The Added Pressures of Modern Parenting
If you are a parent, you are used to feeling overwhelmed. Most parents today no longer have the luxury of having a full-time parent devoted to caring for the home and children. Even if you have that advantage, there are more moving parts and decisions to make today than your parents had to think about.
For instance, previous generations were more ecologically innocent, so you didn’t have to think about the chemical make-up of your family’s mattresses, or whether the products you bought were packaged with recycled post-consumer waste. Social media can make you feel as if your children are competing for spots at top schools even before they are born. You are more connected via social media but more isolated by time and distance constraints. Private and charter schools can make neighborhood children and their family’s strangers to one another. In past eras, when you left work, you were off. You didn’t have to check your email or field telephone calls during the time you were with your family.
Your children also demand more. Your teenagers receive enticing brochures for summers abroad and postcards of idyllic Ivy League campuses. All your children want an endless list of games and gadgets that cost increasing amounts of money.
Have you felt guilty or inadequate for feeling overwhelmed by your parenting responsibilities?
You are as capable as parents in prior generations. In fact, in many ways, modern parents have more resources and knowledge than their parents had access to.
However, your life is more complex. You have more choices, which means you have to think more. Making decisions can be exhausting, even when you are interested in what you are doing. For your parents, a drive-through dinner was a simple question, “Is it in the budget?” For you, it is complex. Affordability may be one of the criteria you use, but you’re likely to also consider the nutrition and whether they’ve had any other fast food recently. When you add two or three extra considerations to every decision, it is overwhelming.