At first glance, modern moms seem to have it easier than their ancestors. However, modern times come with their own challenges.
Formula or Breast Milk
One of the first decisions a modern mom has to make is whether to breastfeed or use formula. Breastfeeding might sound like an outdated concept, but moms who bottle-feed are often scrutinized by feminists and even medical professionals. On the other hand, mothers who breastfeed in public often deal with criticism. The decision a new mom has to make between bottle or breast is also dictated by circumstances like work. Breast pumps do offer a solution that falls in between the two options, but they are time consuming.
The Diaper Debate
New modern moms also have to decide whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. They are pressured by environmentalists to choose cloth diapers, but mass advertising touts the convenience of disposable ones. She then has to defend her decision because family members and friends are usually divided on that issue.
Modern moms have many choices for time-saving conveniences that women did not have a few decades ago. Of course these come with a price tag. This means that women with less disposable income find themselves having to work harder. They either work harder at home to make up for the lack of gadgets, or they work more hours outside of the home in order to afford them.
Traditionally, men were the providers, and it was up to fathers to make sure their children had all their material needs covered. However, modern moms usually have increased financial responsibilities when it comes to the well-being of their children. Peers often judge a woman’s worth and parenting capabilities by how much stuff her children have. Even modern stay-at-home moms don’t necessarily have care-free lives because they can feel pressured by the head of household to stay within a budget.
Pressure to Buy Stuff for Children
As children grow, they expect to have more stuff because they compare themselves to peers. While the latter has always been the case, children now have more peers outside of their social backgrounds because of technological advances. Of course this burden of expectation is shared when the other parent is involved, but single moms have to carry it by themselves.
What used to be acceptable for discipline is no longer appropriate. Of course this protects the well-being of children. Traditionally, it was a father’s job to discipline children, but modern moms have much more say in this matter. However, it can be hard to set boundaries when children expect to have what their friends have, whether they behave appropriately or not.
It might seem like modern moms have more pressure than ever to perform and that motherhood is not easy. Indeed, motherhood has challenges in any time period. However, increased availability of information and technology give modern moms many tools to make themselves stronger and more successful than their mothers and grandmothers.