Yes, I’m a Millennial Parent. No, I Won’t Raise a Snowflake

As a parent of a millennial, I know they eat a lot of avocado toast.Millennials. Without any context to the word, I’m sure a few negative thoughts came to mind. They are entitled. They don’t know what hard work is. They eat too much avocado toast.

The typical idea of parents involves a middle-class, 30-something couple complete with a white picket fence. But I want to let you in on a little secret: Millennials are raising the next generation. I will take that insane statement one step further and say that millennials are raising the next generation much differently than previous generations. Yeah, I take advice from my Facebook mommy groups rather than from the pediatrician. I will keep my baby in the same room with me until he’s a year old because that’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says is best. It’s not that millennials actively try to go against traditional parenting beliefs, but the new territory of our digital age and a scope of social issues have shaped our perspective.

The Future Is Now

I was born in 1992. The Internet was in its infancy, and beepers were still cool. Playing outside with the neighborhood kids was my favorite part of the day. When I wasn’t outside, my nose was stuck in a book. While I am nostalgic for those simpler times, I’m reminded that, to grow as humanity, innovation is essential. Kindle e-readers replaced paperbacks, and that darn Xbox beckoned little ones to play with it instead of a basketball. What society fails to realize is that millennials remember what life was like before all the glitz and glamour of modern technology. The VHS tape rewinder? Yes, I remember that. Portable CD players? How could I forget?!

VHS
Photo by Gabriel Petry on Unsplash

It’s hard to say how involved technology will be in my son’s future, but I can already tell it will be more difficult than ever to keep him away from a screen. At the present moment, my nine month old enjoys watching Netflix and TV shows on Amazon Prime. YouTube also has a playlist of nursery rhymes with colorful characters, which I put on as he plays with his toys and crawls around. It’s inevitable that millennials use technology as a means to entertain their children. The obsession with social media nowadays has made us consciously aware that technology is not always a good thing. I am trying the Goldilocks method: not too little, not too much, but just the right amount of exposure.

Politically Correct: Just Another Term for Polite

Another bad perception of the millennial generation is the notion of being too politically correct. People are just now becoming aware that it’s not okay to use racial slurs or stereotypes. News articles are now including trigger warnings for readers who have experienced trauma. Treating others with respect regardless of religion, heritage, and skin color should be a basic human characteristic. In the modern day, that is not always the case.

Being married to a black man makes a white local wife and mom worry.What’s important to take away from this is to recognize that times are changing. Families don’t necessarily have a mom and dad anymore. Some families have two moms, some families have two dads, and some families have just one mom or one dad. (Also, gender roles? I don’t believe in them.) Climate change is real, and the earth is worth protecting. These are the beliefs I hope to instill in my children, so that they have the capacity to love one another and to come together to make the world a better place. I know it may sound corny, but it’s true. Our future generations will carry on the torch and will need firm beliefs in order to coexist. Most of our social issues stem from individuals who are at odds with each other. A utopia where everyone thinks alike is not what I’m advocating here, but rather a world where we have a mutual understanding.

No matter what your views are towards millennials, we are here, and we are raising babies. We don’t have all the answers. In fact, we don’t even know what some of the questions are, but we are trying our best. Don’t judge me because I Google “Why is my baby’s poop green?” or freak out when his cute face gets 50 likes on Instagram. I’m a millennial mom, and I’m proud.

Bianca
Born in El Paso, Texas, Bianca moved to Mansfield in 1994. Now, she resides in the North Arlington area with her son, Dorian. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016 with her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. She hopes to return to school and get a graduate degree in public administration. Her dream job is to run a local non-profit or start her own. Currently, Bianca is invested in women’s issues concerning mother’s rights in the workplace as well as reproductive justice and maternal mortality. Bianca is part of the LGBTQ community and uses the intersection of race, class, and gender in her writing. She loves trying out new restaurants and taking mini trips to Austin. Some of her favorite things include cider beer, rap and indie music, ULTA shopping sprees, SXSW, and reading more than one book at a time.

2 COMMENTS

  1. When a facebook post starts with the phrase, “When I was a kid, we…” I know it is sure to be condescending and self-righteous. Sure, you didn’t wear seatbelts and you survived, but many others did not! Life without change is death. Baby Boomers, look at the mess our world is in! It’s not because you did everything right or because your children and grandchildren didn’t do it the same way you did. It’s you! (Us!)

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