Are You a Millennial Mom? New Data Says You’re a Minority
Motherhood in America looks different than the rest of the world. When you think of American mothers, you may think of things like how we helicopter our kids more, or worry more, or have less childcare support or maternity leave. You may picture us as over-tired and over-stressed and while those things may very well be true (the bags under my eyes speak volumes there!) there is also one very significant way that motherhood is changing in the United States:
According to data from Chase, the face of motherhood in America encompasses a lot of challenges and changes, from single-parent households to the decisions that women make regarding having children while also providing for themselves and others financially. Here's what the data can tell us about the changing face of motherhood in the United States:
The majority of women are postponing having a family for their careers
According to the data, a whopping 89% of women over the age of 25 reported intentionally postponing their families in order to focus on their careers. This is a major change because it affects pretty much everything. I mean think about it: women postponing having kids could change the landscape of jobs, of child care, even of the fertility and infertility worlds themselves. Schools might have to change eventually to meet the needs of new parents who are unable to pick up their kids at 2 or 3 PM every day (I mean, really, how has this not changed already? I'm home and I still feel like it's impossible!)
I find the data very interesting because it also didn't dig deep enough to specify if women feel like they have no other choice other than to postpone their careers because they couldn't afford to have kids or if they just felt passionate about their careers and wanted to be sure they were secure and confident in their choices and life situation before plunging into parenthood. Knowing why women make the choices they do are so important because it can help us determine if we need to advocate differently or support the changes that women are making in order to support themselves.
Millennial moms are the minority
This one surprised me the most, probably because I happen to be a millennial mom. From my perspective, it seems like there are a lot of us millennial moms who are caring for kids, figuring out flexible work schedules as we straddle a new job landscape built for nuclear families that had 9-5 jobs forever that were lucrative enough to retire and buy a home on (spoiler: those don't exist anymore!), and basically forging a new path as parents.
But the data reveals something else: only 19% of mothers are millennial moms with kids under the age of 18. Millennial moms also represent 27% of single moms and of those who are partnered, 14% out-earn their partners. In other words, this is a strong, determined bunch of ladies and I'm not surprised one bit.
Two-parent households still make up the majority
While 23% of children in the United States live with a single mother, 58% of children live in a two-parent household. This data could point to a lot of things, whether it be that people are choosing to partner in order to make work and family possible, that couples still want to choose to be together, or that couples are choosing to stay together, but remain unmarried. The data also reveals that 4% of households are headed by single fathers.
Most single mothers were once married
Although single mothers make up nearly a quarter of American households, the majority of them were, at one time, married. 50% of single mothers today were once married and have either gone through the experience of being widowed or divorced. (Those seem like very different things to me, so I'm confused why they are lumped together, although I suppose a divorce is also a death of sorts.)
On the other hand, 44% of single mothers have never been married and 8% of mothers who classified themselves as single mothers reported having an “absent” spouse.
What does all of this data about moms in America tell us? Well, namely, that there is such thing as a “standard” mom anymore. We are all different and we're all changing the landscape of motherhood in American each and every single day. And hopefully, it's all for the better.
Where do you fall into the data? Are you a millennial mom? Single mom? Tell us in the comments!