I had a very cool Aunt. I have to wonder why in the world my parents allowed me to be with her alone. Let’s just share one memory. Her boyfriend had a van painted with naked women on both panels. That’s right, NAKED, no clothing! Brown shag carpet throughout and a fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror complete with a bed in the back. Totally cool to ride with them!

If a guy shows up with a van and naked women on the side of it, is this considered kid friendly? This is why my rule is that there is no reason to date until you are at least 30.

I babysat newborns at age 10. What in the world were their parents thinking? Again, times are different but I was 10. When my kids were newborns I had to have full resume, interview and lots of credentials to even begin a conversation. I will have to say, I learned real quick that babies are a lot of work. They require 100% attention and I knew that I did not want that in my future for a very long time. Prevention talk was made simple.

I was the “Tom Girl.” I had older boy cousins and got just as dirty if not dirtier than they did. I got mad when my cousins had other boys in the neighborhood tag along on the weekends. Most saw me as a girl, really? I am not just a girl, I am a girl who shoots bee bee guns, I rode dirt bikes and could do anything I wanted to do. One time, a boy told me that I could not play the game that day and that I should go play with my Easy Bake Oven. Well, let me just say I told said boy what to do with his Easy Bake Oven program! I think some of this had to do with a commercial that was on about a perfume called Enjoli, now that I am an adult woman, I am on a quest to find the woman and ask her just what she was thinking! The song repeated over and over was this, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man.” What? Wow, this is in that category of the Easy Bake Oven. I do believe in letting kids know you can do whatever you put your mind to, but parenting is a partnership. Sometimes dad’s stay home and sometimes it is the mom. As a family, everyone works together, simple as that.

Let’s just break this down. Again, van with naked women, nope, babysitting at age 10, even if a mom was silly enough to ask my 10-year-old, I would say not today. I would have to come along and supervise. Why do I saddle my kids with a cell phone? Some may say for their entertainment, I would say, wrong! It is for me to have my child on watch 24/7. Plain and simple! I had a long leash when I was a kid and did some really dumb things so thus the cell phone. I will admit, had my parents had a phone, I probably would conveniently leave it at home too.

While the 70’s were a great time to grow up, I am happy that I live in today’s world and handle parenting a little better. You take the very best things from your childhood, add your own knowledge and style, and you have successful parenting. I personally think that the word Helicopter Mom should be changed to something more positive, something like the Engaged Mom. In today’s world with all of the fast moving technology we need to slow down and engage more with our family. Find your groove as a parent and go with it! You will be glad you did. Being a mom is truly the very best part of adulting. It is the most challenging but the rewards are endless.

Ranae Aspen

Ranae Aspen lives in the middle of Nebraska in the heartland of America. She shares her home with her husband Dan, and teens Daniel and Leslie. Sunset Acreage is home to fruit trees, chickens, cats and rescue dog Sampson. Ranae is passionate about sustainable living and sharing her life’s journey to help others thrive in this crazy thing called life. She loves writing!  You can connect on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/ranaeaspenwriter/  You can also find her blog all about Sunset living at https://raspen2.wordpress.com/ .