Millennials got a bad rap as whiny little kids getting participation trophies. But now the kids who grew up at the turn of the century are adults — and many of them are moms.
These days, Gen Xers who give birth are considered geriatric moms, while more than 1 millennials give birth each year. They grew up with cell phones and computers, and they are raising their kids in the new technology era. Millennials are 31 percent of the adult population and 34 percent of the U.S. workforce — plenty of them are millionaires who are starting businesses and creating technologies. But many older people still dig at the entire generation as being entitled and different.
Well, part of that is true — they are different. Millennial moms take their jobs very seriously, and they are working hard to raise great kids. About a third are going the traditional route and staying home and another third are the major breadwinners in the family, with the remaining third somewhere in the middle. They are finding their own way of researching the best products, and they care a lot about eating organic foods and offering their kids gender neutral toys. There are definitely things that millennial moms are doing better than the previous generation. But there are some other statistics that show the unique struggles of being a millennial mom.
Here are 15 stats about millennial moms that will make you feel like garbage
15 Identity Issues
This statistic can be spun a number of ways. Overall, most people would say that it's good that six out of 10 millennials say that being a parent is extremely important to their overall identity, but it isn't also the best perception. In fact, the number is higher than Gen X parents, of whom 58 percent percent, and Baby Boomers, who were just over 40 percent.
The bad news found in that statistic is that being a parent can overwhelm other parts of a person's identity. You can be a good mom or dad without making your entire life about it, and that is something that older parents tend to understand a bit more. It's definitely a big part of a person's life, but so is a career and a marriage and hobbies and interests. The people who place such a high importance on being a parent can also tend to be the ones that become helicopter parents and that judge others that don't share their own opinions.
It's good to see that millennials care, but parenting shouldn't be their entire identity.
14 Parental Pride
In the same vein, the 2015 Pew Research Center survey showed that millennials have a high regard for their parenting, and we think a bit of that might just be posturing. More than half of millennial parents (52 percent) said they are doing a very good job as a parent, while about 43 percent of Gen X parents and 41 percent of Baby Boomer parents had the same opinion. Moms had the highest regard for themselves at 57 percent for millennials, while only 43 percent of millennial dads were that confident.
Millennials are known for being a little egotistical, so it isn't that much of a surprise that they are feeling themselves as parents. But that is where the judging is coming in. Being overconfident as a parent can set someone up for making big mistakes, and they aren't likely to ask for help when they really need it.
Parents should work to do a good job, but we believe that millennials flounder just as much as the rest of us when it comes to getting through parenthood. And they need to admit it.
13 Social Media Sh*t
OK, this one is likely to make everyone cringe when they realize just how much time is wasted each week. According to KRC Research on Millennial moms, the young parents average being on at least 3.4 social media sites. That's on average, but we think that might be low since it seems like all millennials are on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, not to mention the smaller groups.
The surprising part is that on average, the millennial moms spend 17.4 hours per week on social media. That's nearly half a work week, ladies. The average mom spends about four hours less per week, but probably still entirely too much.
And the danger about spending so much time on social media is the tendency to compare other families, which makes some women feel more superior and gives others a complex that they aren't doing good enough. The #momfails make all of us feel bad, so back away and spend more time with your baby.
12 Single Moms
The days of sending an unmarried pregnant woman to "visit" a sick aunt are long gone, and that's a good thing. But many of you may be surprised by the sheer number of unmarried millennials who are having babies.
According to the 2015 State of Modern Motherhood, 61 percent of millennial moms weren't married when they had their baby. The good news is that for about 62 percent of millennial moms the dad is part of the picture and playing a role. But that leaves about a third of young moms who are on their own at a very scary, vulnerable point in their lives.
We hope that those millennial moms can find support through family and friends because raising a child by yourself can be very difficult, although thousands of parents of previous generations have proven to all of us that it is possible to raise great kids on your own.
It's tough to be a good mom. It takes energy and patience and a lot of hard work. Everyone knows that the first few months are full of sleepless nights. But many don't realize that the tiredness will actually go on for years. And millennials may be feeling the pain even more than most as they tackle career and family and give themselves even higher expectations than they should.
According to the State of Modern Motherhood study, eight out of 10 millennial moms who have children ages 6 or younger said that parenting is exhausting. It's a stat that reveals the real truth to how we are all feeling, and it goes beyond sleep. The role of parent is a 24/7 job, and that can be difficult no matter how young you are. Millennial moms may found out the hard way that they are working a little too hard to be the perfect mom and that doesn't do anyone any good.
Parenting isn't just a way of life for millennial moms; it's also a competition. According to one survey 64 percent admit that parenting is more competitive these days. On top of that, three out of four moms say that it's important to try to be the perfect mom.
They defined the perfect mom as organized, educated, fit, a good cook and focused on family but still able to hold down a good job. That's a lot of pressure, and when you are on social media all the time to see the images of other moms doing it — because let's face it, most people only put the good stuff up on social media — it can be hard to see it as anything but a competition.
This explains the exhaustion stat, right? But it also points out that millennial moms work hard to get things right. There are good sides to competition, but there really is no perfect mom pageant (or at least you aren't competing for it). So calm down and do the best you can.
Raising a kid is expensive. That's been a reality for generations, but these days things can cost even more. According to a Baby Center stat, millennial moms spend on average about $13,000 per year on their child.
Part of that comes from the booming baby supply industry, where there are plenty of products that are cool but not necessarily very useful. Add on to that the millennial desire to buy organic food and all-natural products and the numbers can go up. The diapers alone can be hell on a millennial mom, and even if she is breastfeeding, a mom still needs pumping supplies if she is working or planning a night out with her partner or friends.
