Thursday, March 06, 2014

If 70s Moms Had Blogs...


This morning I got up and Jennifer and Kimberly were eating Pop Rocks in front of the TV set watching Captain Kangaroo while Matt was already out in the back yard with a glass of Tang. I sat down and had a cigarette. I really wanted to watch my programs but I didn't want to have to get up and change the channel or mess with the antenna to get it to come in clear, so I let the girls continue until I was done my cigarette. I made sure to tell them not to drink any Pepsi for a couple hours so the Pop Rocks wouldn't explode in their stomachs. That happened to some kid on TV, you know.

Then I went into the kitchen and poured them all bowls of Apple Jacks while I had my coffee with sweet n low and another cigarette. Halfway through my smoke, I went and got the baby, changed its Pamper and made it a bottle of formula. Then I put it in the walker so I could vacuum in peace while the other three kids went outside.

About an hour later Matt came back crying that Mrs. Johnson had spanked him because he was throwing rocks at cars.

"Good," I told him, "I hope you learned your lesson. If I hear of you doing that again I'm going to bust your ass too, so you got lucky this time that you only got one whipping."

Then I sent him back outside while I continued to clean.

Little while later, here come the girls saying they're hot because it's 80 degrees and sunny. I gave them some more red Kool-Aid and told them if they were hot to stay in the shade and stop whining about it. 

That gave me the idea to lay out, so I covered myself in baby oil and positioned my plastic chaise lounge right in direct sunlight. I put the baby in the playpen with some blocks while I cracked open a Tab and listened to some Neil Sedaka and Captain and Tenille on my portable radio. Don't worry, I put a bonnet on the baby since she doesn't have hair yet.

Matt had been down at the lake fishing with all the other four year olds and he came back yelling that he had a fishhook caught in his lip so I had to get the pliers and cut it out for him. I gave him some ice, told him to stop crying and sent him back to the lake to fish some more.

Around noon the kids all came back from wherever they were and I made them fried baloney sandwiches on Wonder Bread with some tasty-kakes for dessert. After that we had to go grocery shopping so I put the three older ones in the back of the station wagon and set the baby on the front seat and off we went.

I decided I needed another cigarette when we were in the car, so I lit one up and I've discovered that if you only crack the window instead of rolling it down that the smoke ventilates much better, so I have no idea why the kids were coughing and fussing for me to roll the window all the way down. They were just being dramatic, I swear. Naturally I didn't listen to them.

Bill's going to be so mad at me. I spent an entire $27.00 at the grocery store this week. Prices are so high these days. It's just ridiculous. I don't know how the A&P is going to stay in business. I bet Gerald Ford has something to do with this. Or the Russians.

I sent the kids back outside again. This time I made the girls take the baby with them, which was fine because they were just going into the woods to play. Gave me some time to watch The Edge of Night in peace.

I'm planning a big night out with Bill this weekend for our anniversary. I thought maybe we'd go have fondue, drink some Harvey Wallbangers and go to a disco. I called the eleven year old down the street and told her we'd pay her three whole dollars to babysit all night and not to worry if the baby woke up and cried. I told her if you ignore it, the baby will eventually stop crying and go back to sleep, so just turn the record player up louder or something and that if the other three want to stay up late and watch television, it's okay but make them go to bed after Carol Burnett goes off and if they want some Jiffy Pop, that's fine too. They know how to make it themselves.

Hilda called while I was making dinner (cube steaks and crinkle fries) and we got to talking about playing cards and then she said she liked Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore better than The Godfather II and I had to agree with her. I told her they ought to make a TV show after Alice. She said it would never work. I told her I had to get off the phone because I needed to mix up my Brandy Alexander and the phone cord didn't reach all the way to the liquor cabinet.

Fed the kids and Bill dinner. Then Bill went off to Bob's for poker night and the girls all came over here to play Gin Rummy with me. We had some Chex Mix and Linda brought over her famous pineapple upside down cake, which we had with Sanka. We all talked about what we were going to do for the bicentennial and then Debbie started going on and on about how she likes this Jimmy Carter guy from Georgia for President and she and Doris got into an argument because Doris is a Republican. The kids tried to peek out of their rooms, where I'd put them for the evening, but I yelled at them and told them it was grown-up time and to keep playing Candyland and Lincoln Logs until they fell asleep. I asked Debbie what color she thought I ought to redo the kitchen in - harvest gold or avocado green and she said she thought rust or Colonial blue would be even prettier. Good lord. Too many choices!

After the girls left I had to clean up the kitchen. Thank God for Corelle ware because I keep dropping coffee cups in the sink. This stuff just will not break, I tell you! It's a miracle. I mixed up another pitcher of Tang for breakfast, went and filed my nails into long, pointy ovals and then painted them a new shade called "Shimmering Ecru." When they dried I put on a polyester negligee, touched up my blue eyeshadow and sprayed my hair. Then I added a spritz of Charlie. I feel like celebrating our anniversary a little early! I have an IUD now after all. I'm not really worried about hemorrhaging or getting an infection from it. It's just a bunch of hype like that whole thalidomide scare. I knew lots of women ten years ago who took that and only one of their kids was born with a weird hand. She's not very crippled from it though. The kids in school tease her but middle schoolers are like that and it will build character.

Anyway, I think I'll have a cigarette and read some of Waiting for Mr. Goodbar. Maybe I'll put on a Streisand record until Bill gets home.

Good night!


***Welcome new readers! If you liked this post, you'll definitely be interested in my other writing. Check out my memoir Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat, available on Kindle, in paperback at Amazon, on Nook and iBooks! I'm also a columnist at elephantjournal.com. You can check out my elephant articles here! Please "Like" my facebook page too. I update there a lot. Hope you enjoy them and hope you'll be back soon!

225 comments:

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Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

OMG, this is hilarious. I was babysitting in the '70s and you just described every Mom I knew.

SkippyMom said...

HYSTERICAL! This was my childhood to a T.

Thank you!

kerry said...

Oh, the memories!

Dayna said...

And I do believe that is exactly how it all went down.

Erica Morgan said...

