I do not think that I’ll be the only one who believes becoming a mum nowadays is scary. As an 80’s baby, I will forever be thinking about how things used to be so much better back in the ‘olden days.’ Life, it seemed, was so much simpler then.
Moms nowadays are encountering problems which their mom and dad’s would never have experienced. Challenges which only this generation are capable of relating to.
Many of those challenges have to do with the way in which technology has taken over our lives, and made us dependent on our phones, tablets and laptops. If you’re one of the few not dependent, I applaud you.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, hell no! There are tons of advantages to starting a family in this era of great change. Research has shown millennials have great perspective, that they believe in themselves and have considerable amounts of empathy. They’re also not afraid to ask for help!
While you might be feeling the pressure of becoming a mom in this ‘not one size fits all’ culture, we’re here to guide you, and ensure you’re fully equipped with strategies to help you handle the journey ahead.
15 Build Good Connections Online
There are no two ways about it…life can be a bit lonely in those first several months of motherhood. Making new friends isn’t at the top of your priority list. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
As you’ll already be aware, there’s a vast network of blogs and message boards for you to explore, all the with the same mission – mothers helping other mothers. Message boards are taking the place of that cup of coffee at the kitchen table.
While message boards can help you find new friends, they can also have more practical uses too. Maura Obercian, a 28-year-old Spanish teacher from Brooklyn found a much-loved nanny through a local message board. That’s not all though. When her son grew out of his bassinet, she found a one-of-a-kind crib to fit in an odd-shaped nook in her apartment from a mom living only two blocks away!
14 Don’t Feel Pressure To Look Amazing
The pressure to look amazing when you are juggling life with your baby is unfathomably high. It’s a pressure that can grind us down and make us feel worthless and shit at what we do – being a mom. We feel like we need to look like we’ve just had a shoot for Vogue AT ALL TIMES.
The demands coming from sites such as Instagram – where are the good looking moms hang out – are so freaking immense, that it’s a common known fact that the social media site contributes considerably to mental health issues worldwide.
It’s a depressing fact that, more often than not, it’s easy to forget that many of the images we are exposed to have been digitally altered. While it can be nice to look good sometimes, looking good for social media is not your prerogative. Looking after your baby, on the other hand, is.
13 Be Open Minded
As a millennial mom, one of the best things you can do for your brood is to see hope for the future. Be opened minded, be optimistic. Be willing to embrace new technology, as it could help you structure your life in ways you never imagined possible before. But also be willing to experience life away from your screens. This is a time to kick down walls and fully embrace adventure.
Open mindedness is one of the most valuable personality traits, and it’s especially valuable when you’re a mom. Being closed minded can keep you locked in the prison of your own mind, and your child will find it much more difficult to experience new ideas and opportunities. Your closed mindedness could go on to influence your child into adulthood, leaving them ill equipped to deal with an ever changing world.
12 You Don’t Need To Share Everything
I can remember several occasions where my partner and I had fall outs because I wanted to capture special moments on camera, especially moments with my three and a half year old stepdaughter.
I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want evidence of the beautiful event…and he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just live in the moment and embrace it fully.
I’ve since become better at not needing to capture everything. It’s hard at first, resisting that urge to grab my camera. But then I just sink into the moment and enjoy it as fully as I can. Though I don’t like to admit it, it isn’t possible to experience the moment 100% when you’re trying to capture it in a photograph or a video. So let some of those baby smiles come and go and relish them just for you.
11 Don’t Be Held Back By Tradition
Despite being in the 21st century, there are certain parental traditions that are, it would appear, set in stone. In the past, moms followed their baby books to the letter. They listened to every word experts said. They ensured that they were walking the same path as everyone else.
But millennial moms don’t need to be forced to kneel under the same pressures. The world we live in nowadays is evolving at the speed of light, as are our thoughts and opinions about how to raise children.
When you don’t let traditions hold you back, you can fully embrace an alternative lifestyle and be open to new parenting ideas. There are some traditions which can work only for the better though, such as story time and talking about the day while the family is sitting around the table for dinner. Those are traditions which we should never let die.
10 Don’t Let Social Media Turn You Into Someone Else
You’re unique. There is not one like you anywhere in the world. There never has been and there never will be. (When you think about it, I mean really think about it, isn’t it just effing amazing!?) And, when you become a mom, it is even more important that you always stay true to yourself.
I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen people attempt to morph into their idols, and bring their kids along for the ride, too. And it’s nothing short of depressing. Though I’m all too aware of how easy it can be to fall into that trap as I’ve been there myself. But as soon as I realised what was going on, I went cold turkey and cut that shit out. I went back to myself and she was more than happy to have me home. I haven’t looked back since.
9 Make Time Not To Be ‘Mom’
I have a friend who, during the first one and half years of her baby’s life, felt so torn when she would spend a few hours away from the baby, that she was quite difficult to be around. I don’t mean that in a horrible way at all, I just believe, very strongly, that mom needs time away from home and from the baby to be the best possible version of herself.
Under no circumstances should you ever be afraid to say that you need some time out. Nobody has the right to deny you this, though believe me, for some of you, people will try. One of the best ways to ensure that you make the time not to be mom – whether it be swimming, a pottery class or a night out with the girls – is to schedule it into your diary.
