Cloud nine … My ass!
Young parents cracked the cloud nine code and start to recognise that parenthood can’t be all moonlight and roses.
Gen Y couldn’t care less about keeping up appearances and admit that it’s damn hard to overcome the struggles that accompany with the role of being a mom or dad. In the last few weeks, two books about parenting were released. Kirsten Ginkels & Ellen van den Bouwhuysen (authors of 'The Gentlemom') and Femke Sterken & Barbara van Erp (authors of 'Dit is het boek voor ouders met een leven'), are young mothers that want to undermine the romantic image of being a young parent. And when it’s up to Gen Y, it won’t be long before those unrealistic images will be exposed.
“It’s a grey cloud with pink dots”, Joris and Roscio explained to us during one of the interviews we had for our upcoming book about Gen Y. “Nobody told us how difficult and different it would be with a baby. But if they did, I’m sure we wouldn’t have believed it. This is something you have to experience yourself.”
Gen Y refuses to keep their mouth shut and no longer wants to protect the cloud nine lie. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love their children. “When she wakes up crying for the millionth time, I would like to strangle my daughter. But then I get up, give her a little kiss and forgive her for all those sleepless night.”
Did parenthood became much tougher and harder than in the good old days? Parenthood didn’t, but the combination of different (social) roles is killing Gen Y. This generation sets the bar very high. They want to be the best mom and dad, want to make time for their family, cook daily, find out the best possible day-care, want to wait for their children at the school gate and when it’s possible even have lunch with them. In the meantime their career shouldn’t suffer, there should be time to go to the gym twice a week, to party with their friends and last but not least to keep it exciting with their partner.
Only super(wo)man is capable of all that, but Warner Bros isn’t too happy with the idea of copycats. When choices aren’t made and aspirations aren’t adjusted, we have to deal with frustrated Gen Y parents. Just like to authors of ‘The Gentlemom’ and ‘Dit is het boek voor ouders met een leven’ millennials use the internet as an online outlet, where they aren’t afraid to admit that it’s not all smooth sailing.
Gen Y realises that the life they have always dreamt of, simple isn’t achievable with one or more children. They have enough of this impossible rat race and start to look for ingenious solutions. Some choose to rethink their career path, just like one of our interviewees Jo did. Together with his business partner, Jo built his own company from the ground up. But when the kids came, Jo became an employee in his company. Now he has flexible working hours and has the possibility to spend time with his children when they are not at school. To him this is only a temporary step back in his career path. As soon as his children are more independent, he wants to become an entrepreneur again, maybe even start something new.
Danielle Guenther Photography
Our book about Gen Y families will be published in the spring of 2016. The end of cloud nine is only one of the emergent conceptions that will rock the boat … Stay tuned!