Rough estimates indicate millennials — currently between the ages of 18 and 34 — total about 75.4 million people, more than any other generation. Yes, even more than the baby boomers. Millennials are growing up and becoming parents — though some have elected not to have children, which is another commonality among our generation as we don’t view producing offspring as a necessity.
Whose parents didn't mess millennials up in some way? Because of that, we grew up thinking of how we’d raise our children differently. Well buckle up, because the wild ride of parenting is here and I’m about to tell you all about my experience as a millennial parent.
Studies indicate that millennial parents are busier than previous generations of parents yet spend more time with their children. I won’t speak for all millennials, but I’ll confirm that this is true for my fiancé and me.
My fiancé and I break our backs to spend a moment of time with our two-year-old daughter. Why? Because as children, that was something we felt deprived of. No shame to either of our sets of parents, they did the best they could. But sometimes someone’s “best” just isn’t good enough. (If either of my parents are reading this, sorry!)
One of the most important things, in our opinion, is to ensure our daughter feels loved and paid attention to. Also, being a parent can be very rewarding and we just have to soak it all up!
Though we both technically have 40-hour work weeks — we’re millennials, everyone knows that means we put in more than 40 hours, off the books — we try our best to remember that we are also full-time parents.
All of this is getting to a point, I promise.
Because of our “40-hour” work weeks, my fiancé and I have heavily relied on childcare since my daughter was 10 months old. Up until this past Monday, we had a babysitter. However, we decided that it was time to put our girl in daycare, or as she calls it, school.
This is huge! If you’re a parent, you know the struggles of leaving someone else to watch your child, especially a stranger. But I finally got over my anxieties (kind of) and took a leap of faith.
Omg, this has been a wonderful decision for our family — granted it’s only been three days. Our girl has made friends, is speaking more, is more interested in her potty seat, doing arts-and-crafts, has limited TV time, and is on a schedule for eating and napping.
I know you think you have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders — because you’re a millennial — but I’m here to remind you that you don’t. Take some weight off. Make decisions that take some weight off every now and then.
If you’re considering daycare but have reservations, I totally get you. But one day you have to let go. If letting go at an earlier age means you can work the amount you need to, maintain a social life, and even just have some alone time now and then, as Shia LaBeouf would say — JUST DO IT!