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 "It's almost like the idea of what motherly is felt outdated," she said.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

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
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2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

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Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.