UAB Medicine News
Three Things to Know about Millennial Moms
This guest blog was prepared by Sara Wheat, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Legacy of Hope.
I must warn you that this post starts off with a “bad” word: Millennials. It’s a word that is often uttered in frustration and accompanied by an exasperated sigh when a person is observed taking photos of their meal or staring at their iPhone while crossing the street. I’ve even heard this word used as an insult and as a complaint from people who (surprise!) are also Millennials.
So, who exactly are Millennials? Generally speaking, Millennials are the generation born between 1980 and 1996. If you find yourself in this group unexpectedly, no need to panic, we have plenty of Facebook support groups available. Millennials have surpassed other generations and now make up the majority of the U.S. workforce. We are your teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, nurses, chefs, and business owners, and most of us now have children of our own.
To help understand us better, here are three things common to Millennial moms.
Technology Has a Downside
Navigating parenthood as a Millennial is a challenge. In our lifetime, technology has evolved from giant car phones in bags to the tiny things that now are attached to our hands 24/7. I remember when the Internet and the home phone couldn’t be used at the same time, and now I have all the knowledge in the world at my fingertips.
When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I quickly learned that having access to so much information is not always a good thing. Every pregnancy symptom I googled usually sent me down a rabbit hole of the worst possible outcome. Thankfully, my doctors at UAB Women & Infants Services were always available to answer questions and calm the anxiety induced by Dr. Google. Plus, UAB Medicine has a patient portal, so I can send a message to my doctor or nurse any time of the day or night.
Motherhood is Central to Our Identity
Some generalizations about Millennials suggest that our primary focus is brunch and Instagram, and while we love those things, the No. 1 priority for us is our children. Motherhood is a privilege that some of us waited a little longer than our parents for. Most Millennials entered the work force at the height of a recession in our country and may have waited to start families because of that. That doesn’t diminish the pride we take in the role. Because our generation is vocal, employers and governments are placing more emphasis on paid paternity leave and more support for new parents. We are stay-at-home moms, work-from-home moms, moms who work outside of the home, and any combo of these things.
We’re Trying to Strike a Balance
It can be hard to balance the advice from our parents and grandparents, who might not have been required to use a car seat, with all of the recommendations now from the American Academy of Pediatrics about specific harnesses and weight requirements, etc. Luckily, UAB Medicine offers a variety of prenatal classes on infant CPR, baby basics, breastfeeding, and many other topics.
Screen time limits are another battle we’re on the front lines of. Obviously our children need to learn how to use the technology that is so central our lives today, but keeping them from wanting to stare at Sesame Street for eight hours a day is the challenge. We’re trying to set limits on technology use while also teaching our kids important life skills, so that they’re prepared for technology in their schools and jobs later in life.
To summarize, the next time you feel yourself wanting to use “Millennial” as an insult, remember that we are trying our best to balance the advancements made in our lifetime while also raising children who don’t have their faces in a screen all day long. We are hard workers, loving parents, and productive members of society, trying to survive one sleep-deprived day at a time.
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