I have noticed this trend. And maybe I'm behind on picking up on it, and maybe I'm better at shutting out conversations I don't want to hear than I thought I was, but it is really starting to get to me.
I'm tired of being told I shouldn't be texting or be on social media because it could distract me from my kids or my husband.
I normally get told this by older women. I have a lot of respect for the "older generation." Women that were born in the 30's-40's really went through some tough times. I hear stories of rationing, using flour sacks for "new" dresses, living in tents, not having toilet paper (can you imagine?!), and lots of other stories that make me want to kiss my a/c unit and say a "Thank you, Jesus" every time I start a load of laundry in my front loader. Women of that generation have more wisdom and grit than most women alive today. So I'm not trying to bash that generation, or anyone from subsequent generations. I would just like to let my generation's viewpoint be heard.
We live in an age of technology and everyone has a phone of some kind. Most everyone has a smart phone; except for my husband. He doesn't see the need for one and his little phone is much cheaper. But for mostly everyone else, a smart phone is a must-have.
We live in an age where I can immediately get a hold of my mom in four different ways, even though she lives 300+ miles away. I can find out what a friend I haven't talked to in 20 years is doing and what she looks like, and how many kids she has in minutes. All of this is accessible to me immediately.
But for some reason, women of older generations do not like this technology. I hear all the time, "We didn't have that texting and tweeting stuff when I was a young mom. We had to take the time to write letters." Well that's all well and good. I sometimes miss the times of letter writing. It's so exciting to get something in the mail! But I guarantee you that if texting were available in the 1950's-60's, these same women would have been all over it like peanut butter on Wonder bread.
Why? Because young mothers get lonely. Young mothers get frustrated. Young mothers want to feel like they have a connection to the outside world. I had those feelings enough times in the early 2000's, and I had the internet and free long distance. I can't imagine it was any better in a time when women were expected to stay home, raise well-behaved children, and look good all at the same time. If they had had the opportunity to connect with other people on a minute-by-minute basis like we do, they all would have taken that opportunity. In a heartbeat. I guarantee it.
So why doesn't the older generation think texting and social media is as important as our generation seems to? Because they've forgotten. It has to be one of the many blessings of being older; forgetting the difficult times, and the daily struggles, and the heartache of being a young mother. To only remember the cuddles, and reading books, and new-baby smells. I have a friend that loves the smell of Luvs diapers because it reminds her of when her children were young. But what about the Luvs diapers full of poop? What about when all of your kids are vomiting and you still have to feed people, and remember who had what medicine when, and wash massive amounts of laundry, all while staying sweet and godly (not to mention not getting sick yourself)?
As we get older we forget things. We forget what it was like to be 13 and awkward, with new bodies, and new pimples. We forget what it was like to be 17 and ready to take on the world and do a better job than anyone else has ever done. We forget what it's like to be a newlywed and feel so connected to our spouse that it physically hurts when they're gone. We forget what it's like to wake up to poop all over the crib, kids crying for cereal, laundry left in the washer overnight, forgotten doctor's appointments, and crabby husbands that are working long hours for little pay. We forget trying to make a meal out of beans, corn, and rice because payday is still a few days away.
We forget the hard times and we only remember the good. And the bad that we do remember is clouded in our "but now I know better" mentality. We forget the emotions and turmoil, and only remember the outcome. We remember having to take all four kids to the grocery store and dealing with tantrums and nursing in the bathroom, but we forget the embarrassment, and horror, and feelings of failure that we experienced along with it. We only remember that we survived and can laugh about it now.
When I got married at a very young age I vowed to never forget what it was like to be a teenager. I wanted to always remember the trials of that age on a personal level so that I could always connect with teenagers, and be the support and encouragement that a few ladies were to me.
And now, as my children are getting older and moving out of the "young" stage (my youngest just turned 3, and my oldest is about to turn 12), I vow to never forget what it was like to be a young mother. To never forget the loneliness, and the doubt, and the fears, and the hopelessness that young mothers feel on a day to day basis.
I vow to tell young mothers to use ANY form of communication with the "outside world" that they and their husbands feel is appropriate. Who knows what communication will look like in 10, 20, 30, 40 years? But regardless, I am bound and determined to support and encourage mothers, instead of scorn and ridicule the ways that they find to survive the days, months, and years.
And to any of you from older generations. Please do not take this at criticizing. I understand that you do not understand this world. This world is polar opposite of what your world was. But please just try to have some understanding that being a young mother is hard. Being a young mother is not all about cuddling, and baby lotion smells, and playing hopscotch in the driveway. It's difficult, and we need your support. We need to hear how you survived, and what you did to make it through the day. We need to hear the horrid things you did to your kids (kerosene on snake bites?!) so that we can reassure ourselves that if your kids survived without car-seats, our kids will survive a day of TV because we had to get some cleaning done.
Let's support each other, encourage each other, and ignore mistakes that we each make, so that we can build a better upcoming generation.