Millennial parents are getting candid about the realities of parenthood

They share their thoughts on what it's really like...

Millennial parents with their child
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Millennial parents have shared their very relatable thoughts on what parenthood is really like - and from understandable worries to handy parenting hacks, the insight is great for parents of any age. 

You can do everything in your power to prepare for parenthood, but the reality of it always looks different than we imagined - not least because parenthood often makes navigating your relationship harder. And i's something that's led millennial parents, whose kids are reportedly making fun of their millennial ways, to candidly open up about what it's really like to become a parent. 

Opening up the conversation to their community of readers, Buzzfeed shared parents' most common difficulties - and their thoughts on them are beyond relatable.

"Having kids is one of the most amazing things for a parent, but sometimes it's also one of the hardest things," one said. "They're sweet, funny, and kind, but they can be demanding and argue with their siblings so much you wonder if they even love/like each other."

They added, "There are days when I'm so tired by dinner time, I'm getting on my own nerves. But I wouldn't change it for the world."

Another revealed, "I think the hardest one for me has been the realisation that sometimes your kids will struggle more than their peers. Both my kids are neurodivergent, and one has been dealing with severe depression. All my friends post year-end stories about their kids’ sports teams, dance recitals, etc., while our kids just can’t take those things on. 

"They’re both so smart and talented, but those things don’t shine as much through the challenges as I wish they did," they added. "But the silver lining to that is that I’ve learned so much from both of them, and that’s helped me become an advocate both for the things they need and for other kids who may not have voices speaking up for them the way our kids do."

Others came in with handy recommendations for new parents. "There's no need to be a martyr when you're a parent," one parent promised. "It's not some sort of requirement that you're obligated to handle as some sort of right of passage. If your kids don't handle travel well, don't take them! They may actually enjoy the experience a lot more when they're older. I didn't go on a long trip with my kids until they were around nine and 12. Trying this when they were younger probably would have been annoying and miserable." 

A different mum shared, "I would really recommend that parents and future parents really try to imagine and discuss with their partners or co-parents what values and expectations they would like to bring to parenting so that they can have a clear intention and objective in mind on how they would like to parent and how their partner, family, friends can assist with that."

Some parents simply used the opportunity to promise parents of younger children that, as they grow up, many of the struggles they're facing will become easier. "I struggled a lot when my kids were younger," one parent said. "Kids of that age are loud, unpredictable, and hard (or impossible sometimes) to reason with. For much of that time, they had no self-preservation instinct and had to be constantly watched so they wouldn't eat batteries they found in a kitchen drawer or run out in traffic. It's exhausting."

But, they promised, things got easier. "Once they became teenagers, suddenly, they could be reasoned with, they could wipe their own bottoms and noses, bathe themselves, and they weren't constantly screaming over random little issues," they shared. And it wasn't just practical things that got easier, the relationship between parent and child developed too. "They developed interests I could share with them, like rock climbing and cycling. I know a lot of people have the opposite experience, but I've grown really close to my kids and have an awesome bond with them now."

Getting insight from other parents is a great way to develop your own approach to parenthood. From the four things millennial dads are better than previous generations to millennials' top parenting rules, the generation seems to always be on hand to offer some help to those looking for it. 

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.