Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grandparents

I obviously can't speak how it has been for other generations, but it seems that this generation of grandmothers all have the same complaint; their daughters/daughter-in-laws don't listen to their advice. I hear them talking at church and parties about how they must be dumb now just because they are old and how offended they are that their advice isn't considered or followed.

As a young mom I understand where these unknown daughters and daughter-in-laws are coming from. Things have changed drastically in the last 30 years. We now recommend keeping children in car seats until they are 7 years old (varies by state), it used to be that 3 year olds could sit in a seat belt in the front seat. Our children are getting upwards of 36 vaccinations by the time they are 5 years old. I received 12 vaccinations. There are new discoveries about allergies daily and how they affect behavior and illness. It is also being uncovered how many chemicals are being put into our food, chemicals that weren't being put into food when I was a young girl.

A good deal of things are the same too; basic reading, writing and discipline is the same. But now there are new products to accomplish these mundane tasks; "My Baby Can Read", warmers for wipes, and diaper genies just to name a few. These products didn't even exist when my mother was in the throes of new motherhood. So asking her opinion on the necessity of such a product would be useless.

The advent of the internet has allowed tons of new mothers to get the latest information on these new products and practices. Message boards have been formed where mothers from all over the world can compare notes on how best to soothe a colicky baby or the best brand of no HFCS whole wheat bread. Amazon.com has countless reviews on new products from other parents. Back when I was a girl new mothers depended on the advice of their own mothers or family members.

On behalf of all the new mom's out there, I am sorry, grandmothers. Although we value your experience and support, sometimes we need to talk to another mother who is in the same situation as us right now. While the basics of parenting are the same, it validates us to know other mother's are struggling to make the same decisions as us. Don't be offended when we don't want your advice. Just allow us to embrace our own version of motherhood.

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