It’s pretty great to be a new mom in the new millennium. We have a great advantage, thanks to the advent of social media and other wonders of technology. The first, second, and third waves of feminism have helped improve the status of women, as well as educate others. However, as millennial moms, we sometimes have to explain our ways and beliefs to older generations. They don’t always get it, either. I’d say there are many things millennial moms wish older moms knew, or simply understood, but that usually means it's up to us to explain them.
Many older moms grew up and began reproducing in a world without marriage equality. They had never been asked to specify their pronouns. They didn’t go to slut walks or know anything about hashtags or using Google calendar. They used to make plans on land-lines and send postcards rather than leave comments on Instagram. In other words, and at the risk of stating the obvious: times have changed. While it’s not all for the better, millennials aren’t terrible people and folks really need to stop harping on the perceived awfulness of millennial folks.
This also goes for moms, who are often seen as allowing their children to walk all over them, or as unfocused or distracted due to our rampant use of technology. Millennial moms are doing a great job at raising children in this day and age, and we all wish you older mamas would understand that.
We Wish You All Understood The Importance Of Self Care
One of the reasons why I was so terrified to ever become a parent, was seeing how stressed out older moms all seemed. My mother, along with the moms of most of my friends, didn’t seem to really take much time out for themselves.
It turns out, though, that moms don’t have to come last on the family totem-pole, and we wish older moms would get that.
We Wish You Understood Body Confidence And Body Positivity (For Everyone)
Many of us grew up with moms who would comment whenever we went for an extra donut, or if we seemed to put on a little weight. Older moms (for the most part, although not all moms are the same, of course) aren’t the sort to encourage you to love your body and accept the bodies of others at any size and shape.
That’s why so many millennial mamas are getting hip to terms like body positivity, and encouraging our kids to love themselves and to fight against body shaming.
We Wish You Understood And Valued Sex Positivity
I’m a grown-ass woman and I still can’t say vagina, penis, or sex around my mom. OK, maybe my upbringing was on the extreme end of conservatism, but I know I'm not the only millennial who grew up with the same "rules." Which is why, I'm sure and among other reasons, millennial moms are fighting back against slut-shaming and raising their children to be sex positive, by teaching them all about the birds and the bees, or as we like to call them, sex and sexuality.
We Wish You Understood How Microaggressions Can Hurt Kids
I think most of us have heard microaggressions spew out of the mouths of older generations. Millennial moms, however, are working toward eliminating these negative comments about minorities in daily life. They also teach their kids how to correct friends about these matters, which is something we wish older moms had done with their kids as well.
We Wish You Understood That Tattoos Aren't A "Bad" Thing
Some older moms don’t really get why millennials are so heavily tatted. They might think it’s trashy (especially for women, because hello patriarchy), or that is sends “a bad message," as my own mother would’ve said.
However, millennials know that’s all about that unnecessary BS, and we not only enjoy getting new tattoos, we often like to get ones that honor our little ones. We wish y’all understood that.
We Wish You Understood Why Respecting “Untraditional” Families Is Important
Moms who grew up as part of previous generations might be quick to accept single-parent households, or blended households. Still, many remain hesitant to fully embrace queer households, poly households, or trans families.
We hope they start to understand the importance of inclusivity and that all families can be wonderful, whether they consist of a cis-het mom and dad, or a trans mom and dad, two trans parents, two gay parents, or any other combination. Love is love.
We Wish You Understood That We're Capable Of Feeding Our Kids
Many millennial moms take a baby-led approach to weaning, meaning youngsters are given solid options to mash up in their gums over just pureed foods. Many millennial moms are also open to feeding their kids whatever they show interest in, whether it be chicken nuggets or sushi or roast beef, because they know there’s not such thing as “adult” food. It’s all about perspective and culture.
We Wish You Understood Polyamory Households
Millennials definitely have different opinions than older moms on what makes for a good partnership or marriage. It’s already been noted that polyamory is on the rise, and that’s because younger folks have different opinions on how to make relationships work.
Frankly, many of them aren’t hiding it from their kids (because there’s nothing actually wrong with it). Older moms could learn a thing or two about broadening their horizons, or at least accepting that others do.
We Wish You Understood Why We Name Our Children "Different" Names
I’ve never heard a more unique set of names than those of the children of friends and other contemporaries. I’m pretty sure my son has the most common, classic name among the Aryas, Harpers, and Karters of today’s world. And honestly, if I have another kid, I’m probably going to go the “weird” route, too. Sorry, older mamas.
We Wish You Understood That Gender Is Just A Social Construct...
While some older moms raised their girls to be “tom boys,” millennial moms go a step further in letting their children know they’re the ones to decide on their gender, not the parents.
While many millennial parents still do assign a gender at birth (because societal pressure), many of us still try to raise our kids as gender neutral as possible. That means we give our sons pedicures, we cheer on our daughters at pee-wee football, and we dress them all in rainbow colored goodness.
...And If Our Kids Are Trans Or Non-Binary, Or If They Are Queer Or Asexual, We Don’t Shame. We Celebrate!
Older generations of moms don’t understand how far we’ve come in the world of gender and sexuality. The more open-minded among them might think that they “get it” when they talk about being for LGBTQ rights, but there’s so much more to it. Millennial moms? We’re on top of it.
We Wish You Understood The Need For Organic, Seasonal Foods
Older moms didn’t have the knowledge we have today regarding what and how we feed our kids (and ourselves). These days, however, we know certain items are best purchased organic, and we know that buying locally-grown items (and ones that are in season) greatly reduces our carbon footprint.
Millennial moms wish older moms wouldn’t judge us for being farmer’s market junkies and reading all the labels.
We Wish You Understood Why Being Eco-Friendly Is Important
In keeping with our environmentalist attitudes, millennial moms rarely send out mailed invitations or thank you cards. Most of us don’t ever print out photo albums (though we’ve got millions of Facebook albums and Instagram photos complete with custom hashtags). We live in a digital age, one in which we are free to send out e-vites without the judgement of older moms who still prefer snail mail.
We Wish You Understood How Efficient Technology Truly Is
Speaking of the digital age, millennial moms rely more on technology than any other generation to date. We’re hyperconnected and super-social and incredibly organized with online calendars and internet mommy groups that keep us grounded. Older moms probably think we’re just playing games, and we wish they’d let us show them our ways.