I am a Millennial mom.
As with any stereotype or generalization, there are always exceptions. Not everyone considered a Millennial will fit into all or even one of these categories.
Millennial’s get a lot of crap. We tend to be entitled. Complicated. Outlandish in our thinking. Extremely over productive or extremely under productive, there doesn’t seem to be much in between. We are tech savvy and “connected.” We have a need for instant gratification and recognition. We place work-life balance and family time at the top of our priority list.
We are different in so many ways from the generations before us. I believe we get a lot of crap over it simply because we are different. We are a version of old-school values blended with new-age ideas. We recognize the importance of what was done generations before us, but we put our creative (or entitled, depending on who’s reading this) twist on the concepts.
The role of Millennial mom is complex. Expectations are high for us! We are expected to have a career, fulfill household duties, get the kids to school and practice and doctor’s appointments and everywhere else in the world, and still have three meals on the table… preferably gluten free. I still have no idea what gluten even is.
Being a Millennial mom… takes practice! It’s a constant state of learning.
So, what advantages come with being a Millennial mom? With all that mess going on, there has to be an advantage… right?
1. We are moms first.
Jobs are important. Today, most households require two incomes just to survive. Still, Millennial moms recognize being a mom as their number one priority. The time we have with our children is precious, and it isn’t something we can get back once it is gone. When our children are sick, we are there. We make Valentine’s for school and send goodies for parties. We show up, regardless of the consequences. Maybe this makes us a liability to the workforce, but when you look in our hearts, we don’t care. Being mommy comes first.
2. Screen time isn’t that big of a deal.
Of course, we don’t want our children watching tv and playing on their tablets all day and night. We grew up playing outside and only coming inside when it started getting dark and mom said it was dinner time. Today, most 2-year-olds can navigate a tablet well. We are a tech savvy generation. It just doesn’t bother us as much that our children are beginning to understand it at such an early age. We still play soccer and t-ball. We still go to the park and play outside in the backyard. If they want to play on a kid friendly tablet in their down time… go for it!
3. We are pretty smart if I say so myself…
…Or at least educated. Millennial moms value education. The percentage of moms continuing their education has grown dramatically. According to aei.org, women earned the majority of doctoral degrees in 2017. This is a statistic they have won for the previous 9 years as well. Whether it is an Associate’s, B.S., M.S., or PhD, moms are on the move! This is something I can personally attest to. I completed my M.S. in December 2018 and start my PhD in April 2019! (And I guess that’s my official announcement!)
4. We consider how to parent.
As a millennial mom, we recognize there are different ways to parent. Different approaches work for different families, personalities, and children. Children, like all other humans, are so different from one another. We recognize that what works for one might not work for the other. There are so many ways to parent… free-range parenting, metric parenting, attachment parenting, and even the not so loved concept of helicopter parenting, which I confess… I am totally that person. At least I was for the first three years of the boy’s lives. It added stress on me… but it worked for us! Which is what being a Millennial mom is all about!
5. We go above and beyond.
We definitely know how to stress ourselves out. When our kid needs a Valentine’s box for school, we can’t just wrap up a shoe box with fun paper and put a hole in the top. We have to Pinterest the most fun ideas, buy the 100 supplies you probably won’t use for another year, and spend two hours creating a masterpiece. This goes for everything. It might stress us out, but we thoroughly enjoy it. Seeing our kiddos faces when they get to take ownership of the finished product makes it all worth it.
6. We expect dad to help.
It’s completely unrealistic to assume that a mom can work, go to school, do everything for the kids, and do all household tasks. Sure, there are times we have to, and during those times we excel. We get it all done. But long term… we would spontaneously combust. I get help in my house! Although I don’t say it all the time or even enough, I appreciate it! I appreciate you, Dad. Our kids are currently at two different schools because of their ages. Jeremiah helps me by taking one of them to school every morning. That alone saves me 10-15 minutes. Although he may not enjoy it, Jeremiah surprises me by washing dishes, washing and drying clothes, cleaning the house, and cleaning and organizing the boy’s room (which is a freaking task in itself). To be honest, over the past several months, Jeremiah has done way more than he should have to in our home. I’m back on my game now. I am super thankful to have a husband that will pick up my slack.
7. Being healthy matters.
Millennial moms understand the need to be healthy. Sure, we have our failing moments. However, incorporating fresh fruits and veggies, non-processed meat, and less sugar is a top priority for us. Eating healthy is soooo expensive. Still, there are ways to make it work. We eat a lot of eggs in this house! We have mastered eggs all different ways and in so many dishes! Blueberries and strawberries are also a favorite snack. Our kids also eat chicken, fish (even salmon and love it!), and steak on a weekly basis. Millennial moms (and parents in general) are also big on exercise in some form or another. Yoga and CrossFit seem to be the most advertised. Others walk, jog, lift weights, Zumba, spin, or participate in group exercise like Boot Camp. I go to the gym three times a week. I would like to do more, but I do what I can. My kids see me doing this. They understand it’s something I make time for. Sometimes they do it with me! Understanding that exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle is something I want my boys to understand. Being a living example is the best way to show your kids something you value.
The Millennial generation gets a lot of backlash for their different ways of doing things. Being a Millennial mom is something I am proud of. As you can see, I have a lot of reasons to hold my head high as a Millennial mom. I continue learning every day. Sometimes I must learn the hard way. The really hard way. After I pick myself up, wipe away the tears and dirt, I take what I learn and run with it.
My main goal: be better than I was yesterday.