Sometimes moms think they have everything figured out. That's especially true of the confident millennial generation. Millennials have a lot more information about how they should parent, but that doesn't mean that they do it all right.
For example, today society knows that a lot of tactics parents would use in the past to get their kids to behave were actually a lot less effective than positive reinforcement. At the same time, women are facing even more challenges with things like work-life balance. And social media has put even more pressure on moms today in more ways than one — including on women who have always wanted to contribute the best cake to the potluck but now have Pinterest expectations to deal with.
Being a mom is super difficult — it has been for generations, and we are certain that it will be for generations to come. But if we can figure out some of these things, like how to care for each other and ourselves, our children will be better off. And the generations after us will be more prepared and more successful.
Here are 20 things millennial moms still haven't figured out yet.
20 Healthy Habits For The Entire Family
When a woman becomes a mom, she works hard to make sure that her baby eats healthy foods and stays clean and healthy. But while concentrating on the child and all of the other pressures of life, their own healthy habits can fall to the wayside. That includes eating the rest of their child's french fries off of their plate and giving their kids vitamins but skipping their own.
One of the worst parts is being able to find the time to exercise. Some moms make time for walks when their baby can tag long in the stroller, but it's harder to make it to the gym. In those first few months, some moms can't seem to squeeze in a shower. It's important for moms to model healthy habits to their kids, so we hope that they can figure out how to keep everyone's health a priority.
19 Getting Mom And Dad Time In
When you become a parent, your relationship with your spouse seems to change overnight. When you are both doing your best to find sleep any time that you can, it can be hard to get some time for mom and dad in there too. We're not just talking about in the bedroom, although that can be a big issue for some couples. It's also about having some time to devote to each other.
Date nights are important, even if you can't hire a babysitter. Maybe it means taking time to Netflix and chill together, but the key is to stay awake and stay engaged. Unfortunately, not making it a priority can be the detriment to a relationship. It's an age old problem, but we hope that millennials can get it figured out.
18 Work-Life Balancing Act
Women have been making their way in the workplace for a few generations now, but they still haven't figured out how to balance their life at home and their life at work. It's hard to admit, but many women have found that it's hard to have it all — you have to sacrifice time at the office to be there for baseball games and sick days, and sometimes you have to miss a program at school because of a big meeting or presentation at work.
Many women put off children because they want to establish their careers first, and others might choose to stay at home because family is a higher priority. The thing is that the balance is different for each woman, and it's difficult no matter what. This is something we'll all be struggling with individually for a long time. But that doesn't mean that we cant find our own version of success in both.
17 Discipline That Actually helps
This one has been so true of parents and kids over the past few generations that it's almost become a joke — that the parents have to screw up the kids somehow, and it's usually through discipline. Things have changed a lot with discipline in recent years, but nobody is sure that millennials have it right either.
Research has proven that the more strict corporal punishment of past generation does more harm than good for children as they age. But some think that millennials have gone to an extreme and don't discipline their children enough. Figuring out the right way is a lifelong journey, and the fact that different kids respond to different methods means that there isn't one tried and true way. It's tough, and we still don't have it figured out.
16 Kids Shouldn't Have To Compete
Moms have thought that their child is the smartest and most handsome and talented for centuries. But even though these days many moms recognize the need to support their child for their own gifts and ability, these days, they still have this innate issue with somehow making everything a competition that kids shouldn't have to participate in.
From the baseball field to the honor roll listing and even baby milestones, women tend to talk up their child and force them to try to do better than their peers. It leaves some kids feeling like failures and others so driven that it's unhealthy and they leave their true passions behind. Social media has made this situation even worse, so we don't seeing it getting solved any time soon.
15 Living In The Moment
Speaking of social media, it's caused a problem where millennial moms struggle even more to live in the moment. They not only think about the future — which has been a problem for moms for decades — but they also think about documenting it for Facebook or Instagram. It's hard to just play and enjoy your kids without vlogging for some.
Moms also have the same concern about their child practicing piano or soccer so they can get the scholarship, keeping their grades up so they get into a good college and have a great future. It's a struggle as a parent to know when to push and when to live in the moment, and millennials haven't figured it out yet.
