There’s no denying that Millennials (or Gen Y) are changing the face of everything. If it’s not the avocado on sourdough toast for breakfast that we’re renown for then it’s the fact that we live through our phones, and in a way that every piece of food we eat gets photographed, because it certainly didn’t happen else, huh? But with all joking aside, millennials are undeniably a new species that is completely changing the face of parenting.
We’re parents that have grown up in the world of social media and technology, an era of uncertainty and international conflicts – and we’re constantly or often comparing ourselves to other parents. Because we can with the insurmountable amount of scrolling we can rack up in an evening. Maternity leave? Pfft, try being a working and stay at home mum at the same time.
Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000, and this is represented by 1/4 of the UK population, 16.8 million! Transitioning into the generation of baby boomers, here’s five reasons why we’re changing the face of parenting for good!
1. Ditching The Parenting Books
Our parents were of the generation where they had to find the information they needed from books, their parents or just hoping for the best. As the first fully digital generation, we have the benefit of being able to get the information we need at the click of a button, a scroll of Instagram or by sliding into someones DM’s. As a generation we can become fully equipped with the knowledge we need, as and when required.
We don’t realise the amount of information that we absorb on a daily basis through social media. Even if you’re not a parent or even thinking about kids just yet, we’re better educated with the content that we stumble across each day without even knowing it.
Whilst the amount of information can be incredibly helpful, it can be overwhelming and can lead to low self worth as it can make you feel like you’re not doing ‘parenting’ right. Being a millennial can be a constant juggling act of comparison and trying to get on with your life when social media is such a huge aspect of our lives. So the jury still stands that whilst it’s great when you need it, you can’t beat finding things out by trying them and asking your parents and friends for advice.
2. Embracing Change
Following norms aren’t as important to millennials, getting married before having children is not a deal breaker, neither is same sex parenting.
More parents are purchasing gender neutral products and clothing for baby, and allowing their children to dictate what they like and want to be in life.
Millennials have the understanding that not everyone is the same, and that’s okay. This is why this generation is the most accepting to change and that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and do parenting. You just do you.
3. Living A Life Online
We live our lives online and we know it. Found out you’re pregnant? Pick the best Pinterest pregnancy reveal and recreate it. New job? Twitter knows it first. Got engaged? Pose for 100 x pics and let Instagram know before your parents.
Every little life event and occasion makes its way to social media, it’s like the rite of passage. Millennial parents are sharing more pictures of their children and parenting journey online than they ever have before. In fact, some parents have accounts just for their children – their children become insta famous before they even know it. The New York Times mentioned in their article on millennial parents that they are even giving children personal hashtags and youtube channels.
But as we mentioned before, if you didn’t snap it and upload it to the gram, did it even happen?
4.They’re Waiting Longer
Changes are happening, long gone are the days that most parents were married off by 20 and had finished having children by 25.
Millennials are waiting longer, they have different aspirations for life. They’re choosing careers over the thought of settling down, and being a single, independent lady or man into your late twenties is becoming the norm.
Whilst it’s still an uphill battle, women are becoming more respected and breaking those glass ceilings, long gone is the mentality that we have to be stay at home wives and that women should be seen, and not heard.
According to data from the ONS, in 1980, 22.7 was the average age for having children compared to 28.6 in 2015 – the statistics speak for themselves!
5. Working Mum
More millennials are carving out their own career for themselves, with the rise in influencers, blogging and remote working, being able to create your own career whilst still being able to look after your child is actually a possibility these days.
Whilst it’s an absolutely amazing thing, you’re still having to look after your child and attend to them at the same time which is undeniably exhausting. But millennials are the hardest working of all, the generation that are constantly rushing and ‘busy’.
They make it work because it’s more than just a dream, and hey, it’s pretty amazing that so many inspiring women in this world can do BOTH, be a girl boss and a super mum all at the same time. Hats off to you.