What Motherhood Really Looked Like In The 80s (20 Vintage Pics)

With the world marching into another new year, the 80s are now but a distant memory. One full of nostalgia nonetheless. It was a time when life was much simpler. There was no social media or smart tablets, kids were kids. They laughed, they played, they got into trouble and they played outdoors. And the moms, boy was the 80s a great time to be a mother.

The answer is simple. Back in the 80s, mom's word was law. When children did something wrong, they were disciplined for their actions and moms did not let their children get away with any bad manners or behavior.

So as we tread cautiously into a whole new year of uncertainties, why don't we take a trip down memory lane with these 20 nostalgic photos of what motherhood was like? Relive those moments and think back to our own childhood. Remember that puffy curly hair, glittery makeup, and extreme shoulder pads? What were we thinking? But then again, those were such innocent and wonderful times.

20 The Camcorder For Everything

Via : Pinterest

Before technology enabled our phones to become well, practically everything ( from calendars to notepads to email providers to camera and to basically everything under the sun),  we had to lug around a number of different gadgets, the camcorder being one of them. These bulky cameras enabled mothers to record their child's antics and allowed them to capture their babies' milestones. That is if they managed to get the camcorder and switch it on in time. These camcorders were to our mothers what our smart tablets or go pros are to us these days. They paved the way to have mothers capture their children's most beautiful memories on tape.

19 Dancing to the Radio

Via: variety.com

As with every generation, music rules. It helps release stress, motivate us and generally get us on our feet tapping to the beat. Moms in the 80s were of no exception. Many would turn on the radio while they tended to their children, some while changing their nappies, others to entertain their children while they tried to feed them and some to lull their babies to sleep. It was a time when almost every household had a radio blasting in their living room, and music was a must with moms and their kids singing and dancing to every song they found familiar on the radio.

18 Going to the Cinemas Together

Via : Pinterest

Kids used to love going to the cinemas with their parents. Moms would dress up to the nines and bring their pack to the cinema. It was a different kind of setting then, with seats being chosen and paid for at the counter. The further one sat away from the gigantic screen, the more expensive the ticket it would be. Movies would be enjoyed by the masses with maroon curtains being pulled up before the screen lit up to the cheering crowd. The younger kids would have the privilege of snuggling up to mom on her lap while then older kids would have their own seats. Ahhh, those were the days.

17 Playing Hopscotch

Via : carrybeans

Hopscotch was pretty much the 'in thing' for kids back during the 80s. Multi-colored chalks would be used to draw on the ground and moms would be seen sitting on the pavement watching their little ones skip and hop while they chatted to other moms. These days, one can no longer see any sketchings in any neighborhood as most kids are hauled up at home with their eyes glued to the smart tablets. Tell them about hopscotch and they might look at you as if you were from outer space.

16 Simple Birthday Celebrations

Via : Pinterest

These days, kids are spoiled with extravagant birthday parties, hosted by event planners and with birthday themes and dessert tables to boot. Heck, it has been reported that some parents spend an average of 1 to 2 grand for their children's yearly birthdays. Wow. But looking back at the 80s, kids had much simpler and less cutthroat birthday celebrations with simple birthday cakes, a few BFFs coming over and some poppers to go around. Once in a while, a lucky few might get a clown to entertain them but otherwise, that was pretty much it.

15 Helping out Mummy at Home

Via : vegancrunk.blogspot.com

Kids were expected to help out at home and most started learning how to cook as young as when they were 3. Moms would have them beat the eggs, mix the batter and even turn on the oven. Most could stay at home by themselves while mummy stepped out for a while to buy some groceries; while others would already be an old hand at babysitting their siblings by 4 years old. If kids were to even lift up a mop these days, CPS would probably come knocking on our doors.

14 Wonders of Nature

Via : Pinterest

Much of motherhood in the 80s was spent in the great outdoors with occasional picnics around the park. It was normal to have many parks flooded with waves upon waves of families with kids and pets running around. Some moms even took their children hiking in the woods and others would bring their little ones for a short weekend camping by the lake. Many would enjoy gazing at the stars at night while they swatted off mosquitoes and ate from canned food heated on portable mini stoves.

13 Days of Simple Toys

Via: flickr.com

These days, kids have a plethora of toys floating around the market. But back in the 80s, simple toys and board games dominated play time with moms and dads spending the evenings with their kids in the living room chatting away about their day while they played together a simple game of snakes and ladders or even making little buildings from simple Lego pieces. Imagination was the key and mothers did not have to put up with:  "but mom, I don't have anything to play with!"...cut to the room filled with PlayStation, Nintendo, and Barbie dolls.

12 Days by the Beach

Via : Pinterest

Going to the beach was practically on every mother's must do weekend list. They would drag their little ones down to the beach and let the kids run wild and bury them in the sand while they enjoyed the soothing glow of the sun. There were not as much commotion or as much judgment towards moms back then. So moms could actually enjoy some sunbathing without having to hover over their children to ask," are you okay honey?" or " do you need anything from mummy?" every other minute.

