Is being a parent today harder compared to say 30 years ago?
If you think so, you’re not alone.
Myself and thousands of other parents agree. Parenting has always been hard, but it’s getting harder.
In our technologically advanced society with an almost endless supply of baby gadgets, children’s toys, and parenting advice available with a quick google search, you’d think we have it made.
With everything we have available to help us navigate through the challenge of raising children why in the world does it feel like parenting is getting harder?
I just might have the answers for you. Read below to find out and let me know what you think.
5 Reasons Why Being A Parent Today Is Harder
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We Have Too Many Options
Do you think being a parent today is harder because we have too many options?
I’m not saying options are a bad things. If I go to an ice-cream parlor and they only have strawberry then I’m probably not coming back there.
But let’s say they have five thousand flavors.
Then I’m standing there a little overwhelmed. I can’t possibly read this whole menu and the lines backing up.
I pick the flavor I think is the best, but what if it’s not? What if I regret my decision?
Rocky Road’s on its way in a waffle cone but what if the Raspberry Fudge Torte was going to change my life?
I’m being silly but with all the options we have today as parents that’s kind of what it feels like.
Pick a parenting style! We’ve got Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, Gentle, Montessori, Helicopter, etc.
The list goes on.
Are you going to breastfeed or formula feed? Cloth diaper or disposable? Vaccinate or not? Screen time, limited screen time or no screen time?
And what is limited screen time? Five minutes, ten minutes, twenty?
Don’t forget about childcare! We have small home daycares, daycare centers, babysitters, a nanny, mothers helpers.
Or scratch that maybe you should give up your career and be a full time stay at home mom.
Time for school! We’ve got public, private, charters, or you could always homeschool.
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What is best for our children?
Thats the answer we really want as parents. What is best?
Unfortunately there is no solid concrete answer. All we have are millions of conflicting opinions.
Thousands of doctors, psychologists, and parents alike with their own opinions on what’s best.
And they’ve always been there but with the invention of television and the internet every single opinion became available to us and gets jammed down our throat.
There was a time we just did things the way our mothers did.
There was a simpler time when parenting advice came from the women in your family.
We didn’t have so many options, women followed the advice of their mothers and their child’s doctor.
And we survived.
The Overwhelming Pressure To Be Perfect
Another culprit for why being a parent today is so hard? The pressure to be perfect.
You feel it, but where did it come from?
Social media was invented as a way to connect with family and friends.
Share that healthy breakfast you made, pictures from your daughter’s first birthday, and post a selfie with a heavy filter that makes you look way better than you really do. (Guilty 💁♀️)
What you don’t see is the bowls of captain crunch I ate for the past three days before, the stress I felt pulling off that perfect first birthday party, or the zits I photoshopped out of that selfie that I got because of all that captain crunch and stress.
We don’t usually post the bad stuff do we? We created these picture perfect unrealistic versions of our lives.
We go online and see everyone doing so well and looking so good and it creates this pressure to be unrealistically perfect in real life.
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We’re Criticized Constantly
Parenting today is harder. There’s too many options and pressure to be perfect.
We try our best to make the right choices for our kids and when we do we get ridiculed mercilessly.
You choose to breastfeed and you’re judged for how long you do or are shamed for feeding them in public.
You bottle feed and you’re a monster because you know breast is really best.
You cloth diaper? That’s gross.
You use disposable diapers? You’re killing the environment.
You circumcised him? How barbaric!
You didn’t circumcise him? How unhygienic!
You don’t vaccinate? Your kids going to die.
You vaccinate? They’re going to get autism
Again all of this ridicule comes from the news and social media.
No matter what you do as a parent someone with an internet connection is out there ready to tell you you’re doing it wrong.
We Have Too Many Distractions
Along with all the options, the pressure, and the criticism making parenting today harder are the distractions.
I can barely remember but there was a time before smart phones.
I don’t know about you but I am addicted to mine and I hate it.
My phone is my biggest distraction and it kills my productivity as a parent.
If I added up all the time I’ve been sucked into mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest I would probably be sick.
Its time that could be spent getting chores done resulting in more time for family.
We’re More Isolated Than Ever
Last but not least we have the isolation.
Which is a little ironic when we’re in a day in age where we’ve never been so “connected”
We go on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Just like that we know what all our family and friends are up too without seeing or talking to anyone of them.
We’re less likely to give a friend a phone call, stop over for coffee and catch up because there’s nothing to catch up about.
Human beings are social creatures and we thrive with social interaction but today we’re getting less and less of it.
This affects everyone not just parents.
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What Do You Think?
I think I’ve made a pretty solid case that being a parent today is harder.
At the very least I think we can all agree that in some ways it is but I’m sure arguments can be made that it’s easier.
While I do believe that being a parent today is harder I don’t know if I would want things to go back to the way they were.
Maybe we just need to find balance?
I want to know what you think! Please share your thoughts in the comments below 😊
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Until next time,