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Thenadays or Nowadays?

You know, I often ask this question because I wonder how it is possible that parents like my husband’s had families of 9 and 10 children, by one mother.  I marvel, I shudder, I daydream a little and then I throw up bile because I can’t imagine that parents were able to raise that many children with outdoor toilets and washing everything by hand.  Need I mention cloth diapers?  Cloth freaking diapers!  And those big pins that can stab through flesh that fastened the diapers?  There were no sleeping pills or Moms Club because there was so much milking and farming and sewing and cooking other crap to be done.  Did all those kids provide helpers?

But then the mind draws to the current situation where we are prone to over-information, developmental milestones to reach every 30 seconds, our own careers, our own needs, highlighted above the greater good.  There is divorce and that damn “happiness” factor that confuses everything.  We have therapists and 40 schools to choose from and a million classes our children have to take to provide “fun” and to reinforce the school they are already going to.  Few of our children do chores that take more than five minutes a day, so moms now do all that other crap the kids used to do—or do we?

Which if worse?  Which is better?  Or more to the point…  Have we made parenting harder or easier?  Do our children fare better for our stronger hold on their every breath?  Do we fare better for all the knowledge and the “opportunities” available to us?  I want to know what you think.  Hell, I’d like to know what I think on this one.