I loved this!!

Sharon Ball said...

Sorry guys, I was a Mom in the 70's with 3 kids. I am a nurse so I worked the evening shift so my husband could watch the kids after he got home from work. I never smoked. My kids did watch Captain Kangaroo.

Sharon Ball said...

I was a Mom with 3 children in the 70s. I am a nurse and worked evenings so my husband could take care of the children after he came home from work. I never smoked. Never allowed smoking in my house. The kids did watch Captain Kangaroo. I grew up in Florida so did keep a tan and sunbathed with baby oil and iodine.Loved Captain and Tenille.

Sara said...

I was a mom in the 70's. It wasn't like that at all. We were very health conscious, knew where the kids were at all times, followed strict bedtimes and hardly ever had the tv on with the exception of PBS. I never smoked and still don't drink. I hope that anyone reading your article takes it with a grain of salt. We did the best we could with what we knew.

TexasEagle said...

OH, the memories!

TexasEagle said...

Oh, the memories!

Unexpected Treasure said...

This has got to be the funniest thing I've read in a long, long time! At some points I was laughing so hard my sides hurt!

Anonymous said...

ponSounds so familiar. I did most of the things she did. Ha. Ha. My daughter would say I'm the mother in this.

Anonymous said...

Swinger. Married to Bill but waiting for Bob. My lord.

Look It's Megryansmom said...

You are a horrible mother! Just ice!!!? Didn't you have any mercurichrome in the house?

Mrs4444 said...

Oh, man; this is a gem. Great job on this.

visiting by way of Sue Linnel.

Brittany May said...

To the ones complaining that this isn't "how they were..." really?? It's a funny, light - hearted read. Of COURSE this isn't going to describe every mom/family in the 70's, how the hell do you think that's possible? Get off your high horse and just enjoy the article.

Jenny G said...

This. Is. Brilliant. Oh the memories of childhood! I can practically taste the Tang :-)

Brenda Worley said...

I was a teenager in the 70's. A funny story that I've told my daughter many times- my parents were both heavy smokers. We would take road trips to my aunts house to swim in her pool. Hot summer in Az. driving down the freeway with no air conditioning, my brothers and I in the back seat of our rambler station wagon and cigarette smoke and ashes blowing in our faces. Oh, and no seatbelts.
Ah, the good old days for the health and safety of our children :)

Unknown said...

Buy a sense of humor.

Jane said...

We drank Tang. Ate pizza every Friday night and ate the leftovers that had been sitting out overnight for breakfast the next morning. We ate Captain Crunch cereal (really? that stuff must rot your teeth) and for dessert we had cereal-bowl sized servings of ice cream. My mother would make us sandwiches and we'd disappear on our bikes for hours, riding all over the county. We flipped off the swings pretending they were trapezes and rode our bikes standing on the seats without helmets. It's amazing we survived all. :)

Michelle said...

That sounds like heaven! ;)

Steph said...

What Brittany May said.

For the love of all things sacred and holy....lighten up, people. Lighten up.

Hilarious post, and pretty much described my upbringing in the 70s to a T. Well done, Victoria!

Rose Ridgley said...

I laughed through that entire blog! Just finished reading your book and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!

Rose Ridgley said...

HA HA HA!!! Loved this post!
Read your book over the weekend:) LOVED IT!

mcgrimus said...

You forgot to mention how the kids were crawling over the seats as you drove to the store.

perl said...

Destined to be a classic! Sent it to my mom (a 70s mom veteran) and she *loved* it. This was a great one!

bill lisleman said...

Did not like Neil Sedaka's voice. Neil Young much better (you know if you need a Neil).
Harvey Wallbangers - oh those were smooth.
Mrs. 4444 suggested that I try to do a Dad version of this. Oh she also gave you a shout out on her blog today.
Great product placement for the 70's stuff.

16 Chickens said...

You made me want a Harvey Wallbanger at 7:55am.

Cynthia at Flotsam of the Mind said...

I found your post through Project Underblog. Hilarious. As a child of the seventies, I can tell you that you nailed it. You failed, however, to mention that the station wagon was wood-paneled. Obviously.

Julie said...

So clever and funny! Love it! Found you through Project Underblog, too!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't put pink Merthiolate on the fish hook injury. "If it burns, you know it's killing germs."

Anonymous said...

So you didn't eat American cheese or white bread? You didn't let the kids play outside by themselves or ride their bikes to the store? Other friends and family didn't smoke or drink? Your kids always had their seat belts on? You didn't spank? You're kids wore knee pads and bike helmets?

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

Oh my gosh this was hilarious! It's all true!

Mark said...

I grew up in the 60s and 70s and the thing that I remember most clearly is visiting friends of my parents. These friends were more of the "hippie type" and once when we were visiting them, the woman was wearing an apron that had the words "f**k housework" on it. That was the first time I ever saw that word out in polite company! They also had a sign in their bathroom that said "if it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. You should change "middle schoolers" to "junior high students" though.

OTHERMOM said...

This is hilarious and I don't care what anyone says it's a least 90%true. I was the 3.00 an hour babysitter!! Both parents smoked and I never wore a seat belt till it became a law. Sugared cereals and soda ruled. My mom's rule was if you put it under the faucet and it quit bleeding, it didn't need stitches! That being said, we did live in East Texas!

rush said...

I was kind of expecting "Sara" to yell "psych!" at the end. Didn't happen... Tang, Captain Kangaroo, avocado/gold/rust (yuck then even!), babysitting for 50 cents an hour for 4 kids, playing in the woods all day with my two sisters, coming home only for meals ... what a different time it was...

H MO said...

Do you have a wide lawn Sara?

aimee said...

OMG! That was wonderful! My mother's drink of choice was MD 20/20 and Coke.

Anonymous said...

Dear God Sara,

Get A Grip!

Anonymous said...

I was kid of the 70's. Maybe you lived in a perfect world Sara, but this describes it to a T! Heck, we even had Tang sprinkled over buttered toast. And I still crave it from time to time today, lol. I still believe that I never smoked because I was around so much smoke as a kid. I hated it. It was everywhere. Yet it was still good times.

