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On my first days back on the job after maternity leave, I wrote the post below for the Social Citizens blog, extolling my love for my iPhone and what a helpful tool it was for me as a new mom. Now, I can't wait to get my hands on the iPad2 and benefit from its features for productivity and organization, communications and social elements, and of course the fun apps and games!
At the Case Foundation, we believe moms embody the spirit of giving back. They take care of their kids, work, entertain loved ones, volunteer for schools, advocate for their favorite causes and more. So, to help a couple of moms out there manage their busy lives or for just some FaceTime, we're giving away two iPad 2s™. Enter to win over on our Facebook page. And if you do, keep it for yourself, or better yet, gift it to that great mom in your life!
I am now a member of a new breed … the millennial mom.
Millennials are growing up and the generation now includes folks in their late 20s and early 30s, like myself, who are starting their own families. In fact, according to Pew Research, 21% of US Millennials are married. And, in a study by Mr. Youth, roughly 30% of Millennials in the US and UK have at least one child. Pew also found that Millennials place their two highest life priorities on being a good parent and having a successful marriage. That sure sounds like me.
Another key characteristic of Millennials that sets them apart from other generations is technology use. Based on the same study from Pew, the majority of Millennials feel that new technologies makes life easier, makes people closer to friends and families and allows people to use their time more efficiently. Yup, sounds like me again.
Using technology to access the online world is a huge chunk of how I stay connected to friends and the world around me. The first thing I do when I wake up is check my smart phone for emails and messages. Once I have my cup of coffee, it’s time to turn on my computer and open up my saved tabs (Case Foundation website (of course!), Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter…), log into AIM, Yammer and Outlook, and let the compulsive checking of and communicating via emails, status updates and tweets begin.
Now that I am a mom, it's no surprise that I am recording and sharing all of my baby's milestones, smiles and giggles, and daily outfit changes via photos, videos, emails, blog posts and Facebook updates. The online world is also where I first turn to for everything from parenting advice to finding childcare. Apparently, I am not alone. It turns out 65 percent of Millennial moms utilize five or more separate technologies each day, according to an article by David Stillman. He also notes that many say participating in online communities that provide support and information helps relieve their anxieties of entering the new stage of mommyhood. Again, that’s me … I never realized I was such a stereotype!
But, as most new moms know, the challenges of sleep deprivation and 24/7 attention and focus on your newborn leaves little time for reaching for that computer to get online. And, if your baby is anything like mine, who is a motion junkie that doesn't like to sleep and demands being held at all times, then you’ve really got some logistical problems preventing you from sitting in front of a computer. It has forced me to learn how to live life with one arm/hand, because the other one has turned into baby's personal carrier and cradle.
Enter: the mobile device, this new mom’s best friend.
If you can picture this, I actually drafted this post with one hand on my iPhone while holding baby with the other and simultaneously bouncing on an exercise ball to keep her happy! My handy iPhone had been the only way for me to connect to the outside world the first couple months after giving birth. With one hand, I could email, text, set Facebook status updates, browse the internet, take and post photos and videos - all things necessary for this Millennial to live happily, connected and informed. Not to mention all of the helpful apps for everything from keeping track of feeding schedules to educational kids games. Isn't technology wonderful? Honestly, I don't know how mothers of other generations were able to multi-task without the great gizmos and gadgets that I and other Millennials have readily at hand and are dependent upon.
Are you a Millennial mom? Or mom of any other generation? What are your strategies for staying connected and favorite tech tools for balancing the challenges of mommyhood?
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