11 (of many) Reasons my Nanas Were Better Mothers/Housewives Than I Will Ever Be

I’ve been doing some thinking about how good we’ve got it these days.  My dryer not working for a month made me appreciate the many conveniences of modern day life.  I was fortunate to grow up with two Nanas.  My dad’s mom passed away a few years ago and we miss her every day.  I know she is looking down and smiling at my babies being raised in her old house (and cringing at how infrequently I manage to polish her crystal chandelier. Oops!)  My mom’s mom is now 87 years old and it is truly amazing to have her be a part of my children’s day-to day life.  She asked that my kids call her “Nana J” because it makes her feel more young than being called “Great Nana.”  How cute is that?  Both of my Nanas are two of the kindest, sweetest, classiest, most loving women I have ever met in my life.  They both raised their families and took great care of their husbands and their households.  They did it (and did it well) during a time without microwaves, baby monitors, disposable diapers, cell phones and big box department stores.  Here are eleven of many, many reasons, my nanas were/are better mothers and housewives than I could ever be…

1.  No yoga pants!  Or sports bras!  GASP!  I put on my mom uniform everyday (yoga pants, nursing/sports bra, tank top or t-shirt) and couldn’t imagine wearing anything else.  I can’t imagine getting spilled/slobbered/peed on while wearing fitted “slacks,” blouses or skirts.  No thank you!  Not to mention the ironing you would have to do every day to make sure your slacks, blouses and skirts were not wrinkled.  Neither of my Nanas have worn track pants.  They probably have never heard of yoga pants.  I remember watching an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” a couple of months ago with my husband and pointing out that it is so unrealistic that Ray’s wife Debra is a stay-at-home-mom but is always wearing skirts, tights, dress shoes and cardigans, hair styled…and makeup!  My husband responded with “I don’t see what’s so unrealistic about that.  I think that dressing up like that would probably make you feel really good.”  Umm no.  Yoga pants, tank tops and anything stretchy, comfy and easy to wash makes me feel good.  There is no glamour in what I do in a day.  I should actually be wearing a bio-hazard jumpsuit.  Let’s meet in the middle here with yoga pants.  So kudos to my Nanas for doing household chores and dealing with baby messes in slacks, blouses and skirts.

2.  Hair-do’s other than ponytails or knots tied on top of your head.  Both of my Nanas always had well-kept and classy hair that required setting their hair/sleeping in rollers/sleeping with a hankerchief tied around their heads to prevent their hair from getting frizzy.  I am so glad that the ponytail/tying my hair in a knot on top of my head is in style…or at least it is in my house.  Some days it’s amazing if I even get the time to brush my hair.  I don’t know where they found the time or the energy.  Well done maintaining those classy hair styles, Nanas!

3.  No dishwashers!  Ahhh!  How did they ever get their dishes done?  Sometimes I struggle to load/unload/load my dishwasher each day and still have a mountain of dishes in my sink that need to be hand-washed.  Where the heck did they put all of their sippy cups?  Wait a minute!  No sippy cups???  This leads me to #4.

4.  Breakable glass bottles, cups, plates, shampoo bottles, milk jugs and more.  This sounds like a nightmare for a klutz like me!  I can not even wrap my mind around how they survived without literally spending half of their days sweeping up broken glass with cuts on their feet.  Not to mention the fact that my daughter whips her sippy cup of milk across the room at least 37 times each day.  How the heck did they manage with all glass?  They clearly had a better idea of how to teach their children to behave at the table.

5.  Home-cooked Meals.  I strive to cook healthy and wholesome home-cooked meals each day for my family but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  The day escapes me and all of a sudden it’s 5 minutes to dinner time and my kitchen is still trashed from lunch time, I’m not sure if I’ve even brushed my teeth yet and my arms are full of babies so I don’t have a free hand to even attempt to put a meal together.  Swiss Chalet delivery is my hero and saviour; reliably preparing and delivering a delicious “homecooked” meal for my family that I didn’t have to make about once a month!  Same goes for fully-cooked deli chickens from the grocery store. I don’t know how my Nanas did it without quick and tasty options on a chaotic day being just a click of a mouse or phone call away.

