So, part of my tag line lists me as a “millennial mother”. Factually I cannot avoid this (being born in 1990) any more then one can avoid the color of their skin. However, up until lately, before the term millennial really became popular, I never considered myself part of a group per say. Short of marking “Caucasian” on a job application, I was just me. Just middle class, 20-something female, college grad, etc., etc…plenty of people have those descriptions behind their name and I never thought it made me stand out. In fact, for a scholarship application in college I was tasked to write about why I thought I deserved the money…and instead I wrote about why scholarships seem to be geared only toward minorities and how it actually had become difficult for me to find a scholarship (considering myself average) that I qualified for!
When the term millennial came out, honestly, I figured it was just another phrase that would be used in a history book describe a particular generation of people. My mom is a baby boomer, but I don’t associate more then a time period with that term. Millennial has recently grown to have negative connotations and I now have a deeper and greater appreciation for what it feels like to be generalized with a group of people that may or may not reflect your own personal values.
With that said, I have grown to embrace the title of millennial, not because I am everything the term encompasses but because (like every group) there are conceptions I am proud to debunk.
First of all, not EVERY millennial is tech savvy (this is super annoying). Quite the opposite actually. I would not even have a smart phone had my job not required it two years ago, so don’t ask me how to do something on your device. I don’t know. Second, our constant urge to be satisfied is NOT always a bad thing. Many of us are blissfully aware that money does not provide happiness…but we also don’t want to skimp on the things that make us happy. Our world is bombarded with negativity, finding positive avenues in your life can become a constant, tiring venture. Third, there are some of us who still understand and practice the concept of a hard days work. There are many parents out there who did take the time to teach us the value of chores and the honesty of earning a dollar. So, to be categorized as a know-it-all, phone-obsessed, don’t want to work for what I have person just because of the year I was born is quite concerning.
Add motherhood to the mix…ugh. So we have: mom-shaming, body image issues, google everything that’s wrong with your baby hypochondria, over-diagnosing doctors, ever increasing news stories about how literally ANYTHING can kill or maim your child, predators (in person and online), breastfeeding stigmas, working mom critics, going into debt for college (along with your kids), decreases in quality educational systems, online bullying, the list goes on…
So when we were kids you may have heard our grandparents say “that TV is bad for their brain” and we turned out fine (mostly). But add in the Internet and we are looking at a whole other ball game! I’m sure most kids will turn out fine. As a mom in this day and age, I cant help but wish the internet would crash and TVs would implode. We don’t really NEED any of that stuff. Finding that fine line between what technology helps and what it hinders is still so blurry there are constantly new studies showing “ADD linked to cartoons”, or “How to prevent your child from becoming addicted to TV”….seriously, it’s an addiction now. As a mom, that’s scary. Drugs, booze, strippers, not to hard to keep out of the home. TVs, iphones, ipads, ipods, ianythings…they’re everywhere! Literally some schools REQUIRE parents to buy ipads for their kids now instead of textbooks! Saving the trees = good. Causing a new medical diagnosis to be invented (blue screen syndrome) = BAD! Some days it literally makes me want to be an off-the-grid family.
Refocusing. I just have felt lately the term “millennial” ISN’T more then what it seems. The media keeps adding and adding to millennial personality traits it’s now so broad its almost impossible for one to actually have all of those traits. So next time you see a young mom buying organic over generic, or interview a recent college grad who states some lofty job expectations, just think…imagine what our kids our going to be like!