Today's Millennial Mom is resilient, resourceful and optimistic. And according to BabyCenter -- a pregnancy and parenting mobile and Web destination -- Millennial Moms challenge generational stereotypes that include a backlash to helicopter parenting and the rise of entrepreneurs.
The 2014 Millennial Mom Report, the latest installment in BabyCenter's 21st Century Mom Insights Series, profiled more than 1,700 of today's newest and youngest mothers -- from ages 18 to 32 -- and followed their parenting, technology usage and overall ambitions as both parents and individuals.
"The Millennial Mom is more than you think she is," Mike Fogarty, senior vice president and global publisher at BabyCenter, said in a news release. "She represents a cultural and economic force that's creating lasting change. Millennials are underemployed but entrepreneurial, educated but in debt, digital natives fluent with technology and new media -- but back to basics with a strong focus on the environment, health and nutrition."
Here are some of the study's other key findings:
She's more relaxed. Millennial Moms, the product of helicopter parenting, have adopted a more relaxed approach with their own children. Ninety-six percent say their parenting style is loving, 92 percent encouraging, 90 percent supportive and 87 percent involved. When asked about their own parenting style versus their parents style, 88 percent said they're fun and 59 percent said they're more relaxed.
She's digitally connected. Today's moms spend an average of 8.3 hours daily streaming video or going online using a smartphone or tablet. Moms are very comfortable using technology and turn to their mobile devices to look up recipes (76 percent), manage finances (69 percent) and search for parenting advice (76 percent) monthly. Millennial Moms' favorite apps include Facebook, Instagram, BabyCenter, Pinterest and Pandora.
She's a self-starter. "The average Millennial Mom entered adulthood after Apple released the iPhone and after the introduction of social media, eBay and Etsy," according to the survey. "She is fearless, creative and ambitious with radically different career expectations." Seventeen percent are more likely to freelance and one in five have started a blog with substantial followers. Thirty-nine percent of moms have used social media to sell items they've made.
"Despite the unstable economy and high unemployment rates, Millennial Moms have a can-do attitude," said Fogarty. "It's clear from our research that these moms feel confident in their ability to make ends meet, but what is surprising is how much technology plays into this. Moms aren't just saving money; they're finding creative ways to earn it."