Times are very, very different now compared to 33 years ago when my mom had me. Firstly, it seems we wait a lot longer to become parents these days – My mom was 23 when I was born and in a very different stage of her life. Having waited longer, it means that I might have more financial stability than someone in their early twenties, but I’ve learnt from my mom that the most important thing a baby needs is an abundance of love.
Yes, it sounds terribly cheesy, but if you think about it – all the gadgets and gizmo’s that we see now associated with “good parenting” – they cannot replace a mother and father spending quality time with their little one. In 1981, when I was born, my parents were both in their early twenties. I had about 4 years of attention just to myself, before my brother arrived 🙂 My parents were renting a humble “servant’s quarters” or “granny flat” in Vanguard Estate and doing their best to make sure that I had an incredible childhood. This was before luxury prams (that cost more than double what I paid for my first car), 5 star safety approved car seats, award-winning toys that could help nurture the next Nobel Prize winner or bouncing chairs that required a certified engineer to assemble and power them. My parents raised me with cloth nappies – not because of environmental concerns, but because it was what they had. My mom had to be up at 5 am to wash the nappies (I still remember the big white buckets that she used) and make sure that there was a big enough stash for the day ahead. I was quite a difficult baby when it came to crying. They spent hours trying to calm me down and had to do long drives to try and subdue me and not upset the family whose “granny flat” we were renting. Though, the Pekeurs, who we lived with, really loved me like their own and had so much patience with me. They would relieve my mom when she needed to shower and I refused to stop my crying onslaught 😉
They raised us with so much love, patience and attention – something that I appreciate even more now that I’ve become a mother myself. They sacrificed so much and ensured that we never lacked anything. I am so blessed to have been born into their arms!