My Story as a Millennial Mama
When I found out that I was expecting twins, obviously one of the biggest concerns I had was “How am I going to do all of this??” It sounds so silly, but I was scared to death….working full time, keeping up on housework, taking care of our lab, cooking…and now I’m going to have not one but TWO babies!
Who Was I???
I was 28 at the time, and had built an incredible life with my husband of two years. I was the Supervising Pharmacist at (in my opinion and many others) the best and busiest pharmacy chain in the country. During that time I was working both in the stores and around the community for different wellness events, a highly respected role. I had a heap of student loan debt. Getting your doctorate degree is not cheap. Because of this, I was the queen of DIY. Pinterest was my How-To guide to rocking the married, professional world, and darn it I just loved it. I loved everything about my life. Moving into the world of motherhood was so exciting to me, but man was it intimidating! So, you can imagine the flood of emotions when the ultrasound tech told me that there were actually two….
How can we handle this? Will they be okay? Will I be okay? How can we afford this? What if I get taken out of work? Will we have NICU time? Where will we put two cribs? Two pack and plays? Two highchairs? Will I ever see my friends again? Will I ever wear fit into my pants again? Am I going to be the kind of mom that I see with the perfect pictures, parties, and outfits for every occasion? Will I ever sleep again?!
Now, I was no stranger to twins. My younger brothers are twins, and since I am five years older, I was my parents helper. Man, they were crazy…. CRAZY! I loved helping, but I can totally remember them literally swinging from the trees in the backyard wearing Tarzan loin clothes and being certain that my parents actually adopted them from the wild. I remember my mom having a breakdown when they stole the dog trimmers and buzzed their hair while she prepped the dog for a trim. And of course I will never forget the high school years. Every memory flooded back during that ultrasound.
I was also no stranger to motherhood of this era. My sister-in-law, coworkers, and a few friends were moms, and they were amazing. Looking back, I know that they were just trying to keep it all together, and give a good impression to the world. But then, I feared that I would never reach that bar that they had set so high.
What is a Millennial Mama?
Technically, a Millennial Mama is a mom who was born between the years of 1981-1996. A Millennial Mama is faced with a variety of struggles that are completely different than mamas from other generations. In no way am I saying that being a Millennial Mama is harder than being a mom during another time. However, it is certainly unique.
Let me just start by saying that being a mom in general is SO HARD! These days, many women work outside of the home. This was not typically the case 50 years ago. The mamas who work outside of the home are faced with the guilt that they are not always present to witness all the firsts, all the bedtimes, or kiss all the boo boos. The mamas who stay home with their children are faced with the guilt that they are not providing financially for their family, in a time when many mamas do.
We Might As Well Be On A Reality TV Show…
Let’s just add insult to injury here and remember that everything we do is documented in a way that it never has been before. Given, a mama does not have to participate in social media, but if she doesn’t there is a lot that is missed out on. Party invites, store sales, children’s events, engagements, baby announcements- these days they are all posted on social media. The highlight reel from everyones lives are thrown in your face. Typically, mama will see this at the same time that she’s sitting on her couch, with a baby attached to her (for the 6th time this hour), and with dried applesauce in her hair from her toddler’s breakfast. Bam. Right then, she feels like she is failing.
Is she really? NO! But, perception is reality… Of course, when something is online for others to see- good or bad, it is also available for others to judge, and boy does that open a can of worms…
Tips for Success for a Millennial Mama:
Well to be completely honest, if you make it through your day, and you and your babies are in one piece, you’re a success in my book. If you wake up at 2am to soothe your crying infant, kiss your toddler’s boo boo for the tenth time, come home exhausted but still somehow get dinner on the table and the kids in the bath…you are a success.
As I mentioned already though, perception is reality… so how do you FEEL like a success as a Millennial Mama?
Stay In Your Own Lane
Well to start, stay in your own damn lane. Sorry, but this is the most important tip.
