I’m a millennial mom, meaning I’m a mom who was born between the years of 1980 and 2000. Like most millennial moms, I have a pretty good grasp on technology. I use my phone 24/7 to text and check email, Facebook, and Instagram. (That is if my toddler hasn’t pried it out of my hands so he can push random buttons and call people I haven’t talked to in years).
On the one hand, I’m grateful for technology. I can post a thousand pictures of my kids for grandparents and friends to see, stay in touch with friends throughout the years, keep track of all the cool events in my area, and even buy diapers with a push of a button and then get them delivered straight to my front door. While I’m grateful for the ways technology eases my life, I’ve also realized that it’s caused some challenges for me – challenges that are unique to millennial moms who represent the first generation of moms to parent with the “help” of the Internet and the influence of social media, both of which have their pitfalls.
5 Challenges Every Millennial Mom Faces:
1. Feeling Like You’re Not Doing Enough
Thanks to social media, we know what all our mom friends are doing – the awesome and educational play dates they’re having, the healthy and delicious meals they’re making, and the seemingly perfect and adorable kids they’re raising. Then we look at our own kids who are picking their boogers and falling on the floor because they can’t have more goldfish crackers, and it’s easy to feel like we’re not doing enough, which isn’t really a fair comparison since we are comparing our real selves to someone else’s Instagram worthy moments.
2. Information overload
Instead of relying on advice or intuition, we millennial moms type a phrase into Google and get literally thousands of differing results – so much information, in fact, that it actually makes decision-making harder because we aren’t sure which website or blog has the “right answers.” OR we try to combine like five different methods in hopes that the combined knowledge will get better results; but what really happens is that our potty-trained toddler wants a sticker, an M&M, and a toy for going to the bathroom. Instead of giving us the answers we seek, the multitude of answers on the Internet only serves to paralyze our decision-making or make us feel more insecure about whatever we ultimately decide to do.
3. Being intentional, present, and connected to our kids
Technology is supposed to help us save time, but more often than not, it sucks away our free time with a few minutes checking social media, then a few minutes looking at Pinterest, then checking our email, and then back to social media. It’s a challenge to be truly present with our kids. Then we get to the end of the day and feel guilty for wasting time on our phones instead of being intentional about spending time with our kids. There’s nothing wrong with spending a few minutes on our phones, but when we get caught in this cycle, it really does feel like a struggle to turn off our phones and give our kids our undivided attention.
4. Slowing down in a “right now” society
We are a microwave society. We want everything instantly, but if we are truly going to teach our kids to appreciate life, we need to slow down and enjoy the little things. Let your kids watch the sunset, make a meal with real ingredients (instead of out of the box), go on a nature walk just because, and take the long way home just to see what’s on the backroads.
5. Letting our kids consume too much technology
When my kids are binge-watching their favorite shows and Netflix asks “Are you still there?” I totally feel judged, as if Netflix is saying, “Are you still letting your kids’ brains rot?” It’s so easy to let Netflix “babysit” the kids, but we all know we need to cut down on how much TV we let them watch. It’s just so easy to push a button and get some peace for a few minutes, but the truth is our kids need to be bored. If they are bored, it will force them to be creative, to play outside, and USE their brains. This struggle is real too.
When you really look at all struggles caused by technology/smartphone addiction, it almost makes you want to go back to the old way of parenting (before smartphones), but it’s hard when we rely on technology for so much. But we don’t have to throw up our hands in the air and give up either. This can be the year that we resolve to put smartphones in their place.
As moms who chose to own smartphones and engage in social media, let’s resolve to own them without them owning us. When you go on a diet, you don’t stop eating altogether, and so the same is true for smartphones. Make this the year you go on a smartphone/technology diet, being careful to choose how much time you spend on your phone (or allow your kids to spend), and making more time for adventure, memories with your kids, and all the other things you’re passionate about doing.
Let 2018 be the start of a new diet trend, the Smartphone/technology Diet!