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Q & A with my Family's Matriarchs

Rachel O'Reilly

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image source unknown

By Courtney Ward

Recently, I came across a fascinating article, which sparked my interest in learning about how my grandparents raised their children. Considering I can barely raise one kid, it’s incredible to me that both sets of my grandparents raised four children each.

I was excited to start by asking them one question (that I spend way too much time contemplating). My grandma even asked one of her friends as well as a little bonus…..

A big issue that moms worry about now, including myself, is how much time we spend on our phones scrolling through social media and not being totally present when we are with our children. Was there something like this that concerned you and your friends, or any habits that you tried to limit? I wonder if you worried as much about your parenting style as people do now.

Grandma Bee:

Looking back, I think my goal was taking my kids to the library every week. Never played games with them! The grandparents did that. Reading was my number one priority. My focus was on keeping my husband happy and the house clean enough for his standards. Dinner better be on the table when he walked in the door! (Apparently that wasn't enough.)

My Grandma’s Best Friend, Bernie:

Interesting topic. I worried that I spent more time on the phone than I should. Remember we cleaned, as far as the cord stretched I had to really babyproof as the boys got into everything.

Grandma Darland:

I don't think we worried about parenting - we were too busy. I wish I had had household help as the 4 children, dog, cats, etc. were a handful. Grandpa was gone a lot of the time so he helped on weekends, but I wish I could have played more with our children, laughed more and been more involved in their school. In our world very few wives worked outside the home - so contact with others was by the phone (with the cord) or coffee at someone’s table. I do wonder if the constant use of cell phones, Facebook, etc. doesn't cause some confusion and distraction, as talking to people all day would confuse me.

One thing we want to weave into our parenting styles at Cherish is the wisdom of our elders. I plan to continue this conversation with my own - not only is it incredibly fun to hear these stories, but my hope is that we can all gain something from those who have already done the damn thing.