Anonymous said...

Oh my jesus! I am laughing so hard right now!!

Bob Evans said...

"I never smoked and still don't drink."

You smoke now? ;)

Kathy B. said...

My sister just shared this with me and our other sisters... it took me back like a time machine! You described our childhood as if you were there... lol! Not sure how we got from this to the uber-helicopter parenting of today, but I wish we could go back to those simpler times every once in awhile (but not to the avocado/rust/yellow kitchens!). Awesome... truly made my day!!

HippyMa said...

Hilarious!!!!

Laurie Conway said...

Good gawd, how did we ever survive?? Lmao! I remember getting to stand up in the back seat of our huge Oldsmobile Delta 88!

Accidental Housewife said...

Too funny! And so true! Though this was more my neighbour's mom than mine. I babysat for the first time at 11 or 12, too. Hey, the kids survived!

jojoross said...

One of the funniest things I have read in a long time. I am now a Fan! Dare I say " The Good Ole Days?" when I was 7 :)

Anonymous said...

Do you ever laugh?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant! My childhood. Brought back great memories of my mom, her friends and the aunties.

facetiousgoddess said...

Absolutely brilliant! My childhood. Brought back great memories of my mom, her friends and the aunties.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like my childhood too, right down to the make believe trapeze swing. We had a good childhood being kids.

doctordiva said...

My thirteen year old said,"I literally had NO IDEA what you were talking about!" After I ready it out loud to my husband.
I snorted and laughed so hard, I almost peed.
I was the kid left out until the street lights came on in the story. Mom would yell out the back door when it was time to come home.

Anonymous said...

This took me back!! I laughed till my stomach ached!!

Anonymous said...

Doctor diva...my mom had a huge cowbell attached to the back of the house that she would ring when it was time to come home. Saved her from yelling from us, but So embarrassing!

Anonymous said...

I had tears coming out of my eyes from laughing so hard. Both my parents smoked in the house, the car- or wherever they were. Tang was the drink of the astronauts so you HAD to drink it. But it wasn't sweet enough prepared according to the directions so I had to add about an extra quarter cup to the water. We rode our bikes all over the neighborhood and only went home for lunch and dinner when our mom yelled from 3 blocks away to come and eat. And the 4 of us kids rode in the station wagon - don't even know that there were any seatbelts in the car. This is all too funny. Oh - and all 4 of us kids made it to adulthood.

Chrystine Holcomb said...

Brilliant!!!!

Chrystine Holcomb said...

Oh my stars!!! My whole childhood just flashed before my eyes!!!

Brandi said...

I was born in the 80s and remember a lot of this going on. I don't know if all of it was such a horrible thing. I survived without much damage.

Anonymous said...

This is so SO hilarious. I smiled so many times when I was reading. I think it might have been "Junior High" back then, though.

Sharon McCormack said...

Definitely describes my childhood as well. I miss those days. The 70's were the best.

Unknown said...

Too hilarious! I was a teen and you just described my Aunt Stella! My Mom did not smoke or drink and was a good role model...she had 3 easy to handle girls so we did whatever we wanted! 70's were a very interesting time...no worries just right! Political correctness has KILLED THE JOY!

Anonymous said...

Too too funny!! Except thalidomide was (thankfully) NEVER widely used in the USA, kept out by the FDA. It was a European thing. I shamefully admit I still have my corelle, for the very same reason!!!

erkarts said...

This is brilliant! Loved every word and lived a lot of this myself. Wasn't a Mom until 1979 but he lived this life into the 80's! Thanks for the much needed laugh today!

bruceandtrisha said...

My dad became the "middle school" principal in 1970, just as I was going into the 7th grade. I was so bummed that I had finally made it to junior high and now we were lumped in with the 5th and 6th grade "kids" again.

Robi Bright said...

Kid of the 70's here, too. My mom was a health nut which I thank her for today, but we did drink gallons of Tang, and we could have sugared cereal on Saturdays. We rode bikes without having to suit up for the apocalypse first and we :gasp!; rode around in the back of pick up trucks. And you're damn skippy that if we misbehaved, it was an unwritten rule that any parent was allowed to discipline us. As a result, we actually learned to be respectful around adults. I'd be gone from first light until mom blew the whistle for us to come in for lunch or dinner. I learned independence and how to take care of myself. Sure, we learned a lot from (and have taken care of) some of the bad stuff, but I think we've become over protective and I think our kids are suffering for it.

Robi Bright said...

That's a great story, I can picture it. We had an old something-or-other, built like a Sherman Tank car and it had this really wide ledge above the back seats. Guess where I was on long road trips? 2 adults, 5 kids in a sedan. You either laid down on that ledge or you sat on someone's lap. Good times.. good times :)

Terence Clark said...

So I was born in '81. As a result I don't know what went on in the 70's except what I heard my parents talking about. But the 80's wasn't terribly far off from this experience. I had asthma and allergies (to smoke among other things) and several of my babysitters smoked and my dad, though he rarely smoked them, had a little stand that held his pipes and tobacco.

That said, to all of the folks saying "that's not what it was like for me at all", absolutely. Everyone's experience was different and is different today. But the picture of what some families experienced (and given my own 80's upbringing, I find this a very plausible story) covers a lot of territory that would be completely foreign to nearly any modern household. And I think that's more the point of it.

No one story is going to match up with everyone else's experience. But this story doesn't match with nearly ANY modern experience on almost any detail (though I know a few smoker parents out there still).

I mean bacon is a big trendy thing today, but my family is vegetarian so my kids won't ever understand what that trend is all about. Doesn't mean it isn't a 'thing' today.

Steve Kittel said...

We had a blue green chevy station wagon..dad was in the Navy so yea he smoked...reason why I never did...sitting in the back of the wagon, windows down..until coming back from a BBQ mom had drank too much beer and puked out the window...which flew unto the back window where my sister and I tried our best to cover ourselves from being hit..lol.. drank plenty of tang and had Capn Crunch for breakfast...watch Captain Kangaroo and Mr Rogers...played outside from breakfast till the porch light came on..jumped ramps made of plywood and cinder blocks on my Huffy with a playing card in the spokes...didnt know what a helmet was..but we survived just fine

Kristine said...

