A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood
Print Friendly and PDF

As a child of Old-school parents, I can tell you first hand, they don’t ‘play.’ Translated into Western parlance, this means these parents did not mess around where it came to disciplining their children. There were no gray areas.

Growing up, there was no ambiguity about the rules and what would happen if I contravened those rules. And I certainly don’t remember too many family conferences taking place because one of my siblings or I had been asked to sweep the kitchen floor.

These were the days when the edict, “Because I said so!” was reason enough to do something you had been asked to do. It would not have occurred to my parents that this no compromise approach would, in later years, be considered suspect parenting, along with the laying on of hands to discipline unruly children.

My parents’ style of discipline, however, was not the only one I was exposed to growing up, and it was interesting to compare my black and white parenting with that of Jane, my white English friend who lived next door with white English parents that I desperately wanted for my own.

Jane’s worst punishment for a ‘serious disregard of the rules,’ would be a “sitting-down” and a “chat.”


“Jane, come and sit down with mummy for a moment. Hasn’t mummy spoken to you before about using your words to articulate your feelings rather than lashing out indiscriminately?”


“Do I have your assurance you understand me?”


And that was it!?! No grounding, no curfew, no nothing – and it didn’t work. Jane would go back to doing whatever it was she wasn’t supposed to be doing faster than I could pen a note to her parents begging them to, “Please adopt me.”

However, there is also a truth here I must set down in the interests of balance. My punishments as a child compared to Jane’s were onerous and often painful but, like Jane, I too would find ways to continue breaking the rules – I just got better each time at not getting caught.

Years later, though, I suppose I’m taking issue with liberal, gray parenting styles, which do not explore the notion of consequence with children – even if both sides of the parenting extremes could, perhaps, learn something from the other.

Those of us who are the product of old-school parenting, however, understand that term to mean: consequences and tough love – and it didn’t come any tougher than with an old-school parent. Should you happen to be messing up when your parents weren’t around? Well, then you had the neighbors and other sundry adults more than willing to do some drive-by, old-school parenting in their absence.

“Child, what are you doing on the streets at this hour? Get back to your home right now and tell your mother I’ll call her later.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Old-school parents played a mean game of poker and held a Royal Flush every time. Let me give you seven examples of other cards old school parents would deal their children:

Adults are not peers

Growing up, if you tried to enter a conversation adults were having without being invited, you were in danger of that being the last thing you ever said. Children were not permitted to give their world view on ‘adult happenings’ and adult happenings were anything the adults were talking about.

The Look

The Look was one that froze you at a hundred paces and generally meant: I don’t know what you’re doing, or what you think you’re doing, but whatever it is, you’d better stop. The Look had the gentle and persuasive power of Mother Theresa and the follow-through of The Terminator, and you ignored it at your peril. Even with your back to your mother you could feel The Look boring through the back of your neck like sunlight on glass. There was also no ‘three-strikes-and-you’re-out’ foolishness. You ignored The Look only once and your head was quickly connected with a flying shoe or any other object which came to your mother’s hand. It was especially foolhardy, then, to ignore The Look if your mother was ironing, putting plates away or laying a fire.

Pocket money allowance

Old-school parents did not understand the concept of free money. As far as they were concerned they worked to come home and pay the bills, not to pay you for being, well, you. It was also futile to expect money for doing household chores, since their stance was if they could afford a maid, they’d get a good one and not pay your sorry self to do your usual half-baked job.

‘Yes’ and ‘No’ handles

When being called to attendance by an old-school parent, you were never permitted to answer with a bald “Yes” or “No”. It was “Yes, mum” or “No, mum.” Old-school parents called this putting a handle on a response to an adult. Even now, my children know better than to answer me without a handle, but this is the first rebellion they have all tried on for size. They soon come around though, since an old-school parent will not respond until a child ‘handles’ themselves correctly.

Teachers as kings and queens

To an old-school parent, teachers could do no wrong. There was little point in going home to tell an old-school parent that a teacher had been unfair, too harsh, or had caned the crap out of you. Old-school parents lived by the simple premise that if a teacher had to correct you, your were definitely in the wrong. You would also get a second telling-off or spanking for doing whatever it was you were doing which caused a teacher to discipline you. The teacher sadists in those days had a field day with the children of old-school parents.


Old-school parents didn’t need a Board of Censors rating guide when it came to watching TV. The News was a particular favourite, and would magically appear if any program began to show suggestive content. Two actors, even if they looked like they were thinking of kissing, would suddenly turn into Big Ben chiming in the 10 o’clock News, accompanied by the words “Let’s be having something a little more educational around here.” The choice was that or be sent to read a book, and when I say ‘a book’ I of course mean The Book, the Bible. My old-school parents would have imploded at programming which passes for acceptable child content today.

Faith in something greater than oneself

Old-school parents would typically have the rod of discipline in one hand, and a Bible in the other. They believed in, and you were never allowed to forget, there was a higher purpose than mere existence. It was annoying at the time. In adulthood, however, I take comfort in it and it makes profound sense to me.

