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Gen Y and Millennial women having more kids and rejecting helicopter parenting

A new study conducted in Canada suggests that the newest generation of mothers is doing things differently than the generations of women before them. They are abandoning the “helicopter parenting” style of older mothers, and having more kids than women of the previous generation. 1,633 Canadian mothers between the ages of 18 and 34 were surveyed for BabyCenter’s Canadian Millennial Mom Report.

According to the study, 77% of babies born in Canada this year will be to “Millennial moms” or “Gen Y moms” (women between the age of 18 and 30). The findings showed that this group of mothers was 16% more relaxed about parenthood than “Gen X” mothers (women over 30). Gen Y moms were found to be more likely to embrace imperfection as mothers, openly seek feedback, and view parenthood as a collaborative effort with their partners. Indeed, 58% of these mothers said their spouse or partner was a very involved parent.

Ann Elizabeth Samson, editor of BabyCenter Canada said of the Gen Y moms in the study:

“There’s this feeling of ‘I don’t want to do what my parents did’ and I think every generation has a little bit of that…that’s kind of a backlash against a coddling, enabling [approach] from their parents and the feeling that their parents didn’t do right by them in some way.”

These mothers were also 37% more likely to plan on having three or more children, which may be reflective of more flexible work hours and different values about work and family life. According to Ms. Samson, Gen Y moms prefer flexibility over striving to balance work and family commitments the way the Gen X mothers did. This fits for first time mother Alison Matthews, age 29, a government relations consultant. She said of her generation of mothers:

“Unlike the generation before, we know we can’t ‘have it all’ in the traditional [sense]…But with technology and the availability and accessibility of options — there are a million ways to raise a baby — we can be an involved mother while still having a career on our own time.”

Experts are hopeful that Gen Y’s new optimism about motherhood helps to counter Canada’s sinking fertility rate.

Read the article here.

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