Although my parents didn't smoke or drink much (but their friends and the rest of the family sure did), this is pretty much my childhood! Wonderful! Thank you so much for the memories.

blondedaniele said...


i thought your blog was narrow minded. If you like stereo typical fiction, this was great.

Carma said...

My favorite 70s thing was when we would drive from Texas to my grandmother's house in Tennessee. We'd fold all the middle and back seats down in the station wagon and stuff it with blankets and pillows. My sister, brother, and I would just lounge back there reading, playing games, and goofing around. Dad would drive all night while we'd just roll into a blanket and sleep. Good times!

linda said...

My mom always had that little brown bottle, and baby aspirin!!

Suzanne said...

The POINT is that the "Mom" in this blogpost WOULD have considered herself health conscious: your kids needed to be out in the sun a lot (running and playing), they needed a LOT of red meat and thank God it was getting cheaper in the U. S. of A, you were responsible if you got an 11 year old WITH EXPERIENCE to watch your kid..... etc. Mothering hasn't changed. Most mothers make choices concurrent with "good practices" of the times. Our concept of what good health, parenting, et al changes over time, and we work with the best information we have at the time.

June Stone said...

Please post this on FB so I can share! It's sooo funny! You're the funniest ever!

Anonymous said...

road trips and me and my brother peeing in a coffee can so we didn't have it stop. Floating sticks in the street after it rained, playing tag and cowboy and Indians cops and robbers, kissing tag,red rover,duck duck grey duck.

JoeyRalston said...

So great. I was born in 1971. The car rides and playing outside was the same, but I was always jealous of the kids who had white bread and Tang to drink. We were whole wheat people and tasty kakes or twinkies weren't allowed. :( Great "blog."

martha68 said...

i was a mom in the 70's too:) some of it in FL! we may not have had a lot of compassion compared to the parents of today, but compared to our parents in the 50's...wow! we were a compassionate bunch:) it was very funny:) reminded me of some products i hadn't tho't of for a long time! had to laugh when she talked about the older kids taking the baby to the woods to play. i didn't go THAT far! i'm guessing you were exaggerating just a bit:)

Anonymous said...

I was a kid in the 70's and we rode our bikes downtown alone, we got into boats and took off all day, we used crisco in the sun and notebooks with foil to tan faster.. the cigarettes Mom can't breathe now, COPD and Emphysema, but the up do's and the getting dressed up for everything, pantyhose, OMG, how life has changed...

Anonymous said...

No. Bill went to Bob's for poker night. =)

donnaj531 said...

Okay this might be funny....but it sounds more like when I was growing up in the "60"'s! Not when I was raising my kids in the 70's.

donnaj531 said...

O K this might be funny....but it is more like the "60"'s when I was growing up. Not like the 70's when I was raising my kids. ;)

JoeyRalston said...

Born in 1971. Grew up in the burbs of NJ. My mom was a health nut too - no wonder bread, oreos, tasty kakes or anything white was allowed. I snuck these things as much as humanly possible at EVERY OTHER MOM's house. Otherwise, the car rides with the bassinet with the baby in the front seat with no one strapped in, me and my brothers climbing over the back seats repeatedly - like it was a game. Heck, she even left us in the CAR when she would go in shopping. I was gone for hours at a time riding my bike - helmets were for motorcycles (sometimes). Etc... to say that this is NOTHING like it was back then, well I'd have to disagree.

www.icescreammama.com said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

I think my mom still has that same bottle of mercurochrome! Any cut was treated with it.

Lou Lohman said...

No WONDER the 40 somethings are all screwed up. I'm surprised they made it out of childhood.

Sara Meyers said...

This made my day! So funny!!!

Mommy Needs a Latte said...

I can't stop laughing!!

Pam Jackson said...

LOL....things sure were different in the 70's! Since I am teen of the 70's I have to say from my end, growing up then was amazing! Reading it like this though, makes you wonder how we all lived through it!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother still drinks Harvey Wallbangers.

Anonymous said...

Loved this! Lol

Anonymous said...

you can't be for real..that's every mom I know of in the 70's..Geesh!

HEATHER HOLTER said...

I was a kid in the 70's and it's pretty much accurate.

Alexandra said...

Someone shared on FB and I came over. LOVE this style of in the moment entry. Awesome stuff, so much more fun than a list post, and really great stuff here. Happy to find you.

Lynn @MavenofSavin said...

TOO FUNNY and oh so true! Back in the day... and we all survived! Thanks for the laugh.

A Miller's Musings... said...

Some of this even applies to the early "80's!!!!!

RockmunkEE said...

I love how there are people who are actually like OMG MY LIFE WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS, like you were writing this because it totally was.

Oh have a sense of humor and remove that stick!

That said, I grew up in the 80s so I have no idea how I would have been raised in the 70s, but this was hilariousssss!

A Miller's Musings... said...

Haven't thought of the grocery getting in ages!!!!!!

Tammy Larkey said...

OMG!! I grew up in the 70's and this is spot on! I literally LOL'd! Loved it!

Lance said...

came over the facebook

so glad there's no key party or afternoon delight references.

I'm sure England Dan and John Coley got played after Gin Rummy.

Very creative. New fan

Lisa said...

Child of the 70's here (born in '66), and your blog really took me back. I would add that we had no seatbelts in the station wagon, didn't wear bike helmets or sunscreen, and only had four channels on TV... but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Great read!

Krystal Bost said...

Hell I grew up in the 80's and 90's and we STILL did this. Played outside all day - rule was to come home when the streetlights came on. There were cookies and Mountain Dew for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, and Hamburger Helper for dinner. Mom didn't smoke or drink, so I made up for that in college. :)

We turned out just fine. I LOL'd all the way through this because even as decades advance, some things don't change.

danielle said...

Loved this! You forgot Fresca as a trade off for Tab and sun-in for the hair while you were outside slathered in baby oil! And for us newlyweds who didn't know how to cook yet - Hamburger Helper!!!

