Technically, by the time I was born, I missed the 70’s by a couple of months, but I mainly grew up with, and I’m surrounded by people (family, close friends, colleagues etc.) who were born in the late 70’s – we are the ‘late 70’s kids’.
And I’m generally not one for labels and generalisations, but I’ve had a few occasions lately of interacting with different people that had made me think that we may all be from different backgrounds, have different stories, even live in different countries and cultures sometimes, but there are quite a few things that we (the late 70’s kids) seem to all have in common.
So here’s my broad view as to who we have become.
Who are we today?
We are the ones who are either approaching the big Four Zero or have just about reached or passed this ‘milestone’ and are starting to become a bit more conscious about what we eat and the lifestyle choices we make.
We are the ones with hectic lives, always rushing from one thing to the next, feeling we don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything.
The ones who perhaps are just trying to do too much, due to the enormous amount of pressure we put ourselves under – don’t we just need to ‘do it all’ and be perfect at everything? Work, be perfect partners, perfect parents, be on top of everything at home and in life?
We are the ones
…who often struggle to prioritise (or need reminding about prioritising) self-care (physical and emotional) and our relationships with our partners.
We are the ones who really start to feel that time is flying by, and the older we seem to get, the quicker the months and years seem to disappear behind us.
Mostly, we are parents – of young babies, of babies in heaven, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-age children and some of us even teenagers.
And we are the ones who say that parenting is the most rewarding ‘job’ there is, but at the same time we call it hard and exhausting.
We are the ones
…who are overwhelmed with information and different opinions – from pregnancy all the way to the teenage years, all we hear is talk about parenting ‘styles’ and ‘methods’, to the point that we probably spend years trying to work out what the ‘right’ or ‘best’ thing to do for our families is.
Because of where we live and our families and friends live, we are the ones who end up relying on the virtual ‘tribe’ of the internet more than we can rely on an actual tribe of supportive family and friends.
And because of that, we are the ones who doubt ourselves and our abilities all the time – whether we work full time, part-time, work at home, stay at home etc. we have become self-critical, judgemental and insecure and forgotten what it’s like to be kind to ourselves (refer back to point #3 and the enormous amount of pressure we put ourselves under).
Because at the end of the day there’s ‘real’ life, and there’s the life we choose to project or are exposed to on social media, and don’t we often forget that people only show what they want to?
We are the ones
…who worry as to whether we’re doing a good enough job at raising confident, content and caring children.
And wonder whether we’re still able to teach our children ‘good’ values. Because a little bit of empathy and gratitude would still go a long way, even in this crazy world.
We are the ones who strive to protect our children from any dangers and any sort of disappointment in life. We want to give them not just what they need but, where we can, what they want. And we still worry that they won’t ‘love us’ or look after us when we’re older.
The ones who are often baffled by the ‘strong-willed’ children we’re raising. Did our parents have to deal with twonagers and threenagers and the drama of toast cut in triangles when they wanted squares? And we’re often wondering whether we’re dealing with these behaviours in the right way.
We are the ones
…who remember a (simpler?) time when your friends had to phone you on your parents’ landline; a time with no mobile phones and when making an international call to the other side of the world was extortionately expensive. But now, we are the ones who have become inseparable from (and fully reliant on) our smartphones.
We are the ones who often replace face-to-face interactions with video calls and instant messaging.
And we realise that our children won’t know anything about the world we grew up in. They will take this ‘evolution’ for granted. What kind of relationships will they have with their friends and family by the time they grow up?
We are the ones who are terrified by the digital world our children are growing up in. And we worry about whether we have the tools and the foresight to fully protect them from its dangers.
We are the ones who are scared about the future. For ourselves and our children and worry about the political, economic and environmental landscape we currently live in. What will it mean for our children growing up? What will it look like for them? It’s scary stuff.
But most of all, we are the ones who are really trying to be the best we can. We try to improve, change and step up.
This is who we are today.
We are a lot of things, and a lot more than we give ourselves credit for.
So, when you see us, please give us a big pat on the back, because we’re doing alright.