Millennials have been catching shit since the oldest of our generation started coming of age. Some for good reason, but not all of our actions or privileges are caused because we are a “spoiled” generation. We are simply making do with the hand that we have been dealt. How is growing up in a time of advancing technology our fault, anyway?! IT’S NOT! Don’t hate us cause you ain’t us. But like Uncle Ben said; “With great power, comes great responsibility”. And we have dropped the ball by tenfold. Now that the majority of millennials are becoming parents, we are starting to see some of the real hits and misses of growing up being a part of Generation Y.
So, why are millennials the best parents? Well, before we get into that we must first discuss why we are the worst. Being a parent is no walk in the park. I should know, I am a 27-year-old mother of 4! F-O-U-R. My oldest just turned 7 and my youngest will be 2 in October. My life ended at 20 years young (I’m joking… kind of). While I didn’t necessarily get a chance to “grow up” before taking on the largest responsibility one will ever have, I am still living a decently fulfilling life. Seriously though, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, except maybe being such a know-it-all first time sanctimommy. I know what you are thinking, “Katie was a sanctimommy!? NO WAY! She seems way too cool for that!”. Oh, but I was. I was terrible. I was the worst. I was what was wrong with the world.
Having all the information we could ever want at our finger tips can be both a blessing and curse. How we choose to use this privilege is the real challenge. We are a know-it-all generation. Whether you want to agree with me or not, we have all been this worst version of ourselves. Mine came in the form of mommy groups on Facebook. We have a real problem with mommy shaming in this generation. Formula or breastmilk? Disposable or cloth diapers? To vaccinate or not vaccinate? (side note, check out this website: http://www.howdovaccinescauseautism.com). I thought I knew all the right answers. I tore women down for picking what they thought was best for their baby instead of what I, a 20-year-old mother of ONE, thought was best for their baby. I was the worst. It doesn’t matter what your baby shits in. It doesn’t matter what your baby eats as long as it’s good for them. Breastmilk might be the healthiest option but FED IS BEST. And for the love of EVERYTHING, vaccinate your freakin’ kids. Ya know, for a generation to grow up with some many scientific advances and discoveries, we sure are getting real lazy when it comes to believing in Science. The most dangerous movement that we have caused is this anti-modern medicine movement. Woo smells bad, people. Stop spreading it around! We are singlehandedly bringing back diseases that were once eradicated and destroying all the hard work of generations before us who suffered immensely because of these diseases. We need to wake up and smell the science. Cut all this bullshit out. Seriously. Stop it.
Alas, there are pros to being a Millennial parent. For starters, like technology being a curse, it’s also a blessing. We are breaking borders and becoming a more accepting and diverse generation thanks to the reach of technology such as social media. Anyone remember Xanga? Well, I do! My username was the definition of teenage angst (www.xanga.com/my_hopeless_dreams). From Xanga to MySpace; My Yearbook, Facebook, Twitter… I mean, there were SO MANY when I was a teen and now there are even more. We can stay connected while still maintaining distance from that one mean, racist Uncle that no one wants to physically be around. We can choose who we want or don’t want in our lives by simply clicking “confirm” or “deny”. A Time Survey-Monkey poll of 2,000 millennial parents revealed that more than 80% of us have shared a photo of our kid(s) on some social media platform compared to just 70% of Generation X and 47% of our parents’ generation (the Baby Boomers). Our generation’s use of social media sharing is effecting the lives of our children as they create strong social bonds outside of school through more interconnectedness. We are also more likely to be aware about internet safety and privacy settings to insure not only the safety of our children on social media but us as well.
Millennials are more ethnically diverse than any other generation. Our open-mindedness and willing to be more accepting is developing the external and internal identity of individuals and creating more avenues of self-expression. Basically, we are creating more loving, caring, self-aware children who will grow to be loving, caring, and self-aware adults.
So in closing, Generation Y might have our faults, but are strengths are significant, Our strengths impact not just the children that we produce but we still have the chance to change the minds of generations before us. We should never let anyone underestimate our potential or willingness to work to create a better world just because we “have it easier”. We are not the lazy generation that we are painted to be by our elders. We are young and we are still proving our worth.