Gone are the days when being a stay at home mom only elicited the duties of motherhood.
The millennial parent has to work to stay at home. Surviving off of one spouse's income may be doable, but it does not allow for extra luxuries like extended vacations. In order to provide anything other than basic living for your children, you have to hustle. You have to work smarter, not harder. You have to be one step ahead all day, every day.
All of this while taking care of your children and making sure you're the best parent and person you can be in your job and with your family. Has it always been this way, or are millennials just the first to shout out the imbalance and incredibly unfair standards?
Most stay at home parents have a side hustle. It's partly for mental stimulation, and partly because they need extra money. For some, the extra income may be for designer clothes or make-up palettes. For others, it may be the extra boost in income they need to buy organic produce to feed their kids because the thought of feeding them a list of ingredients they can't read keeps the parent up at night. What it's probably not for is the ever sought after, boomer glorified savings account.
It is exhausting. Between parenting and side hustle, it leaves them little time for doing things millennial parents enjoy. Chances are they enjoy their side gig, but it's not the same. It's still work. It's still something that you have to do to provide.
To sit down and read a book with a glass of wine, to watch television with their spouse without distraction, to indulge our notoriously millennial palettes at a nice restaurant. To do almost anything without constantly feeling like you're prioritizing tasks in order of importance is welcomed.
Should I fold the kid's clothes, or should I send one last pitch? Should I finish up this last order now, or wait until after bed time? Should I pass story time off to my spouse so I can read up on how to motivate myself to hustle?
Hustling is glorified. It's boasted about in music, corporate culture, and is now intertwined with modern American life.
When will enough be enough? Can I attain what feels unattainable?
There you have it. In order to thrive in this society that feels like it is forever against you, you have to be happy with what you have. You have to do the best you can, and be the best you can be. The words "you are enough" carry so much weight.
We have goals - big goals. But don't let them drown you and make you feel like you're not worthy.
Godspeed fellow millennial parent. We are doing it, and we are proving that we are one of the hardest working generations that America has ever seen. We are portrayed negatively in the media and by other generations, but we've got this, and we know we've got it.