I can’t believe my son’s birthday is right around the corner. He’s a joy, a challenge, and the silliest little man I know.
I think Millennial moms are an interesting breed, and I really enjoy women my age who are moms. According to WIC Moms, Millennials make up of 76% of births nowadays, so I know you’re out there Millennial moms. I think there are a lot of myths out there about what it means to be a parent, so here is my perspective as a Millennial.
1. It really is different when you have your own.
I didn’t have excessive maternal instincts growing up. When I babysat growing up (those 2 times…) I made my sister change the diapers of the kids. I didn’t play with baby dolls. I didn’t want to be The Mom when I “played house” growing up (I wanted to be the rebellious runaway teen). At times, I really questioned if I even wanted kids.
I remember one time my aunt told me that “it really is different when you have your own.” She started having kids at age 38 because she was sure she didn’t want them. When she changed her mind, she chose to give birth to four kids. So, just because you don’t like “kids” doesn’t mean it won’t be different with your own. When my son learns a new word, I’m giddy with excitement. When he loves something (right now it’s Winnie the Pooh) your heart melts because that thing has captured your baby’s heart. And yes, moms do think their kids are cuter than any others. That’s why it’s so great to have a mom as well. 🙂
Eventually you do a lot of things on autopilot: changing diapers, feeding them, bathing them. The first year is difficult when they’re really little, but it does go quickly.
3. They make you SO mad, and SO happy at the same time.
I’m a pretty mellow person in a lot of ways, but when my son disobeys me, I find myself angry and yelling before I even know what’s happening. Because they always do that one thing that makes you mad. Then you feel guilty. Then he does something silly and I’m laughing like a fool.
4. You take the transition to parenthood in stride.
On the other hand, the newborn years can be a difficult transition, and depends on the temperament of your baby. But as stated above, it goes by quickly. But, even small details of transitioning into parenthood can be a joy: adding fish crackers, and fruit snacks to my grocery list is even a joy, because it’s for my little boy.
5. You have new fears, new joys.
I hate to bring up such a dark topic in what’s supposed to be a light post, but when the Sandy Hook massacre happened, I know my reaction was different than it would have been two years ago. My friends who are mothers and I cried all day. Losing your child, or them being in pain, or suffering is– unfathomable. Motherhood changes your heart. A friend of mine put a quote up on Facebook that day:
“Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.”
From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. I can’t tell you how true this is.
6. You are still your awesome self.
Being a parent definitely changes your heart, but I would say it only completely changes your identity if you let it. The more people I know my age having kids, the more I see that they are still thoroughly Millennial. They have the same tastes, hobbies, interests. You will not be mysteriously transformed into a 1950’s mom (or dad) overnight. There is of rerouting of how you live, but like I also said earlier, your kids bring you new joy. We’re not lying about this: We love (and like) our kids. Just like everything else, the future of parenting will be marked by distinctive Millennial traits.
Anyway, those are my thoughts as a Millennial, but mostly a Mom.