I Am A Millennial Mom!
By Eliza Fox
Ahhh, Millennials… The mother of all generations, as they say. Did you know that the Millennial generation also makes up the majority of new moms? Makes sense, considering many are coming of age or already at it. I’m a Millennial mom. At this point, my children are a bit older and no longer babies, so I’m definitely not a new mom. However, I have days where I feel like I just stepped out of the hospital with a new baby in my arms and a deer in the headlights look on my face because I’d never done it before.
Truth be told, no mother is perfect. (Sorry, June Cleaver) Millennial moms are certainly not the exception, either. Sure, there are a few who may claim to be perfect, but doesn’t every generation have that? I do wonder something, though… Why does it seem like Millennial moms get more flack from the generations of old? And really, why are we the ones in the generation who get judged for one petty thing or another by those in our own generation, who don’t even have kids?! Sure, this all might sound ludicrous to you, but to us Millennial moms, we spend as much time defending ourselves and our decisions as we do raising our kids it seems like! Now, we know we aren’t perfect, but I’ll be damned if someone who does not have kids is going to judge ANYTHING I do when it comes to my kids. Furthermore, since when do the older generations get to judge us for that? There are some questionable things they did with their children that we would never consider doing, at the same time, the generations of old are the ones we go to for advice, guidance, and support. Why? Because they know, they have “been there, done that” and hell, they already went through the “if I knew then what I know now” moments with their multiple children. Sure, we don’t always take their advice because lets face it, it may not be suitable for our children or life, and sometimes we take their advice whole heartedly and follow it to a “T”…and yes, there are even times we look at the advice given and think, “well, if I just change this and tweak that, it will be perfect”.
Generations past, you are being heard, I promise. It’s just that things aren’t the same way they used to be. Millennial moms are more “connected” if you will. We are more likely to ask for advice from other moms, grandma’s, doctors, etc. Many of us are more educated with degrees, many more of us have careers other than being a “stay at home” mom. Studies show this generation is way more health conscious, less of us smoke cigarettes or indulge in harmful things. We love our lives and we love our children and we want them to have the best they can have, just like you wanted for us. The difference is that you raised us to be this way without making most of us work for it. Rich or poor, many of you groomed my generation into thinking the world does or should revolve around them… to believe that they should get to have what they want, when they want it, even if they don’t deserve it. You created the monster so why are you still blaming us? You gave us everything we asked for most of the time, many of you hovered, and then there were some of you let us find ourselves. I was lucky enough to have someone who let me be wild when I felt I had to be and let me make mistakes. She let me find myself. That’s how I learned many lessons. To this day, I go to her for advice. Why wouldn’t I? She has raised her kids and even a few of her grandkids. They all have turned out just fine so far. She gave all she could but taught us the value of hard work and earning what you get. We had chores and a curfew when she felt we needed to be reigned back in but yet we had freedom to do what we did to figure ourselves out. It was better to find ourselves through mistakes as teenagers while we still had a safety net, rather than get out into the world, on our own, and screw it all up. That could have led to some pretty narrow and dangerous paths.
Look, many of us take plenty of advice from the ones who are closest to us. Those we trust to not lead us in the wrong direction with raising our children but that doesn’t mean we will always take your advice. Don’t be mad at us if we don’t. We know that many things seem like common sense when you think about them but when we didn’t have children, we didn’t actually think about those things. Rather then think we are stupid or doing something wrong, think back to when you were a new mom and remember how many times you were just unsure, or how many times you rushed to the doctor for no reason, and how many times you rolled your eyes when your mom/aunt/grandma told you what to do with your children. It’s not just us and you know it. Improvements can always be made, there is no doubt about that but us millennial moms got this. I know there are some who need a major overhaul but most of us got it figured out most of the way. We have you, the generations of old, to thank for that. You raised us. For all the things you gave in to, bought that we didn’t need, or let go when we should have been punished, all of us girls were brought up with other values that moms didn’t instill in their boys unless daddy wasn’t there to do it for you. You brought up strong, independent, hard working, stubborn, and headstrong women who will fight to the end for their child, work themselves to the bone for their child, and will come home at the end of the day to cook, clean, snuggle, and love their child. We are exactly what you wanted us to be. A little bit of you, a little bit of your parents, and a little bit of ourselves. We have found our way and those who are just getting their mommy papers, they will come to you when they need guidance because that’s what you raised us to do.
I am a Millennial mom. I am proud of who I am and who I became the day my children came into this world.