Did you hear me? STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE…YOUR OWN STORY…YOUR OWN LIFE! I don’t want you to give a second of thought to what your sister’s bestie posted about giving her 3 year-old a pony. Or your hairdresser’s new house. Or the extravagant trip that that bitch from high school took with her new husband while her kids stayed with the nanny. None of this matters to you. Not one bit of it will change your situation. If you want something different for your life, the only person that can change it, is you.
Put Your Phone Away
It’s really not our fault. I remember my parents buying me a Trac-Phone when I started driving alone, insisting that it was ONLY for emergencies. Now, it’s an emergency when I lose my phone! Spoiler alert… it’s usually stuffed in the couch cushion next to a stale Cheerio. All joking aside, our phones have definitely become a huge part of our lives. They are our calendars, our communication, our computers, and our windows to the outside world. They are also the biggest thief of joy/time/precious moments… If you stayed off of your phone, and just enjoyed your husband and children, what would this change for you? Your level of fulfillment in your role as a mother? The guilt for being a working mama? Your depression from your “keep up with the Jones’s” mentality? Your stress level?
If you don’t already, try for a phone free block of time every day with your kiddos. You will be shocked at what it will do for you, and them!
Yes, your life is crazy busy. Yes, your house is probably a mess more than it’s not. Yes, your kids eat frozen chicken nuggets for more meals than you’d like to admit. However, have you ever thought about how some are longing for this craziness that you feel like you’re drowning in? I have a friend who heartbreakingly lost her baby. Literally every time I get frustrated with the mess, or want to complain about being so tired, I try to remember that she would give anything to be in my shoes. And that right there puts it into perspective.
Are things chaotic? Heck yes. Do I get overwhelmed? Sister, you know it. That is allowed! Above all, I know what the alternative could be, and that is not something that I am going to take for granted. So, I have learned to embrace it. Let them play and make a mess. Enjoy that snuggle a little longer in the morning, knowing full well that you will be rushing out the door a few minutes behind because of it. Understand that this time of minimal date nights and vacations is just a phase. Embrace the phases.
Common Questions About Being A Millennial Mama:
What makes being a Millennial Mama so special?
- These mamas are the queens of juggling. They are the Jacks (or Jills) of all the trades. These mamas can run the board meeting, make an amazing dinner for their family, and plan a Pinterest worthy first birthday party all in the same day. Many of these mamas are career oriented, and because of this they start their families later in life than the generations before them.
- Millennial Mamas are also faced with a TON of information about parenting/children. They are responsible for weeding through the good, bad, and ugly to find what works for them and their families.
What makes being a Millennial Mama so hard?
- These mamas are the queens of juggling. They are the Jacks (or Jills) of all the trades. These mamas can run the board meeting, make an amazing dinner for their family, and plan a Pinterest worthy first birthday party all in the same day. They can and THEY DO! As special as all of that is, it is sure exhausting!
- They are often torn between their families and their careers. Although it’s nearly impossible to be 100% at both, these mamas sure try their damndest.
- Millennial Mamas are constantly in the “spotlight.” Whether we care to admit it or not they are constantly being watched and therefore judged. I cannot count how many times I’ve seen a picture posted of a friend’s little one in the car with the note: “Edited to add: The car was stopped and put in park when this picture was taken, thanks for everyone’s concern” … I know the truth… she is not thankful for their concern. She just wanted to post an adorable pic of her baby in the car and didn’t need your opinions, kapeesh?!
The Last Thing You Need to Know about being a Millennial Mama:
I think what I’m trying to get at here is that there is no “perfect” way to be a Millennial Mama. We all are trying so hard to just keep afloat. We are also trying so hard to earn this imaginary badge of honor for getting through this battle. In reality, this just isn’t necessary… In case you didn’t know this, your kiddos adore you, your husband thinks your even more beautiful to him now than he did on your wedding night, and somewhere there is another Millennial Mama out there who is inspired by your strength and dedication to your family.
This is one of the hardest, but most incredible times of your life. You are doing so great. Even when you feel alone, know that this Millennial Mama has your back. I’m so happy you’ve found us, and I am so very honored to be Your Millennial Mama <3
Your Millennial Mama,
What tips do you have for other Millennial Mamas?