In our grandparent’s day, it was a simpler time. They didn’t have the luxury of worrying about play dates and preschool applications.
I have a motto that has become a guiding principle for applying “old school” methods to present day parenting.
What would nana do?
I’m barely awake, preparing breakfast while holding the baby, trying to sip on day old coffee when my toddler asks me to cut her bread into shapes.
WWND? In nana’s day, a square slice was the only shape you were going to get.
It’s 4:30 pm, the witching hour. Despite the baby screaming all day, I’ve proudly set the table and prepared a healthy dinner. My toddler takes one look at her plate and breaks down in tears because she wants ice cream for dinner.
WWND? Nana had five kids and didn’t put up with that sh#@. You ate what was on your plate or you went to bed hungry. PUNTO!
It’s Sunday and we finally make it out of the house for a nice walk to the park. Our four year old wants to ride her bike so we dig it out of the garage and suit her up with helmet and all. Just as I breathe in the fresh air and begin to enjoy my walk, I hear a small voice scream at me to push her bike to the park because it’s too difficult to pedal.
WWND? I think in this scenario nana would have either continued walking and ignored the cries while lighting a much deserved cigarette or she would have knocked on the neighbors door and handed them a brand new bike.
By today’s standards, nana would be considered a mean mom and I strive to be like her. There’s a message in the “meanness”. The real world isn’t going to cater to our children’s every desire and we need to be teaching this sooner than later.
Nana didn’t love her children any less just because she didn’t buy them a toy every time they left a store. She loved them so much that she prepared them for life without her.
For the moms that make cute shapes with bread and push their kid’s bike all the way to the park, I applaud you. You have more patience than I do.
But when it gets too much, fear not, for our nanas died to wash away our parental sins of hovering.
In the name of the grandmother, the mother and the blessed aunt, Amen!