11 Days of Innocence

Via : Pinterest

It is safe to say that mothers and their kids, in general, were a lot more innocent than they are today. They didn't have the pressure of social media or the unending criticisms that many parties are launching at moms these days. If the kids wanted to play in the streets, let them. If the kids jumped in muddy puddles, leave them be. If one mom fell asleep from exhaustion looking after her baby, let her rest. So long as nothing major or dangerous happened then it was okay and everyone would go about minding their own business.

10 Cartoons on Saturdays

Via : Pinterest

Nearly four decades ago, kids woke up to cartoons on boxed TVs every Saturday. Breakfast would usually be served on the living room table with kids' eyes glued to their favourite superhero on the screen while they feasted on cereals or peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Moms could be seen doing the laundry or cleaning up the house while their kids were entertained by Thundercats, Robotech and Jem. Most households could be considered quiet with only the sounds of cartoon characters coming from the TV.

9 Organic Food? What Organic Food?

Via : flashback.com

Before fast food producers got greedy and started putting in all kinds of weird chemicals into our food, and before the world caught on to it, people (especially mothers) were not so concerned with what their kids ate. Organic food  was practically unheard of and the only really organic food that anyone could find was probably a cabbage patch or tomato plant in the garden. If the kids wanted McDonald's, mom would be more than happy to feed them with burgers and save the hassle of cooking dinner later.

8 Mom's Word Was Law

Via: ScaryMommy

The children of the 21st century are definitely getting more street smart than the kids of the 80s. Discipline as different for kids of the 80s. Hence, it comes as no surprise that back in the 80s, mom's word was considered law. Deviate from the rules and dinner would be forfeited. Skip the chores and there would be no TV for a week. Kids were basically more naive and obedient back then. And look at how most of them turned out?

7 The Family Pet

Via : Pinterest

Most households back then had pets. It didn't matter what kind of animal they had. It could have been a fish, a dog, a cat or even a parrot. The whole point of having one was so that mom could keep their kids occupied while they tried to get the chores done. Taking care of pets enabled the kids to be more responsible and this was why many moms back then spent a fortune to purchase a good breed of pets. Some of the pets even grew to become the mom's companion long after the kids went off to college.

6 Road Trips

Via : Pinterest

Jet-setting around the world with kids in tow was not a common practice back then. Instead, many parents relied on road trips to count as a vacation. Families could be seen mounting and strapping number upon numbers of bulky suitcases for a trip across the country. Kids would be packed like sardines in the back seat while mom and dad argued about which highway was the right way to go. Many a time, the family would camp out in their cars or check into a motel before they reached their destination and while mom and dad were probably exhausted, the kids had a lot of fun.

5 The Fashion Police Had not Yet Formed

Via: Fan Forum

The fashion police were not very active back in the 80s so many moms would dress up as they saw fit. Big curly hair, shiny leotards, glittery makeup and shoulder pads big enough to support a truck was the in thing. Moms didn't feel embarrassed by their choice of clothing. In fact, most of them wore hand-me-downs and bought their clothes from the flea market. Most of their kids who grew into teenagers would be forced to inherit their parents' clothes. Many would modify the hand me downs before wearing the clothes to high school and indirectly set a trend for the 90s fashion.

4 Simpler Play Dates

Via : Pinterest

Play dates consisted of, "Hey Charlie, let's go play ball" and "Okay, I'll tell my mom" followed by, "Mom! I'm going to play outside with Jack!". It was as simple as that. Moms would just have to pop their heads out of the house once in a while to keep an eye on their kids. That was all. There were no special 'play centers' for kids or 'play date's apps for moms to download back then. If the kids wanted to play with one another their moms would just nod their heads provided they knew who the kids would be playing with. Moms didn't have to hover over their kids and do background checks of their playdates' families back then. It was a much simpler and more innocent time.

3 Vaccination Was A Norm

Via : Pinterest

Parents of the 80s were more than okay with vaccinations for their children. In fact, they understood how important it was for their children to obtain immunity from the dangers of viruses that lurked around every corner. The moms of that generation would obligingly drag their children to the clinic because they knew, no matter how uncomfortable it was to see their kids whimper from the vaccinations, it was all for their greater good.

2 Independent Children

Via: WalesOnline

Studies have shown that kids who grew up in the 80s were a lot more independent than kids from any other generation after them. This was deemed as the golden age where the moms had it slightly easier as their kids were used to brushing their own teeth, putting their own clothes, dressing themselves up and going to school by themselves, all without any electronic gadgets or expensive toys as bribery.   These kids were expected to help out at home, earn their own pocket money and sometimes even look after mom when mom was under the weather.

1 Elite Schools Were Not Vital

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These days, schools have become very competitive. There are elite schools that select their students based on the family background and financial status. While this was also being practised back in the 80s, elite schools were not as popular. Moms believed that while education and IQ were a necessity, good upbringing at home and a competent level of EQ was more important, and these life skills could very well be picked up at home. So nope, the pressure of getting into elite schools was very much on the low side back then. Lucky kids.

References: Wikipedia, Parenting.com

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