Anonymous said...

I am that woman!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That would be "monkey blood" to us...

akadeej said...

Those were the daaaaayaaaayyyys...lol.

akadeej said...

Those were the daaaaaaaayaaaaaaays....

Kristi Petersen Schoonover said...

This was my Mom in the 70s. Holy cow, thanks for the trip down Memory Lane. I think the only difference was she wouldn't let us eat chocolate. Instead it was carob. YUK. Oh, yeah...and we didn't drink real milk, it was powdered.

danielle said...

Love it!

PamM said...

This was hilarious! I was born in '68 and so much of this is familiar to me. My mom parents weren't big drinkers but my mom smoked and usually had Tab or Fresca on hand. My parents and their friends had a poker club that met every other Saturday at different houses. Homemade Chex mix was a party staple! And we had an old pickup truck. My dad let us ride in the back but as a bow to safety, we couldn't sit on the wheel wells when driving on the freeway - we had to sit up against the cab. :-)

Anonymous said...

I was an 70's kid. I remember all this so well. I remember being 6 years old and going 4 blocks to the grocery store and getting Marlboros for my mom and Merits for my dad.My mom worked nights and went to School. We were outside from daylight to dark and survived it all.

lagrosasmarie_62 said...

Ohhhh my, my, Ilove you.....I didn't pause for a breathe till I've read the last line....so true.....even though I was just a kid that time...I remember my Mom, aunties and their friends here in the Philippines in every word and line....women and Moms that time were almost the same and have the same temperament even they are in different countries..........I envy the freedom you Moms had then......

Lucia P. said...

Totally hilarious. Especially 4 year olds fishing! My husband and his brothers took loaded BB guns and drove off on their bikes all day and did not return until after dark. Their mom did not have a care in the world! Great writing. I'm a fan.

Damien LeGallienne said...

Sorry, but I don't think this is funny. It's a simplistic and played out theme -- the kind of mindless stuff dopey people share on Facebook.

Silver Kitty said...

FANTASTIC! I think most moms were smokers in the 1970's. I am thinking back & I can't think of one that did not smoke! I remember Tab like the back of my hand. Everyone drank Tang & Kool Aid. Does anyone remember those boxes of AYDS, that were supposed to help you loose weight?? They were like a piece of candy, like a wrapped up caramel. We bought huge jugs of milk at the store 2 doors down from our house, & popped the cardboard lid off of it. We used to always play in the back of the store in the old milk trucks. We made them into forts, & we were allowed to play in them. The store owners never said anything to us! I was so possessive of one of those milk trucks, I took it over & hung up curtains in it & had my pillows & blankets in it, with my books & when I saw this new girl in my truck who I did not know, I threw a stick at her & cracked her head open!! My mom had to rush her to the hospital for stitches, & then drive her home to her mom & explain what happened. She just kind of shrugged her shoulders, oh well kids will fight! I was hiding under my bed for hours after that! LOL! Oh the good old days!!

Elaine Alguire said...

Mmmm... Apple Jacks! :)

And replace the tasty kakes with oatmeal pies and we got a winner! ha!

Anonymous said...

Born in 68 but this was spot on to my midwestern childhood. We had a big old buick 225 with the shelf in the back that i rode in on trips. Stayed out until the streetlights came on. Every adult in my area was free to discipline me when i was caught doing something.

Tennille said...

Trust me when I tell you that you spelled Captain and Tennille (2 n's) wrong LOL

Rebby said...

Best blog post of the day on the whole interweb! Loved!

Anonymous said...

Feels like yesterday, been there done that, except smoking. I only did that when I was out with friends.

Anonymous said...

Sweet, brings back tons of memories. Back then kids were kids and parents had a fashion sense unlike today in the liberal nanny state we're living in. Back then things were sweeter. I'd trade computers, Facebook, ipods and tight jeans for a trip back to the 70's. There was class back then, even the TV shows were better. And what the hell happened to variety shows?

Christopher Cohen said...

I am a 70's kid...and I remember this like I was there inyour vision...Anyone who says it wasn't like this needs to take off those rose colored glasses...We as a society have failed the next gen and several beyond that by allowing kids to live on their devices. No real punishment for the things they do wrong...but back then...yeah! Has anyone seen tge movie Wall-e...thats what is happening right under our noses. As far as tge whole story...I could see it...it was right in front of me as I read. Great Job!!!

Christopher Cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzannah said...

This is one side of the 70s. My parents were the original co-op-shopping hippies with long hair and cut-off jeans. They used to garden naked.

No one would spend the night at our house because we were vegetarians and always ate dirt and grass for dinner. We had no sugar in the house; my dad used to make these awful carob-chip cookies with whole wheat flour and sunflower seeds that would last two weeks in our house.

Anonymous said...

Omg.. I was a child in the 70s, but you nailed it.. So funny.. Keep writing..

gold digger said...

Wait. Is it wrong to have an 11 year old babysit? Because that's how I got all my money when I was a kid. I charged 50 cents an hour but considered Cap'n Crunch from the family's kitchen as part of my compensation. My mom would never buy sugared cereals.

I was a good babysitter but a bad friend. I had a horrible babysitting job - 4 kids, 2 in diapers, all day, $10 - and never wanted to return, but I gave them my best friend's phone number when I was done.

What do you do when you show up and there are no clean diapers? http://diaryofagolddigger.blogspot.com/2010/08/in-which-i-get-taken-advantage-of-by.html

Jen said...

This was TOTALLY my childhood. We were out playing all day during the summer. Came home when the street lights came on, or unless we were bleeding. Dad worked, Mom was playing golf, and we survived.

Kids today are so spoiled..... :)

Stacey Gordon said...

www.freerangekids.com

Fighting the bubblewrap world kids are raised in now...

Susan said...

Fondue and Harvey Wallbangers...took me back! Thanks for such a great account of our lives back then.

Anonymous said...

BS

shalimarjg2003 said...

