After a particularly bad day on the front line of parenting one of my friends recently let rip about her woes on Facebook. As well as messages of support and sympathy from other knackered mothers, she also got a response from her own mum who declared parenting was infinitely harder in her day owing to the endless washing and drying of terry towelling nappies and the lack of support for new mums.
This got me thinking: was motherhood really harder back then? Do modern day mums REALLY have it easier than generations before us?
For us terry towelling nappies are a choice, we’ve got microwave sterilisers, baby wipes and tumble dryers and access to a seemingly endless array of classes from baby massage and baby sensory to baby yoga and swimming to get us out of the house. Not to mention coffee shops on every corner offering a welcome cup of tea and much-needed slice of cake.
In my mum’s day a mother and baby group once a week in the local church hall was as good as it got, there was no moral support to be found at the touch of a button on a mobile phone or computer and you had to make your own tea and cake.
Yet for generations before us one salary was generally enough to support the household, and one parent stayed at home while the other went out to work. These days many parents, like myself, are juggling being a mum or dad with supporting the family financially, which brings with it all sorts of added pressures.
There’s the eye-watering cost of nursery fees, the feeling you’re being stretched in all directions all the time, and a pace of life which seems to get faster and faster, threatening to overwhelm you at any minute.
Is life easier for modern day mums? I don’t think it’s as simple as that. I think motherhood today is just different to how it was then, with each generation facing their own set of challenges.
What do you think? Do modern day mums have it easier? Or is parenthood in fact harder these days?
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