If you're anything like me, you know the petty heartbreak of getting your kid into the perfect outfit only to see it ruined before you can even get out the door, much less take photos. You know what it's like to witness a priceless moment you have to choose between participating in, or taking pictures of so you can savor it for years to come. You know what it's like to spend forever deciding something simple like choosing which snack to give your toddler. There are some struggles every millennial mom knows all too well, because that's just how things are these days.
On the one hand, we have more choices than ever before. We can be any kind of mom we want (or not), and have so many different things available to us and our kids. However, that can be as much (or more) of a curse than it is a blessing, especially when you're standing in the middle of Target, scanning the ingredients list of something and trying to remember if you just read about one of them because you're supposed to be giving it to your family, or because it might kill them.
And of course, there's all the conveniences and challenges that come with social media and technology, and way-too-real struggles of trying to be the best possible parent — and person — when you almost certainly have to work more than full time just to survive. Of course, if you slip up in either of these departments, you could very well be the next person whose parenting mistakes (or workplace meltdown) goes viral for the whole world to see.
If my Facebook feed is any indication, then more and more of our fellow millennials are becoming moms by the second, so we can at least take comfort in knowing that when it comes to struggles like the following, we’re definitely not alone.
Taking So Many Photos/Videos Of Your Kid That You Run Out Of Phone Storage
I went through my entire pre-baby life, and three separate smartphones, without ever running out of storage space. That streak was broken within the first three months after I had my son, when I had to upgrade my iCloud storage plan for the first time. Totally worthwhile investment, given the amount of cuteness I've documented since then.
Feeling Overwhelmed By Ever-Changing Parenting Information
Everything from how and when to introduce solid foods, to how to potty train, to how to get babies and toddlers to sleep, seems to be changing all the time. Add in recalls for basically every product under the sun and evolving guidelines from major medical and parenting organizations, and it's easy to feel like we're drowning in (often conflicting) information. Oy.
Feeling Overwhelmed By Parenting Choices
Being able to choose what kind of mom you want to be is great. But with all those possible choices, it's also really easy to get overwhelmed. Can I be an attachment parent and a free-range mom? Should I only feed organic foods or is it OK to give my kids other things? Can I be personally and professionally fulfilled while being a stay-at-home mom?
Constantly Second-Guessing Your Eventual Choices
Of course, no matter what you choose, you're always going to wonder what might have been if you'd chosen differently. Would bedtime be easier now if we hadn't co-slept for so long? Would my kid be cuddlier if we'd worn him instead of using the stroller? I'm going nuts entertaining them all day; is it really so bad to let them watch a little TV?
Stopping In The Middle Of The Store To Frantically Google Kid-Related Purchases
"Siri, is [this ingredient] a newly-discovered superfood or a likely allergen/carcinogen?" wondered every mom picking out a new food for the first time.
Art Directing Instagram-Worthy Photos To Document Family Life
Yes, sometimes you just catch them being their amazing, adorable selves. But sometimes, it's a special occasion and you want the photos of it to look as good as the image in your head. (Not that kids, or dirt, or all the other forces in the universe conspiring against your perfect shot give even the slightest crap about your vision.)
Choosing Between Fully Experiencing A Moment And Saving It Forever
There you are, sensing that something amazing — a first step, a first sentence, a new talent or skill — is about to happen. Do you risk missing it by reaching for your phone so you can share and save it for the future, or do you just sit and experience it, knowing the moment will live on only in your flawed memory afterwards? The struggle is so real.
Trying To Keep Screen Time To A Minimum When You’re Surrounded By Tech Toys
Basically, every activity your child could be doing besides playing with an electronic device or watching TV is purportedly better than doing either of those things. But screens are literally everywhere. What is a mom to do?
Worrying That Your Next Public Parenting Snafu Could Go Viral
Past generations talk a great game about how much better parents were in their day, but the fact is they were just as flawed as the rest of us — they just weren't constantly surrounded by people with cameras in their pockets, ready to put whatever they see on the internet. The terrifying truth is, one little slip and any one of us could be the next parent whose worst day (or worst nightmare) gets endlessly picked apart by millions of people online. Shudder.
Trying (And Occasionally Failing) To Respect The Line Between Getting Support And Oversharing...
On the one hand, you're busy and overwhelmed, you need help with a tough parenting struggle, and you don't know where else to go, so you want to poll your friends quickly via social media. On the other hand, does the whole world need to know your business?
...Or Between Normalizing Parenthood And Oversharing
Sometimes you just gotta vent, and it's important for us all to share our struggles so others know that they're not alone. But again, does the whole world need to know your business? I ponder this dilemma at least eight times a day.
Oversharing More Generally
How many photos of your little one is too many? And aren't the rules maybe a little different for children as especially cute and amazing as yours?
Affording Childcare When You’re Struggling To Pay Off Student Loans
Being Broke AF In General
"Can I squeeze in a side hustle on top of a job and caring for my kids? My already sleepless soul says no, but my bills say 'You better.'"
Feeling Some Kinda Way When You See Other People’s Perfect-Looking Lives
Intellectually, we all know that what we see on social media is just other folks' highlight reel, compared to our own brutal play-by-play. Still, that doesn't make it any easier to see people's stunningly perfect family portraits when we're scraping baby food out of our hair, or their extraordinary accomplishments when we're barely scraping by or managing to get our laundry done. Sigh.