Millennial Moms. Those two words bring up lots of contradictions for Moms, whether or not they are Millennial, Gen Y or Gen X Moms. The reason? Each generation of women has had their own way of doing things, and has had to deal with the rest of society’s perception on how well or not they are doing it. Moms need to be able to listen to their gut on much of their parenting, but sometimes there are things Moms do that work and some things they quickly realize do not work. It’s important that they stick to their guns when it comes to parenting. They should be able to trust their instincts, and remember that every child is as individual as is every Mom.
Women from all generations are given advice from their Moms, friends and other so-called experts in society on how to parent. Some of this advice are priceless bits of wisdom. Other advice not so much. As a Mom gains her confidence and ability to mother, she will learn what advice is good to follow and what advice is best left rejected. Some advice may just not match her and her family’s lifestyle, but some of the advice could be downright dangerous for her and her baby.
It could be going against what her own beliefs are about herself, her child, and her family life. It could be going against what she feels is right to do. In this case, many Millennial Moms are being strong and learning to use the word 'no'. On that note, here are 15 pieces of parenting advice Millennial Moms are NOT following (and neither should you):
15 It's About Being Selfless
So many Moms of every generation have heard this. It has been drummed into their heads that to be a good Mom, they need to sacrifice things they like doing for their kids. This generation of Moms is the first one that is not standing for this injustice to Moms and to their families. All of us Moms of every generation are now learning how important self-care really is. Moms who don’t take care of themselves physically, mentally and spiritually will become drained and depressed. They may even become resentful of their children, due to never taking time to replenish themselves. A woman that takes time to do what makes her feel good will have energy to give to her children and have fun doing it. She will also still know that a part of her will always love the same things, kids or not.
14 Reducing Screen Time
This generation of Moms is not super worried about kids’ screen time like past generations and they have good reason to be. They were born into technology and got used to using it from a young age. Millennials have become one of the most educated generations ever. They have also see the benefits of technology and how it can be harnessed to make life easier for themselves and their children and to learn things in a new way. Millennial Moms are happy to give their kids screen time, not watching mindless TV shows but playing educational games and watching educational television that builds their brains. They see the advantage of baby being occupied while on long car rides, in shopping centers and restaurants. They see its advantages in the right time and place used in moderation.
13 Technology Is Bad For The Soul
As with baby’s personal screen time, Millennial Moms also believe that family screen time is good for everyone. They don’t see each person on their laptop or IPad as the downfall to human interaction as other generations have sometimes worried. They see it as a natural evolution of our technology laden world and are going with it. After all, the earlier a child learns to connect to others online the more social avenues they will have open to them. They will learn about the world online. Millennial Moms themselves do everything from shopping online, to connecting online and to researching what to buy, and chat about child rearing - all online. They are very trusting in this way of connecting and it has been a lifesaver to Moms who do not live near family, and form a community in this way.
12 White Picket Fences
Unlike other generations who married and moved to the suburbs to raise their families, Millennial Moms are against the suburban sprawl. It’s not that they judge other generations for wanting that. It is only that it does not work for them and their families’ needs. Millennials like the convenience of living closer to where they work. Some of them would rather use public transit as it is cheaper and better for the environment. Others do not want a long commute home and prize time with their family’s over where they live, even if it is city living. They don’t mind that and love the feeling of walking to things nearby and are close to all the things they love; favorite stores, restaurants and museums. They can expose their children to these favorite things from a young age without the long commute.
11 All About The Money
Other generations of women who have not always loved their jobs consoled themselves that they were bringing in another income to help the family. Millennial Moms are making sure that work for them is about more than money as they see their overall personal and family happiness being directly affected by their work life. This means that sometimes they will take less money to have more flexibility in their scheduling, particularly Moms with younger children. Or they will look for something that is closer to home. They will also tend to look for a work culture that prizes work/life balance. After all, they are about balance and building their work around their life, not their life around their work schedule. They want a job that they love, that makes a difference and that is flexible around their family. More and more companies are realizing this and making workplaces more accessible.
10 It's Time To Have Kids
We can all hear our Moms from generations ago saying, “Don’t have kids until you are ready. Make sure to do everything you need to before having them.” Today’s Mom does not believe in that. She feels that though there is no magic age at which you are ready, a woman can sense when she personally feels is the best time. And having kids does not mean that the rest of her life is put on hold. There is simply some restructuring to do with baby in the mix. Millennial Moms make good Moms because once they become a Mom they focus wholeheartedly on it, go with their own parenting gut, find the philosophy that works for them through online groups or in person and they forgive themselves if they get it wrong.
9 It's Mom's Job
Another thing that Millennial Moms realize is that, whether they are stay-at-home Moms, work-from-home or work outside the home Moms, their partners need to be involved in one hundred percent of all childcare and household responsibilities. They want to share all the responsibility of child and home care as that is what they feel a true partnership is. This generation of men are quite good at doing their fifty-fifty share in both domains, and many decisions are made jointly as well. Even if Mom is deciding many things on the home front, there are discussions before purchases. She goes online to do her research and will talk and share hers and her family’s experiences about what using a product or service is like. Advertisers are taking this very seriously and pay lots of attention now to reaching Millennial Moms and their families. They have a big say in the market as well.
