I Could Parent Without It…But I Just Don’t Want To.

As parents in the current age, we’ve all heard and probably have said: “We didn’t have stuff like that when were young and we came through just fine.” Yes, we did, but how much more fun is life now with the extra assistance.
By extra assistance, I’m referring to all the little gadgets we as parents have available to use for our children that make life considerably nicer. You know, the things that we really can live without, but find too handy to give up. Once I wrote a blog about all the things you find out you don’t need as a parent, now, I’m going to write about the things you may find you don’t need, but will love to have.
Bottle warmer- If you’re fortunate enough to breastfeed naturally, the milk is always warm. If you use formula, room temperature water does the trick. However, if you are like me and have to pump the breast milk then refrigerate it, a bottle warmer is a blessing. Without it, I’m running water for nearly 2 minutes waiting for it to get hot enough to warm the bottle in. Let’s face it, that’s not good for the environment or my water bill.
Breast pump- This is another essential for spoiling for yourself. 20 years ago the idea of breastfeeding was still pretty frowned on, so most of our parents never had one. They were content to mix up a formula bottle and go on with life. As a result, a lot of grandparents maybe don’t understand the need for the pump, or even for breastfeeding. For a new mom, however, there is a huge advantage to being able to pump milk and maybe, *gasp* sleep through the night while dad gives the baby a bottle.
Portable DVD players-This is probably the most common thing our parents say they ‘did without and did fine’ but I clearly remember my parents reaching wits end to keep us kids entertained on long car rides. I’m pretty sure my dad would choose a DVD player over scraping melted crayons out of the back window of the car any day. They also have a plethora of other applications, such as keeping the kids content at the doctor’s office or, if battery powered, giving them something to watch during a thunderstorm and power outage.
DVR- This is the home version of the portable DVD player- many a modern mom has gotten a shower or done dishes only because they could turn on Elmo for the little ones. There’s nothing like on-demand cartoons in a pinch.
Outdoor play sets- If you were a lucky kid you had some sort of swing set in your yard, but many people who grew up in small towns got their ‘swing time’ at the local park. Because of this, I had recently heard of two different grandparents who complained about the cost when their kids put up nice play sets in their yards. Here’s the rub, 20 years ago in a small town I would send my 7 year old to the park down the street-now, there’s no way. Crime is not exclusive to the cities and in this golden age of distracted driving, crossing streets is getting more dangerous than ever before. Plus, I guarantee, there is nothing nicer than opening your door and sending the kid into the yard instead of having to pack up snacks, drinks, and the baby in the stroller to tag along to the park.
While I know this is merely scraping the surface of the helpful gadgets out there, these are the ones I hear people complain about the most. Our parents probably raised us just fine without them, but I have witnessed their silent pain when they try to take a grandkid for a long car ride without the DVD player. Oh, and sure, it costs a little more but we have two advantages: First, we’re not spending $100+ a month on formula and second, our parent’s saved all that money and now they can blow it on the grandkids!

4 thoughts on “I Could Parent Without It…But I Just Don’t Want To.

  1. Great post. I totally agree about the breast pump as there are also a lot of working moms or moms who have extra milk, or a lot of other reasons. My mom breastfed and said that the pumps back then were inefficient and painful.

    We also have a playset. We leave 5 miles away from the nearest park and it is not worth it to drive that far for a kid to play for an hour or less sometimes.

  2. The only thing I’m old-fashioned about is the DVD player and/or handheld games. They have their place on really long trips, but it does kids a great disservice, IMO, to not have to teach them to sit still and be quiet occasionally without electronic entertainment. I know too many parents who use electronics as a babysitter far too regularly, and their kids’ behavior shows it.

  3. Yeah, sticking your kids in front of the TV is a good habit to get them into….? And I wonder how many mothers actually eat properly so the child gets all the nutrients they need and not twinkies and coffee…

    • I think there’s a difference between using the TV as a babysitter and using it as a parenting tool. If you put them in front of an educational show for 20 mminutes so you can get something done, you’re not creating a habit in them, it’s almost liek a treat. My mom used it as a babysitter and I hardly ever watch TV. However for my little guy, who can’t sit still for the life of him, (gets that from me) car rides are very hard and I am willing to give him that. In town it doesn’t get turned on unless we have to go a ways.

      Oh, and if you can find twinkies in my house, or coffee even, please give them to me, I would LOVE a good twinkie! LOL. We eat together (every meal) so I have to set a good example, which in turns goes into the baby. I know we must be eating right because I just spent waaayyyyy too much money on whole grains, fresh fruits, and turkey breast at Wal-Mart :-) That being said, I can totally see how some moms would get into a twinkie rut, I did when I was splitting time between home and the hospital for 2 months when my youngest son was in there. Okay, it wasn’t a rut, but I usually followed my salad at lunch with a cookie for an extra boost.

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