One Mom’s Nostalgic Journey Through Parenting in the 80s and 90s.

Written by Linda Critelli

Being a mom in the eighties was a great era for parenting and a truly wonderful time in general. The music was awesome; we often sang in my silver, with red interior Oldsmobile wagon to Billy Joel’s tunes. The hairstyles were great for that time; well, I guess that’s debatable (although I’ve witnessed the styles come back several times since). The library was still the primary way to gather information. Trips to Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Wendy’s were parents’ official bribe or reward back then. 

Speaking of rewards, I used money as a reward for an excellent report card. Some comments from friends made me second guess my parenting. Some may say I was ahead of my time in motivating my children with money. Others well, they’d say, “that is terrible to give your children money for a good report card,” of which my answer would always be “CEOs get bonuses all of the time for their good performance.” But to me, merit is all that mattered; good behavior and performance deserved monetary compensation and rewards. 

But as time marched on, moving into the nineties, we all moved up to High School then to College; well, that was another world. There would be fewer rides in the car together. Friends became their newest companions to ride around and sing with. And, of course, many sleepless nights, as I’d wait up for the garage door to open and their bedroom doors to close. It amazed me how my husband didn’t have trouble sleeping through this phase of parenting. 

After all of the graduations came real jobs and serious relationships. Now I was sharing the children I had brought into this world and enjoyed a smaller percentage of their time. Initially, it wasn’t comfortable sharing, but it’s life. 

Then came marriages and grandchildren. As a friend once said, “if I knew having grandchildren was this great, I would have had them first.” The role of grandparent is your opportunity to correct the mistakes you felt you made as a parent. You get to spoil them and leave when you have had enough; you give kisses and say “good night.” 

I will always look back and treasure all the moments of parenthood: the good times, the difficult times, and everything in between. The memories we made through the years are priceless. There is nothing better than being a parent. I would give anything to live through these phases of parenting all over again. 

All choked up,
Linda, from The Momtourage 

Linda is a mom of two adults, a retired Monroe-Woodbury School District employee, and a certified 19-A Examiner. She was an active member of the PTA in all the years her children were in school and held PTA President’s role for one term. We thank her for sharing her maternal wisdom and experiences as a mother with us.

We hope this article makes you have a greater appreciation for the parenting moments you are in now, as one day they will only be a memory. In the words of Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look once in a while, you could miss it.” 

-Momtourage Media