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 "It's almost like the idea of what motherly is felt outdated," she said.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

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump lashes out at governors, urges them to "dominate" protesters

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: Trump blamed violence on the "the radical left" and told the governors, who were joined by law enforcement and national security officials, that they have to "dominate" protesters and "arrest people" in order to bring an end to the unrest.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep Lago/AFP, Alfredo Estrella/AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 6,206,773 — Total deaths: 372,752 — Total recoveries — 2,661,643Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,793,780 — Total deaths: 104,3450 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says“My meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased” — Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Climate: Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus.
  5. Economy: A busy week for IPOs despite upheaval from protests and pandemic.
  6. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
2 hours ago - World

Putin sets referendum that could allow him to rule until 2036 for July 1

Putin has not seemed to enjoy governing by video conference. Photo: Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set July 1 as the new date for a constitutional referendum that could allow him to remain in power through 2036.

Why it matters: Putin was forced to delay the referendum from April due to the coronavirus pandemic, and has set the date despite Russia's continued struggles to contain its outbreak. Putin's popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid his response to the pandemic and its economic repercussions.