Curiosity is a great thing, and it's totally normal to be curious when you see someone doing something differently from how you do things. When it comes to parenting, however, your curiosity can be inappropriately intrusive. If the parent you're curious about happens to be a millennial mom, you might want to tread carefully before getting too far in her business. Frankly, there are some questions no one should ask a millennial mom, unless you're looking for trouble.
Building on the self-awareness and self-possession of some of the women who came before us, Millennial moms are increasingly unafraid to stand up for ourselves. We're less willing to silently accept other people judging us or telling us how we “should” live our lives or raise our kids. We're often willing to voluntarily share our thoughts and opinions with people who've taken the time to get to know us, but we're really not here for people (especially strangers) asking us “questions” that are either ridiculously personal, or are really thinly-veiled judgments of our choices. (Yeah, everybody is onto that trick.)
Unless you're a fan of being on the receiving end of withering side-eyes and devastating clap backs, maybe keep questions like the following to yourself.
“Why Are You Always Playing On Your Phone?”
“Always” is kind of a big word for “occasionally coordinating plans and childcare, getting work done, and/or socializing.” Chatting on Facebook isn't all that different than chatting on a landline, and playing a digital game isn't that different than playing Bridge or whatever. Every generation has pastimes. Besides, earlier generations were never expected to literally glue our eyes to our kids 100 percent of the time.
“Ugh, Why Are You Bottle Feeding Your Baby?”
Her baby, her body, her business. Keep it moving, Breastfeeding Police.
“Eww, Could You Maybe Cover Up Or Go Breastfeed Your Baby In The Bathroom?”
No, we don't eat in public bathrooms. But if you're that concerned about it, you should totally hide in the bathroom until we're done.
“Aren’t You Worried They’ll Never Learn To Walk If You Keep Wearing Them In That Thing?”
Do you really think no one in human history ever learned how to walk until the invention of the stroller?
“When Is That Baby Going To Start Sleeping On Their Own?”
Ask the baby. I have no idea.
“Are You Pregnant?”
Are you totally unfamiliar with basic social rules? Never ask someone if they're pregnant.
“When Are You Having Your Next One?”
Since when is that your business?
“Are You Worried That [Clothing Or Activity Choice] Will Confuse Them About Their Gender?”
Letting kids pick their style and activities based on what actually appeals to them isn't confusing. Telling them they have to like things they don't or ignore things they like just because of made-up gender norms, is confusing.
“Aren't You Concerned That [Some Random Choice] Could Make Them Gay?”
No, because that's not how being gay works, and there's nothing wrong with being gay.
“But Are They Going To Be OK If You Go Back To Work?”
Parents have been working and sharing the responsibility of raising kids with other adults for as long as humans have existed. The human race has survived.
“You’re A Stay-At-Home Mom? Doesn't That Drive You Crazy?”
Not as much as when people suggest that spending time with my own children is inherently crazy-making or a lesser choice than whatever else I might be doing with myself.
“So Are You And Your Partner Ever Going To Get Married?”
Are you ever going to mind your own business? People don't have to be legally married to be committed, loving parents.
“Don't You Think You Owe It To Your Kids To Stay Together?”
Parents owe it to our kids to model happy healthy relationships and not expose them to toxic circumstances. Millennial moms know it can be hard to walk away from a relationship, but it's way better to be a single parent than stay in an unhealthy/abusive relationship.
“Adopting/Being A Stepmom Is Nice, But Do You Plan To Have Any Kids Of Your Own?”
The kids we’re helping to raise are our own, even if we aren't biologically related. Blended and adoptive families are real families, thank you very much.
“You Use The Real Names For Their Private Parts?! What About Their Innocence?”
Sex positive parents understand that we don't lie to kids about what their heads or arms are called, so why would we lie to them about their genitalia? Kids who are raised without a sense of shame about their genitals, who know the proper labels for them, and who are taught about consent and bodily autonomy, grow up healthier and less vulnerable to sexual abuse.
“Boys Will Be Boys, Right?”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Boys will be held accountable for their actions, just like everybody else.