I recently came across an article about Millennial Moms (yea, I guess that’s what their actually calling us). I was surprised by how they painted us as parents, but at the same time, I couldn’t deny what they were saying. I was guilty of most of it. I didn’t think it was a bad thing, though, as they made it out to be. Being a Millennial Mom is so different from being a mom 20 years ago and it comes with its own set of challenges. We are unique, and I think our children are benefiting from that.
I decided to come up with my own list of how being a Millennial Mom is different based on personal experience. I would love to hear the thoughts of other Millennials!
Everything is an Instagram post.
Your kid has to be camera ready at all times and you better not pass up a good photo op or else no one will know what a cool, fun, artsy Mom you are.
The flip side of this is we compare our babies to all the perfect, genius babies on Instagram and we compare ourselves to the cool, fun, artsy moms taking their pictures. Guilty!
Google is not always our friend.
We can Google our baby’s symptoms and find all these absolutely horrible possibilities when in reality he’s just teething. Our moms didn’t have the Internet to fuel their fears of SIDS and other tragedies.
Life is busier.
There are far less stay at home moms. Your kids are expected to do twice as many extra curricular activities and if heaven forbid your mind wanders for a second and you forget their favorite kind of cake…you’re the worst mother on the planet!
Missed a basketball game because you had to work? How dare you!
The world is more dangerous.
Our moms could send us outside to play for hours. In today’s world, if your kid is gone for hours it’s most likely they’ve been kidnapped, not playing in the neighborhood with their friends. So Millennial moms have to come up with more creative ways to entertain their kids all day. (And it better be Pinterest worthy).
If you do want your child to interact with other kids outside of school, you have to set up a play date. Which, let’s be real (unless the other mom is just as cool as you are) is an awkward hour for you.
We have so much more to teach our kids.
In this day in age, we have to teaching our kids so much more than the basic “be a decent human being.” We have to teach them acceptance, social media etiquette and safety, how to handle bullying, and everything that comes with this crazy world we live in.
We are judged so much more harshly.
Social media allows for keyboard warriors to express all kinds of judgements on your parenting. Granted, we take that risk putting ourselves out on social media, but still, it can be pretty harsh. There are so many ways to parent now (co-sleep/sleep train, breastfeed/formula feed, etc.). And there are plenty of people (or dirty looks) to tell you your choice is the wrong one.
On the flip side of that, however, I have met a lot of Millennial Moms that are SUPER supportive and friendly. So, this one is hard to generalize. I think our moms were probably judged too, maybe just not as openly. Social media provides a platform for everyone to speak their opinions.
A few things the article mentioned that I found interesting and true are 1. Millennial Moms tend to be older first time moms – I think this is because more of us are waiting to have children. We are enjoying our 20s traveling, being with friends, getting our career set, etc. and then we are deciding we are ready for kids. 2. We do not want to “be a mom” all the time – this is one of the ones I thought they put a negative spin on but it’s not necessarily wrong. If you think about it, it was rare that moms in older generations had actual lives of their own outside of their children. Today we very much understand that #yolo. So we do our best to enjoy our lives as much as possible. This means we have hobbies outside of our children, we take time to care for ourselves (#selfcare), and we are a little more selfish. Sounds bad when I say it like that huh? But my personal opinion is we teach through example. I want my kid to take care of himself, even be a little bit selfish at times. Hopefully, if he sees that his mom was able to do so, he will follow my lead.
Unfortunately, we won’t really know how the parenting of Millennial Moms affects kids for about another 20 years when our kids are grown up and we can see how they turn out. Obviously, we hope it benefits them. Either way, all we can do is our best with what we have. And that’s exactly what our moms did.