My inner marketing geek is coming out here, sorry. I just can’t help it. Late last year I was at a brand summit for a large client of mine. The majority of the time was spent revealing and exploring expensive shopper data and insights about the elusive “Millennial Mom” and how to, obviously, make her a customer.
As I sat in the audience, I almost laughed out loud and “whooped” a few times. I occasionally sulked in my chair, hiding behind my notebook, yet at times also sat up proudly wishing it were obvious that I was young enough to fit into this mighty cohort. By the end of the first day, I was convinced they had simply been watching my life on hidden cameras.
Of course, as a Millennial, the worst thing that could happen to me is to be stuck with the label of Millennial. “Don’t stick me in your box! You’ll never figure me out!” screams the voice in my head.
But that day I realized both how Millennial I really am, and why our generation’s behaviors, especially as parents, baffle and surprise our predecessors.
In the same shopping trip I throw organic produce and Goldfish crackers in my cart. (The rainbow ones, with all the extra dyes. Those are my kids favorite.)
I gather ingredients to make homemade protein bites with natural peanut butter and steel-cut oats with my kids, but splurge for Uncrustables so I don’t even have to spread PB&J for their school lunches.
I serve eggs and fruit for breakfast, and pick up Happy Meals for dinner.
I order almost everything online to be delivered or picked up on demand, yet can’t stand that Wal-Mart doesn’t have cashiers anymore.
I treat myself to $5 coffees, and pinch every last penny I can using the grocery store coupon app.
I am connected to technology 24/7, yet limit my kids’ screen time.
I am an oxymoron, yet not a moron at all.
The conclusion I came to (after coming to terms with the fact that I, Megan Brammeier, do in fact, 1,000 percent, fit inside the confines of the Millennial Mom box) is that maybe it’s actually not all that bad.
Millennial moms’ seemingly schizophrenic habits are truly a reflection of her doing whatever she can to create the absolute best life and future for her children. We are tackling busy days and fighting for better tomorrows. We are trying to provide our children with healthier foods and products and environments, all while living within the constraints of 24-hour days and mediocre incomes.
It is hard. And our purchasing habits prove it.
We find funds for indulgence like eating out and overpriced coffee. We make time for memories like making healthy snacks with our kids and going to the movies. We take stands for better futures by buying sustainable products and trying to fit real food into our diets. And we otherwise survive, however we can with whatever time, money and energy is left, which often means sacrificing the high ground for extreme convenience and affordability.
I am proud to be with you, mamas. See ya at Whole Foods, or the McDonald’s drive-thru, depending on the day.
Originally Posted on the author's blog, Please Bring Coffee.
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