Archive for July, 2015

Millennial Parents: Are they really different?

Friday, July 17th, 2015
image from howardmerrell.com

image from howardmerrell.com

Being a new parent can be overwhelming. At times you think you’re going through something no one has ever gone through before.

That’s partly what prompted Jake Greene, 35, writer/producer/director and father to kids ages 3 and 1, to come up with Millennial Parents, a funny web series that focuses on Kurt (Lea Coco) and Annie (Laura Eichhorn), new parents to son Tanner.

“It’s obviously inspired by what’s happening in my life,” says the Los Angeles-based Greene.

Working with friend/collaborator and director Natalie Irby, Greene wanted to “capture these moments that a lot of people are going through and put them in digestible format.” The goal, he says, was to “give people the bite size laugh – as well as some heart – that they used to get in Sunday morning comics.”

But is millennial parenting really any different from any other generation of parenting?

Yes and no. After watching the web series segments, some of which are hipster hilarious, I can tell you that many cover common parenting themes and topics that we’ve all faced, such as:

–       My kids are better than yours (It’s impossible to avoid this feeling when talking to other moms and dads.)

–       Vacation hotels suited to kids, not luxury relaxing (You’re booking the Great Wolf Lodge, not the Ritz Carlton.)

–       Worries about the child’s future (Will he be smart? Will she be athletic? Will they be good-looking?)

–       Writing a will and who’ll care for the child (Is Uncle Gary really the best choice to raise the kids if you die in a car crash?)

–       That too-cute babysitter

But Kurt and Annie also do face things specific to this generation – such as worrying about artfully posting the right photos on Facebook and singing nasty lullabies to baby Tanner.

Nasty lullabies? What’s up with that? Greene notes: “The number one song in 1964 was I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The no. 1 song is 1994 was I’ll Make Love to You.”

Times have changed. We’ve progressed.

“There’s really a pressure to be cool that just wasn’t there for previous generations,” explains Greene. And this is illustrated in episode 110, titled Are We Cooler than Our Parents?

“Everybody always wanted to be unique and fun, but you can look online now – and we all check it hourly – and you see these magical takes on the cosmopolitan life people are leading because that’s on their feed. You get worried you’re old or dated.”

He adds, “My parents were fun and they were wonderful parents but you want to do things your own way and blaze your own trail.”

The big difference in generations? We live in the digital age, the era of information.

“I think the challenges are largely the same; they just manifest themselves in different ways,” admits Greene. The freak-outs come over different things. “I can’t imagine the level of stress my parents had when they had health issues or school questions and they didn’t have immediate access to all the answers we have.”

But he also hopes that there those universal themes in Millennial Parents, humorous moments that anyone will likely get.

“If you’ve been a parent or if you’ve been in a relationship or felt like your life was chaotic, even though we have some ridiculous stuff, it’s grounded in the truth of those moments.”