I was having this conversation with my colleague about how hard parenting is these days versus when my parents were my age 20 + years ago. My mom and dad have always been hard-working people and provided everything for my sisters and I growing up.. But with long hours and hardly any time off comes the sacrifice of watching your kids grow up.
Growing up my parents let me walk to school, play outside, left us in the car with the windows down while they ran into the grocery store, eat dessert for breakfast, and maybe parents were a lot more laid back but they also didn’t have all the resources we have today and people constantly shoving information in your face about how to parent. The way we parent now is by fear; fear that we are going to screw up or someone will be judging our every move. Fear that if we leave our kids alone outside, they’ll get snatched. Our primary goal as parents is to give our kids the best life possible, right?
Being a millennial mother, in my opinion, has been so hard and I think I know why. Back in the day, parents didn’t have FaceTime, Snapchat, Phone Video capabilities, blogs, Facebook support groups, baby monitors that you can access from your phones, etc.. Living in a modern technology world gives us the ability to see our kids through that little device you carry everywhere. But I think that’s what makes it so hard.
We as parents have to see our kids through our phones growing up and for me personally, I hate that. You wake up one day with a tiny human nuzzled by your bedside and the next thing you know, months have gone by and your little one is crawling or walking. Where did the time go?? Do you know how guilty it makes me feel that I have to depend on someone else to watch and raise my daughter because I can’t do it full-time? I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like that. We have to work twice as hard to support our little humans and we live in a world where people are constantly evolving and things are getting more expensive.
Thankfully we have a full-time sitter who lives with us throughout the week and it just so happens it’s my little sister, but that’s beside the point; it makes it hard being away from our daughter all day, all week and the only way we’re able to see her do new things is through videos my sister sends us or on weekends when we’re able to spend all day with her. I know some daycare’s send parents videos and pictures too which is obviously great, but I hate seeing my little girl grow up through my phone.
But here’s the thing. We as millennial parents are extremely lucky to have the support and resources we have because it helps us get through those long days where we have to work. We have the capabilities that our parents didn’t have years ago, and even though it seems like we are constantly being compared to one another or judged on how we raise our kids, we are doing the best we can given our circumstances and that’s more than enough.