I am not a working millennial mom. I’m not even a mother as of yet. To research what being a working mom in today’s business world is like, I turned to a couple of millennials balancing children and career to gain some insight and sage advice.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“Share parenting responsibilities from minute one. During maternity leave, it’s tempting to take on all kid-related tasks and sometimes it can be easier to do so in the moment. But when both parents are working, it’s absolutely essential that caring for the family be a shared responsibility, and instituting that dynamic months into parenting can be difficult if the expectation isn’t set early.” – Maggie
“I struggle with this. Sometimes, it’s just impossible to do it all. And, in most cases, there are people there to help you. I’m fortunate enough that I have a whole army of family members who are willing to help me with my kids whenever I need it. I’m also fortunate to have a husband who is willing to work a full day at his job, just to come home and help me tie up a few loose ends with my clients. It’s easy to take on everything, but asking for help is always an option. Also, make mom friends. It helps when you can vent to someone who gets it. I’m fortunate enough to have a mom friend who I can be real with, and who is real with me. If I sound like a lunatic when I vent, she tells me but also understands where I am coming from because she has been there.” – Samantha
It’s okay to stop working and enjoy life.
“Leave work at the office. Millennials have been trained to believe that we are on the clock all day long, but the time we have with our kids on weekdays is so limited, it’s important to use it as well as possible. Put the smartphone away and set the (perfectly reasonable) expectation that e-mails will be responded to after bedtime (or even better, the next morning).” – Maggie
“At least once a week, put your phone down, turn your computer off and enjoy the life that you work so hard for! I know people who just work. They work so hard and are successful. But, they seem to miss the boat when it comes to enjoying quality family time. My husband and I work hard so we can give our kids the world. We want to be there while they enjoy it. We want to make memories. Time goes by too fast, and it’s so important to really take a step back from all of the craziness and just live.” – Samantha
Remember “me” time.
“Take care of you. Forget all the ‘oxygen mask’ metaphors and just remember this: your stress levels will impact your child’s health more than breastfeeding, more than cosleeping, more than pretty much any one of the thousands of parenting decisions you will make. Take time for yourself, and make sure your partner does, too. If a parenting ‘philosophy’ is bringing more stress than stress-relief, drop it and make choices that benefit the family as a whole.” – Maggie
“A millennial mom has zero ‘me’ time. We are far too busy. If you are a stay-at-home mom, corporate working mom, part-time working mom or a self-employed mom, we tend to never have ‘me’ time. ‘Me’ time is when I can take care of myself and feel like an individual. It helps me detach for an hour and come back to real life not feeling like someone else’s person.” – Samantha
“A lot of conversation about daycare presents it as a necessary evil, but in reality, daycare is an invaluable resource and the caregivers are your best allies. You’ll be amazed at how much your child learns from being surrounded by other kids and how gifted professionals are at teaching skills and knowledge that seem very complicated to us. Daycare is a second family. And while the situation surrounding parental leave in this country is frustrating at best, one silver lining is that starting daycare on the early side, around 6 months, is a very easy transition for infants because they haven’t yet developed separation anxiety.” – Maggie
Learn to say no.
“I’m a people pleaser. I want to be able to do what others ask of me in every aspect of my life. However, you end up getting to a point where there is too much being asked of you professionally and personally, and something has to give at some point. I’m learning now to say no. When my husband asks me to do ‘just one more thing’ before I leave the house, I say no. When a client asks me to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable, I say no. I don’t say no to be difficult. I say no so I’m not compromising my time, my schedule or my values. I am a long way from being good at this, and take on more than I should daily- but I’m proud of those few moments that I’ve been able to deny someone else’s needs for my own.” – Samantha