I think I could probably write a book on this topic (though this is not surprising because I have NEVER been one who is short with words when it comes to writing!)… but for your sake, I will keep it brief!
If you are a Millennial you may be thinking, “I have no idea what she is talking about… I absolutely love my family. But for those of you who are a bit older than this generation, you probably are catching my drift.
So who are the Millennials? These are people born basically from the 1980s to mid- 90s.
There are two major subsets that I believe exist within this group… those who flee home and those who stay home. Now, OF COURSE, there are going to outliers and people who do not fit the description of what I am talking about. I am pointing out the general trends in society. One may think that the Millennials who are living at home absolutely value and embrace family… I disagree and we will get to why. AGAIN… if you think this does not apply to you, great! I believe you are outside the norm. I am also not pointing out my personal behaviors and attitudes toward my family in this post… that would be rude.
As a Millennial myself, I know that allllll throughout our lives growing up, we were told that we should pursue a career that makes us happy and that we can and should do anything we dream of. We were told that our parents wanted us to do better than they did. We were told that we didn’t have to be stay at home moms and could be career women. We were told to go to college… whichever one we wanted.
We also saw families breaking apart. Most of our peers being from broken homes. Parents wishing they would have pursued their careers. Single moms struggling because they did not have a college degree. More women in the work place. The internet making the world smaller and more accessible. And eventually no jobs being available and life getting EXPEN$IVE.
What impact do all of these things have on someone’s values, goals, priorities, and vision? What I gather from all this is that family ties you down and hurts you… but investing in your education and career allows you to experience your hopes and dreams. Which would you choose? Especially if you were continually encouraged in that direction.
So now, Millennials are doing it. They are pursuing their careers and moving away and suddenly don’t have time to call, to visit, or to invest in family. They aren’t getting married or having kids until MUCH later because why get divorced and go through all that pain to be left by myself with nothing to fall back on? Why live with regret?
And what are their families’ responses? They feel neglected or shut out… so there is now strife added to the relationship. And as society moves more toward being conflict-avoidant and tech-reliant… not to mention working through all of these situations takes time… the natural human response is to do nothing or what is easy (tech communication).
Now… what about those Millennials that move back home? My experience with these individuals is that they are living at home, not to spend quality time with their families or to support them, but to save a buck. The job market is suffering, they have a pile of students loans and consumer debt, and they want to live comfortably instead of getting a crummy apartment and living low (need that $700 smartphone you know…). AND previous generations would have been hitched by now… which means that Millennials moving home shows they are not prioritizing starting families; a different manifestation of the topic at hand.
Please note that in no way, shape, or form am I trying to make evaluative statements in this blog post. I am simply pointing out some ideas to suggest why things are the way they are. So what are your reactions to this post? I would LOVE to hear from Millennials and the parents of Millennials! Comment below and with what you agree or disagree with. Did I miss something ? Let me know!