"My daughter and I do 'mommy-daughter days,' and my favorite one was a stroll around the mall where we discovered a crêpe shop. We shared a strawberry crêpe with whipped cream and powdered sugar on top and talked about the time Daddy and I went to Paris and how she might go someday, where she'd like to travel to, why she likes her friends, her favorite things about her school and more. I wouldn't give up quality time for more money, and I will use money — in this case something like $8 — to buy more experiences like that."
3. Being a parennial means being self aware.
"I don’t know anyone else’s reality, but I make an attempt to know mine — my parenting styles are primarily a synthesis of learning from my parents’ mistakes and welcoming some ancient/modern ideas and techniques put forth by Dr. Harvey Karp in his "Happiest _____ on the Block" books," says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. "My wife and I knew we wanted to present our kids with as much freedom as possible, without being outright negligeant or quasi-negligeant. We knew we wanted to provide them with unstructured free play time, ideally outside, on a regular basis. We knew we wanted to pretend there was a tooth fairy, but not lie to them about things that matter. Parenting is a process of trial and error, and you learn things as you go along, regardless of how many books you’ve read, movies you’ve watched and advice you’ve gotten.
"For me, this means understanding, internalizing and constantly reminding myself that it is my kids’ job to push the very limits I try so hard to set, and to smash the rules I attempt to enforce. We both test and 'educate”'one another all the time, but proper parenting helps it remain a test, a trial, a right step in the ongoing evolution — without it escalating into a battle. You’re both going to lose that confrontation.
"Happy parents to happy kids? Is such a thing possible? Yes, but the key is not to expect it all the time. It is not a goal, it is a perk. It is a means to an end, not an end unto itself. If happiness happens to land on your doorstep today, great! Embrace it, enjoy it, saturate yourself in it, lose yourself to its positivity, and acknowledge its fleeting nature when it up and disappears. Self-aware parents, who understand they will make mistakes no matter what, are less prone to self-flagellation and also less prone to acting in a vengeful way towards their kids. Know your power, know your weapons, and do what you can to keep them sheathed."
4. Being a parennial means having to ignore the tech on which so many millennials rely.
"As the mother of a two-year-old working full-time in digital marketing and PR, it's vital to make my career and parenthood work together — because both are 24/7," says Lisa Deliberato, 27. "Prioritizing quality time during the week with my daughter is key, so I try to keep my phone and laptop use to a minimum from the time I pick her up from daycare until she goes to bed. Finding an employer who is supportive of work-life balance is key.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.