Becoming a parent can be both an exciting and nerve-racking time. Although you and your friends may still feel young, the number of Millennial parents is growing. More than a million Millennials become parents each year - in addition to the 16 million Millennials who are already parents.1 But don't fret too much about parenthood; your unique generational characteristics will allow you to handle the daunting journey of preparing for kids with relative ease.
Millennials: read on to discover tips on how you can prepare for parenthood in your distinct fashion.
- Use Google and social media for good - Preparing for parenthood is the perfect time to put your internet skills to the test. But be careful; the sheer volume of information makes it easy to get overloaded. Try only using the internet for simple, practical parenting information such as the best birthing or parenting classes in your area, crib reviews and recommendations for daycare centers. Leave the more complex topics for conversations with your doctor, trusted people in your network and books written by experts. Remember to use social media strategically to connect with individuals who are also going through the parenting experience. Avoid users who present an overly idealized version of parenthood and follow those who share similar struggles in this life stage.
- Customize your parenting style - As a Millennial, you expect that everything should be modified to your individual wants and needs - and there's no reason your desires should stop at parenthood. But customization at this point starts with research. Look into the various types of parenting styles, and you're sure to find one - or more - that aligns with your values. Are you intrigued by doing everything natural and organic? Do you want to try co-sleeping or keeping the crib in a separate room? Are you interested in a go-with-the-flow, mellow approach to parenting? Maybe a combination of other parenting styles? Remember, just as there isn't one right way to grow up, there isn't one right way to be a mom and dad. Choose - and customize - a parenting style that best serves your new family's needs.
- Embrace a relaxed mentality - Millennials' parents were often described as "helicopter parents." Your generation is rejecting the controlling, pressure-filled parenting style and taking a more relaxed approach.2 Gone are the days when parenting meant sacrificing one's self for the sake of the children. Today's parents realize that taking care of themselves is the first step in effective parenting. To get started, consider investing in self-care activities by taking yoga or meditation classes, indulging in new hobbies or scheduling an increasingly popular staycation. Anything that will allow you to make time for yourself and maintain calm spirits will benefit you and your family.
- Don't be afraid to collaborate - Your generation recognizes working together can often result in better ideas and outcomes, whether it's a home improvement project or something more personal like the financial impact of becoming a parent. Online information can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember you are not alone. Don't be afraid to seek the help of others, including those who are also preparing for parenthood. Strive to create a community you can access for resources and answer questions, whether these are people in your area or popular social media accounts where you can gain information. Collaboration is especially salient for financial matters - seek out a financial advisor and start planning how you should budget for your baby. Work together to plan accordingly to allow for the financial flexibility and freedom you have grown to love.
As more and more tackle the life stage of having children, you can continue to apply your values to the age-old job of parenting. With a little help from the internet, friends, family and trusted advisors, your generation can enter parenthood with a plethora of practical tools and support.
For each generation, there are unique events and conditions that form a generational personality. This difference in personality can lead to a generation gap when two age groups see the world from significantly different perspectives. GenLink, a program offered by Ivy Investments, is designed to Bridge The GapSM between the generations and provide helpful tools for you to use in conversations with family members, friends and colleagues.
1 Livingston, G. (2017, Jan. 23). More than a million Millennials are becoming moms each year. Retrieved from Pew Research Center.
2Samuels, J. (2014, Jan. 3). BabyCenter reveals profile of Millennial mom: She's resilient, resourceful, optimistic. Retrieved from babycenter.com.
This information is prepared in part by an unrelated independent third party, BridgeWorks, and is provided for informational purposes only. Ivy Distributors, Inc., believes the information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.
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