Millennial women are having kids and, in general, millennial parents are feeling more confident than previous generations did about motherhood. And there's a multitude of reasons that the millennial generation feels good about their parenting skills and raising their kids, more so than older moms have.
Over a million millennials are becoming moms each year and account for over 80 percent of the women having babies each year. And while we may be delaying parenthood more than previous generations (only 48 percent of millennial women are moms today, compared with 57 percent of Gen Xers when they were the same age), becoming a parent is still extremely important to most millennials. And it turns out we think we are doing a pretty darn good job at it. Confidence in millennial mothers is almost 20 percent higher compared to baby boomer moms and more than 10 percent higher than Gen Xers.
So are we truly better parents? Perhaps. But more likely we are still relatively new at this whole parenting thing. When looking across generations, more than half of parents with young children, up to age six, felt confident in their parenting skills, while this number drops to 41 percent for those with children up to teenage years. And so while we may just not have had enough time to feel like we are really screwing up, there are also a few reasons for our booming confidence.
1. We are letting go the idea of being the perfect mom.
Yes, we definitely still see the incredibly put together moms with perfect children scrolling through Instagram, but more and more mothers, even celebrity moms, are showing the messy side of parenting. Chrissy Teigen is notorious for highlighting this mess, even recently posting a picture of her rocking the postpartum mesh underwear after the birth of her baby boy and another picture of her stretch marks. Teigan’s Instagram is a perfect example that millennial moms are just as willing to post about the struggles of being a parent and may even prefer #realtalk.
2. We are well informed (maybe too informed).
The internet often gets a bad rap for moms – Facebook groups are pegged for tearing moms down, bullying and mommy shaming. Yet the benefit is that it is extremely easy for a new mom to jump online and find a community of moms and get an answer to your burning question, like whether or not the color of your baby’s poop is in fact normal. With every year there are new books on parenting topics from sleep and feeding to dealing with social media and cyberbullying. So while the information can be overwhelming, most millennials welcome the information overload and are used to navigating too much information (thank you, 24-hour news cycle). We appreciate the ease at which we can find answers to everyday parenting questions and research the latest in new parenting advice to determine whether or not it works for you and your child.
3. We are benefitting from better products.
There are some pretty incredible advances that have been made that make parenting a whole lot easier and safer than they were just a few generations ago. Baby monitors have video screens so we can keep an eye on our babies from a different room in the house, car seats must meet rigorous safety requirements, and we even have devices to suck and scrape the snot out of baby’s nose! With every baby shower I attend, a new better product is on the registry making our jobs as moms just a bit easier. And with Amazon Prime at our fingertips, we don’t even need to run around town to find that new baby product that is going to finally make the baby sleep (if you’ve found one, please share!).
So while being a millennial mom is still exhausting and there are definitely challenges to raising children in the social media age, I know at the very least I am grateful to have access to so much information. Trusting your instincts as a mom is always important but also knowing I can jump online and find an answer or connect with another mom at any hour of the day is empowering and builds more confidence.
As we continue to raise our children into elementary school and beyond, millennial moms may follow other generations and perhaps our confidence in parenting will decline, but I’d argue that we are better set up to remain confident in our parenting decisions and will continue to take pride in our ability to be great moms.