We are now in the age of the “Millennial Mom”.
How do you know you’re a millennial mom?
The standard definition is anyone born between 1981 and 2000. In fact, one in five moms is a millennial.
How are we different from previous generations?
One big way is that we millennial moms and dads consume more technology and are more familiar with communications, media, and digital technologies.
Is life easier or harder for millennial parents?
While life can be harder for modern-day moms and dads (unlimited options, extreme pressures), new technologies and services have made certain aspects of life a heck of a lot easier.
10 Reasons Why It’s Easier Being a Millennial Mom Than a Generation X or Baby Boomer Mom
1. Virtual Assistants (Alexa, Siri)
The sixth and seventh member of our household. Amazon’s Alexa has an array of functions including updating parents on the news and weather, ordering groceries and other household items, setting timers (a timeout timer, perhaps?), controlling smart appliances, playing music, and so much more. With Alexa’s help, you can stay informed, dress your kids in weather appropriate outfits, turn the lights on and off hands free (helpful when holding babies), and dance – whenever you feel like it.
If Alexa is your dearest girlfriend, best friend forever (BFF), Apple’s Siri may have become a frenemy. Yes, she’s capable of answering parents’ (and kids’ 😯) questions, setting reminders on your phone calendars, and showing you the nearest location of interest (e.g. Little Gym). But, no, she doesn’t do these things with speed or accuracy. Lately, her voice command translations are laughable. In my opinion, this AI has outlived her usefulness.
Mama bird loves the Nest. Today’s baby monitors are connected to your phones, which means you can be out on a date and check on your little sweethearts while the babysitter is home.
An added bonus? If you or your partner travels for work, he or she can check on the kids while away. You can even speak through the camera’s speakers! Creepy or cute? I haven’t decided.
3. FaceTime or Skype
A useful way for out-of-town parents to stay in touch with friends and family. Grandparents enjoy seeing their grandchildren’s sweet, little faces. This is screen time you don’t have to feel guilty about!
Of course, FaceTime and Skype also enable parents to enjoy a flexible work schedule. Working from home has never been easier. It’s becoming more professionally acceptable for employees to FaceTime or Skype into business meetings. Which is good news for stay-at-home parents who work or have side hustles.
4. Social Media (Facebook, Instagram)
Another helpful way to keep loved ones in the loop of your busy life. Post pictures and videos of your child’s every moment, monumental or mundane.
While I can’t speak from personal experience, some parents swear by the private parenting groups. Share information with other parents on things like sleep schedules, meal ideas, potty training, etc. It sure beats being put on hold while waiting for the nurse on call.
My go-to online note taking app. I have a Notebook for each child with Notes like: “Your Baby Milestones”, “Cute Things You Say”, “Cute Things You Do”, “Pediatrician Questions/Notes”, “Fever Log”, etc. What’s great is that you can share the Notebooks with other Evernote users, so my husband and I are literally on the same page! In today’s world, most of us have our phones on us (with not a pen or paper in sight). With Evernote, there’s no worry you’ll forget that question you wanted to ask the pediatrician or the date your baby got her first tooth.
My favorite part about Evernote? Once a year (I wish it was more!), I review our Notes and transcribe all the comments into our children’s baby books.
A place to inform and inspire you to be a better parent. But it’s also a place that can make you feel bad about “not doing enough” as a parent.
This website and app allows users to pin everything on virtual Boards from recipes, back-to-school clothes, birthday party decoration ideas, and bedroom themes. Delete the dud ideas and save the keepers.
Think of Pinterest as a portable cookbook, shopping list, notepad, to-do list, and organizer. What mom doesn’t want maximum accessibility and minimal clutter in her life?
7. Class Dojo
An excellent way to stay in touch with your child’s teacher and see what junior is doing during the day. (My mother-in-law’s phenomenal preschool uses the app.) Teachers send parents pictures of their child throughout the day. And parents can send messages to teachers. Really cool.
8. Grocery Store Curbside Pickup and Delivery Services
Online shopping equals more quality time with your children. I can’t say enough about grocery store pickup and delivery services. You don’t even have to live in a big city to take advantage. Check with your area grocery store for availability. For free or a nominal fee, you shop online and set a curbside pickup or delivery time. Create saved lists that you can access for future orders.
My children love to shop, so we still go about once a week for a few items. It’s a great opportunity to teach about different colors, shapes, and foods (quite a vocabulary lesson). And some stores, like Whole Foods, give your child stickers at the checkout.
Amazon is AMAZ-ing! Getting almost anything you need delivered to your doorstep in two days or less (if a Prime member) is obviously a huge time saver for moms and dads. There are services like Subscribe and Save and Amazon Pantry too, which make managing a home easy peasy.
But another, lesser known feature is Amazon Family, which offers members family-oriented suggestions, coupons, age-based recommendations, a certain percentage off (up to 20%) subscriptions to diapers, baby food, and so much more.
Great for nonemergency medical questions. When you can’t get into your pediatrician’s office (and don’t want to call your mom), WebMd is your next best thing.
- Kids’ Programs by Age Group on Streaming Services (Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix)
- Marco Polo Video Messaging App
- Meal Subscription Services (e.g. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh)
- Mobile Banking
- Mommy Helper Apps (e.g. nursing, diaper tracking, sleep scheduling, milestone monitoring, etc.)
- Online Learning Programs (ABC Mouse)
- YouTube Kids
A Final Thought – From the Pillow
We live and parent in the twenty-first century. Embrace the new technologies and services.
So don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for outsourcing your parenting duties. Maybe that judge-y, anachronistic person is your own mother. Not mine. (Thank you for that, Mom.)
If the modern day expectation is to work (full or part-time) and parent, we’re going to need some mommy’s helpers. (Heck, I’m only parenting and desperately require human and machine assistance!) Don’t fret – it’s ok to get a little help, whether from a virtual assistant or a grocery store shopper. Take advantage of what our great, big world has to offer.
Mommies and daddies, don’t work hard, work smart. Parenting is hard, hard work. Parent smart by using your smartphones – if you’re lucky enough to have one.
How we parent and the available tools change from one generation to the next. But some things never change.
Do you think parenting is easier or harder today than in the past?