I am one of four kids in a family that had a SAHM and a working dad. I am a mother of 2 and had to be a working mom, and now a SAHGM (stay at home grand mother) of 2 with one on the way! I have lived 3 phases of the parenting life and I have found that while times do change making parenting skills and requirements have to change and be different, it doesn’t always mean things have to change and be different. It is all in how you look at a parenting issue that determines how you, as a parent, handle it with your children.
When I was a kid in the 1960’s we didn’t have a TV or a radio. It wasn’t because Dad couldn’t afford one, it as because he thought there were more important things to do with our time than sit in front of the “one eyed monster”. At the time, we (I had 2 older brothers and 1 younger sister) thought he was the worst father ever! We were embarrassed when we had to tell our friends we didn’t watch popular TV shows and I even was laughed at by my 4th grade teacher when I was the only student to raise my hand answering her question “Who doesn’t have a television?”. I always thought “I’m not going to do that to my kids!” Once a mother myself, I realized that there were more important things to do than watch TV. All us siblings have a lot of other talents.. Sewing, crafts, music, cooking and baking, and other talents not to many kids had then, nor did they have when my kids were in school. And kids these days – it is back to being laughed at if they don’t watch the current popular show or teen idol. A TV is nothing much more than a babysitter. What is viewed is certainly what makes the difference. But my kids know how to cook, do crafts, use their imaginations and even READ a book! And all because they did things other than watch TV. While I always believed I would make parenting different for my kids, I have to admit… Dad was right on this one.
My mom was a SAHM while she raised us and I really looked forward to being a mom like that! I wanted to do all those “household/mother” things that she “got to do”. Cooking, baking, school room mother, crafts, sewing and so on. I was a Martha Stewart in the making and didn’t know it! Sadly, my parenting days were much different as I had to be a “working mom”. Boy was parenting different than I thought it would be! It was the hardest thing I ever had to do… leave my babies at daycare and go to an 8-5 job. Although I realized I either left them at daycare and earned money to support them or we were all together and homeless made it a decision without options. And it sure was a heart-breaking decision I had to accept. Boy, things had changed and motherhood was definitely not what I thought it would be!
Now as a grandmother,I have learned from my times, as a child of a parent and parenting to a child and now I have the wonderful job of putting both together and add a sprinkle of grandmother parenting and my grand daughters are happy, smart and multi-talented little girls! They both love to cook and bake and I had better have a craft ready for them every day they are here! They love board games and we tell stories and of course, read books followed by writing their own stories. The TV hardly ever goes on in my house. I have even asked them if they want to watch a movie and they will tell me “no” and I ask them why and they tell me because there are to many other things they would rather do!
Yes, parenting sure is different than I thought it would be. I always thought it’d be my way and I knew best, but 50 years in the making, I find that parenting is a lot of my parents ways too. I have learned that parenting doesn’t always have to be different or changed from what we are used to or were raised with, but it just sometimes needs to be tweaked and adjusted to conform to the needs of the kids so that they get the most out of life….no matter who’s parenting skill is used!