Why We Parent the Wrong Way, According to Our Moms

From the moment I told my mother I was pregnant, I could tell we weren’t going to be on the same page with every aspect of parenting. Babies sleep on their backs now?! You’re not going to take Lamaze?? Her confusion was to be expected. I mean, in the past 30-odd years, a lot has changed. Not just parenting techniques or updated laws and pediatric advice, but baby products and technological advancements. No iPads? Let’s not speak of it. It’s a different ballgame now. I get that. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not silently gritting my teeth or rolling my eyes every time my mom notices judges the snacks I buy or the lack-of-jacket I send my daughter out to play in. If this sounds like an all-too-familiar tune, check out this lovingly compiled list of ways our moms think we parent the wrong way.*

1. Pricey (and mysterious) help

We spend hundreds of dollars (and upward) for a stranger to assist and support us during childbirth. A what-now? How do you spell it? And she just makes sandwiches for the dad and helps check you into the hospital? (scratches head in confusion) Then there are the lactation consultants. You’re paying what for her to do what with your nipple?!


2. Feeding

Basically, if you do it differently than they did…it’s just wrong. You’re breastfeeding exclusively? Why?!!! There’s formula for a reason. Alternately, formula-feeding? Why not rely solely-on boob juice?!

3. Bedtime and nap schedules

We enforce scheduled nap times and bedtimes, and don’t let our kids stay up late for dinner parties when the grandparents visit. (Side note: If my mom wanted to come over at 6 a.m. to deal with the repercussions of two kids off their schedules, that’d be a different story!)

4. High-tech hydration (at least that’s what they think)

We buy (many) new-fangled water bottle contraptions and insist that our kids take them everywhere they go.

5. Vaccines (for them)

We insist that they get up-to-date on vaccines they don’t want (hello, whooping cough vax!). Sorry, but my winter baby doesn’t want your germs.

6. iPads (case #1)

We play fast and loose with all the apps and the games and the videos. They never had to rely on such drivel.

7. iPads (case #2).

Now that iPads exist, moms think we’re crazy for not letting our kids use them constantly (is there an app for that?).

8. Mom groups

We hit up as many sing-alongs, tumbling gyms, mommy/baby yoga classes, and neighborhood coffee klatches as possible, to meet fellow moms and babies. They didn’t have such resources back in the day, and to be honest, I think they’re a little jealous.

9. Sleep sacks 

We virtually entomb our kids in ridiculous swaddles and sleep sacks with a million zippers, buttons, and velcros. What’s wrong with a simple blanket?!

10. Car seats

We use car seats; all they had was their own two arms to keep us safe. Needless to say, when my daughter was born and I told my mom it was against the law to leave the hospital without a car seat, her jaw dropped.

11. Back sleeping

No tummy sleeping these days. “What if the baby throws up?! What if she chokes?!” — I don’t frigging know! It’s just how we do things now! Stop asking!

12. Babyproofing

They think we’re so blasé for not babyproofing everything now that their precious grandchild is stumbling through the house (nevermind the fact that they probably didn’t do any babyproofing when we were toddlers).

13. CPR

Yes, we want them to take infant CPR. They didn’t take it when we were babies, so why muddle their brains with it now?

14. Co-sleeping

Some of us let our babies sleep in the same room (or bed) with us for months. They don’t think it’s helping the baby settle into a good routine, and it certainly can’t be good for the “marriage bed.”

15. Giving options 

We try to be democratic and ask our kids’ opinions as to what they want, rather than just telling them to put their shoes on and play outside, damn it!

16. Food

Whether it’s the non-GMO organic produce we’re always searching for at the co-op or the frozen fish sticks and box mac ‘n’ cheese we were too busy to avoid making for the kids’ dinner, Moms always question us when it comes to food and cooking methods.

17. Books

We ban certain books in our households. Sure, they’re the same books they read to us when we were kids, but some of these classics are promoting pretty un-PC messages.

18. Vigilance (or lack thereof)

Some of us watch our kids like a hawk, escorting them from point A to point B, knowing that a new sex-offender could move onto the block at any moment. Others are free-range parents, and moms think we’re crazy for not putting a leash on their precious grandbaby!

19. Playpens

We don’t use these time-honored mini jails. (And to be honest, why aren’t we locking our kids up in cages when they are being total menaces 24/7?!)

20. Google

We love it and we Google everything. They’re just jealous we have an answer to all our kids’ most obscure questions and don’t have to stuff an Encyclopedia britannica in the diaper bag.

21. Carriers

We have five different baby slings and can put each one on with our eyes closed. Why are there so many straps?! And what’s with the buckles, and the knots and loops, and now I’m getting tangled and — yeah, when they’re looking after the grandkids, our moms will just take the stroller, thankyouverymuch.

*Mom, these do not all refer to you — promise!

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