8 Being A Good Mom Means...
Millennial Moms are also more flexible in how they view motherhood. Other generations looked to how their mother raised children or did the exact opposite in raising their own children. Millennials believe with all the parenting philosophies out there, that there is no one right way to raise a child. There is attachment parenting, free-range parenting, baby wise parenting, slow parenting and helicopter parenting. Whichever system a Mom chooses to use, it is based on what works for her, her child and her family. She does not judge other Moms who may use a different system. After all, life is more complex and what works for one family and child will not work for another. She also knows that she can get support for her point of views and chat with like-minded Moms online in the myriad of support groups. There they can both encourage each other in their philosophy.
7 A Mom Is Just A Mom
This generation of Moms also define themselves differently than previous generations of Moms. Once they become a Mom their identity truly changes. They become a woman who is a mother first regardless of what their cultural background and economic status is. That is, they affiliate themselves with the Mom label above all the other labels. They don’t even call themselves a Millennial. They define themselves as a Mom and let the rest of the world say that they are Millennials. Because they consider themselves a Mom first, they align themselves with other Moms regardless of the generation. If that Mom practices the same kind of parenting philosophy as the Millennial Mom, she does not make any distinction if the other Mom is not a Millennial. In this way, she is open to receiving all sorts of advice.
6 Eat Whatever You Want
This generation of Moms are picky eaters and are very conscious of where food is coming from and what they are feeding their children. They do not like junk food, and even if they allow it, it is a small portion. They are making healthier choices for families, and fast food restaurants are doing their best to make healthier choices available on their menus to try and get Millennial families in their restaurants. It is about what is environmentally sound for the world as well. They will like the idea of home baking, or look for bakeries and restaurants that make and sell healthier versions of products. Other generations of Moms had a more laissez-faire attitude about eating junk food, though rarely do Moms go overboard in this area of course.
5 That's An Unusual Name
Millennial Moms are also the generation that have named their children more unique and different sounding names than any previous generation. After all, a child is unique and must have a name that sounds appropriate for them. Whereas in the past, women have named children after family members or common names to be found in society as per their traditional background; Millennial Moms are into unusual sounding names often times. They don’t bat an eye if other generations scowl at their choice of name, whether it is a more common boy or girl name, or a more common last name. It is the name they want and that is what they are going with. They try to be unique and usually stay away from the more common names like Mary, Jennifer and Matthew. That streak of independence is healthy to see.
4 Be A Mom Boss
Contrary to other generations of women who tried to have it all, but did not know that they can look to strong women in their family or society (or maybe did not have a lot of role models), this generation of women see the strong female role models in society who are mothers and bosses and balancing it all. They believe that balance is what you define it as, but celebrity Moms like Jessica Alba and Sarah Michelle Gellar are showcasing a new brand of Mom and Boss that can do both in a balance where neither personal life nor work life suffers. Millennial Moms will also talk more openly to female family members and friends about Mom balance and are very realistic about what they need to do to make this the right choice for them.
3 That's Not How Grandma Used To Swaddle
Other generations of Moms were shown one way to swaddle a baby. Millennial Moms know there are as many ways to swaddle a baby as there are babies. And the way to swaddle a baby depends on what makes Mom comfortable as well as what works for baby. There are the traditional ways of swaddling, or there are baby wearing devices. Millennials will explore all the different methods, speak to friends, read online and chat in online groups and make the decision that is best for them and their baby. They do their research seriously and don’t take decisions lightly. If the system does not work for them or their family, they will try another one. They will also be reading up on different ways of doing things before they have their baby. They are ready to experiment and see what works for them and their family.
2 Feed The Baby This Way
Millennial Moms also believe that there is more than one right way to feed baby, whether that is breastfeeding or bottle feeding. They will choose the method that works best for them and baby, though research is showing a stronger tendency now for women to breastfeed due to the medical community being on board once more with encouraging it. At older ages, Millennial Moms are also introducing solids and feeding baby according to what other Moms are doing, but also throwing in a little bit of their own instinct for what works. They will check in with Mom friends, medical professionals, and see what they feel is the right way to go. They are more relaxed in this area, compared to other generations who worried if they were “getting it right”.
1 Baby Safety 101
Millennial Moms are also one of the most “fun” generations of Moms. They are truly enjoying playing with their babies, engaging them with stimulating play, and connecting to their children by letting their own playful child come out. They also take baby’s security very seriously. They demand quality safety from their baby products, like car seat, crib, stroller as well as baby furniture and other baby equipment. There is not one product, one toy, one way of playing with baby that is correct for every baby and every family. They are open to trying new things and open to the right product, the right toy, and the right way of doing things for their child. Each family has their own budget and lifestyle, and Millennial Moms know with research and through asking questions that it will lead them to make the right decision for their baby and family.