Sisterhood Blog

Will Millennial Moms End the Mommy Wars?

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share

Welcome to motherhood, millennials. According to a new report from the parenting website BabyCenter, the newest crop of moms, ages 18-32, are rejecting the helicopter parenting they experienced as children and are opting for a more relaxed approach.

This new generation of mamas reports having been raised with parents that were more protective, worried and enabling than the Gen Xers who precede them. Possibly as a result, they strive to be more fun, forgiving, relaxed and aspirational than those Xers.

The millennials have also, according to this report, embraced the freelance lifestyle that was forced upon them by entering the workforce during a recession. They are 17% more likely to do contract work than the Gen Xers, and more than half report wanting to start their own business. Considering how challenging it can be to hold down a full-time office job and be a present parent to young children, the millennial push to be their own bosses or have flexible work schedules is not misguided. And with projections of 40% of the workforce comprised of freelancers by 2020, seems like their dreams very well might come true.

So, sounds pretty rosy in millennial mama land, right?

There is a catch to all this chilled out parenting, a potentially ruinous breast milk storm brewing just over yonder.

While these moms say that their aim is to be relaxed, they also report placing more emphasis on being a good parent and less on having a successful marriage than Gen X. Over half of them say that being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, 24% more than Gen X, and only 30% feel the same about having a successful marriage.

Acha! So when they identified themselves as fun, forgiving and relaxed these moms weren’t talking about their attitude towards parenthood, but instead about their approach to parenting. The difference here is that a mom who is those things in relation to parenthood doesn’t worry so much about being a good parent, whereas a mom who is worried about these things in relation to parenting will be all preoccupied by whether she is fun, forgiving and relaxed enough. It’s now sounding more and more possible that mindfulness, which is basically what these millennials say they aspire to be, will indeed become the new impossible standard that parents are destined to fail at, as Hanna Rosin predicted over at Slate. Ladies, fun, forgiving and relaxed and are only fun, forgiving and relaxing when they aren’t viewed as aspirations.

Oh, and all those millennials looking for a flexible job? You want to look into a career as a marriage counselor, with all these parents more committed to their relationships with their kids than their relationships with their partners you will surely see a rise in demand in the next 5-10 years.

(As a borderline millennial/ Gen Xer, the author has no horse in this race.)

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: parenting, motherhood, millennial, helicopter parenting, Jewish, Gen X

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.