Although I have been a little more liberal with my own children, favoring discussion and understanding before punitive measures are taken, I am definitely old-school. As a proponent for ‘tough love’, the old-school parent loves her child no less. In fact, she loves her child so much she is willing, whenever and wherever necessary, to say “No,” and to say it without apology.

Were I required to take the stand in defence of old-school parenting, I would summarize it as the notion that children should indeed not rule the world, simply because they do not yet have the experience to do so.

I believe there is something to be said for clear, black-and-white, old-school parenting, and it gets my vote every time over seeing our children become irretrievably lost in multiple shades of gray.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Sometimes it can feel like toys are a mama's frenemy. While we love the idea of entertaining our children and want to give them items that make them happy, toys can end up taking the joy out of our own motherhood experience. For every child begging for another plastic figurine, there's a mama who spends her post-bedtime hours digging toys out from under the couch, dining room table and probably her own bed.

Like so many other moms, I've often found myself between this rock and hard place in parenting. I want to encourage toys that help with developmental milestones, but struggle to control the mess. Is there a middle ground between clutter and creative play?

Enter: Lovevery.

lovevery toys

Lovevery Play Kits are like the care packages you wish your child's grandparent would send every month. Expertly curated by child development specialists, each kit is crafted to encourage your child's current developmental milestones with beautiful toys and insightful activity ideas for parents. A flip book of how-tos and recommendations accompanies each box, giving parents not only tips for making the most of each developmental stage, but also explaining how the games and activities benefit those growing brains.

Even better, the toys are legitimately beautiful. Made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials materials and artfully designed, I even find myself less bothered when my toddler leaves hers strewn across the living room floor.

What I really love, though, is that the kits are about so much more than toys. Each box is like a springboard of imaginative, open-ended play that starts with the included playthings and expands into daily activities we can do during breakfast or while driving to and from lessons. For the first time, I feel like a company isn't just trying to sell me more toys―they're providing expert guidance on how to engage in educational play with my child. And with baby kits that range from age 0 to 12 months and toddler kits for ages 13 to 24 months, the kits are there for me during every major step of development I'll encounter as a new mama.

So maybe I'll never love toys―but I will always love spending time with my children. And with Lovevery's unique products, mixing those worlds has become child's play.

This article was sponsored by Lovevery. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Breastfeeding is not easy. But neither is weaning. That's why this powerful photo from Brazilian mama Maya Vorderstrasse is going viral. Her husband captured the first time she ever breastfed their second daughter and next to it, almost two years later, the last time she fed their daughter from her breast.

And it's not just the photo that is powerful. In her caption Maya shares her emotional struggles with weaning and the tricks they used to make this transition easier for their youngest daughter. The caption reads:

"The first and last time my precious daughter ever nursed.

I didn't know that one person could feel so proud and so broken at the same time, right now I am a hormonal, emotional, and mental mess.

Raising my arm in this picture was very difficult for me as I had to fight through uncontrollable tears: this picture meant that I would never breastfeed my daughter ever again. I have been nursing for so long, that I don't know what it's like to not nurse anymore.

As I looked behind the camera, my husband is crying like I had never seen him cry before, like seriously, a deep gut cry. I was her comfort, her safe place, and I hope she still finds me that way. A month shy of 2 years old, she finally has a bed in a shared bedroom with her sister. We bought her her first bed, used any distraction we could come up with, snacks and new toys to keep her mind off of it.

My husband has taken over bedtime completely, including all nighttime wakings. We are on our third day, and every day gets a little bit easier. The guilt I feel for not putting her to bed is so intense and I can't wait to go back to it once she doesn't ask to nurse anymore. Closing a chapter is painful, but I am hopeful that this new season of our lives will also be special in its own way.

Through this maturation step she will not only grow more independent, but I will get a much needed break. She unlatched for the last time and sobbingly I said to my husband: "I did my best". He hugged me and responded with: "No. You did THE best, because you gave her your all". I love my family and am so thankful for such special and unforgettable moments like these. 💛

*my lazy boob has no clue about what's going on, but thoughts and prayers are accepted for my good one, I really think it might explode🤱🏻

**thank you to my husband, for insisting on filming this, I will treasure this forever.🤳🏼👩"

You've got this mama!

You might also like:


If you're looking for basics for the kids for summer, you're in luck, mama. Primary clothes don't have logos or sparkles—they're classic prints and colors that can easily transition from one kid to the next. And this week, Primary is celebrating the new season with a major summer sale.

Items, like swimsuits, dresses, polos and more, are over 50% off. Most pieces are under $10 so you can stock up on an entire new wardrobe without breaking the budget.

Here's what we're adding to our carts—shop the entire sale here:

1. Baby rainbow stripe rash guard

With UPF 50, you can rest easy knowing baby has extra protection outdoors.



2. The track short

The easy pull-on waist will make outfit changes a breeze.



3. Rainbow stripe one-piece

Cute? Check. Will stay in place? Check. UPF 50? Check.



4. The short sleeve twirly dress

Made of 100% cotton jersey, this one will be a staple all summer long.



5. The polo babysuit

Perfect to dress up or down.



Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

You might also like:


Being an adult is no joke. Beyond dressing ourselves and our kids and, ya know, feeding and bathing everyone, there are so many other things that life throws at us. And because we're adults, we have to take care of these myriad to-dos. Welcome to: Adulting!

I'm not just talking laundry, filling up your car's gas tank and stocking the fridge with groceries. Getting life insurance. Refinancing your loan debt. (Students loans? Us, too.) Marriage counseling. Yep—I'm talking about all the cringe-inducing to-dos that you've likely been putting off for a few months… or years.

But guess what? Because it's 2019 and a little something called technology exists, these seemingly heavy-lift tasks are now a whole lot easier and faster to tackle. Here's how to check off your most tedious adulting chores.

The life insurance

When you're a single with no descendants, life insurance doesn't seem like a top priority. But when you suddenly have a kid (or three), setting your family up for longterm financial success is a must. And thanks to Ladders, obtaining a policy isn't the taxing, cringe-inducing process it used to be! Modern and so easy to use—seriously, you can even get one from your phone or tablet—Ladders makes it possible to obtain a policy in under five minutes. Yes, really. See? No need to procrastinate!


The student loan redux

You have the degree and the career—and you also have the debt. And like us, you're likely just paying your monthly minimums without a thought to ever refinancing your student loans. Because that sounds hard and complicated, right? Right. Not so with help from Laurel Road, however. On this straight-forward site you can check your rates in only a few minutes —fear not, doing so won't impact to your credit score!—and refinance your debt, saving yourself (and your family) thousands of dollars.


The marriage counselor

Did you know that 66% of couples report a drop in marital satisfaction when new arrives? It's not surprising considering the stress an infant creates for mamas alone, but all that pressure affects your relationship, too. But taking the time to really invest in marriage counseling often falls to the bottom of the to-do lists because of the many hurdles—finding a therapist, traveling to appointments, the cost of copays or out-of-pocket fees, the stigma of need therapy. With Lasting, however, you and your partner pair your apps and can begin working on your relationship together on your own timeline.


Motherly is your daily #momlife manual. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

You might also like:


A lot of women are literally walking around in fashion mogul Jessica Simpson's shoes, but there was no way she was going to be getting her feet into any of the footwear with her name on while she was pregnant.

A few months ago, back when she was still super pregnant with her third child, Simpson posted a photo of her left foot on Instagram and honestly, just looking at it was painful.

"Any remedies?! Help!!!!" she captioned the pic of her incredibly swollen ankle and foot. Thankfully, now that she's in her fourth trimester and no longer pregnant, Simpson's feet have chilled out. She posted a new pic with the caption: "I spy....my ankles!!!!

Before + after

The commenters on Instagram are now as happy for Jessica as they were were as shocked back when she posted the first foot photo.

"Omg Jessica call your Dr. Keep feet up lower salt intake and no heels," one wrote (although the last bit seems like it probably wouldn't be an option even if she wanted to wear them).

Calling the doctor is not a bad idea if your foot look's like Simpson's before photo, because swelling during pregnancy can be a sign of preeclampsia, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation, which notes that "a certain amount of swelling is normal during pregnancy," but suggests that moms-to-be watch out for "pitting edema" (which means that when you press on the skin an indentation stays for a bit) and leg discoloration.

"If you suspect this kind of edema, notify your healthcare provider. You should also put your feet up every day, but avoid sitting for extended periods of time," the foundation states on its website.

What mamas need to know about swollen feet

Simpson took her swelling with a sense of humor, posting a before and after pic of some super high wedges and her swollen pregnancy foot with the caption #tenyearchallenge, but swelling can be serious in pregnancy.

It can be related peripartum cardiomyopathy a rare kind of heart failure that can develop in the last month of pregnancy or in the first five months postpartum, but, according to the the American Heart Association, isn't easy to diagnose as the symptoms (like swollen ankles) are also symptoms of third trimester pregnancy.

So swelling is something to watch and definitely talk to a health care provider about—but it also happens in many uncomplicated pregnancies, as a lot of Jessica's IG followers pointed out. "That happened to me with my 1st pregnancy. Lots of elevation for my feet and fluids. Watch the sodium intake. Hang in there," one mama wrote, throwing in a 💞 emoji.

Jessica Simpson just launched a collection of flats 

Another commenter offered a funny story to put Jessica at ease: "My feet looked like this the last month of my pregnancy (if not worse) and I had normal BP and didn't have preeclampsia. I'm 5'0" and retained so much water. My OB-GYN at the time (a 65 year old man) told me that I had what he called "Fiona feet"....yep, the ogre from Shrek. Yep. 🤦🏼♀️ Needless to say, I switched doctors after my daughter was born."

Jessica Simpson's shoe collection currently includes a wedges, booties and a gorgeous stacked stiletto, and she recently launched a collection of flats, which should be helpful to all the mamas-to-be who have swollen feet (although not as swollen as hers were, she should design an extra-wide slipper for that season of life).

[A version of this post was originally published January 11, 2019. It has been updated.]

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.