By Taryn Dryfhout
What are Millennial Mums?
There’s a bit of debate regarding what constitutes a ‘millennial’, but most people agree that it refers to people who were born between the mid-80s and late-90s. This includes anyone who grew up in the 90s, and first decade of the new millennium (if you remember Y2K then you’re a millennial). Of course, the women born in this era are now at the ‘baby-making’ age, thus the term ‘millennial mums’ was born.
The distinction to make here is that millennial mums were born on the cusp of technological advancement. Our childhoods were spent playing in the street, spinning chatter rings, and making calls on party lines. Children born after this time don’t remember a time before Angry Birds existed, or before they could call anyone, at any time on their mobile. Millennials discovered modern technology as it was developing. We are the generation that was raised without technology, but lucky enough to use it as adults.
What’s Different About Millennial Mums?
Statistics show that over 20 per cent of mothers are millennial mums, making us over one fifth of the mothers currently parenting, and our parenting styles, are markedly different from the generation before.
Millennial mums know how it’s done. We are the most diverse, educated, and creative generation of mothers to grace the earth. Not only are we smashing it at university, we are juggling work, relationships, and creating a warm, loving, relaxed environment for our children. In short, we are making history.
Here’s just some of the things that make millennial mums, the shit:
• We have the smarts
Millennial mums are smart. Statistics indicate that millennials in general are much more educated than the previous generations, making us the most educated generation of women yet. Many millennial mums have earned degrees before having their children, while many of us push through while we are parenting. Research also shows that women are now outranking men in higher education, indicating that we are packing the brain power, and we aren’t afraid to use it.
• We want to share the load
Millennial mums have no interest in playing housewife. While we do want to be mothers and wives in a house that is tidy, with home-cooked meals, we want to share that load with our partner. Millennial mums consider parenting a two-way street, partly because we also like to work, and partly because we are reacting to the generation we were raised in, where our mothers were expected to be Stepford Wives.
• We utilise technology
Being the first generation with internet access, millennial mums have adopted technology and are running with it. We are highly connected and rely heavily on our smart phones and laptops to do everything including ordering our groceries, planning our kids’ birthday parties, managing our finances, finding recipes for dinner, and getting parenting advice. Mothers who want to juggle things even turn to technology to work – creating online businesses, blogs, or freelancing from home.
• We Juggle
Juggling is the hallmark of millennial mums. Fifty years ago, the path to domesticated life was mapped out for women: school, love, marriage, children. Millennial mums are shifting what it means to be a mum. Millennial mums have no interest in being kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. We study, we work, we parent – we want to have it all, and we make it happen. We work hard to achieve our goals and pursue our other interests. We love being mums, but we also love being us.
The Wonder Women of our time
Millennial mothers account for a large portion of current, and up and coming, mothers so we have a big impact on our generation, and the next. Millennial mums are not only radically changing what it means to be a mother in the 21st century, but are also raising a new generation of children who will be the products of our new parenting style. We are the Wonder Women of our time, but remember – with great power, comes great responsibility.