It’s Happening: When Millennials ParentNovember 16, 2015
By Natalie Marquez, Senior Project Manager
Recently I read an article about how Millennials are changing the parenting landscape. While I don’t personally identify with the term, I am societally grouped as one, albeit on the higher end of the age spectrum. As a parent and a Millennial, I found this article particularly interesting. So while the insights aren’t all that surprising – Millennials take to social media to share countless photos of their kids from jump street (sonogram photos, week-by-week bump shots (you look great, girl!) – it did make me stop and think about the way I’m doing things with my two kiddies.
Our Social Personas
Anyone who has a social media account – likely all of you reading this – knows that what is shared is typically through a rose-colored lens. And to no one’s fault. We all want to present our best selves, and parents especially want to show off just how cute, smart, creative (do I dare go on?) our children are. Listen, I am 100 percent guilty of doing this. I am ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t posted certain photos of my kids because the cuteness factor just wasn’t high enough for social. Yes. I know. I am a terrible person.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Our shareable brag books – aka social media networks – have only heightened the “keeping up with the Joneses” complex. While I think I’m pretty grounded when it comes to comparing my child to others, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t learn another kid was in swim class and immediately experience anxiety wondering if I stunted my daughter’s development by not enrolling her earlier. (Peepshow readers, you’ll be happy to know my little guppy is now at the top of her class. Her class of five. Five two-year-olds.)
There are so many – so, so many – ways to get parental advice these days. Books are a thing of the past; instead, parents – me included – are Googling “colicky baby” at 3 a.m. with the hopes of finding the holy grail. Facebook feeds – does this age me?! – are filled with articles on how to raise your children, which only fill parents with even more anxiety. Am I raising my daughter with enough confidence? Should I not call her “cute” for fear she’ll only be focused on looks? Really, am I not supposed to do that?
While I can’t identify with everything the article discussed, I can certainly relate to a great deal of it (and/or know someone for who the statement(s) rings true). That all said, the article only reinforces the fact that everyone, and every situation, is unique. You have to do what is best for you (or for your family, dogs, plants, what-have-you). Whether that’s choosing to ignore the noise and unsolicited advice of those around you or polling your future baby’s name, stand by that action and let your freak flag fly high.