This week brought me to Portland Maine, specifically the Department of Human Services. As I sat waiting for my mother (a proud member of the silent generation) to get some medical paperwork out of the way. I watched women stroll in and out of the wide glass doors. The majority of them were millennial moms about to give birth or have a tiny brood of their own. Some of the “old fashioned comments” coming from my mother had me very amused, but it also had me wondering about parenting, in the digital age. In talking with several of these moms, I noticed two huge differences (and for the better in my opinion).
The advantages of technology has made it easier to be a mother on go. Pre-dating 1995 mother’s inwardly cringed at the mention of a shopping trip that included their children. We practically had to gear up and get ready to go off to war. Dress up the children, stuff them in car seats, diaper bag, toy bag, books, snack, drink, vomit bag, just to go to the store. In the winter this was especially nasty, because no matter how many times you tell the kid to go pee after you get them all dressed, they are doing the wiggle-wiggle -pee-pee dance and you have to undress them again. Then came the endless game of let’s throw the pacifier out of the cart on to the nasty floor . You see….we weren’t smart enough to have those things fastened to their clothing with a button. ( Who ever invented that device certainly deserves some recognition.) It took all day to shop and more money was spent because the little darlings would put extra things in to the cart and hide it. At the end of the day it took an entire box of Calgon and several shots of bourbon to calm down . I would of given my left kidney to have my Smartphone in hand when I was raising my children.
One baby boomer Mom stated. “Every time I put one of my children in a shopping cart they tried doing the latest gymnastics move. My purse strap became a dual purpose utility belt not only holding my keys and pacifier, it made a fine shopping cart seat belt. Kids were falling out of the carts on to their heads, it took forever for them to put seat belts in the carts.”
Today, 1 in 4 millennial moms do their shopping online, using parenting communities and product reviews online before buying a product is a stroke of genius, imagine how helpful this would have been during the 1980’s crib recall. Before the recall , baby boomer moms everywhere were slathering juniors head with Parkay to get their heads out from between the bars.
A stay at home mom during the early 1990’s was met with distain, after all our mothers fought for the right to work. While squirming out from beneath the “in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant” cliché that dominated society. How dare her daughter choose to stay home with her children! When the 1990’s mom was asked what she did for work, she came up with some classy titles to avoid the ridicule. Domestic engineer was my favorite one to use. The millennial woman has a completely better view, it is okay to be a stay-at-home mother and it is okay if she wants to work too. She can choose and friends embrace it by providing her with support and understanding. How awesome is that!
The most beautiful aspect of for being a Millennial mom is the prediction that they are the generation that ends the “mommy wars” it would seem these new moms have broken the mold and realized that there is no one right way to be a mom. The millennial mom has a whole network of babysitters at her fingertips, information on what to buy, and what not to buy with her child’s safety in mind. The hours of shopping in a store with a cranky child is in the past. Spending more unstructured time with their children has become paramount. Non-conformity is the new conformity for the millennial mom, she most certainly deserves a 2016 mom of the year award.
This article was written by Laurell Morse, a writer for dusk magazine.