8 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Face of Parenthood

According to population estimates released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials have surpassed the Baby Boomer's as the nation's largest living generation. 

We're here and we've taken over, except, we're also waiting longer to have kids than any other generation.

The reason most often cited? Financial stress-- whether it’s low starting pay, the burden of student loans, or the high and rising cost of child care-- is number one.

Still the new generation of working millennial mothers is putting their own brand of mommyhood into the world. From understanding that there’s more than one way to be a good mom to being more forthcoming about their shortcomings. This generation may be doing it later, but we’re doing it our way.

Here are 8 ways we're changing the mom game. 

1. We're confident that we're good parents. 

All of those trophies and gold stars weren't for naught. There's nothing wrong with a healthy self-esteem and according to a Pew survey, 57 percent of Millennial moms say they're doing a very good job at parenting, compared to 48 percent of Gen Xers and 41 percent of Baby Boomers. 

2. We no longer believe we have to keep a perfect home.

That might in part be related to the fact that our pop culture role models are very open about their flaws. And that's a big deal. 

It's made us much more willing to not be "perfect" all the time. This is not June Cleaver's version of parenthood. These are women who portrayed a real version of motherhood and who often held their own in two-income families. Claire Huxtable from "The Cosby Show" was a lawyer who showed us an unapologetic strong working mom role model. Aunt Becky from "Full House" was an anchor woman, mom to twins, and had fabulous hair. There are also inspiring women everywhere showing us how mom and boss work together: Tina Fey, Shonda Rhimes, Jessica Alba, Amy Poehler, Bobbi Brown, Maria Jacquemetton, Marissa Mayer, and more. These exemplary powerful women, both fictitious and real, have given us a much different version of "mom" than generations prior. And we seem to be taking notes. 

3. We're bringing home the bacon for our fam. 

There have been some dramatic shifts that underscore modern mom life. Nearly half of all U.S. mothers are either the primary breadwinner or “on par financially with their significant other,” according to the new study “The Breadwinner PheMOMenon.” According to the study from Ketchum, this shift goes hand-in-hand with the above. “With more breadwinning and less breadmaking, nearly half of moms surveyed no longer have expectations that they should be a ‘domestic goddess,’”says  Kelley Skoloda, partner and director of Ketchum’s Global Brand Marketing Practice and author of Too Busy to Shop: Marketing to Multi-Minding Women.

4. Everybody's working for the weekend, but our jobs aren't just about money. 

Gasp! Are we happy about our jobs?! According to The Working Mother Research Institute's "Mothers and Daughters: The Working Mother Generations Report" Millennials are more fulfilled by career prospects and compensation than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. The most "optimistic" generation in the survey, 47 percent of Millennials said they would prefer to work even if they did not have to financially vs. 37 percent of Gen Xers 36% of Boomers. 

5. Being a good parent is more important than a good marriage. 

According to a Pew Research Center study, 52 percent of Millennials put a premium on being a good parent, while only 30 percent said having a good marriage is one of the most important things in life. 

6. Independent, but social, is part of our nature. 

We have fewer attachments to traditional political and religious institutions, but are more connected to personalized networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups through social and digital media.

7. We waited to have kids. 

The Urban Institute found that Millennial women are the slowest to have kids of any generation in U.S. history. According to the Pew Research Center, highly-educated moms are waiting until their 30s to have children. Among women ages 40 to 50, the median age at which those with a master’s degree or more first became mothers now stands at 30.

8. If knowledge is power, this bunch is going to be pretty powerful. 

A record share of new millennial mothers have a college degree, more so than any other previous generation of young adults, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The picture is even more dramatic for graduate school: While 2.8 percent of young adults had a grad degree in 1995, 3.8 percent received one in 2010, which amounts to a 35 percent increase. If knowledge is power, we have some of the most powerful moms out there.

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