I remember we didn't have to come home till the street lights went on and if we didn't my mom would come with her station wagon with the woodgrain on the side screaming our names.... you know what time it is get home now... and we would high tail it home hopefully before she got there cause if not we got our butts beat!!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh....while I was 7 in 1976 I can appreciate everything written here. I babysat the neighbors when I was 11. Myparents smoked in the car. We drank tang and kool aid. Played outside ALL DAY LONG. My parents drank Harvey Wallbangers. My dad had a Harvy Wallbangers t shirt that my sisters and I fought over to sleep in. Go play was my moms favorite phrase. You did forget the mercronium or "burn burn" as my husbands family called it. Also, you forgot to spray the baby's (it, lol) sunburn with bactine. This was great!

Anonymous said...

What memories! I was a mom with 2 kids in the 70's. Avocado green! Everything in my kitchen was green. We had a sunken family room. My son would always fall over the step in his (70's)walker. It was OK because he fell onto the red shag carpet which cushioned his fall. Don't knock Tasty Kakes. I still keep them in my house for my grandchildren. If you want to go way back...., I would run home from school every day to watch Mickey Mouse Club. I still have my membership certificate!

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha! That was awesome (and unfortunately accurate)!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I'a child of the 70's my mother smoked and drank. I played outside all day long till twilight and dinner time. The "station wagon"was a red 67 Chevy truck with a sooped up engine that that my mom would sucker the local kids into drag racing with her, yes I was often sitting on the passenger side across from her with no seat belt, and yes she would win(good thing she wasn't racing for pink slips. Obviously I survived. Thankyou for the memories.

Anonymous said...

I was born in the late '70's and am kinda glad I missed it now...although I was told my mom smoked while pregnant with me as a 'low birth weight' sounded like a good deal to her!

Anonymous said...

Offf topic a little, but can you still find "Tang"?my mom ha a recipe for"Russian tea" that my


son wants me to make, for him

Anonymous said...

Um it's called fond memories, obviously you don't have any... do we really care, that you don't? Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Dirt and grass, lol too funny... What kind of grass? Sorry couldn't help myself

Anonymous said...

Good on you. But I'm a child of the 70s and this very closely describes my childhood. My mom was 19! What did she know? It's funny now.

Anonymous said...

If it isn't funny to you... then it doesn't apply to you...you had to be there...oh and they're called fond memories, before you called them "themes". Don't read them then.

Anonymous said...

Made Russian tea last Christmas. Tang is much more expensive now. But Russian tea brings back the memories.

Anonymous said...

Very funny and true. We had a room in avacado and one in gold.

Robin C said...

I have to take exception to this. Carol Burnett was on MONDAY nights, not the weekend :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks for this, it was hilarious! I was a kid in the 70s and saw the adults indulge in much of this, takes me back. . . ;)

Mark said...

Anon - "We had a sunken family room."

You must have forgotten, but it was called a "conversation pit" but as a kid, it seemed to me to be more like a weed smoking pit :-)

David Howard said...

if mothers were like this today our entire society might not be falling apart

PJOwen said...

One of nine kids here- sure brings back memories. Those were the days. Things that I can remember, no seatbelts and stuffing the car with all 11 of us (somewhat felt like a clown car). Racing and jumping on thin ice blocks across waist deep sloughs til we fell through and froze our ars- (we learned to bring extra clothing). Canoing and tubing down the river without floatation devices (I still don't really know how to swim), riding bareback untrained livestock, being horses, cattle and hogs just to see how far we can go before we fell off, or getting to drive a vehicle on the road at the age of 9, and routinely driving large farming equipment at the age of 11. Sometimes being forgotten behind, weather at the grocery store, church or in the vehicle under the bench (where we often slept. Yep,living in the Canadian prairies brought it's own twist to things. We lived our childhood outside. We learned to live with very little but our imagination and the nature that surrounded us. Weather it be by chance or luck, I am happy to say that we are still all alive today, and doing reasonably well at that!!

Anonymous said...

Where's the 70s Dad blog ? Too funny !

Anonymous said...

Haha this was our life..mu mama to a t..cig and all

Anonymous said...

I grew up in 60s-70s too so this brings back awesome memories! It's funny n some of it reflective of our neighborhood n I grew up in a pretty nice neighborhood, too. In the early 70s in the afternoons the neighbor ladies would come over, I would make high balls ( Seagrams VO and 7 up) for them and my mom before dinner. They would be talking about everything under the sun around the kitchen table while dinner was cooking n sometimes I did their makeup! It was a fun time! It was like a sisterhood! My cousins were always over, too and it was a wonderful time in our lives! We would ride in the back of the station wagon (no a/c) sitting on the rug w backseats flat n ask my mom to hit the brakes so we could go flying in the back of wagon!! Highlight of our car ride!! Everyone did smoke, too but back then the dangers were not well known! A lot of fond memories :-)

Anonymous said...

I actually think that our society would be better off! I am a mother of two small children and I wish that my kids have the same childhood as I did! BUT parents now are very overprotective and bizarre. Trust me they are! People were much happier in the 1970's - I don't think that there was a mentality of competition between parents and keeping up with the joneses! yes, we have come along way but you do have to ask yourself who is happier?

Anonymous said...

PS-another highlight was the Charlie Chips truck! Not sure if that was a South Jersey/Philly thing! My mom would order Charlie Chip tins of pretzels, potato chips n chocolate chip cookies and they would get delivered to the house plus we would drink gallons of instant iced tea and play marathon monopoly games in the neighborhood in the summer and go swimming at the creek!! Great memories and thanks for the blog and fond memories!!!

Carol Jordan said...

All the kids in the 70's watched Captain Kangaroo. When that was over, there were no other programs for kids! I can really identify with this

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the 80s and this still described my childhood perfectly, minus the disco. Great times! Kids dont even know how great we had it even if we did get are asses beat for everything!

Anonymous said...

This post had me crying! This is the childhood of my memories except we had seven kids and a beat-up, rusted out station wagon with no seat belts. My brothers and I would break thermometers to play with the mercury and mom would get pissed, spank us, and send us outside to play...with the mercury. My older brothers would launch bottle rockets out of a rust hole in the back of the station wagon when we were on the highway headed for vacation in the Ozarks.
Hilarious good times and nothing that would be "safe" or "acceptable" now. But damn, we had fun.

