According to, well, everyone, millennials are narcissistic, self-involved, constantly oversharing, and perpetually lazy. Such stereotypes clearly don't paint my generation in the best light. But, as a millennial mom, I can say that some millennial stereotypes are definitely true, whether we like it or not. While stereotypes are the often the easiest (read: laziest) way to identify a group of people, and are rarely nice or polite, they're sometimes on point. I, personally, think more than a few millennial stereotypes are very much true and denying them only makes us look like we completely lack any self-realization. I'm pretty great at looking at myself through a realistic lens. I know my weaknesses and I know that, in many ways, I'm a true millennial.
I admit, I did have a very unrealistic view of the world when I graduated college. I was always told that if I worked hard I would be rewarded, so I worked hard at my post-graduate job and assumed I would be acknowledged for my efforts. It turns out, most of the world has a "what have you done for me lately?" attitude, so "rewards" don't really exist. For the most part, people don't even make the effort to tell you that you did a decent job. Instead, the world just takes and takes and gives very little in return. Well, that was a huge shocker for me and I constantly felt unappreciated at my job, even though I believed I went above and beyond. So, in true millennial fashion, I switched jobs. Baby Boomers and Generation X are notorious for being rather loyal to their places of work; they don't spend too much time trying to find fulfillment in their careers but, instead, just consider their jobs to be jobs. Millennials, on the other hand, are looking for vocations. They want their careers to match their identity. I definitely fall into that category.
According to political scientists Michael Hais and Morley Winograd, millennials have "higher voting rates and increased volunteerism after high school." Furthermore, they conclude that wanting to "be well off doesn't necessarily make one a narcissist," they could just be keeping up with the times and culture. Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, says that millennials just "reflect the culture, and young people show the changes in the culture the strongest." So, while millennials have some negative characteristics, they definitely have some positive ones, too. I am a true millennial, in every sense of the word, so I think I have the authority to say that the following stereotypes about us are totally true:
We're Addicted To Our Phones
"Hello smartphone, my old friend; I've come to pick you up again. Because I felt the need creep in; to hold you close while I'm sleeping. And the need to be with you forever; still remains, with the sound of each notification."
Yes, I just (poorly) parodied Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds Of Silence" and made it all about my phone. I've tried to quit it all, you guys. I have. But the power of the phone is way too real.
We're Addicted To Social Media
Millennial moms are accused of oversharing on social media and, let me tell you something, that stereotype is totally true. Now that my kids are getting older, I'm trying to not share too much about them because the other day my daughter came home from school and said, "Why did you post that on Facebook? Jackie told me her mom saw what you wrote about me on Facebook." So I guess my oversharing days are over and I will now overshare just a little bit.
We're Addicted To Taking Photos
At one point, I had approximatelly 11,000 photos on my phone. Eleven. Thousand. Photos. And I'm sure some of them were screenshots of random memes, and photos of a salad dressing I really liked and wanted to remember the name of, but most of them are pictures of my children with a few selfies here and there. I take a lot of pictures. Like, a lot. It never truly ends. The husband really hates it, but he's a GenXer, so what does he know?
We Schedule Too Many Activities
I over-schedule our lives all the time. At one point, my daughter was going to jiujitsu, art, piano, dance, and an after-school club, while my son was also doing soccer. It was really tough. We finally broke through that insanity of a schedule and cut some of the activities. Now, I just over-schedule our weekends. It's a lot of fun, but it's also extremely draining. I don't know why I can't just chill out.
We're All Liberals
According to Pew Research, millennials identify as liberal Democrats at a much higher rate than Baby Boomers. Approximately 27 percent of millennials fall under the liberal umbrella, compared to the 17 percent of Baby Boomers. Millennials are considered "more open-minded, and more supportive of gay rights and equal rights for minorities." They are also "receptive to new ideas and ways of living." This is one of those stereotypes I totally and wholeheartedly fall under. Hell, I'm proud of it (unlike the "being addicted to my phone" stereotype, that one is shameful).
As much as I like to say that my life doesn't revolve around my kids, of course my life revolves around my kids. Almost everything I do, I do for or because of them. I work two jobs so I can afford more for them. I am an activist because I want them to be good people and take pride in bettering the lives of others. I write because I want them to have good role models. I schedule activities and playdates for them. Everything is about them. Everything.
We Support Participation Trophies
Hey, I don't see anything wrong with encouraging children to keep trying, even if that means praising their efforts and failures. That's how success happens, people.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.