Parenting Then and Now

You know, it’s hard to keep up with all your personalities.  I’m just so many people at once!  Mom, wife, daughter, librarian, Alice here, Mary Alice on the Wonder Twins (she’s returned, check it out), Squirrel on facebook, and at least a quarter of the time, I’m a depressed pony.  Oh, and I almost forgot my subconscious and my inner goddess.  Whew.

But my most important role is blogger.  I mean, wait, mother.  My most important role is being the mommy of my Things.  In case you haven’t been reading long, I call my children Things.  Because

You betcha.

You betcha.

A little while back I wrote about how not to be a crappy parent, and it was pointed out to me that parents often get a bad rap and we should support each other.  Good point.  I mean, we all have our own styles, right?  But my, times have changed just a bit, haven’t they?

For instance, now they say it is best to breastfeed.  But back in the 1950s, they had other ideas of what constituted good baby food.  For instance

Nothing like a little carbonated formula.

Nothing like a little carbonated formula.

Of course, now we have real formula and I don’t think anyone actually feeds their babies soda in their bottles.  I’m just going to keep thinking that because it makes me happy.

Anyhoo, there were also different opinions on TV.  Now we say it will rot our children’s brains.  Not true – it rots the brains of parents, as I clearly show in my reviews of children’s television.  (I’m planning to do more of these, so if you’ve got a show that makes you want to poke your own eyes out, let me know.  If I haven’t reviewed it, I will.)  But back in the 1950s, TV not only wasn’t bad, it was good!  And I’m sure the ad coming from a company producing television wouldn’t lie!

You just can't get too much of that educational Howdy Doody.

You just can’t get too much of that educational Howdy Doody.

So I guess what I’m saying is, if you feel like a lousy parent, all you have to do is look a few years back.  There are much worse things, and you can find many of these on The Wonder Twins (yes another LINK DROP!), my retro blog with Merbear, who also shows some funny stuff on her blog as well.  One example – clothes called “Chubbies” for plump little girls whose self esteem apparently wasn’t already low enough.

At least we know that now we are doing the best for our kids.  It’s not like parenting trends come and go, and come back again or anything.

poster from the 1930s

Poster from the 1930s.  Good to know we’ve been judging moms for decades!

So in the 1930s, they’re saying breastfeed.  In the 1950s, you can feed ’em 7-up and carnation milk.  Later, we have actual regulated formula.  I was fed formula, and so were a lot of my peers who are now afraid to feed their kids formula, because they might have damaged brains.  Like, um, they do?  It’s confusing.  As you can see, views have flipped flopped over the years, and flopped again.  Sort of like sleeping positions for babies

I actually had one of these with Thing One.  It didn't work.

They must sleep on their side!  I actually had one of these with Thing One. It didn’t work.

No, wait, keep the kid on her back.  Our bad.

No, wait, keep the kid on her back. Our bad.  Be sure to squeeze her in really tight like a vice.

HEY, baby, you're doing it wrong.

HEY, baby, you’re doing it wrong.

My mother was told to lay me on my stomach.  When Thing One was born, they told me to lay her on her side.  When Thing Two came around, she was supposed to lie on her back.  But Thing One rolled onto her back.  And Thing Two startled every five seconds on her back, and rolled to her tummy.  They are both still alive.  I’m sure in a few years, we’ll be back to the tummy sleeping.  Or perhaps we’ll be suspending them in midair.  Who knows.

I’m just glad my days of being a new mommy are over!  I wish luck to my readers with little bitties.  Just remember – you’re doing it wrong.  But so did everybody else.

51 responses

  1. I will show this motorola add to my mother, when she says: everything was better in the good old days.

    1. I know! The TVs were like, only black and white then!

      1. hahaha yes, but all things were better :o)

  2. Most of the time, I’m winging it, but now I’m just going to trust in Motorola.

    1. They know what’s best for us.

  3. This is a lot like coffee, a year is good for you the next gives you cancer.
    Thanks god I’ll never have kids, seeing how “good” I am with my dog, I can only imagine how disastrous I would be with a kid. I’ll get a cactus.
    I think I was a mix between breastfed and formula.
    Mother wanted to play it “safe” I guess.

    1. So you’re only half brain-dead! Good to know. There are times I think I should have stuck with dogs. People get so picky when you put your kid in a kennel.

  4. You totally forgot how wonderful cigarette smoking was in the 50s! Low birth weight! Everyone was doing it! Even the gynos!

    Breast feeding is the hardest for me – I am totally all for it, however, if you (not you specifically, but you in general) were like me, you couldn’t squeeze a drop out of those things …what are you supposed to do? I’m pretty sure that what my kid actually went thru with his birth stuff was far more dangerous/damaging than having the special (expensive – not covered by insurance) formula that he had to take.

    I’m like Speaker7, I’m just winging it.

    1. Me too. My kids were breast deprived because mean mommy wanted her freaking body back! And knowing my luck, I’d have gotten two drops out of ’em too. They got formula and they’re smart and as healthy as most kids, so meh. Wingin’ it here too.

      1. We all need to support each other rather than sit in judgement.

        1. Exactly. I have my opinions, and I’ve given them, but as long as the kid is happy and healthy, who gives a care how the parents do it?

  5. And all this time, I was sure that you’re not supposed to give 7Up to children under 7…

    1. Who knew? It’s good in milk too! I mean, oh, yummmmm . . . (puke).

      1. I wouldn’t even dare try it. Especially after you already puked in it.

  6. I was raised in front of the TV and I turned out just fine *twitch*

    1. I know i learned so much from those afterschool specials. Don’t do drugs. Don’t go with strangers. Go read a book, but only after you’ve watched an hour of this TV show talking about how you should read a book.

