I’m sure we’ve all heard, “When I was your age, I had to walk to school uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow!” I often think about what I’ll say one day. “When I was your age, I graduated college into a recession.” “When I was your age, toilet paper was sold out everywhere!” “When I was your age, there was a whole year where I only got to see my friends through a computer screen.” Where are you, fellow millennial moms? We have a lot of material to work with.
Millennials make up a chunk of the U.S. population and 1 in 5 moms are millennials. Millennial moms are those born between 1981-1996. It me, are you? As millennials, we have lived through 9/11, economic crises, mass shootings, reignited civil unrest, terrorism, cybercrimes, a pandemic…the list goes on. And we’re only in our 30s! We’ve seen some things and experienced hard times.
Millennial families are not one-size-fits all. Many millennial moms are part of a blended family, mixed family, or family of non-traditional gender roles. Due to COVID, stay-at-home millennial moms have never felt as isolated as they did last year. Working millennial moms have been faced with demands of wearing multiple hats. Way to bring home the bacon AND fry it up. Regardless of if you’re at home or in the office (sometimes the two are interchangeable), millennial moms push themselves to the max, overworked and/or underpaid. We feel the burn out. We want to do it all and think we’re “selfish” when we can’t. We are often the empty cup trying to shake out every last drop. Enter, self care. We are big on this, and for good reason.
As millennial moms, we know playdates are just as much for us as they are for our kids. It’s social hour time for mamas. Even if we aren’t meeting friends in-person, we are networked and connected. According to Weber Shandwick research, the average millennial mom has 3.4 social media accounts and maintains about 17 hours a week social networking. This makes sense; we are the generation that grew up with the internet and have been shaped by technology. Everyone has a cell phone now. Gone are the days of old-school Nokias, as we welcome iPhone 12s and 5G. But don’t call us; we’re awkward on the phone and prefer to text. This may be why we’d rather consult a parenting blog than call the pediatrician with questions.
Since we are practically numb to catastrophe because of everything we’ve already lived through, I’d say we are one tough and resilient generation. Despite the burden of financial hardships that many of us have felt, or continue to feel, we somehow manage to remain optimistic about our financial future. We are also confident in our mom-ing skills, despite having to wing it sometimes. This means we unapologetically parent our own way, even if that looks different than how our own moms raised us. Maybe this is why we get a bad rap sometimes.
We’ve been called narcissistic, lazy, and entitled. But we’re unbothered. Those people don’t realize just how ambitious we are. Excuse us for raising emotionally-intelligent and socially-conscious kids with a strong sense of self. Don’t be mad that we’re doing it while twinning with our kid(s), preparing organic snacks, and listening to a politically-enlightening podcast.
I challenge the negative judgments against us. I don’t think we’re narcissistic, but self-aware. We are always looking to better ourselves and our children. In fact, I’d argue we’re one of the most caring generations. Millennial moms are racially and ethnically diverse, so we care about being inclusive in our circles. We also care about social, economical, and political issues. That’s why so many of us are busy raising tiny activists, and proud of it. If we were lazy and self-centered, why would 70% of our generation regularly participate in volunteerism? Time and money are things we aren’t afraid to give and donate toward helping others in need. We are the generation that wants to be heard. We are go-getters who are redefining equality in the home and workplace. We are doing all the things.
I embrace the label of “millennial mom.” One day, I’ll say, “When I was your age, I truly made a difference…and you can, too.” That’s what I want to show my kids, and you better believe I will.