May 13, 2018

Millennial women are embracing motherliness

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 "It's almost like the idea of what motherly is felt outdated," she said.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.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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