The Millennials are already the largest generation in America. This year, they became something else: the largest generation of new moms.
According to a report by Goldman Sachs, Millennial moms account for more than 90 percent of new moms in the United States in the past year. And just like everything else they’ve touched, they’re bound to put their distinct Millennial stamp on things.
But cheer up, Gen-Xers. It’s not all bad. Perhaps there’s a thing or two we can learn from these kids, err … young women. After all, they grew up in a world that is much more similar to the one we live in now than the one we remember from our own childhoods. Here are five Millennial traits we Gen-Xers could stand to emulate:
Embrace the concept of ‘growing up online’
Millennial moms are way better positioned to raise kids who are growing up online than Gen-Xers, since they grew up that way, too. They aren’t learning the ropes as they go along, or playing whack-a-mole with the new apps and platforms that come out, desperate to catch up to the next platform. Snapchat? Vine? Yik Yak? GroupMe? They aren’t just secure in their ability to learn what’s next—they’re confident that whatever it is will enhance their lives, and we should be, too.
Take help where you can get it
And by “where you can get it,” they mean on your smartphone. The generation that came of age in “there’s an app for that” actually believes it. From tracking sleep schedules to feeding a newborn, ordering pre-prepped meals to finding a sitter, the connected generation isn’t afraid to seek out the solution at their fingertips. Maybe we shouldn’t be, either. Parenting by text, anyone?
Get along with your folks
It’s clear Millennials made way better teenagers than we did. I spent much of my teenage years listening to grunge and idolizing Winona Ryder. I can’t say my parents were enthralled by me. But 85 percent of Millennials, when asked as teenagers, named one of their parents as their best friend. I imagine having your parents as your besties is really convenient when your own kids are driving you bananas. Hmmm … it’s too late for me to take back my Heathers years. But maybe sending my dad a candygram wouldn’t hurt.
The overarching message Millennials received during their youth was that they are special and destined for greatness. (The overarching message I recall from my youth was that we might get nuked by Russia.) Ironically, all that time spent cultivating their individual self-worth has made them incredibly flexible about making life choices and tremendously open to taking alternative paths—two traits that come in handy from the time your 6-year-old announces she’s a vegan right up through the day your 18-year-old is turning down a college scholarship in favor of “real-life” experiences.
Don’t forget the ‘me time’
You know these Millennials are all about finding themselves. Travel, adventure, following their hearts. All the things we’ve made fun of them for. But aren’t you a little jealous of the generation that expects that all of these wonderful things should be available to them? I know I am. In fact, maybe I should take that backpacking trip through Indonesia, which I always thought I deserved. And maybe I should take it now.