Study: 74% of Women Say Parenting Is Harder Today Than It Was for Our Parents
byKaitlin StanfordJul 17, 2014
It's easy to see the past through rose-colored glasses — especially when looking back on faded memories from your own childhood, when you were blissfully unaware of whatever Mom and Dad were going through. But even so, things sure seemed a whole lot simpler back then, didn't they? Back when you could take off on your bike at a moment's notice, tell Mom you'd be back by dinnertime and she'd hardly bat an eyelash; back when a family could survive just fine on one income, when college tuition wasn't such a hellish nightmare and people wouldn't silently judge your parenting decisions while flipping through your Facebook photos. Back when technology was still in its infancy, and your folks never had to worry who you were talking to — or who was bullying you — when you logged online or turned on your phone.
Of course, there were different challenges moms faced back then. But according to a new study by the women's opinion site SheByShe, 74% of women polled still believe that overall, their parents had it way easier — and that parenting today is infinitely harder.
The 181 U.S. women who responded to the survey also called out the top 10 challenges they feel parents face today. Topping the list? Not having enough time to be Super Mom, while expertly balancing motherhood and a career. (Boy, do we hear that one loud and clear.)
Here's the full list of challenges:
1. Finding enough time in the day and balancing motherhood and career.
2. Effectively disciplining children.
3. Allowing children to develop independence in a dangerous world.
4. Bearing the cost of raising children.
5. Being a single parent and/or having enough help or support.
6. Ensuring children receive a quality education.
7. Having unreasonable expectations of children.
8. Dealing with bedtime hassles.
9. Avoiding consumerism in today’s consumer-centric society.
10. Guarding against technology influences.
As one mom put it, she struggles on a daily basis with “having time and energy to spend on my children equally, and then enough left over for my husband and myself.” Others said the motherhood/career balance left them little time to be alone with themselves.
Another big hurdle? Striking the right balance of firmness and love when it comes to disciplining. "Trying to teach my kids manners and to respect people is my biggest parenting challenge,” one mom responded. Another admitted she has a fear of being judged for punishing her child in public. "Most parents and other individuals stare when my child acts out," she said.
You can check out other personal stories respondents shared (and see a pretty cool slideshow with other stats) on SheByShe right here.
What do you think? Is parenting today harder than it used to be?