Nontraditional Moms: Defining Motherhood in the Millennial Age

Nontraditional Moms

As one generation makes way for another, millennials are navigating parenting while balancing careers and individual wellness. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials refer to anyone born between 1981 to 1996. Specifically, millennial mothers are changing societal views. As women lead the U.S. in education and are beginning to earn higher wages in corporate America, mothers are altering the landscape of parenting and refusing to conform to the myth of the ideal mother.  Moms are also turning to self care to maintain their mental wellness and are no longer guilting themselves into putting their wellbeing last. As with an inflight emergency, moms are putting their hypothetical masks on first to ensure they can tend to their families. 

Lauren Sweeney, an Army reservist on active duty orders, is the only woman in her organization. As a wife and mom of three, Lauren maintains a high paced military career as a military readiness monitor while finding time to transition her family into veganism to promote a healthy lifestyle. “A lot of times they don’t know that they are eating something that doesn’t contain dairy or meat,” explains Lauren on how she is able to sneak in vegan meals for her children. She also ensures that she sets time aside for her husband by adhering to a schedule. On maintaining the romance with her husband Lauren says, “That can be difficult because we are already sleep deprived,” she continues, “scheduling is so important to protect your priorities.” 

Alexandria, VA (July 21, 2019), Teneice Bowie finding time for relaxation on a Sunday afternoon.

Alexandria, VA (July 21, 2019), Teneice Bowie finding time for relaxation on a Sunday afternoon.

Teneice Bowie, a Solid Core instructor, podcaster and corporate working mom is a proponent of self care and following one’s own path in motherhood. While acknowledging that the corporate world can be challenging for mothers, she finds balance in separating her motherhood from her individuality. Although being a single mother is challenging, she is able to take on motherhood with style. She doesn’t forego her interests because of her need to be home for her daughter. Instead, Teneice records and edits her podcast in her home studio, she maintains a biweekly Sunday afternoon hair appointment and invites her girlfriends over for quality time. “Be the woman you want to be”, Teneice says, “I am a woman first, and I govern my home and my child based off of who I am as a person every single day. I don’t aim to be the best mom, I just aim to be the best me and that’s how it works.”

Millennial mothers are defying conventional norms to maintain a healthy work and home life. Moms are no longer afraid to break away from societal norms, proving that an ideal mother is one who is confident in her own style of parenting.