In the Middle

12 Reasons 70’s Moms Were Outta Sight!

My mother is fabulous.  She’s smart, funny, and even in her 70’s, still one of the coolest women I know. I hope that my kids think I’m as cool as she is one day. But she does have a distinct advantage.  She got to be a mother in a much more carefree time  -unencumbered by pesky worries about things like GMOs or UV rays or seat belts. It must have been a great time to be a mom. I know it was a great time to be a kid. Here are 12 reason my mom, and other 70’s moms, were awesome…

  • She encouraged us to be Free to Be You and Me.  It’s alright to cry.  Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Mommys are people. Everyone hates house work.  Don’t dress your horse in galoshes.  These were important life lessons

Best. Album. Ever.

If your mom didn’t happen to buy you a copy of Free to Be You and Me when you were little, I encourage you to listen to a few of the songs online. To say that this album’s messages about equality and gender stereotypes were a bit heavy handed is putting in it mildly. But with performances by stars like Alan Alda, Mel Brooks, Carol Channing, and Michael Jackson, it’s hard not to like it.  Besides it’s just so 1970’s.

  • She smoked. Of course we know now that smoking isn’t cool.  But at the time not only did it look cool, but our moms’ smoking inspired us to make some funky ash trays in art class.
  • She bought us candy cigarettes.  So we could “smoke” too.
Image source: Lola's Sugar Rush  https://lolassugarrush.com/shop/candy-cigarettes/
Image source: Lola’s Sugar Rush https://lolassugarrush.com/shop/candy-cigarettes/
  • She quit smoking.  Kudos, Mom. And I thought it was a bitch to give up Diet Coke.
  • She wore turquoise rings that  tapped in perfect time against the plastic steering wheel of her station wagon – while she sang along  to I Am Woman by Helen Reddy on her 8 track tape player.
wikipedia.org
wikipedia.org
  • She played bridge.  In the afternoon whilst smoking and drinking strawberry daiquiris.
  • She embroidered denim shirts for the entire family.  And our cousins.  And the babysitter.  And her bridge club.

70's Shirt back      1970's shirt front

That’s right!  This masterpiece is still hanging in my closet. A butterfly, a dragonfly, a partridge, a heart, and a field of flowers all on ONE shirt.  Be jealous.

  • She taught us The Hustle.  I remember learning this at Vacation Bible school – right after Kool Aide and Little Debbies but before we made a God’s Eye out of yarn and popsicle sticks.
  • She took us to see Grease.  Of course she was horrified when she realized it was about teenage s-e-x, but we had no idea – not even after listening to the album 47,000 times.
image source:  Amazon
image source: Amazon
  • She could bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan! 
  • She took belly dancing lessons.  And tolle painting lessons.  And calligraphy lessons. And Parent Effectiveness Training. Of course we may or may not  have been left in the care of an 85 year old woman who fed us butter and sugar sandwiches for lunch, but we survived.
  • She read Erma Bombeck. Whose writings are just as applicable and funny today as they were 35 years ago.

Of course my mom was cool in the 80’s too – with her Jane Fonda workout tape and her Julia Sugarbaker shoulder pads, running around with her Color Me Beautiful Swatches in her purse.  I wonder what things about me will stand out for my kids someday. The way I wear yoga pants all the time? My spinach brownies? This blog? Hmmmmm?  Maybe I should learn to embroider.

If you had a 70’s Mamma who you thought was cool, comment, share, or like. I’d love the hear from you. 

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Disclaimer (because my mother will read this): My mom actually quit smoking shortly after she had me, but my grandparents sill smoked, so I got to make ash trays for them. Also, her bridge club met in the evenings, not the afternoons. Afternoons were for taking us to the pool where our unprotected skin soaked in hours of UV rays.  But she never let us go in swimming for at least an hour after eating.

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10 thoughts on “12 Reasons 70’s Moms Were Outta Sight!

  1. OK. I SOOO Love This!! My mom was that 70s mom! She embroidered the shirts. She took belly dancing lessons. She smoked while we had the candy cigarettes. She bought me the Grease album, that I too, listened to 47,000+ times. The only difference – she played Rook instead of Bridge. Up until that point, I was convinced we were sisters. 😉 Man, does this bring back fun, care-free memories!

    1. Thanks, Kim. I really do hope my kids will look back one day as see me as that cool. Maybe nostalgia makes us magnify “the good old days,” but I do think it was a fun time.

  2. too true and I lol when I read the one about Grease. I even got to go to the Broadway version. It wasn’t until I re-watched it a an adult that I was horrified that as a 7 yo I had all of those songs memorized

    1. Me too, Tara. It makes me feel a little better about some of the inappropriate content that inevitably slips by me. Hopefully me kids are as clueless as I was.

  3. This is a wonderful article, Laura! I, too, had one of those 70’s moms and she is stiil “the best”. We’ve been so blessed! I loved reading this wonderful tribute to your mom.

  4. That is hilarious!!! So I didn’t have a 70’s mom, but I did have the pleasure of an 80’s mom. Julia Sugarbaker shoulder pads….I’m dying!!!! And Color Me Beautiful swatches, oh yes? It is during one of those sessions that I learned that everyone looks good in turquoise. Still true. 😉

    1. I was a little girl in the 70’s and a teenager in the 80’s, so I had both. I just realized the other day that my daughters have no idea what I’m talking about when I say, “That’s not your color.” Or “You need to be wearing a tomato red not a blue red.” You are so right. When I doubt where turquoise.

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