Millennial Parents Are Different And That's Not A Bad Thing
Sure, we’re a little bit angry. We graduated from college when jobs were limited. Many of us made lemons out of lemonade, transmuting the limitations we face at the personal, community, and global levels to carve out unique, socially-conscious lives for ourselves. We’re self-motivated enough to work remotely, and when 5 o’clock rolls around we don’t turn our macbooks off.
Millennials are unconventional, socially-conscious hustlers, and now we’re becoming parents. We’re tackling parenthood with the same unconventional approach that’s worked for us so far. To put it in the douchiest tech-bro terms possible, we’re disrupting the parenting space. Here are a few ways millennial parents are rewriting the parenting rules, each to be explored more deeply in future posts:
We’re environmentally conscious
About a year ago, in a brainstorming session to come up with content for a video about millennial parents, I mentioned that many of the parents at my daughter’s school cloth diaper. An older guy incredulously responded that he has three kids and he’s never known anyone who cloth diapers. I’ll allow the great poet Bob Dylan to bridge the generation gap here: “the times, they are a-changin.”
Yes, Mr. Gen X, many millennial parents cloth diaper. While today’s cloth diapers are user-friendly compared to great grandma’s prefolds and pins, disposables are undeniably more efficient. The fact that millennials are making this inconvenient choice in droves says a lot about our generation’s commitment to making eco-friendly choices.
There’s also the fact that cloth diapering saves parents money in the long run. That brings us to the next point...
We’re pretty frugal
The Great Recession hit just as older millennials entered adulthood. Fewer of us landed the mythical full-time job with benefits straight out of college than our parents did, yet we hold more student debt than previous generations. These factors heighten our sense of money-consciousness. According to a NerdWallet poll, millennials save for a baby or plan to save for a baby more than any other age group.
Despite the good intentions, some millennials just don’t have money to save. Many are willing to make sacrifices like living with their parents. Tom Allison, deputy director of policy and research for the Young Invincibles, told USA Today “It’s difficult for us to save for the future, but it’s also very important to us.”
We’re Way, Way Less Likely to Be Married
According to this Johns Hopkins study, 57% of children born to millennials are born to unwed parents. It doesn't mean 57% of kids are born to single parents, but it does mean that relationships between parents are more fluid than ever. Millennials are redefining what it means to be a family.
What are some other ways millennials take an unconventional approach to parenting? Share away in the comments!