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Monet's Family in the Garden, 1874. Photo: Leemage/Corbis/Getty Images

Millennial women are redefining modern motherhood, according to a new survey — they are likely to embrace traditional notions of motherliness, and while most work, few are optimistic about combining parenting and career.

Quick take: The survey by Motherly, a news site aimed at millennials, suggests that the generation now aged 22 to 37 — much maligned as reluctant to take on responsibility — is growing up, says Liz Tenety, the website's co-founder.

Tenety tells Axios that motherhood has been defined by conflict — with work and identity. "It's almost like the idea of what motherly is felt outdated," she said.

  • But many millennial women, she said, view motherhood "as the best part of their life," she said, rather than as a tradeoff with career. The majority — 53% — are working full time. But 59% feel defined by motherhood, and just 14% said they are optimistic “that it’s possible to combine [work and family] creatively."
  • Millennials' opinion of their parenting skills surpasses the self-assessment of prior generations: In a 2015 Pew survey, 57% of millennial moms said they are doing a "very good job" at parenting; 48% of Generation X said the same; and 41% of Boomers.
  • But, but, but: Like prior generations, Motherly found that millennial mothers feel frustrated by a lack of support: 74% said society does not do a good job understanding and supporting mothers. Half said the government should enact tax credits for child care and require employers to provide family leave.

This does not mean large families: When you look at fertility rates, millennial women will have fewer children than prior generations — at an average of 1.8, reports Lyman Stone, an economist writing for the NYT.

  • Yet their intentions are different from any recent generation — millennials said they want to have an average of 2.7 children, the highest on record since the early 1970s, Stone reported.

Go deeper: Read Stone's piece The Decline of American Motherhood, in the Atlantic.

  • And listen to a podcast in which Brookings senior fellow Isabel Sawhill describes the "success sequence": Women who get an education beyond high school, work full time and wait to have children within a committed relationship have a greater than 70% chance of landing in the middle class, and less than a 2% chance of being poor.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

GOP congressman forfeits committee seats after indictment

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) on Wednesday stepped down from his committee assignments after being indicted for lying to federal investigators amid a probe into illegal campaign donations.

What they're saying: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Fortenberry said he is "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me."

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.