In a competition, sometimes people can feel like they are succeeding if they are spending a lot, but it's OK to skip the next silly baby gadget — they are just going to play with the box anyway.
Because of that amount of spending, marketing professionals have done a lot of research on millennial moms, and that is where a lot of our stats have come from.
One stat that is interesting is that 90 percent of millennial moms write about their purchases on social media and 74 percent ask for recommendations before making purchases. That can be for anything from the best crib to the pros and cons of diaper brands. It can make for a boring Twitter feed for those who aren't parents, but it shows that millennials are really connected to each other even when they don't seem so.
In the past, moms would research products via books and magazines, and they may ask a more select group of friends for advice, but technology makes it easier to get more perspectives. Like "fake news" though, it can be hard to tell if it is accurate. Millennial moms should definitely use word-of-mouth for help, but that shouldn't be the only way they research.
7 Screen Time
Smart phones aren't just in the hands of millennial moms all the time. They are also in the hands of their kids — in fact, they are even in the hands of their babies.
According to a Common Sense Media study, 38 percent of children under the age of 2 have used a mobile device. This stat is about four years old, so we are sure it has gone up. While Gen X moms were very concerned about screen time, and research has shown that it can cause some behavior issues, millennial moms grew up with technology, and they don't worry about it so much.
There are definitely some benefits to smart phones, such as staying connected to grandparents through FaceTime or learning about numbers and letters through educational apps. But there are dangers too. Smart phones can be addictive to adults, and even worse for kids. Some millennial moms may want to rethink their screen time rules for kids.
6 Bringing Home The Bacon
Women have become a larger part of the workforce each decade since World War II, and we do think it's admirable that millennial moms are no different. But it may surprise some to say that only 30 percent work full-time. A larger group — 33 percent — are actually bringing home the majority of the family income.
Women have received the majority of bachelor degrees awarded for a few decades, and recently they also became the recipient of the most doctorates as well. And women are making gains in the boardrooms. It's hard to balance career aspirations and family goals, and that is true across generation lines. We give major props to the ladies who are bringing home the bacon, but we know that makes them worry that they aren't doing their best for their children. Millennial moms may feel like sh*t when they are in the middle of the struggle, but in the end they are doing the best thing for their family.
For many women of the millennial generation who have been hearing all of their lives about the amazing things that women can accomplish, it may be surprising how many decide to stay home with their babies. About 35 percent of millennial moms characterize themselves as homemakers, and another third are only working part-time.
We've already mentioned the pressure to be perfect, and so many women give it all they can and put aside their career ambitions for the first few years of their baby's life. They may return to the workforce in the future, but for now, their family is their top priority.
It may make some feminists feel like sh*t, but just because some women have a more traditional plan in mind for their family doesn't mean that they are hurting the women's movement. In fact, the ability to have the choice about how to take care of their family is something that should be celebrated.
4 Unique Identities
What's in a name? According to a millennial mom, a lot. According to a Time survey, millennial moms put a big importance into names, and they believe it is important for a child's name to be unique. In fact, 60 percent of the millennial moms surveyed said it is important. That compares to 44 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of Baby Boomers.
This desire for unique names is what landed us with names like Zenith and Zepellin for celebrity babies — although we have to admit that North West's parents are actually Gen Xers.
For parents who are worried about their kids' resume in a couple of decades, this priority on uniqueness may make them feel like sh*t, but we all need to remember that a name doesn't make an identity and that past stereotypes are likely to be gone among a stack of resumes from Ransoms, Apples, Blues and Archers.
3 Poverty Problem
One of the most depressing statistics we came across shows that while millennial parents are working hard, they aren't in great financial shape. In fact, one in five millennial parents is living in poverty. That's about 20 percent.
While the truth is that many more are college educated than in previous generations, the economy has meant that many of those people are working in low-paying jobs. They may be still paying off their own student loans instead of saving for their children's college funds. And that can make it hard for the next generation to be successful.
With the high amount of money it takes to raise a child, the life of a millennial parent is very hard financially. Struggling with the bills is a fact of life, and we all feel like sh*t when we have to do without the things that our children want. The poverty problem for millennial parents is definitely a harsh situation (or does that sound too Gen X for you?).
2 Fun Parenting
What type of mom would you describe as the best parent? Some might say compassionate or strict or smart. But we aren't sure that very many Baby Boomer moms would ever even think about calling themselves "fun" parents and think that their kids are going to turn out OK.
But according to a Baby Center study, 88 percent of millennial moms would describe their parenting style as "fun." Don't get us wrong; we love the fun uncles and aunts. But is that the best way to parent?
Many millennial moms may resent their memories of their mother telling them that they are their mother and not their best friend, but kids already have a best friend, and they certainly need a good mother. We appreciate having fun activities and it can help to build a good bond between mother and child, but sometimes kids need more than fun, and we hope that millennial moms figure that out.
1 Activity Issues
For a couple dozen years, kids have reached an all new level of busy Between the science club and the music lessons and the soccer practices, they tend to fill up their college application but leave out the fun part of childhood. It's been a concern for many years, but millennials aren't feeling the pressure.
While more than half of Baby boomer moms and Gen Xers feel that their friends' kids are involved in too many activities — it's easier to judge others than admit it yourselves, after all — just 36 percent of millennial parents feel the same. We don't think it's because kids have slowed down. Instead, we think it's because they were the kids who were over-extended a couple of decades ago, and they figure that if they could handle it, their kid can.
There are definite benefits to cutting down the activities. It gives kids a chance to be kids and to explore their world and their thoughts in new and interesting ways. We hope the millennials pick up on that soon, so that their kids can be less stressed and have more fun.
Source: Pew Research Center, YPulse, Baby Center, Time