New Moms

Raising Kids Much Harder Today Without Grandma

| by Suzanne Venker
One of the reasons motherhood is so much harder today (one of the many reasons) is because Grandma's no longer in the picture. The main reason for this is that men and women move away from home to go to college, and many never return. They either marry someone from a different state, or their jobs dictate where they live. When they finally settle down and become mothers, their own mothers are nowhere to be found.

Most people don't think about this when they're deciding where to go to college and which career to pursue -- but they should. Because nine out of ten times they get themselves into a pickle: They discover what life at home with a baby and toddler is like and wonder how women did it by themselves years ago.

The short answer is they didn't. For decades motherhood was a shared experience among mom, Grandma, and other family members. (Don't laugh), but one of the reasons I like watching The Waltons is to see how easy it was for Mary Ellen to run an errand, or even go to work after she lost her husband in the war. Her mother and grandmother were always available, and she could drop little Curtis off at the drop of a hat. Mothers today do not have this same luxury.

This is one of the reasons motherhood is so taxing today: Mothers are raising their children in vacuums, away from family and in neighborhoods that have become increasingly desolate. The average woman is not going to take kindly to this, since raising children is far too demanding, both physically and mentally, to enjoy doing on one's own. Today's mothers are making up for this lack of family help by sharing babysitting duty with friends and relying upon Mom's Day Out programs. This isn't bad, but it sure would be easier if Mom were available the way she used to be.

I guess the only way to combat this problem is to never leave home and have children while you're still young, the way women used to. That way Mom's nearby and she'll be young enough to help out.

Too late for me, but maybe not for you.