The older you get, the more you appreciate how hard parents used to work back in the day. Parenting in the 1960s was far from a walk in the park but somehow mothers made it look so easy! Without the aid of helpful, new-age technology like dishwashers or mobile phones, overworked mothers in the ’60s provided the tough love that baby boomers remember and appreciate still to this day.
Mother’s have long been the one-stop shop for everything children need, but back in the day if you felt like you were coming down with a cold or you’d injured yourself while playing, mum’s medicine chest was the only place you could find the perfect, albeit often unconventional, remedy.
If you ever suffered from annoying itchy bites after playing in a bush full of vicious green ants, then you’d definitely remember being covered in pink calamine lotion. Or you might even remember having iodine dabbed over a cut only to make it sting more than it did before.
A bloody knee would most likely be fixed with a whole lot of red-staining Mercurochrome and covered with a bandaid to help it heal, but that wouldn’t last long as kids were usually too tempted to peel off the scab and start all over again. But of course, no one can forget mum’s all-time favourite remedy – a bit of spit on a handkerchief to wipe clean a dirty cheek!
Mothers were always the ones to turn to when it came to anything baking related and school fetes were usually their time to shine. To raise money for the school, students were asked to bring baked goods sell to the public. However, if it weren’t for the talent and assistance of mothers in the kitchen, the selection of sweets would have been nowhere near as appealing. The fun part wasn’t just selling the goods, but helping mum out in the kitchen by licking the bowls clean!
While everyone tried to bake something different, each year a few of the all-time classic treats would always make an appearance. Coconut ice, chocolate crackles, toffee apples, honey joys, homemade honeycomb and toffee with hundreds and thousands were just some of the more popular options.
Even though travelling was more of an effort than it is today, parents still insisted on taking their kids on quick day trips to different locations. Most baby boomers will remember heading to the beach or to the park for a few hours where mums would lay out their pre-packed picnic lunches complete with fresh sandwiches, some fruit and of course a thermos full of tea.
Always prepared, mums would also pack some plastic plates as well as anodised mugs tucked in the classic zip-up pouches for the whole family to enjoy. After hours of swimming and running around without any sunscreen, the day usually ended with some fairly sunburnt and sandy kids asleep in the back seat on the ride home.
With far from the same amount of help that today’s parents get, mums in the ‘60s had to make it work with the bare minimum. Their unique approach to parenting was what shaped baby boomers into the people they are today, so let’s say a big happy Mother’s Day to all those hardworking mums out there who never seemed to have a day off!