      1. And then there was the TV show that actually READ my kids a book (Reading Rainbow). *roll eyes*

        1. With Levar Burton! That guy was always so excited about everything it was almost creepy!

          1. I couldn’t watch it without imagining his weirdo eyes from Star Trek TNG. Totally creeped me out!

          2. He was so different without the banana clip on his face.

          3. LOL Banana clip??! Priceless. 🙂

  7. On the bright side, at least new parents get a wide range of choices for re-inventing the wheel each generation…

    (But the “Stop that, you’ll poke your eye out” admonition is as old as time itself, I believe.)

    1. It really is. My mother was certain I was going to somersault into our TV (back when they were in cabinets on the floor). By happy accident, I somehow never did.

  8. So what you’re saying is what goes up must come back down? Wait…I’m confused. Breasts are for babies?? Do they have chubbies for boys? Make 7up yours.

    1. They should put that on a T-shirt. Or in an Afterschool Special.

    2. They call them “husky” sizes for boys now. Girls just have to wear big sizes and call them bigger sizes. So that tall skinny girls can’t find clothes that fit.

  9. Yay for Wonder Twin!! You betcha we are the best mommies like ever!

  10. Suspending them in midair — I love it!

    1. Someone is working on a baby hammock right now, I’m sure.

  11. I’m pretty sure I had Pepsi in my baby bottle… you can’t get that from the boob…

    1. Not unless they’re really special boobs. It’d be cool if you could get one in coke, and one in sprite. Or maybe cherry icee.

      1. Ooooh, for the Icee the boob would be transparent and you could watch it get mixed up and swish around inside!

        1. That’s so disgusting! They should try it on Mythbusters!

  12. I am SO GLAD I had my daughter eight years ago before this new Facebook generation of parenting came about. I just see way too many posts about warnings that piss me off. WARNING! Anti-Bacterial soap will actually kill you! WARNING! If you formula feed your baby it will be poisoned and stupid! WARNING! Plastic is evil and all of your baby’s toys should be made of untreated wood! Come on already. My mom drove a Miata when I was born and I didn’t even have a car seat. AND I’M ALIVE!

    1. Oh, heck, yes. I got enough flack and my kids were born before facebook got big. I can only imagine if I had an infant now.

  13. Hooray for doing it wrong! I can’t wait to see the contraptions that all parents must buy in the coming years, or else!
    FYI – they are still on the “babies should sleep on their back” kick (or else), so that one hasn’t changed yet. And while breast feeding is still en vogue, a lot of doctors are quick to tell moms to supplement with a bottle if things aren’t going smoothly 22.5 seconds after the kid is born. So, that one is probably going to flip back to formula soon. Oh, which reminds, hooray for doctors having zero idea what they are doing!

    1. Totally! My first pediatrician asked me exactly how many ounces of formula my kid was getting and when. I was like, wtf, I haven’t slept in six weeks. And how exactly would a breastfeeding woman tell? Not like there are measurements on her boobs.

      1. Hahahaha, that’s hilarious. Our pediatrician never asked that. But, they are extremely interested in the Little Prince’s bowel movements, and how many, and when, and what color, and what time of day, and can they have sample please. Okay, kidding about the sample, but it still seems ridiculous. I don’t know? I haven’t been counting. And how can I tell the number 1’s apart from the number 2’s. And it’s not like I’m awake enough at 2AM to know which one I’m changing, I’m just doing the change and trying to go back to sleep! Silly doctors.

        1. I’m worried about why they are so interested in baby poop. Maybe they’ve got a secret laboratory somewhere.

          1. I don’t think it’s secret. They are always looking to the next thing they can make a drug for. Next year they will be releasing pills for your baby to take to regulate their movements frequency, color, and consistency.

          2. Blue poop for boys, pink for girls. Let’s keep these gender stereotypes going.

          3. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      2. Perhaps there should be!

        1. It would certainly make things easier. Especially for those who want to use their breast milk in food preparation. No, really.

          1. I tried making breast milk ice cream. My son didn’t like it. Oh, well.

  14. Okay, look, I am only here because the Stuph-man said you were funny… I don’t really have time for a commitment… I just had my new book come out and I am editing the nex… ohhhhh babies!!! I love babies… and babies love me… okay, not in a creepy way, I just have this theory that you should never trust people if dogs and babies don’t like them… but as I was saying, I am very busy and… oh… breastfeeding… am I the only one who wonders why people freak out about public breastfeeding? If you see anything other than a mother giving nourishment to her infant, you are one sick… wait… I got distracted again… so, yeah, I would love to follow another blog so I have even less time to do the stuff that I already don’t have time to… wait… what the hell does ‘Squirrel on Facebook mean’??? My head is infested with crack squirrels… that is why I get distrac… ‘depressed pony’??? You are weird… I think I like you… I want to hit the button… I like ponies… I did a post about one I met that was a descendant of a famous racehorse… No, I must be strong… I will try to come back and check out some of your old posts when my head is clear of babies and breasts and ponies and squirrels… and Stuph…

  15. One of the MANY reasons I didn’t think it was even a good idea for me to try.

  16. I’m thinking I should get my six months gone friend to read this post!!

  17. Love this so much!

    I’m just reading around your blog and am really enjoying it. I’ve been chatting with Ruby and am soon to become a Canvas author… I’m looking forward to getting to know you everyone. Yay!

    ANYWAYS–I wanted to say, about this post…My own mother is always pointing out how the “pendulum swings”– as she puts it– and it’s so true. For a generation (or less) you’re expected to breastfeed, then not, then you are. I can’t keep up. Same goes for cloth-freaking-diapers vs disposable (I had three in diapers at once, I was not about to cloth diaper). Don’t get me started on c-sections (btw I had two of them!!) 😉

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