If you reading this I’m sure this is old news, today’s moms are burnt out and exhausted. I can’t even recall how many articles I’ve read this past month about how moms are overwhelmed, overworked and just plain tired. I will fully admit to falling into that category! Having two small children is hard; tacking on working, maintaining a home, cooking (semi) healthy meals and other duties are exhausting. I see moms complain about it on facebook, I read articles on multiple parenting sites about how exhausted we all are and headlines on magazines marketed toward mothers seem to always promise the secrets to regain your energy levels.
This got me thinking last week. My mother’s generation didn’t complain about parenting in the same way that mine does, and my grandmother’s generation never complained! Both my mother and grandmother worked outside of the home and managed to make it work. My grandmother was a single parent, caring for two children and working full time. Was it hard? Of course it was, but she didn’t endlessly complain about it. So what has changed? Why is my generation so ready to highlight the tiring aspects of parenting first? I have a few ideas.
Family dynamics have changed. Years ago after giving birth it wasn’t uncommon for your family to bring food and care for mother and baby for the first few weeks. In other countries this is still done, but in American once you are discharged from the hospital you are pretty much on your own. After I had my daughter one person stopped by with a meal for us. It was very appreciated, but after that first day I was back to cooking while caring for a new little person. The first few weeks are really so hard and I didn’t want to bother anyone and ask for help. In hindsight I would have been a much happier (and more well rested) mother if I had asked for some help from family.
Work life balance has changed. When my parents (and grandparents) were in the workforce they would clock out for the day and be done. With the advent of technology it feels like we are always tied to our jobs now. It does add some extra flexibility, but it also makes it really hard to differentiate between work and home life. I try to turn my phone off outside of my working hours, but it always so tempting to just send out one more email or respond to that one last text message.
The Internet. Oh I love the internet! It allows me to connect with other people from all walks of life. As a mom I love that I can google simple questions and get the answer right away. However, the internet makes it harder and harder to keep up with the Jones’ in some respects. With friends posting pictures of their non-GMO, gluten-free organic meal they just made their children, I feel a little guilty serving my kids pasta and carrot sticks….for the second night in a row. It seems as though we are constantly barraged with Pinterest perfect birthday cakes, party decoration, elaborate meals and ridiculously complicated crafts. Anyone who follows me of Facebook knows that I made a dinner that was definitely a Pinterest fail last week! Rather than getting caught up in the quest for perfection, I’m trying really hard to focus on quality time with my family.
Is there anything I missed?