17 Oct The attack of the Millenium Mom
In the 1990’s I managed a group of scary alpha Gen X women. I witnessed these women becoming uber-successful in sales, start having their babies and slowly figuring out how to “have it all”. I watched them try to satisfy their ridiculously high expectations for themselves as moms, employees and wives, with a great deal of doubt, guilt and stress. As a single woman without any children (unless you count dogs) I was in some ways jealous and in some ways grateful I wasn’t trying to hoe that tough field.
However hard it was for them, that generation of women must have really figured things out because the millenium moms I’m dealing with now are nothing short of frightening in their ability to juggle kids, high powered jobs, husbands and still have time for running marathons, doing yoga and blogging. Instead of managing these women, today many of them are my clients, contractors and colleagues. I have to say I am impressed and not a little bit intimidated by their ability to juggle all these things. (Since there doesn’t seem to be a definitive on the year that separates Generation X from Generation Y, I’m just going to say they’re kind of on the XY cusp born in the ’70s or later. )
I was what was called a “latchkey kid”. My mom went off to work when I was in second grade, so maybe I’m sensitive to the topic. I’m sure the women’s libbers of my mom’s generation and those of my own and Generation X tried to do a good job balancing home and work, but as I mentioned before they seemed to do it with a great deal of angst.
I’m pushing 50 and I can hardly get myself out of bed and feed the dogs…let alone dress seven youngsters, freeze a month’s worth of meals and blog about it, all before 8AM. Millenium Moms have a whole new set of characteristics that seem nothing short of remarkable to me.
- They’re incredibly high tech, using Facebook, the Internet and blogs to stay not only informed, but really connected to their peers
- As a consultant who works for and with several of them, they’re slave drivers, plain and simple. These women have learned how to delegate like nobody’s business and if you don’t deliver, watch out.
- In addition to delegation, Millenium Moms are remarkable project managers, from their professional work to coordinating the needs of everyone in their families.
- They’re put together, good looking and stylish (even if there’s baby barf on their shoulder.) It’s made me step up my own game wardrobe-wise, for sure.
- They’re confident in their not getting everything done-ness. There’s a self-esteem there that I haven’t seen in previous working women’s generations, that goes along with having appropriate self-expectations and the realization that no one is perfect.
I could give you dozens of examples, but take a look at Marketing Mama. She works full-time, raises her kids, lives her own life, blogs,Facebooks, oh and in her spare time is a prolific social media maven. I want whatever vitamins she’s taking. Or Brigette Mathiason, who worked for me at a time when her twins were tiny. I believed she regularly turned in amazing work while still double breastfeeding. Still not sure how she did that, but recently she had another one and decided she should start a business too. (Check out her blog here)
I’m not sure I really have a point here except to say that I’m thrilled at the evolution of working women. One of the things that’s great about getting older is you notice this kind of thing. Far from pointing fingers at the “younger folks” I want to be more like them. I think this new group of Millenium Moms is going to be the ones that finally turn this sad planet of ours around. No offense guys.