Were Our Grandparents Superheroes?
Did you ever wonder how our grandparents used to raise five or more kids yet always managed to look happy and elegant in the pictures while we suffer raising just one or two kids? Were the kids quieter at that time; was life easier; was the cost of living cheaper; just how did they do that?
We know for sure that kids are kids even if the new generations are more aggressive, but a baby is a baby and will always be dependent and demanding. It was not that long ago when kids would go to the kitchen and feed themselves. On the other hand, if you think about it, there were no facilities like our days. Think of the kitchen appliances alone; everything was done manually. Technology now makes things much easier and some tasks take no time at all if you just use the right tools.
What was it then? My mother used to tell me that when they were young, their parents would go everyday to the grocery store to buy fresh veggies and fruits to be cooked on that day. Imagine someone going to buy molokhyia (the real thing, not the frozen one we use), clean it and prepare it to be cooked for a family of seven on average. Yeah, I just realized that even the amount of food must have been a challenge itself. Now, we only cook for mostly a family of four where two kids would barely eat so you end up cooking small portions. What was it that made them do it while we can’t?
Not to forget the expenses, even if life expenses were cheap, their income still wasn’t that high. I hear in the old Arabic movies that the average monthly salaries were around 20 LE. Apart from always failing to make sense of that, a father was still expected to take care of a big family of seven on average. My mind can’t make sense of this, 20 LE for everyday life expenses, schools, transportation, health care and the list goes on! I don’t believe in the saying that old days were blessed but our days are cursed; I think every age has its own challenges which people have to defy.
Maybe the secret was in our grandmothers themselves. Nowadays, we may feel drained because our life surroundings are so stressful. Maybe because we have to work, so we can barely be up to leading two roles, a housewife and a career woman. Maybe being enclosed with technology, social media and internet is making our life tougher while we think it is the opposite. Maybe life was simpler before globalization and now we are more exposed to the world so we always fail to satisfy our needs. Maybe we have greater dreams than our grandparents so we waste so much time chasing them.
I don’t seem to have an answer…
Diana is a wife and a mother of twin babies who is inspired by music, nature and daily life interactions. She uses her passion for writing to capture special moments, replace pain with laughter, and inspire others. She is a feature writer for several publications in Egypt and the Gulf; through her Twin Mummy’s Diary she shares her thoughts, experiences and helpful tips as she goes us through the roller coaster ride called motherhood, with its challenges and joys.