Somehow my brothers and I survived our childhood with few broken bones and only a couple stitches here and there. My mom laughs about not having car seats for us when we came home from the hospital or helmets when we rode our bikes — so it’s a wonder I’m sitting here today in one piece.
It’s been 30 years since my mom raised a baby, so it’s safe to say A LOT has changed. But it’s also safe to say that nothing has changed, as all babies really need is food, a clean diaper, and love.
Seeing all the gadgets and thingymajigs that I have for my daughter: the fancy stroller with its 5-point harness and shocks, the diaper genie that magically swallows dirty diapers, the video monitor, the shopping cart cover…it all makes my mom feel like she did everything wrong.
When I told her that some of my daughter’s first solid foods were mango and avocado, she looked at me as if I’d given my baby a shot of tequila. I reassured her both mango and avocado were on the “first foods list” from wholesomebabyfood.com, but from her reaction she clearly thought I was insane. But she didn’t have the Internet when I was a baby, all she had was one Dr. Spock book. So how would she know? Plus, it was the 80’s — people were drinking Tab soda and organic wasn’t even a blip on the radar.
I know how she feels though. I constantly question whether I’m doing things right. In 30 years, if my daughter has children, there will be a whole new parenting style with a whole new set of gizmos to accompany it. I’ll feel like an utter failure when she asks me what I used to do with her. I’ll laugh like a crazy person and say, “We used to put you in a car seat! Can you imagine?” Because by then, we’ll all have flying cars and babies will be equipped with ejection seats and parachutes.
The way my mom did things, and the way I’m doing things isn’t wrong, it’s just…different.