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Parenting back in the good ol’ days

BabyBank_Illo_FB_header_linkedin We all say it, how it was different when we were kids! No Ipads, we played out in the street, in the woods and out of our parent’s sight with no mobile phones. We all would pile in the back of my mum’s mini, no seat belts and no laws – I think once we managed to cram 7 kids in there on the way to my birthday party!! Now I am confronted at every turn with a warning label or a news article. There are many safety items alone we are required to buy for our newborns. Is it nostalgia or was parenting easier back then? My parents think I’m barmey, I’m always panicking and Googling, and checking the thermometer, tog sleeping bag and sleep guide. I can’t stop the anxieties that run through my head and my Internet search history. I sometimes wish I had a wider family net closer to home. Many of us now move away from family for work, or migration and have lost our support network. There are many separated families; grandparents are healthier and still working and not living in the family home to offer advice. When my mum was having us she had her mother 3 streets away, her sisters in the same town and my parents lived happily off of one salary. There was always granny there to help out, an auntie to pass on bags of hand-me-downs and no pressure for her to work; motherhood was enough in her eyes as well as society’s. When I was little my dad told me to eat all of my dinner as in other countries around the world, children were starving. Now I tell my nephews to eat up as there are children in this country that are starving. While we certainly didn’t have it all, I don’t think there were the challenges and worries new parents are faced with today. I think about the budget being taken from new families and children’s services and look at the statistics. There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK today, that’s 27 percent and in some local areas, this is more concentrated. Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty either in the UK. Two thirds (66 percent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works. Then there was something my mum said whilst discussing this contrast that made me feel positive “people are just going to have to help each other out more” and I realized that yes, this is what is happening! Support charities and independent organisations are growing and many started by mothers who have struggled or seen struggling, either emotionally or financially. Baby Bank Network is one of these, with a mission to help babies in need and thanks to its volunteers and donators, we are growing at a fantastic rate. Thank you to all of our supporters, lets hope we can keep helping one another through the more difficult times.