Were Mothers Less Stressed In The 1970s? (and if so, what has changed?)
If you, like me, grew up in the 1970s, we might have the same childhood memories. We rode our bikes without helmets, didn’t have to be seatbelted in the car, and we ran arouns outside until dark and no one was worried about us.
Yes, it wasn’t ideal. but I did notice one thing: our moms weren’t that stressed out. Why is that? Well, I have a feeling it comes down to a number of reasons – ill go over some now.
They Weren’t Afraid To Let Us Play Outside
My childhood took place mainly outdoors. With other kids, I ran around playground, playing on swings, drawing chalk on sidewalks and climbed trees. Our moms weren’t afraid to let us out. Where we went and what we do, no one cares so much. We were just supposed to come for dinner.
Today, children have mobile phones, GPS bracelets and are under constant control. If they don’t pick up the phone, it’s bad. And moms get stressed at home. Going out without a helmet and a protective cream with UV factor is unthinkable today.
Sometimes I feel like the media has pushed fear and hysteria about everything, as if we now live on a planet designed to kill us with constant threats, it’s at a point where people live lives in terror of everything from the sun to the common colds and flu’s to anyone we don’t recognize. Being constantly afraid and angry can’t be healthy for anyone, let alone mothers who are already naturally prone to worrying for their children and it definitley isn’t healthy for kids.
There Was No Internet, No Cell Phones, & No Social Media In The 1970s
While our parents may have had three books on family, childhood illness and sex education, we have 24/7 access to information that is constantly changing. We are constantly reading new and new studies, advice and research, wading through internet discussions and discovering new “truths” that are sometimes true, sometimes less so. We try to do everything better than our parents and sometimes it’s really grueling and exhausting.
As my experienced pediatrician once told me, “Mommy would do best not to read so much on the Internet.” She was right. I didn’t study medicine, and yet I was “whipped up” by information, interfering with a pediatrician’s craft. Knowing what’s best for my baby.
They Weren’t Brainwashed By Algorithms To Follow Whatever Is Trending On Twitter or Instagram As If It’s a Religion
The media and social networks also play a role in this. Today, every other mother has Instagram, where everything is fragrant and snoochy (or at least she looks like one). Mother magazines are also full of smiling mothers with babies in polished and clean homes, where everything is harmonious and sun-soathed. Women then want to be great mothers, at the same time look sensational, manage the household and self-realize themselves.
Just take the kids’ birthday parties. In the old world, a candle on a cake was blown out, they unwrapped a few gifts, and went on. Today, the party needs to be tuned to the last detail, ideally tone in tone, for little girls with unicorns, for boys with dinosaurs – and the photo on Instagram has become more important than just letting kids have fun.
Things weren’t perfect in the 1970s, but overall it seem that mothers were far less stressed. Of course one of the unmentioned factors of this was probably money related, in the 1970s most mothers were able to stay home while fathers went to work and one income was still enough to support a family. As divorce become more common and more and more women entered the workforce the value of labor went down since now companies had twice as many people from the population to choose from to hire they can pay less.
The world has changed, things have gotten better in many ways but people nowadays seem more unhappy than ever, more stressed, more angry, and just generally more short-tempered. Mothers inparticular seem to be under enormous amounts of pressure and stress.
From what I recall from my childhood mothers seems to be a lot less stressed in the 1970s – but then I wasn’t a mother in the 1970s, so I can’t know for sure.