Have you just gotten used to the Millennial Generation segueing into full working adult life? Well, now many of them are parents. (My first friend baby is due this month!)
Some, including the The New York Times, call them parennials. (Sorry, but I just can't get behind that terminology.)
As with the business world and many other facets of life, Millennial parents have some new ways of doing things. Here are four ways Millennial moms and dads are changing the work-life balance and parenting landscape compared with that of previous generations:
1.They often work from home—and thrive in that environment.
Seventy-two percent of these women are moms. There are several reasons why they might be thriving in this environment, including their ability to have an improved work-life balance, since they're able to be with their kids often while doing their jobs, and being technologically adept, allowing them to communicate with their teams even at a distance.
2. They're waiting longer to have kids.
As of 2016, the birth rate of women in their thirties was higher than that of women in their twenties, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also put the average age at which women had their first children at 28—seven years older than it was in 1970, and more than a year and a half older than the mean age of 26.3 in 2014.
Affordable birth control and less social pressure certainly plays a role in this shift, as does the desire for professional success. With no federal paid parental leave policy in place, Millennial women often suffer financial consequences during maternity leave—and earn less later on if they have kids earlier, Elizabeth Gregory reveals in her book, Ready: Why Women are Embracing the New Later Motherhood.
3. They're more likely to struggle financially.
Excluding college costs, child care and education constitute roughly 18 percent of the total cost of raising children these days—compared with just 2 percent in 1960. Several factors may contribute to this dramatic incline, including the increasing demand for these services.
Additionally, many young adults entered the workforce during the Great Recession and continue to have lower-paying jobs than members of previous generations did. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, 18- to 34-year-old workers make around $2,000 less each year than their counterparts did in 1980. Many are having children will still paying off their own student loans.
Millennial parents' financial situations often mean they go to work earlier and leave earlier than their colleagues without children. They're also more likely to take on after-midnight shifts, so they can spend waking hours with their kids.
Approximately one in five Millennial parents lives in poverty.
4.They're proud of their parenting skills and less likely to follow tradition.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 52 percent of Millennial moms and dads say they are doing a very good job as parents. That's compared with 43 percent of Gen X parents and 41 percent of Baby Boomers. (Of course, the children of the different generations are at different life stage themselves, so that could account for some of the discrepancy.)
Additionally, the "traditional" model of parenting is a thing of the past for many Millennial parents. With more stay-at-home dads, access to information, and nontraditional households (fewer than half of kids in 2016 lived in a household with two married parents in their first marriage), it's clear that Millennial moms and dads are ushering in a new era and kind of parenting.
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