The majority of my early childhood happened in the 1990s. Fashion statements included stirrup pants, poofy bangs, and turtlenecks; smartphones were not yet a thing, and The Oregon Trail was one of the few things for which we needed a computer.
And while I never thought about parenting in the 90s, until I became a parent myself, on tougher days — days where I compare myself too much to what other moms are doing — I find myself wishing that I was raising my kids during the time in which I was raised. Before social media, before Google, before cellphones.
If I was a mom in the 90s…
- I wouldn’t be so worried about “screen time.” Without the convenience of streaming services, my kids would watch their favorite show live, and I’d turn off the TV when it’s over.
- I would feed my babies how I wanted when I wanted. “Fed is best” wasn’t a hashtag; it was common sense.
- I would be more fully present with my kids. Without the distraction of a cellphone and laptop, I wouldn’t feel the constant need to check my email, check my text messages, check social media. The kids would understand that when the phone rings, mommy is on the phone and busy, and when it doesn’t ring, she’s available. Today, with electronic books, online shopping, and even music and TV right in the palm of our hands, this message isn’t always so clear.
- I would call the pediatrician when I have a concern and trust my gut more often. Dr. Google would still be unknown to me.
- I would take the kids outside more often. With fewer screens and less pressure to teach my toddler and preschooler things that I was learning in kindergarten, we could just play.
I know the grass is not always greener. But on days when social media has brought me down, and technology feels like too much to handle, I find myself wishing that I was a mom in the 90s.