Today I filled out a survey for a friend about the values of American moms. The survey is completely anonymous, and took about 10 minutes. At the end, I found myself saying some things that have lingered in my subconscious since being called Mama...
"The word Millennial brings to mind a generation who grew up during times of plenty & relative peace, which now faces uncertain economic circumstances yet still craves surplus & leisure. As daughters, sisters & mothers, we can be trendy & flighty rather than loyal & committed, opinionated but poorly researched, ambitious but naive, making decisions based on short-term goals & often missing the joys of delayed gratification. Our grandmothers lived through the Depression, emerged resourceful & determined to thrive. Our mothers perhaps did not feel the need for the Old World common sense & preferred the faster pace & aid of technology. Now we have learned to want both: the old knowledge & the new convenient platform, handmade but innovative, organic 'slow' food without the waiting, family heirlooms upcycled into something new.
Having internalized the "you can achieve anything" rhetoric, we stress ourselves out trying to have it all. A fulfilling career, an impressive paycheck, a committed relationship, well-adjusted children, a beautiful home, a flawless reputation, a sparkling social life. My wisest professor shook us soundly one day saying, "You can have it all, maybe, in your lifetime. But you can't have it all at once. Don't go crazy trying."
(I bet you can guess who wrote this; our name rhymes with Grinch!)"