Impact of Boredom - Millennial Moms
Thank you for your question on the impact of boredom on millennial moms. I found this topic especially interesting as I myself am a millennial mother. Throughout my research, I noticed correlations between millennial mothers experiencing boredom, challenges with a shifting sense of self identity, feelings of social isolation, and symptoms related to postpartum depression. Millennial mothers bring with them habits and attitudes consistent with their generation, such as a reliance on social media and technology for guidance and support and an anxiety associated with missing out on adult-related activities and accomplishments. I will show how the typical rigors associated with new motherhood, specifically boredom, also effect millennial mothers’ ability to feel connected and emotionally present with their children and the world around them.
I drew research information from a variety of sources that focused on information about young western motherhood. As there are currently over 1 million women identified as millennial mothers today, who would have been born between the years of 1978 and 1994, I chose to focus my attention on women who are mothers to infants and small children as also noted by current marketing research information. I broke my research finding down to the different impacts of boredom on millennial mothers, namely impacts to emotional health, self identity, and feelings of social isolation.
Millennial mothers make up uniquely different demographics than their older counterparts. According to an article published by "Family Trending," twice as many millennial mothers are single in comparison to mothers of older generation. Additionally, one third of these mothers is a primary earner in the family, making this a particularly independent group of mothers. With these unique features, we see a potential compounding of the typical emotional and social experiences of new motherhood with those of a busy young professional.
EFFECTS AND IMPACT
Impacts on Sense of Self Identity:
According to an article titled, “The Secret Price of Motherhood,” mothers often experience an unsettling shift in their sense of self identity that when they have children, which can lead to feeling detached and underwhelmed with the experience of motherhood itself. The article went on to describe the unsettling experience of not feeling as emotionally engaged with the experience of young motherhood as media portrayals of motherhood would suggest are normal, stating that it shouldn’t “matter if you’ve read Peppa Pig 15 times in a row; played ‘shop’ for an hour; waited 25 minutes for a two-year-old to dress herself and not finished a single one of the ‘proper’ jobs you need to do." Motherhood should be fun and as the writer noted, "it is frankly unnatural to question such rewarding pleasures." The idea that performing motherhood related tasks should be considered just as rewarding as reaching career or financial milestones may be more difficult to adjust to for a mother who may be used to a more adult focused or financially driven lifestyle, as many millennial mothers have been shown to be.
Impacts on Feelings of Social Isolation:
A March 2017 article published by Psychology Today introduced the important impact of social isolation on mothers of newborns, which can have a direct impact on feelings of boredom. The article cited that "while new mothers might feel extremely connected to their newborn, they often feel extremely disconnected from everyone else." Psychology Today author, Alice Boyce was also quoted to note that as young mothers transition from not having children to new motherhood that "there’s a tension between wanting to keep up friendships and other social relationships but feeling either too exhausted or too anxious about being away from your baby." Millennial mothers can often be struck heavily by this shift in social settings in an age where social media exposure to the experiences of others and the subsequent anxiety or fear of missing out on gown-up social experiences is already an established aspect of millennial adulthood.
Emotional Health and Depression:
Research has also shown a link between a new mother's feelings of boredom and the symptoms of postpartum depression. In an article outlining specific personality traits associated with postpartum depression, feelings of boredom and emotional detachment were common symptoms of mothers experiencing this disorder. While the article cited varying factors contributing to postpartum depression, a young mother's feelings of boredom and lack of connection to new tasks associated with motherhood showed direct implications for the development of depression. Also, while millennial mothers face similar risks for experiencing postpartum depression as their counterparts from previous generations, many specific factors associated with the millennial generation, including social media and technology use show a correlation to how young mothers today might experience boredom, detachment, and depression.
While millennial mothers experience many of the same challenges and experiences that many mothers of previous generations have, aspects such as different cultural and financial expectations and the current impact of social media on modern life play a very specific role in how millennial parents experience new motherhood. Boredom as a feature of millennial motherhood has strong connections and impacts on a mother feeling a sense of social isolation, struggles with a shifting sense of identity, and even an overall sense of depression associated with her new role as a mother.