lifestyle

It's time we stopped complaining about Gen Y mums.

Leave Gen Y mums alone. Yes, they’re exhausting. But they’re rewriting the mundane rules of parenting.

Move over Generation X, there’s a hip new breed of young mummies prowling the playground and they’re killing it in the parenting stakes. Like Microsoft computers, Geoffrey Edelstein’s ex-wives and Nokia mobile phones, we’ve now been superseded by a younger and more sophisticated model: the Millennial Mums.

A recent article summarised Millennials as they make their first eager strides into parenthood: they live online, their babies already have social media accounts and their toddlers wear cooler couture than most adults. Taking selfies, teaching bubs to swipe their first smartphone and sipping babycinos with their mini-BFFs is just another typical day. Matching tutus are optional.

At three-years-old, Roxy Jacenko’s daughter Pixie Curtis already has over 100, 000 followers on Instagram. Image via Instagram.

It made me smile as I reminisced about the early years with my own babies, and I was rocking a wicked case of the warm-fuzzies until I read the comments. Rule #1 of the internet: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS.

My blissful bubble was burst by a vitriolic stream of internet bile.

Apparently, Millennial mums are vapid, shallow and narcissistic. They have the mental age of two year olds. They use their kids as accessories. They are stupid and immature. They are appearance-obsessed oversharers. And – like all good intergenerational spats – there was plenty of anguished moaning about the future of humankind, whose fate is now in the hands of selfie stick-wielding brats.

It made me bristle. Becoming a mum for the first time is bloody hard no matter what age you are, and it doesn’t need a steaming pile of internet hate thrown into the mix.

millennial mums
Melissa and her two sons. Image: supplied.

So I’m flipping it. Here’s why I think Millennial Mums are awesome:

1. They are tech-savvy and optimistic about the future.

I’m a typical Gen Xer: I wept at the death of Kurt Cobain, I disguise my despair about the future with drawling sarcasm and I spent the 90’s moping around in Doc Martens and flannelette shirts. In stark contrast, my generational successors are a breath of fresh air. Open-minded and optimistic, Millennials embrace change, crave adventure and eat, sleep and breathe the internet like a fish lives in water.

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Somewhere between the DVD player and the smartphone I officially became old, and nowadays I greet innovation with an uneasy combination of fear, exhaustion and resentment. Millennials adopt new technology with aplomb, embracing it with the casual ease of people who have been adapting to change their entire life.

2. They cultivate connection through social media.

Millennial mums are fully immersed in the online realm and this generation are the first to raise their young families in full view of the rest of the world, with none of the paranoia about privacy or anonymity that plagued earlier generations. Their babies leave digital footprints before they learn to walk, and there are suburban toddlers with the kind of social media following that would make a C-list celebrity seethe with envy.

Being older, I tend to have a more circumspect approach to personal information online. Raised on cautionary tales like Brave New World and Big Brother, I hold back from sharing and connecting in the same carefree way that the Millennials do, fearful of data-mining and facial-recognition software. (Yes, I am a lot of fun at parties).

Mums like Rebecca Judd, pictured here with daughter Billie, are fully immersed in the online world. Image via Instagram.

3. They have a well-developed sense of visual style.

I admire any mother who is capable of leaving the house in more than a faded grey tracksuit and greasy hair swept back in a ponytail. I have even more admiration for mothers who are able to convince their toddlers to wear designer gold leggings with Baby Converse sneakers, because my toddler refuses to wear anything but Superman boxer shorts and a pair of mismatching thongs.

After two kids and a steadily encroaching miasma of “thirtyness” my body isn’t quite the same as it used to be. Throw in the fact that most of my days are spent dodging the bodily fluids of little people and it all adds up to my complete lack of desire to dress like a fashionable 20-something. Or a fashionable 30-something. Or a fashionable anything.

4. They make the daily grind of parenting look like fun.

Millennial mums are always having tonnes of fun and can make a visit to Bunnings look like a trip to Disneyland. A morning at the hardware store becomes the perfect excuse to monkey about for a series of happy selfies in the plumbing aisle, as the otherwise boring minutiae of daily life takes on a magical quality that has since been lost to some of us old-timers.

I hate Bunnings. My kids know I hate Bunnings. The guys at the sausage sizzle know I hate Bunnings. The lady with the balloons knows I hate Bunnings. I go to Bunnings with the grim determination of Jon Snow marching out into open warfare against frozen hordes of the walking undead. There are no quirky photo opps because my Grumpy Old Mum-o-Meter is generally off the charts.

So kudos to the Millennial mums who are killing it, from an older mum who is too weary to give a shit. Ignore the haters and go on being your fabulous selves: everything is better in matching tutus.

What do you think about millennial mums?

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