14 Blaming Themselves For Loss
One thing that has been plaguing women for decades is the possibility of losing the baby. It's a really sad reality for up to a third or even half of all pregnancies. It might seem like there are more in recent decades, but that is because of modern pregnancy tests that give confirmation to early pregnancy before a heartbeat is detected. In the end though, women have known that they lost their pregnancy for generations, and they still tend to blame themselves, even though it's very rarely caused by anything they did.
In the past few decades, researchers have found that there are a lot of reasons for the pregnancy ending, and most of them involve chromosomal issues, failure to implant or other biological problems. There is nothing that a woman can do to avoid the sad situation, but many women wonder if they could have caused it. It's hard to accept the fact that this sometimes happens, but we wish moms would not take the blame on themselves.
13 Nothing wrong With The Baby Blues
Another biological issue that millennials are much more aware of than moms of the past is postpartum depression. Research has provided a lot of information on the cause of the feelings of hopelessness that can cause a new mom great distress, yet many women are still ashamed to admit that the are struggling in a time that they expect should be the happiest of their lives.
The truth is that there is no shame in having the baby blues or the more severe form of postpartum depression It's an issue with hormones. And moms should ask for help, since medication and therapy can make a big difference. Plus, without it, there could be a danger to the mother or the baby.
12 Financial Constraints Of Parenthood
This one might be a bigger problem for the millennial generation than it has been for past ones, since there are so many more trappings that parents think that they have to have these days and plenty of credit to overspend with. Having a baby has always been expensive, but there was less shame in making your own clothes and using hand-me-downs from neighbours and friends before. These days, new moms and dads think their little one needs the best that money can buy, even if they can't afford it.
We hope that millennials can figure out how to live within their means, since overspending for the baby's first few years might endanger their college fund later on. There are consignment shops that can allow moms to find slightly used baby supplies and clothes, if they can't afford the store brands.
11 Supporting All Moms' Journeys
It might seem new, but judgy moms have been around for generations. They judged about different things — baby boomer moms used to judge those who breastfed instead of using formula because it was considered a wealth thing. But it seems like an age-old issue that moms can feel better about themselves by putting down others.
These days, women are so keen on banning bullying in school, but they might bully themselves when it comes to seeing a woman breastfeed in public or even see some bottle-feeders. Some hate on the stroller while others judge baby wearers. And the stay at home versus go back to work debate is as alive and well now as it was 30 years ago, when women were much more likely to be able to afford to stay home. Maybe we can lean to support all moms' journeys by the next generation.
10 Sharing The Good And Bad Of Mom Life
Moms tend to like to paint a rosy picture of their family. We get it — their baby is pretty perfect in their eyes, even when they are frustrated by tantrums and worried about academic performance or other issues. But for generations moms have tended to brag on the positive and not mention the negative at all.
This is something that moms of past generations never figured out, and with social media, it's just becoming more common. Moms tend to post the smiley side of family life, but they gloss over the bad days, the fits in the middle of the store and the times when they aren't sure that they are doing a good job as a parent. It happens to everybody, but no one wants to be a downer on their Insta feed. Every once in a while a really honest post comes up, and it makes us think that maybe millennial moms will start to figure it out soon.
9 New Math And Other Homework Struggles
There's a reason that "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" was a huge hit when it came out a decade or so ago — because most of us aren't. Kids these days may be learning more than we did in school, and they are also learning different techniques. That change in curriculum has dumbfounded parents of earlier generations, and millennials still haven't figured out how to help their kids with their homework.
Many of us used to know how to do that stuff, but unless you are a scientist, you don't hang onto all that knowledge, and for most history seems to slip out of their head a couple dozen years after the test. Sometimes moms get ashamed and don't help, but instead it's better to learn the material together — or get a tutor.
8 Sticking With The Rules
Discipline is hard for any parent to figure out, as we've mentioned before. But one of the hardest parts is sticking with the rules — that's been a problem with parents for generations. It's hard for kids to figure out when it's OK to do something — it's difficult enough to know when something is never allowed. But setting the rules and sticking to them can help that over time.
The worst is when mom only enforces the rules when she is in the mood. And if you threaten to ground a child but then still let them go to the bouncy house location the next day, it's not setting the message that the rules mean a lot in the family. It's hard because you might have to miss an occasion that you have been looking forward to yourself, but it's important to teach your kids that actions have consequences.
7 Letting Kids Make Their Own Choices
Many parents have a hard time separating themselves from their own wishes for their child and what the child wants for themselves. A lot of parents want to live vicariously through the achievements of their children, but it can just make everyone miserable in the long run.
