn into teenagers? How did you coordinate ANYTHING? I know how forgetful I was at 15. If it weren’t for my cell phone, my mom wouldn’t have known which practice, sporting event, or friend’s house I was at. I would be the one foaming at the mouth wondering where my teenagers were.

2. Tablets & Phone games On the same subject of phones, praise those super smart computery people for tablets and smartphones full of game apps to distract busy toddlers in public places. How did more buildings not burn down before this invention? My husband’s iPhone has saved us at the bank, the doctor’s office, at numerous restaurants, and at the houses of friends without children. What did parents do before these things? Carry around a library? A suitcase of puppets? A padded box?

3. Dr. Google So this one’s a blessing and a curse. While it’s nice to double check at what body temperature it’s advisable to take your toddler to the ER, it’s not so nice when Googling skin rash symptoms. Trust me. Don’t use it for this. You’ll probably think your baby has some obscure skin-eating bacteria when in fact, it’s a simple diaper rash. Dr. Google has a tendency to go to the extreme. But it is nice to double check dosing recommendations on medications when you accidentally throw away the instructions... not that that happens at our house EVERY time we get a prescription.

4. Kids Television I remember the days when kids programming only aired on Saturday mornings. I also remember when Nickelodeon came around. However, TV was still a crapshoot when I was a kid. Chances were that your favorite show was only on at a certain time, on a certain day. Now, kids have things like TiVo, DVR, Netflix, and On Demand. They can watch whatever they want, when they want. When I had my first baby, I swore we’d never watch more than 30 minutes of TV a week. HA! After baby number two, TV is the only way B would ever be able to breastfeed, laundry would get done, and dinner would get made without a kitchen fire.

5. Social Media When my kids are awake, I rarely have time to chat on the phone. Even when I do, it sounds like I’m refereeing a wrestling match or negotiating a cease fire. I would never talk to anyone or be able to keep up with friends’ lives if it weren’t for Facebook time on my phone during breastfeeding sessions. It’s a lot easier to send a message at 2 a.m. to congratulate a friend on an engagement than waiting weeks for a good time to call, which by that time is overdue and awkward.

So, to you moms who did it all without modern “luxuries”, I give you a slow hand clap. You ladies are amazing.

And I’m so glad I’m not you.

Tagged: modern parenting, parenting


Randy Erickson 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree those modern conveniences are nice, but I think maybe the jury's still out on how our kids will turn out with all this ability to be entertained/stimulated whenever they want, vs. maybe in the "old days" having to simply sit quietly and be patient until our parents were done at the bank, or whatever. Probably some parents would say "yeah, that patience idea is overblown...I wish we had iPads in the 60's/70's/80's."

Recently in order to help my 13 y/o with some algebra issues, I used YouTube to find a kind teacher somewhere who enjoyed posting "how to" videos, as I couldn't remember anything from my own algebra days decades ago. Very helpful. And I can also look up YouTube videos to see how to light my own farts. Helpful, and not so helpful maybe.

Great insights as always, Larryville Mom!

Megan Spreer 4 years, 6 months ago

That's a good point, Randy. I didn't think of the ramifications of a constantly stimulated culture. I have zero patience and I have noticed that it worsened as the internet speed increased. Maybe I should try leaving the screens at home once in a while. (That last sentence gave me anxiety as I typed it. Ha!)

LOVE the idea of using YouTube for help with math homework. I WILL be stealing that one. The fart one....maybe not. Unless, we're blessed with a boy in the future. :)

Jason Johnson 4 years, 6 months ago

Agree with Megan :) Another nice invention is the car DVD player. We recently got a (used) one, and while it's fun to play "I Spy" with a 3 year old on a long trip... when a tantrum hits, the good ol' DVD brings the car back to a collective calm so I can concentrate on getting from point A to point B w/out getting in a wreck. :)

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