If you were born somewhere between 1980 and 1990 AND you have children, you are a millennial mum.
And while mums of previous generations are often eager to tut tut many of your choices when it comes to parenting (like technology use…social media) – the truth is, you are not only doing a great job, but you are also changing the parenting fabric of society as you go. You are innovators.
Millennial mums are all about setting the balance right. You see baby boomers were typically not very “hands on” when it comes to parenting, leading the next generation of parents to overcompensate by micro managing and being “helicopter” parents. Millennial mums on the other hand are hands on, but also recognise the importance of helping their children develop a healthy independence. One way they do this by not ignoring their own needs, which sometimes means “darling has to wait until mummy is ready”. Until millennial mums, being a “good mum” was synonymous with being “self-less”, and ALWAYS putting the kids first. Not anymore.
Millennial mums consider their needs. Some call this selfish – others call it basic self-care. However, this makes them rather healthy role models to their little ones, by demonstrating a healthy self-esteem. In their tech savvy world, millennial mums also have a voice, and this voice matters. Whether it be online via social media or in real life social groups, millennial mums are generally not afraid to give their opinion – something they pass on to their children: YOU matter, and what you say is important and should be heard.
And while mums of past generations stumbled through nappy changes, sleep routines, feeding and play time, often feeling alone and isolated – Millennial mums make it fun by creating online support groups and sharing ideas/inspiration/stories with mums all over the globe. AND they save time where they can, replacing the mundane every day bore with fun and excitement.
So what are some useful tips for these innovators?
1. Learn to filter advice.
It’s often well meaning, but sometimes outdated. Don’t take things personally when a friend or family member advises that you need to do things differently. What works for them may not work for you!
2. Get the balance right.
It’s important to have fun with your little ones, even playing dress ups and posting on social media. BUT, down time away from technology is important too. Children need to learn to value ALL of their strengths, not just their cute looks.
3. Learn to say no.
Millennial mums are often good at saying “no” to others, just not so much to their children! Remember just because your little munchkin throws a tantrum and says she hates you – doesn’t mean she will feel the same way in 5 minutes time! Children need healthy boundaries to prepare them for life.
4. Don’t compare yourself to others!
Easier said than done, but always remember that social media IS the highlight reel. People only post what they want you to see! Try to resist the urge to compare your life and your children to what you see online.
We ALL have bad days, we just don’t like to post about it!
Leanne Hall is a clinical psychologist and spokesperson for BabyLove Nappies.