For example, some families have generations of lawyers or cops or teachers, but if the youngster wants to be an artist he faces a lot of pressure to put aside his passion in favor of the family tradition. Parents need to be willing to let their children take their own risks and make their own decisions. Sometimes it might be a mistake, but it's even more worse if they never get to try.
6 Maintaining Friendships Outside Of The Family
When a woman becomes a mom, it's understandable that her family becomes an even bigger priority. She likely will have to skip a few girl nights while she is breastfeeding or if her baby is sick. But unfortunately it can go too far for many women, and they end up losing their friends because they don't put in the time with them any more.
A mom isn't a one-dimensional person. She can find more satisfaction with her life if she has friendships, so it's important to do all that you can to keep it on the priority list. It's happened to women for generations at the baby stage, but hopefully they can make new friends when they get to the baseball field. It's good for the entire family.
5 The Pinterest Mom Pressure
OK, this title is definitely a new thing for millennial moms, but the truth is that generations of women have felt the pressure to make beautiful birthday cakes or festive pot luck additions. Back in the day, it was all about the jello mold or the handmade Halloween costume, but it was the same principal — you had to make sure that your food, decorating or costume was interesting looking and could amaze the crowd with your skills.
Instead of making things better, we think that Pinterest has made this mom trend worse. Women have a lot of ideas and instructions, but if you don't have the time or the knack for crafts, they are set up for failure. There is a lot of pressure, even today.
4 How To Ask For Help
This is an issue that has been a problem for generations of Americans, and Europeans, but it's not always an issue in other cultures. The saying that "it takes a village to raise a child" is so true, but unfortunately here women have had issues with asking for hep. They think that they need to do everything themselves, but that isn't good for the child or the mother.
We've seen a lot more good samaritans go viral for helping out moms by holding their baby on the plane or at the doctor's office or wherever there is a need, but that is almost always because a stranger was nice enough to offer help. Women don't like to admit that they need a hand, but those posts show us that people are all too willing to help — we just need to learn how to ask for it.
3 Dealing With The Grandparents
One thing about generations is that the one ahead of us always seems to think that they did it better. So that means that women of every generation have had to deal with grandparents who have their own set of out-dated ideas and the gumption to act like they have every right to do it their way instead of as the parents wish.
It's hard to figure out the secret, since people want to respect their elders, but they definitely know better these days. We know it's a bad idea to put a touch of whisky on the baby's pacifier, and grandparents just don't get how to fasten a baby properly in a car seat — they didn't have to do that back in their day. You have to be strong and make sure that things are done the way that you want — although you can probably expect the grandparents to give your kids some extra sweets and treats.
2 Living With Mom Guilt
Being a parent is an amazing responsibility. From the moment that a tiny little living being is placed on his mother's chest, she feels the overpowering feeling that she is responsible for keeping the baby alive and thriving. And that sense continues through the first steps and the first day of kindergarten and beyond. But fulfilling a child's every need is impossible. No matter what choice a mom makes, there are drawbacks, and with those come guilt.
We imagine even the cave women experienced mom guilt when they couldn't ensure the safety and happiness of their children. Millennial moms are no different. They have even more moments — the ones when they say something they don't mean because their child has gotten on their last nerve, the times when they can't be there for a ball game or a spelling bee or a field trip or the moments when they can't stand the crying and they feel bad for wanting a night out on their own. Even though it's healthy to go out and see friends and forgivable to let a four-letter word slip, moms have to deal with their guilt, and that can be a very hard truth for every generation. You can't be a perfect mom, but all women strive to be.
1 Being Content With Your Family And Life
This is another problem that has gotten worse lately. While moms have always wanted the best for their family, we think that past generations have had a better handle on being content with their circumstances. They may want more, but they can find happiness in what God has given them.
These days, though millennials are finding it harder than ever to be satisfied. Part of that is because we have always been told that we can make things happen — whether it be fertility treatments to have another baby (which isn't as easy as it sounds) or getting a house that looks like it's from a magazine, even if you have to DIY it. Another part is social media, which has us comparing with others around us and wanting to keep up with reality stars like the Kardashians. These things are blessings and curses, since all too often moms end up unhappy. We need to learn to be content with our lives, and the entire family will be happier for it.