Is Parenting Harder For Us Than It Was For Our Parents?

Source: Resources Corp.

Source: Resources Corp.

No big long winded post today, just something I’ve been wondering about:

With all of the parenting magazines, books, blogs, podcasts, products, websites, classes, etc., are parents of today just … wimps? Is parenting that much harder these days that we need all this support to help us make it through parenthood?

Or could it be that parenting back in the day only seemed easier because there really wasn’t anyone to complain to? There wasn’t any internet, no Facebook, no AIM. No such thing as having a blog and people you didn’t even know would leave comments telling you they knew exactly how you feel.

Or did we help each other out more back then? I know we lived across the street from my grandmother and she would watch us when my parents went to work. When they got home, we would walk across the street to go home. But now you can’t really do that because people don’t retire like they used to. Combine that with people having babies earlier, then grandparents aren’t able to help with the kids as much anymore.

Let me know what you think. Is parenting harder or easier than it was back in the day?


  1. This is a great question. Hmm, I really think that parenting is really not much different, since there were parents without the support, and others had support. I think that most of it happened in a vacuum–like you said, there was no one to complain to. In other cases, there was no major resource mothers / fathers could turn to in order to get advice or look something up.

    In a way, we have it easier than our parents because we have the information at our fingertips–it just depends on what we do with it. The struggles are the same though.

  2. I feel that parenting actually might be harder now then when my mom was raising me, or her mom raising her. Not because of money, or support, but because we know a lot more now than we did back then. We are constantly being reminded of viruses, illnesses, world disasters, germs, obesity, serial killers and kidnappers. It’s terrifying, and so maybe I try a bit harder to avoid these things than my parents had to.

    I also feel like because of the internet there is more pressure to be the “best” parent. People showing off their children’s rooms, art, talents, material possessions and constantly bragging on sites like youtube, pinterest, blogs and twitter, that sometimes it can leave other parents feeling inadequate.

  3. First of all I don’t think our parents got everything right! We have more information now about child development, healthy eating, child abuse, emotional abuse, etc. Most of our parents lived a life that was all about survival, making it from one end of the month to the next. No one had time to discuss or debate bringing up emotionally secure children, children with healthy self-esteem, happy kids. Children were to be seen and not heard. I am a different mom because I acknowledge the missteps of my own parents and make a decision each day to be a fully informed and engaged mother. And yes, parenting today is harder because today parenting is a competitive sport where our son must win the spelling bee just to show our Ivy League friends we are smarter parents.

  4. I’m looking forward on being a parent, SOON! I’m so excited about it. Thinking about what it feels like to be a mom and then go out together during family dates :) I’m stoked! Thanks for sharing, it will help me a lot to deal with my kids in the future!

  5. I’m looking forward on being a parent, SOON! I’m so excited about it. Thinking about what it feels like to be a mom and then go out together during family dates I’m stoked! Thanks for sharing, it will help me a lot to deal with my kids in the future!

  6. It’s more complicated I think. And there is so much more to compare yourself to that it’s ripe for creating more insecurities than mothers from previous generations may have had.

  7. I think parenting now is way harder than when I was growing up. I think you have to watch your kids a little closer. Crime is a lot worse. My mom didn’t have to work but now most homes are 2 income. My mom didn’t have to worry about transporting us to afterschhol activities. We just went outside and played. Go figure. LOL

  8. People say that there are all these new innovations to contend with these days that make parenting harder than it was – television, the Internet, etc. While there are these issues, people ‘back then’ were not afraid to say ‘no’, and to be authorities in their children’s lives in a way so many of us aren’t nowadays. I know someone who lived through the London Blitz trying to raise 12 children (yes, 12!) while hubby was away fighting. She was poor, worked at three jobs to put what meagre food they had on the table, was often very hungry as her kids were, etc., etc., yet she managed to raise children who would never have dreamed of abusing their teachers, still tried to learn without blaming everyone else all the time, and made an effort to show toward others the respect and consideration that so many people complain is lacking in today’s younger generations. When I think of Rosie’s parenting experience, I wonder if parenting was ever ‘easy’, only differently difficult. Perhaps, the biggest difference is that these days we ask our children’s ‘permission’ to co-operate, use apologetic phrasing and tones when correcting them (if we aren’t too busy defending ands excusing their behaviour while demanding everyone else changes their own behaviour), and claim that ‘understanding’ children means letting those children get away with appalling behaviour that was not tolerated in Rosie’s time.

  9. I think to a certain extent it’s easier. I’ve talked to my mom and my grandma about this, and there definitely seemed to be less anxiety back then because they didn’t have the internet bombarding them with articles about new studies about how everything is bad for their babies, etc. They just sort of parented by instinct and talked to their friends and mothers about it. Also, there was less pressure and expectation to constantly engage/stimulate your kids. Today, you’re expected to turn your child into some kind of prodigy, whereas back then, your job was to keep them fed and safe, and they were set loose in the backyard to play. Much lower pressure society.

  10. Great question and I certainly think parenting is much harder. Now only are we all bombarded with a society that promotes everything that is damaging to children (ie, too much sex, violence) but with it being the technology age, kids are harder to monitor. Throw in the bullying epidemic that is going on. The stress of both parents needing to work as well as both parents needing a backup job. Life is crazy stressful to me, and all of those things affect parenting.

  11. I think it FEELS harder because of our access to information. A good example that comes to mind is when I was transitioning my son from breast milk to cow’s milk. Because of the availability of the Internet, I read up on all the different ways to transition and agonized over how best to go about doing it. What should have been no big deal became an issue, you know? My mom’s generation didn’t have the power to Google every little thing, so I think they just naturally were more go with the flow.

  12. I think it is harder now because we gave less support systems and greater negative influences.

  13. Very interesting read! I would have to say it’s harder. Between CPS and the Gov’t I find that there’s much more yellow tape to acknowledge these days – anyone agree?

  14. this is a great question, but I feel like parenting is a little more harder now, since back in the days children weren’t so influenced by the environment they are now. Everything is so different!


  15. I think parenting has always been hard. Think about it – you are entrusted with a little one that you are responsible for raising to adulthood hoping that nothing bad happens to them.
    A blessing and a curse is that we have more information at our fingertips today – so as parents we may suffer from information overload. It seems harder because we have to deal with so much more, but some older folks think we have it easier since they remember their struggle. It’s a matter of perspective. Parenting is hard no matter which generation.

  16. I truly believe in the old school saying it takes a village to raise a child. However we have lost touch with or dont even know our neighbors, live states away from family members and dare the schools to tell our kids something. I have young adults, oldest 21 youngest 15 and am pregnant now. From what I have learned, I want to move to a small community where everyone knows everyone and that village mentality is still believed in.

    So yes, parenting has gotten harder because we are our of touch with the people around us that was the support system of parents in past years.

  17. I don’t think parenting has gotten harder, it’s just different. We have technology advancements like never before. Its easier to monitor and or track your kids and their online activity. We have a lot of modern conveniences that our parents didn’t have. My kids are seven years a part and things have changed big time one from the other.

    I think people forget that parenting is still a hands on job.