7 surprising ways millennial mums are redefining motherhood
Each generation of mums is uniquely different - here are some ways millennial mums are shaking up the motherhood scene.
Each generation has their own parenting style and has to figure things out their own way. Your mum didn’t raise you the same way her mum did, and as a millennial mum, you've probably tweaked your own parenting practices in line with social trends.
Millennial mums come from the generation born and raised with technology. Not only that, they’ve also grown up with a whole host of other social and economic changes that are changing the way they take care of their little ones. Here’s how millennial mums are rewriting the rules of parenting.
1) Our mobile phone is our best helper
The millennial generation is stereotyped as being glued to their smartphones. It’s definitely no surprise that time-strapped millennial mums are even more dependent on their devices for help and support.
Millennial mums are constantly using their phones for everything – from online shopping to work communication to social media – and they're doing it everywhere. According to Dentsu Aegis Network’s global consumer survey, a whopping 1 in 8 millennial mums accesses the internet daily on two or more devices in the US, China and Singapore.
Around 50% of Singaporean supermums say they maximise their time by making online purchases, and over two-thirds of Indonesian mums admit to maximising their time by praying and posting. For this tech-savvy generation, their phones have become the best mummy helpers everywhere in the world.
2) They turn online for advice
Whereas mums in the past used to have mainly their mothers or friends to turn to, the online world is now a goldmine of info for parenting advice (that’s why we set up theAsianparent!) It’s tech-savvy millennial mums who know this best, and are looking online for help with everything from diaper rash to making healthier breakfasts.
A wider online community of mums means more knowledge at our fingertips and more support through every phase of our difficult motherhood journey.
3) They’re making motherhood look good
With the rise of sites like Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram, there’s no end to the parade of picture-perfect moments that millennial mums are capturing and sharing. theAsianparent's Asian Digital Mum survey has found that 80% of Asian women actually increase, not reduce, their Internet usage after becoming mums, and as Mindchamps tells us, close to 40% of American mums aged 18-34 created social media accounts for their babies.
It’s only natural that these tech-savvy millennial mums are coming up with ever more gorgeous ways to make motherhood look as beautiful as it feels. We’ve all seen those Pinterest pics of drool-worthy bento lunchboxes and adorbs hairstyles for your kids – these are what millennial mums are up to when we’re not matching outfits and snapping #OOTDs with their kids.
At the same time…
4) They may have it tougher than their mums
Motherhood is always tough – there are some trends suggesting that millennial mums have it tougher than others. The biggest one? Cost of living. An analysis by Young Invincibles has shown that a whopping 1 in 5 millennial parents lives in poverty – a 40% increase from 2000. And in Singapore, between 36-80% of millennials claim to have no savings at all, as Singapore Business Review states.
As millennials would know all too well, there are a whole bunch of reasons for this, such as rising college fees, a slowing economy, and a changing job market. These have all cumulated to make parenting require far more cash than we have to spare.
5) “Mum” isn’t the only hat they wear
Gone are the days when women identified solely as wives and mothers – for millennial mums, self-care is important.
Though the millennial generation gets a bad rep for being self-absorbed, millennial mums aren’t being selfish when we take a break from putting our kids first 24/7. Pedicures, yoga classes, and other little getaways from the kids may seem irresponsible compared to previous generations of mums – but they’re essential for millennial mums to recharge and avoid burnout.
6) They try not to hover
Helicopter parenting is so last decade – millennial mums pride themselves on being too cool to hover over their kids 24/7. They appreciate that their children need autonomy and free play, rather than packing their day with the kinds of enrichment classes our mums gave us as kids.
61% of millennial parents believe their children need more unstructured playtime, according to a report by Comcast, while only 21% saw their kids as “overscheduled”. Creativity and flexibility are what our future generations will need to handle a fast-changing world – it’s definitely a good sign that millennial mums are giving our kids the free play they need to develop these.
7) They are trying to revolutionise the work-motherhood balance
Millennial mums aren’t the first generation to strive to be ‘supermums’ – raising their kids while carving out brilliant careers in the workplace. But they're shaking up the career mum trend further by becoming our own bosses. A Manpower Group survey of 19, 000 millennials across 25 countries found that 38% of millennial mums with children under 4 planned to set up their own business within the next 5 years.
The benefits of setting up our own business so as to work from home are huge, after all. We get to be closer to their children rather than commute to an office, and they get more control over our own time. Go, mumpreneurs!