6.  No quick/processed foods.  No, I’m not saying we are lucky to have processed foods and drive-thrus but as much as we try not to, we all venture down the middle aisles of the grocery store to pick up something that promises to be quick and easy or hit up a drive-thru rather than cook from scratch every now and then.  Cooking from scratch every day is what my nanas did.   No easy way out.  They had no choice.  I remember stopping to grab a coffee in a drive-thru on my way home from doing groceries with both babies when my son was about 3 weeks old.  I desperately needed caffeine and didn’t want to wait for coffee to brew at home.  I pulled up to the drive-thru window just as my son started to cry his newborn screeching cry from the backseat.  The young teen opened the window and looked puzzled by the sound.  Before he had to ask, I offered “That’s my baby crying in the backseat.”  He quickly responded “Oohhh.  I thought it was your ringtone!  I was thinking that was a really annoying ring!” haha  You’re right my friend. That would be a ring you could never ignore. Anyways, I got my coffee without having to make it, pour it or wash a mug after.  Something my Nanas did not get to experience.

7.  No washing machine or dryer.  This is mind boggling!  How did they ever have clean clothes and how did they ever dry?  I did one month with no dryer and say it just like that because it felt like a prison sentence.  “I did one month on the inside.”

8.  No car/didn’t drive.  I can’t even bring myself to understand how they even carried what they would need to take their rugrats anywhere, never mind how they actually got there.  My mom-mobile is well stocked with extra diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, jackets, snacks and more at all times.  I don’t know how my nanas managed to go anywhere or do anything.  Impressive.

9.  Technology.  If you’re going to tell me that you have never turned the television on or whipped out your ipad to entertain your toddler for a short period of time, you would be lying and you know it.  A life without a technology-based, short-term babysitter seems exhausting.  Way to go Nanas!  No wonder you know soooo many cute nursery rhymes and songs by heart!

10.  Social Media/Google.  Not only is it amazing to have the ability to stay connected with people on the “outside” via social media but I can’t even tell you the number of times I have googled things like “green baby poop,” “home remedies for teething,” “homemade baby food ideas/recipes.”  I have also had the ability to reach out to thousands of moms all over the world via a social media forum to seek advice on what to do with a baby who refuses to take a bottle after months of breastfeeding.  Life without a world of information right at your fingertips must have been extremely challenging and made a hard job even more difficult.  Not to mention how awesome it is to be able to stay in touch with other mom friends, share cute pictures and share milestones like “Little Johnny just took his first steps today” and BAM!  58 of your closest friends “like” it to show support!  You’re never alone.  We also have Pinterest for 1st birthday party ideas, toddler activities and for searching for easy, homecooked dinner recipes.  However, it is quite possible that my Nanas had more time to do the laundry and cook healthy dinners every day because they were spending their time doing laundry and cooking rather than “pinning” home remedies for laundry stains and healthy dinner recipes.  Just sayin’!

11.  They must have been much better at supervising their children/keeping them safe.  My babies play in a fully baby-proofed environment with toys that are designed for safety.  Yet accidents and injuries still happen.  A couple of days ago, my 16 month old daughter stood on the edge of my son’s playmat and then decided to pull it up by the attached frame which sent her feet flying and she landed face first on the floor.  Then last night, she filled up her soft-sided rinse jug with water in the bathtub, opened her mouth and poured it down her throat causing her to gas herself to the point that she threw up in the tub.  Both of these accidents happened in a split-second and both of these incidents occurred while she had my undivided attention from less than 3 feet away.  Both of my grandparents’ houses were filled with dainty, pointy edged furniture.  I don’t think they had fences around anything like we have around our TV stand.  And, my 94 year old grandfather has a metal plane from when he was a kid that has been passed down through the generations.  A METAL plane.  My dad played with it as a kid, so did I, my sisters and now my daughter plays with it under close supervision (partly because it is metal and has sharp edges, nuts and bolts and partly because I really don’t want my kid to be the one to break the toy that has been in the family for almost 100 years.)  This toy plane is amazing but it is METAL!  My kids don’t even own a toy that has sharp edges.  Even their books have rounded edges!  How kids didn’t end up with a slit throat or stab wound at playtime is beyond me.  Clearly my Nanas did a better job of supervising and again, teaching their kids proper behaviour.

I’m sure there are lots and lots more reasons my Nanas were better mothers and housewives than I could ever be but for the sake of not rambling, this is a few.  I’m doing the best that I can with this whole motherhood thing but think it’s worth mentioning how awesome our Nanas, Grandmas, Omas, Nannys, Grannies, Nonas are to do what they did with style and grace.  They are a true inspiration!

Cheers to you, Nanas! Love you!

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, be sure to click “follow” or “subscribe” to be the first to find out about future posts. Thanks for reading! xo

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