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The millennials’ conflict: Marriage, motherhood & careers

The millennials conflict
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We want it all. This is the millennials’ conflict. In fact, some of us are encouraged to go for it all. Why not aim high? Aim for the husband, the babies and the top position in that company and all before you’re 35. There are women out there doing it. Why can’t you?

millennial women
Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash

Can we all do it all?

It would seem that more and more, Western millenials want to know that we’re financially secure before we settle down and therefore also before we have children. Chasing the money tends to affect when and if we settle down unless we decide to aim instead to find life partners who are financially secure enough to take care of us so that money is never a worry. Interestingly, millenial men are also looking for women who can do it all – make money to help support the family and have as many children to carry on their legacy as they’d like.

We know women do manage to do this but are all women capable of it? Might it be asking too much of some women? Despite battling with these questions, the majority of women largely still see marriage as a goal to be attained. It’s funny then that even if we do aim for marriage, a lot of females would choose to remain single and take care of themselves if we are wealthy enough to do so.

millennial conflict

We’re all narcissists

Studies are blaming narcissism for this generational conflict. We are apparently the “GenMe” bunch. That’s difficult to argue with. In these social media’d out times, where you’re made to feel like your brand is more important than your soul, it’s hard for us to dedicate ourselves to anything that won’t bring us some form of instant gratification. You might have heard that marriage is hard work. Well, it’s true. This remains a fact regardless of any generational conflict.

It’s about two people and the average millennial may be too wrapped up in themselves to do the hard work that’s required to keep a marriage together. Narcissism could be to blame for the rate of divorce appearing to increase globally each year among us millennials. I do not know about that explanation though. It might be a bit too simplistic.

The millennials conflict
Photo by Kev Costello on Unsplash

It can be a lot

Before you have children, you can think you have a concept of just how tough it can be; but you don’t. To mother and partner at the same time is not easy especially in the earlier years but throw in managing a career as well and it can start to feel like too much. Being a mummy on social media myself, I would say that a more honest narrative about motherhood is being pushed lately because I see more photos on Instagram, for example, of mothers in real life – bed hair all day, vomit on clothes and a less-than-tidy home are all being shown online. I appreciate photos like those because it’s important for younger females to see that #momlife can’t always be glamorous. Most of it is not.

Sometimes though, I’m not sure if I’m seeing these realistic images because I go looking for them. Maybe young women are still being presented with an effortless looking, picture perfect version in squares (Instagram) of successful women with their husbands and children. It’s concerning to think that any younger women are basing their decisions about when or if to settle down on the images that are pushed at them online. We should never be fooled into thinking it’s easy to “have it all”.

I know the fight is conventionally for women to have it all but apart from wondering whether we can do it all, I sometimes think, do we still really want to have it all?

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23 thoughts on “The millennials’ conflict: Marriage, motherhood & careers”

  1. I think it’s impossible for anyone to do it all and do any of it well. I’ve found lots of freedom in saying not right now. I can do anything and everything but not at the same time, there just isn’t enough of me and I refuse to spread myself too thin and do things poorly just so I can do it all.

    1. engenderedconvos

      that’s a really good point. learning to say no & not right now are things that i think can be quite hard for women to do

  2. Sara Beth

    Its seems the Millenial Generation does struggle with marriage. This was a good read

    1. engenderedconvos

      thanks for stopping by!

  3. This is a great discussion on the topic of balance. I don’t think perfect balance between family, work, and motherhood is attainable. I think that it’s a constant act of prioritizing and one has to be aware to recognize overwhelm. Great post!

    1. engenderedconvos

      thanks for visiting, Maria!

  4. I completely agree with the premise of this post; do we really want it all? Because in many cases (including my own) that often means doing “it all” rather poorly! I try to remind myself that it’s better to dedicate myself to a few things, rather than everything, and do those things well.

    1. engenderedconvos

      yeah i guess it’s what Alexis mentioned above about spreading ourselves too thin

  5. I read an interesting article that states people are overcompensating in their life due to fear of the unknown in economic turmoil, which feels funny to say in America where most everyone is at least stable, but I believe thought processes are subconscious and the entire generation has likely been made to believe they must hustle for a secure future.

    1. engenderedconvos

      that’s interesting. i agree. i think we are really wired to think the first 50 years or so of our lives MUST be all hustle hustle hustle. and sometimes i suppose it does have to be.
      thanks for visiting, Lenee!

  6. I most certainly don’t want to have it all – it is too much for me! I honestly intend to be a stay at home mom but the financial realities of that aren’t conducive for everyone. I think people shouldn’t take it for granted that any married woman with kids can just decide that she doesn’t want to have to make money. Sometimes it’s not a choice.

    When I see the perfect pictures on instagram I almost just want to roll my eyes. If they really were able to get all 5 babies perfectly dressed, awake, happy and looking at the camera all at once…that is just a reality I know is not mine and I have no idea what they had to do to get that perfect snapshot 😉

    1. engenderedconvos

      Even reading the words “5 babies” made my heart skip a beat lol (although i’d have five more myself if i could!). I do think it’s wonderful for those of us mums who are able to and WANT to stay at home – it’s difficult!! Far more difficult, i would think, than going out to work. Except of course for the heart ache of not being able to watch every little moment of your little ones growing up

  7. I don’t think the narcissism goes for all Millenials. I think the first-gen of Millenials are not narcissistic at all, but the later generations but I’m sure that opinion can be argued. I do agree we try to do it all which is impossible. We don’t need it all right? If we feel that we do and try to do it, we’re basically working ourselves into an early grave

    1. Kin Unplugged

      Exactly. I think it’s easy to work yourself into overdrive and forget to check whether it’s necessary to be doing so in the first place. I sort of blame our consumerist society in the West. Feeling like we need lots of money to buy stuff to make us happy.

  8. This is so true! It’s impossible to give 100% of ourselves in every aspect of our lives. Some areas in life just have to take the backseat.

    1. Kin Unplugged

      That’s so true. It’s absolutely about prioritising what’s really important to us.

  9. Kari

    Having it all sounds exhausting! But I can appreciate the drive that others have to do the best they can at everything.

    1. Kin Unplugged

      Yeah, looking at it like that, it makes sense. Plus if you’re doing a lot with the goal of providing for your family and people who need it then it makes it all worth it.
      Thanks for coming by, Kari!

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