Anonymous said...

Oh man as a 45 y/o this blog makes me smile and cringe...we lived a very different life from what our kids know as the "new norm"...I wonder which is best..?

Elaine Alguire said...

I LOVED Captain Kangaroo! And instead of Tasty Kakes we had oatmeal pies. Man, those were so good! I was never much for fried bologna though. Can you tell I am all about the '70's food? ;)

Sober Julie said...

This is possibly the BEST blog I've read in ages, thank you so much for the tears running down my face, the pain in my stomach from laughing and the vindication I know my Mum will feel when reading this!

Stacey said...

This is so awesome!! You thought of so many things and perfectly described my childhood - there was a lot of cigarette smoking going on at my house! You didn't mention Johnny Carson. I remember wanting to come out and watch it so bad. My parents were laughing their heads off. :)

Sarah Rouse said...

this mother was much more attentive than mine.....lol. Mine was over at someone else's house. lol

Sarah Rouse said...

this mom was far more attentive than mine....mine was usually playing cards or visiting at someone else's house....lol

Marian said...

We lived close to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Tennessee, in a small town, and Mom & Dad would go to JD & get barrels. Then Dad would put water in them and have us kids roll on them all around the back yard for weeks. We'd have races & sometimes we'd just bang into each other to make the other one fall off.

We got to sleep in the car sometimes and after we'd all get to sleep, Dad would pull it back into the garage.

We rode our bikes all over town, and would stop at a store & buy Wink to drink. We had a friend with a horse that she let us feed the horse M&M's to.

HoundMom said...

Oh, I think those of you with "health nut" mothers are just jealous that the rest of us got to live a little. :) My mom was out selling tupperware, and we were running all over the place. The neighbors had cart blanche to discipline, though. Another friend just posted an awesome pic on Facebook from "way back," and coupled with this article, well, I'm feeling very nostalgic today. Thanks for an awesome read! The rest of you, check out the dictionary under "humor." Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Were you a part of the 1% ? I am 68 years old and that definitely shows the average American family with a whole bunch of satire thrown in. My children grew into wonderful human beings who have given me amazing grandchildren.

Get a grip and go buy yourself a sense of humor. Geesh!!

Mitey Miss said...

What?! No mention of Dr. Spock's book?!

Anonymous said...

I was born in '66. Some of it may be exaggerated but yeah, a lot of that is the way it was. We rode around in the back of the station wagon that had no seats and played statue. However you fell when the car stopped was how you had to stay until it stopped again and you fell somewhere else. I could ride my bike around the block but had to check in when I came past the window again. We all walked to school, across an empty lot, from first grade on.

Anonymous said...

Watch "Madmen" -- it's a little earlier, but it's amazing how strange it is for us to see how families were then -- and yet not so long ago. I get a kick out of seeing the TV with the horizontal line going up and down all the time -- it never really bothered us.

Hydrangea said...

And we're going to be the longest living generation. This is so funny. The era that brought in ecology, the Honda, Toyota Corona, Vega, Gremlin, and the Pacer. Don't forget polyester double knits. Beautiful!And don't forget high school Cultural Committees
learned from Billy Jack and the Black Panthers. The only term that didn't stick....Solid!

Anonymous said...

OMG Mark my father told us the same thing!!!!!!! We never listened of course that was just gross my brother on the othet hand never flushed anything he was all proud of his business and my father would go in and then the yelling started he'd be coming out thebathroom all red faced. Lmao

Anonymous said...

A hilarious read only slightly marred by the subsequent whining of tedious literalists and contrarians.

Michael Rowe said...

This is FANTASTIC.

Krystal said...

When I was a kid my mom didn't drive but her best friend did. We kids would beg her to jerk the wheel from side to side as she drove so we would all slide back and forth into each other while laughing hysterically! As she and mom were smoking in the front seats of course! Ahh...memories!

Anonymous said...

Summer was the best my cousin n I at 14 would take our 6 younger sibs to the lake all day with Pb n j sandwiches chips cookies N kool aid as long as we were back by 5...rode bikes without helmets had my first job at 11 in a greenhouse n was happy to make 50 cents n hour

Tait said...

For the record Sara I didn't find it amusing either.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the good ol days. Well, except for the food. But, then again, most people still make horrible food, even with all the potential access to information on cooking.

I mostly grew up in the 80s; back home at sundown, messing around the woods with knives, slingshots, bb guns and machetes. Riding bikes all day to strange and wondrous parts of town.

I remember one time I started to gain weight b/c I was being lazy. My parents said "You're getting fat, you don't want to be the fat kid" and that was all it took. They were right, I didn't want to be a fat kid, and I quickly lost what weight I had gained.

mypixieblog said...

Holy, hell... This is brilliant. Alexandra from Good Day Regular People sent me here and I'm so glad that she did. I was essentially looking at a day in my childhood (told from my mother's perspective). Awesome. I think this was my favorite: "...get the pliers and cut it out for him."

Gave us guts, I suppose :)

Kimberley Stallings said...

This was our (my sister andI) childhood to a T!

Reham A. Aarti said...

O will you all just stuff a sock in it? the fact that this woman had the balls to stand up to your "good ol' days" bull$h*t is fantastic...no, not all families neglected their kids while they lived in an alcoholic smoke haze, and that's a good thing! yes, they did the best they knew how, let's not all jump on the glorify stupid bandwagon please! the ya-ya craze was bad enough! I'm a little sick of the "we survived our childhood" crap myself, because frankly, I have permanent spinal damage from our lax safety in the 70's! and look around, this country is nutritionally corrupt, and alcoholism is everywhere, people still smoke despite the damage to themselves and others, and instead of letting this woman have her say, all of you jump her like she's promoting pedophilia! WTF? it's not that funny, it's sad, just like the tide of "my ignorance is as good as your intelligence" isn't funny, so leave her (and probably now me) alone about our opinions!

