I often wonder if parents in the 1980s and 1990s, and way before that had more time than parents do today? More time to spend with their children, to do the housework, to read a book, or to have a bath. Generally just more time to do more things or to get stuff done.
Obviously parenting techniques haven’t changed; we still have babies and raise our children in the best way for us. But our lifestyles have changed.
There are a few factors that contribute to parents of 2017 having less time than those 20 to 30 years ago.
Breastfeeding. This might sound mad to even be included in this list. However with the rise in breastfeeding and the want to do so, as breastfeeding mum I know it’s time consuming. I know it’s for the good of the baby and the good of the mother too, but it’s incredibly time consuming especially if your baby likes to cluster feed throughout the day and won’t take a bottle. Fear not ladies if you’re in this situation and have done nothing else all day, trust me it does end and each feed becomes so much quicker, so eventually you will have time to clean the house and make dinner.
Alongside this there’s trying to be seen as the perfect parent who takes their baby or toddler to baby and toddler groups. I’m not having a dig here as I do just that. They are a lifeline for a new mums to get out of the house to make friends, or for a mum who can’t keep the toddler from wrecking the house and needs to escape. These groups are great, but they are time consuming and I think that there’s now an unspoken pressure to go to these.
Then there’s the smartphone. Without these we wouldn’t feel connected to our friends, or be able to let the world know what we are doing on Instagram. However for me and I’m sure many other people agree they are a massive drain on our time. I have no idea how long I spend on my phone each day – probably hours. I can honestly say that without a smart phone I would definitely have more time. Do you agree?
Lastly the pressure to work. In today’s environment there is so much pressure for women to return to work after having a baby. Coupled with rising living costs and the want to climb the corporate ladder. We know that there are more women in the workforce than 20 to 30 years ago, which is a great thing. However saying that it really consumes our time, especially if we’re also responsible for nursery drop off and pick ups. There is now so much positive movement towards flexible working and I hope that many companies start to action this and support parents so they have more time with their children.
So those are my reasons why I believe we have less time today. It’s not a bad thing and they all provide so many benefits too. I would be totally lost without my smartphone or the rise of flexible working, so I really shouldn’t moan about not having enough time. I guess it’s just about time management and finding a balance.
Do you agree?