Modern motherhood: what is different?

Author: Ines Marinho

Motherhood has become increasingly complicated over the years. Career commitments, children’s activities and all the demands of this fast-paced world, challenge a whole new way of practising motherhood.

The mother role has changed due to shifts in society, economy and relationship expectations and changes. Motherhood, in the present days, can be seen as a “pressure cooker”, with all the implications it can bring.

Raising a child, the exact same way the new mother was raised, is also another switch in motherhood style. While before it was possible, nowadays the culture and society changes have made it nearly impossible for that to happen. It is crucial to find a balance between education and exterior pressures and to have a strong system of support.

  • Keeping up with working careers

Today, a mother is a bit of everything. A partner, an active parent and a working individual. Mothers have so many new responsibilities due to working careers, that parenting almost becomes possible just in some intervals of the day. For some mother, working is not even questionable, as they also deserve to build successful careers. For some other women, it is just better to take a full-time job on taking care of the kids.

This thought causes a lot of controversy in the current times because of the need for women development and equality conquest. Staying home, being a domestic and taking care of the house and the children seems a bit of an old-fashioned style that society tends to no longer adapt. However, for some mothers, they just need someone to tell them that is okay to stay home and be a mom.

  • Playtime

One of the most obvious differences between the past and the new generation is the introduction of technology in society and daily lives. The “playtime” concept must be redefined. Almost all of the “playtime” involves screens. This can become major stress between mothers and grandmothers, who are not digital natives.

Before, children played outside, coloured books, read and played with toys. Nowadays, kids are barely outside to enjoy. Additionally, because of safety issues, the majority of the parents don’t afford to send the kids outside to play. The fear and the dangers seemed to have increased, or at least amplified by the media.

  • Evolved and free children

With the change of times and society, appears a new breed of the child: a more independent and freer one. Some years ago, toddlers had highchairs to eat. Nowadays, they have their own forks and they sit at the table.

The playpen gave some time to mothers to do other things but to watch over the children. Currently, the mother needs to have seven eyes. Mothers are also expected to fit in several activities – from preschool to primary school – soccer practice, computers, language lessons, things the previous moms never dreamed about.

  • Crossing the past and the present

The culture of laissez-faire used nowadays may be a challenge for the way parents discipline children. We all know that in previous times, the physical discipline was a reality, not only from parents but also from teachers at school. Luckily, the times change and also the methods of educating.

Nevertheless, all the changes bring advantages and disadvantages and in present times children are overprotected. Sometimes, even the roles invert and it is clear that children command the parents and not the other way around.

A step forward in children’s education is the collaborative spirit of the parents in dealing with kids, instead of authoritarian parenting stances. A child that knows he has to emotionally regulate him or herself in the future is rare, as we all tend to grow up as a bit of messy minded.

To avoid it, education is primary and a correct posture towards the kids’ needs are now being taken into consideration. One way to help children and especially teenagers to be less selfish and more considerate about their personal goals and dealing with high-pressure situations is through sports. Even if your son or daughter is not very athletic, bet on college football, basketball, tennis, horse riding or other physical competitive exercises to make him grow as an individual – and also be healthier.

Despite all of the new motherhood and parenting challenges, mothers and fathers should never forget their needs and necessity of taking time alone. Having children is not the synonym of being 100 per cent devoted to the family and forgetting about themselves. The perfect balance is the key to a happy experience in parenting.