JoyJoy said...

Carol Burnett was on CBS on Saturday nights. MASH was on Monday nights.

The Cat Bin said...

I was a kid in the 70's. It makes your post so much more funnier. I'm in my late 40's now and I still don't like any decade more. I love everything about the 70's and early 80's. (sensor if you need to) My mom took me and my brother to see Saturday Night Fever. Afterwards, I was on the phone w/ a friend. She wanted me to ask my mom a question. So I did. "What's a blow j*b?" My brother couldn't stop laughing (he's 2 yrs older than me). My mom told me the truth and I told my friend. Ahh, the joy of youth.

Lauren L said...

This was truly hilarious. I was born in 1957 and I remember playing outside until way past dark: hide-n-seek, kick-the-can, midnight-midnight. We also played baseball in our backyard from little kids on up to the high school kids. The big boys had to hit the ball left handed. We had the green station wagon that Dad hated and eventually switched it to a 2nd hand white Chrysler with the cool push button. My siblings and I wore no seat belts and didn't need them. Five of us kids were crammed as tight as sardines and when we drove to our cabin, Dad always kept a switch. All he had to do was show it and we'd settle down. Mom worked and didn't smoke, but she and Dad liked going out on Friday nights for dinner and drinks. If mom called us using our first and middle names, we knew we were in trouble. Mom wore housedresses and had friends over for coffee. Dad smoked but after his heart attack, he quit cold turkey. It wasn't all great, however, this brought up some sweet memories.

Homeschool 20/20 ... is that the way it's suppose to be? Everything in hindsight? aaaaaaah said...

Oh my gosh! This is a riot! It was taking me back on a stroll through my childhood memories - mom drank coffee with sweet n low, gold, avocado and rust were what we were raised with (and I never want to see those colors again!) .. mom smoked, I stood next to her while we sped down the freeway at 70 or 80 MPH - stood! With my arm around her... I think I was 3 or 4! I'd leave after cartoons in the morning and came home by the time streetlights came on ... independence is right! I wish trafficking (child/girls) wasn't a problem in these parts (Georgia especially) ... I am not a fan of letting them out for too long - a lady got attacked by 2 pitbulls and I keep thinking, my kids - I mean, wth? Have times changed? I don't smoke and I'm a health nut - I am glad I have officially quit fast food! That's something we didn't do a lot of (McDonalds was a friday night treat - to watch with Brady Bunch - hahahahahaha) .... I love reading the memories of everyone - you all, we are from a special time! LOL ... and we rode everywhere in the back of the El Camino... I LOVED that car!

Julie Johnson said...

Great writing. I was ready for the anniversary night, beginning with...Martini and Rossi on the rocks---say yeeeeessssssssss.

Julie Johnson said...

Excellent capture of the times. I was waiting in excited anticipation for a description of the anniversary night, beginning with sateen, and---Martini and Rossi on the rocks, say yes.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for the mention of Ovaltine. I guess that was a grandma thing.

Anonymous said...

Born in '75 and this pretty much describes my childhood and upbringing....except my mom was single and a serious party girl. I had my first drink from her when I was 11! And seat belts? What seat belts? I actually fell out of two cars when I was a kid.

crayonsontheceiling said...

But what are we '10s moms doing NOW that will be neglect/abuse/white trashery by the time we're grandparents? Do parenting trends run in cycles just like fashion? Only time will tell...

seattlesherryann said...

Very funny and a very refreshing change from today's Pinterest-Mom-Bloggers with the photogenic families & houses.

Pinkyracer said...

SO TRUE!!! You could've been writing as my mom. No wonder I hated her smoking so much. I swore I'd never smoke, and used to flush her cigarettes down the toilet and such. Picked up the habit at the ripe old age of 13 because my best friend did it. This is awesome!!!

Rachel S said...

That was absolutely fabulous! My mom would send my brothers and me out to play and we wouldn't come back for several hours. We would ride our bikes into the nearby filbert orchard and bring along a machete so we could make a fort in the blackberry bushes. We would come back all scratched up and our clothes stained with blackberry juice. And no, we didn't wear helmets. Those were the days!

Rebecca Burney said...

This was my childhood minus the smoking and we didn't get to drink Tang, although mom drank Tab. Instead we made instant iced tea sweetened with saccharine tablets! When my sister and I would come in from a bike crash (without helmets, of course) mom would slather our wounds in the pink Merthiolate.

Rebecca Burney said...

This was my childhood minus the smoking and we didn't get to drink Tang, although mom drank Tab. Instead we made instant iced tea sweetened with saccharine tablets! When my sister and I would come in from a bike crash (without helmets, of course) mom would slather our wounds in the pink Merthiolate.

Kimberly Knight said...

This is GREAT! I was one of the kids raised in the 70s and I totally could see all of this! Some of the comments indicate that some of y'all seriously need to jiggle the knobs on you humor receptors.

Disneypal said...

Oh my gosh - this is hilarious!!

Jenny said...

So funny...loved this !

Vivienne said...

Haaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Why wasn't I a 70's mom? It sounds like so much more fun!

A Pleasant House said...

Sounds like my house- right now.

Anonymous said...

Awesome!! Spent my childhood with most of those products and remember (most of) them fondly. Rode my bike and my skates and whatever else had wheels without a helmet and would never put on my seatbelt unless we were driving on the Belt Parkway (get it? Time to put your belt on now...). I even rode in the cubbyhole of the convertible when the top was up because I am the youngest and that was what my older siblings said I had to do. Spent afternoons at whoever's house was offered that day as long as I called mom to tell her. As long as I was home for dinner -- and that meant before 6pm because dad walked in at 6 on the dot every single day -- all was good. It didn't matter how much TV we watched. There was nothing to watch anyway except game shows, soap operas and cartoons. We spent our summers in the woods upstate NY and again, as long as we were all at the dinner table at the specified hour, life was good, it didn't matter what we did in those woods all day. No one knew because no one was Instagramming it. :-) And has anyone noticed that homework/studying/reading is not mentioned in this article?

kelwos said...

Simply awesome.

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