The struggle is real, according to Millennials who have flooded TikTok to say they want their parents to stop passing down their anxieties to the next generation. And the comments section proves that many people are thinking the same thing...
Childcare is a constant worry. The average childcare costs in the UK are unaffordable for a large section of the population and, while many qualify for 15 hours free childcare, for many parents, this just isn't enough and is the reason GoodToKnow's Family Editor Stephanie Lowe couldn't afford to have a second child.
The saying 'it takes a village' exists for a reason, and many parents consider themselves incredibly lucky to be able to turn to their children's grandparents for some much-needed support. However, this poses a new dilemma that many millennial parents have just realised, and is a problem that others are experiencing too. Simply, they feel grandparents are making their grandchildren incredibly anxious.
Stephanie agrees; "My mum was never a childcare option for me as she lived in another country, but I don't think I'd have asked her as the lines are too blurred. With nursery they have a professional duty of care to my child and listen when I point out 'not great things' that might be happening or said to my child. Whereas my mum just has her 80s parenting style. And yes I survived it, and yes I love her to pieces but I'm also a people pleasing adult who never feels enough, imposter syndrome is my desk buddy and I have therapy once a week."
Millennial mum Gabi kicked off the conversation on her TikTok account when she shares how, in her childhood, her mother would 'express anxiety' over her to show that she cared. But while it came from a good place, Gabi said she found it 'beyond exhausting' to deal with the anxiety as a child and believes 'absorbing that energy' when she was younger has turned her into an 'anxious adult'.
These experiences led Gabi to choose a more relaxed parenting style when she gave birth to her now 18-month old twins. But all the effort she's put into making sure her kids have a different childhood to her own seems to have been in vein.
That's because Gabi's mum has been looking after her children while Gabi works, and she has noticed the grandmother putting the exact same anxieties as she experienced onto her own children. She doesn't know what to do but is worried it's going to negatively impact her kids as they grow up. And pretty much everyone online agrees.
The video has amassed 1.2 million views as well as thousands of comments from parents in the exact same situation as Gabi. People can recognise that they're lucky to have grandparents who want to look after their kids, which is a growing rarity as grandparents are now less available for childcare help than previous generations, but it seems like the cons are beginning to outweigh the pros.
There are a few actions to be taken that can remedy the situation somewhat, but most of the millennial parents interacting with Gabi's video on TikTok were just pleased to know that they were not alone in their worries.
If this is what you're thinking every time you hand your child over to the grandparents then try our top tips for what to do when your family disagree with your parenting style. Stephanie caveats this with; "Of course, we will mess our kids up just like we claim our parents did to us. And we need to come to terms with this. I know that, as a mum to a five year old, I will mess him up in my own special way. I'll be so focussed on not messing him up in the same way I was, that I'll drop the ball elsewhere. And that will be HIS fodder for future therapy - as is the circle of life."
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Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. 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.
- Stephanie LoweFamily Editor
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