8 Remember To Turn Electronics Off
When you are bringing up a child, it’s vital to have ‘down time’ from electronics. Turning off phones, the TV and tablets during meal times and before bed is important if you intend on bringing up your child in a family oriented environment over an electronically controlled environment.
If everything is left switched on at all times, it’s inevitable that, as a family, you will end up drifting further and further apart from one another. This is another area in which I have extensive experience. My laptop came before my family for over a decade. It was the worst thing that I could have let happen.
Turning electronics off means that your family can ‘re-tune’ back into the real world. But if you find yourself having an electronic tug of war with your child, there’s an app called DinnerTime which freezes your child’s phone for certain lengths of time.
7 Be Confident
It isn’t easy being a mom. Despite so many moms out there on social media pretending otherwise. And at one time or another, you will have probably felt lacking in your ability to be a mom. Yes, it will be tough. Yes, you will think to yourself ‘can I do this?’
To be a confident mom, you are also going to need to work on your confidence as a woman. Find out your strengths and work with them. Find our your weaknesses and look into how you can turn them into strengths.
Realize that there will be times that you’re going to be judged – so get over it. Ask for help and filter the information. Find out what it is you love about yourself and show the world – and your little one – the authentic you.
6 Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Asking for help in the 21st Century couldn’t be easier, safer or more reliable. One of the aspects of the internet that we all ought to embrace with open arms is our ability to go online, and find the help we need through blogs, websites and forums.
While some of us who were born in the 80’s and 90’s are still stuck on the idea that it’s a taboo to ask for help, it’s astonishing and inspiring to see millennial’s reaching out for advice about everything. Today’s generation rarely thinks twice before asking for help.
Mom Kimberly Zapata said: “When I became a parent, I struggled to ask for help. Sure, I struggled with this in all aspects of my life, but I wanted to do everything right, and I assumed “doing it right” meant doing it alone.”
5 Don’t Feel Pressure To Choose A Wacky Baby Name
Bear Grylls called his baby Huckleberry. Erykah Badu used the name Puma for her little one. And Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban opted for the name Sunday…
But just because every second baby you encounter is called something wild and wacky doesn’t mean you need to take this road, too. Never allow yourself to feel pressurized to give your child a name that you’re not so keen on, just so that they’re ‘with the times.’
Every name will have its lovers and its critics, so don’t let other people’s opinions taint the choice you want to make. If you happen to love names such as Sarah, Elizabeth or Anne, John, Anthony and Samuel there is nothing wrong with that! Go with what you feel comfortable with. What anyone else thinks really doesn’t matter.
4 A Blog Can Be Fun
Setting up a blog as a new mom can be a truly wholesome way to share the life you’re proud of with the world. It can also link you to other like minded moms and see you make life-long friendships. One of the ideas I love about having a mommy blog, the online archive it creates, is something your child will really appreciate in their later years.
You are probably thinking ‘yeah but how do I start?’ The internet is stuffed with pages of advice to guide you through the process, but the first thing you need to think about is ‘what’s your niche?’
As a blogger who has been at the game for several years now though, don’t set up a blog with the goal of making money. While it might seem like every other blogger makes a living from their blogging, that isn’t the case in reality.
3 But You Don’t Need To Make One!
It seems like everyone is blogging, doesn’t it? You have probably felt a little bit of pressure to start one up yourself, even if it’s something you never would have considered before. But listen to me, ok? You DON’T need to have a blog. You DON’T need to share your life with the world. Your life can still be wonderful without everyone seeing it.
Instead of sitting at home blogging with baby on your lap, you could try enrolling in a mommy and baby yoga class, or baby massage classes or swimming classes.
That’s not to say that you can’t follow mommy bloggers though! There’s a lot of inspiration and advice, a lot of fun, a lot of joy to be found in blogs…as well as friendships. You can make the most of the blogging sphere and never publish a post in your life!
2 Make The Most Of Internet Shopping
The first few months of having a new baby are chaos. Time is turned upside down and there are going to be moments when you don’t know your left from your right. At these times, having internet shopping on hand can be a life saver. No milk, bagels or coffee? Order online from your local supermarket while baby is breastfeeding.
Banish those thoughts of ‘yeah, but won’t that make me lazy?’ As a new mom, your life has been overhauled. You see the world through different eyes, and it can take time to adjust.
Needing to worry about when you’re going to have time to go shopping though doesn’t have to be one of your concerns nowadays, so go easy on yourself! If you have an internet connection and aren’t living half way up a Himalayan mountain…
1 Don’t Forget To Print Photographs
While uploading our photographs to social media is fun and all, there’s something so much nicer about having actual photographs that you can hold in your hands. I can imagine that many people have thrown out photographs because they’ve wanted to de-clutter. But I shrink away in horror at the idea.
I’m one of these people who still gets vast amounts of joy from flipping through old photograph albums, and putting together scrap books of special events. But I reckon that many millennial parents have never even printed out of photo of their kids.
You might be thinking ‘well, my JPEGs of my baby will never become creased or worn with age.’ But as a matter of fact, JPEGs do decrease in quality. Also, technology can fail, and just imagine how it would feel to lose every photo you ever took of your little one as they were growing up?