Millennials get a bad rap.
Painted as selfish and lazy, millennials aren't given nearly enough credit for the positive advancements we've seen in this technological world, particularly when it comes to motherhood.
While the women of my generation (Gen-X) got caught in the in-between of the working mom movement and the stay-at-home-mom resurgence, leading to the infamous "Mommy Wars", millennials have quietly taken over and they're leaving all that pettiness behind.
Ten years ago, when personal blogs were at an all time high, the "Mommy Wars" took front and center. Which was better: Staying at home with your children, or going to work? Women (and men, oddly enough) asked the question, and both sides of the aisle begged for validation.
Today's generation, however, seems to have turned up their noses at the question. "Why can't I do both?" these young mothers ask, and indeed, many of them are doing just that.
Look at the influx of artistic expression online, and you'll find that women are a driving force. Merging motherhood and creativity, these moms are living life artistically, and they're letting the rest of us watch. Yes, these women are mothers first, but they're also wildly creative. They aren't either/or - they are both.
In this Pinterest age of handcrafted children's parties, Instagram photos of beautifully decorated homes, and blogs filled with poetry and prose, it is clear that we are in the midst of a brand new artistic renaissance. Not one born in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but rather in kitchens, nurseries, and living rooms. Mothers, working in the cracks and crevices of each hectic day, are adorning the world with their gifts, and they're showcasing the beautiful, messy blend of motherhood and creativity.
Of course, this blend isn't an easy one. When the children are very young, motherhood is often all consuming, leaving little space in each day for anything other than mothering. These are the "dark ages" of motherhood - a time when many (but certainly not all) feel like a little piece of themselves gets lost in all the diapers, midnight feedings, hormonal mood swings, and toddler tantrums.
But just because motherhood is all encompassing doesn't mean the other parts of us die away. While Gen-X'ers often felt that they had to be all or nothing (stay at home with the children, or go to work - there was very little in between), millennial moms are embracing the beauty of working from home thanks to the technological boom in which they were raised.
Welcome to the new Renaissance!
Utilizing the power of social media, creative moms are sharing their art with the world, often without ever leaving home. A simple click of a button allows thousands of people around the globe to be inspired and impacted by an artistic mom's expression.
From home decorators to bakers, writers to painters, photographers, jewelry designers, seamstresses, graphic designers, and so much more, creative moms are shattering the stigma of both the stay-at-home mom and the working mom in one fell swoop. They're running successful businesses and ministries from their dining room tables. They're turning the mundane moments of the every day into art, snapping photos on their iPhones and sharing them with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of followers.
Motherhood itself has become the art.
Make no mistake - creative mothers are leaving an impact. In a world that sometimes feels like it's burning at every turn, artistic mothers (spanning the generational gap) remind us that there's still beauty to be found in the every day.
This is the impact of a life lived creatively. Thank you, millennial moms, for leading the way.
Kelli Stuart is a wife, mother, writer, and the driver of a smokin' hot minivan. She is the co-author of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom, a book for creative mothers walking the challenging line between motherhood and creativity. She is also the author of the historical fiction novel Like a River From Its Course. Kelli lives in Tampa with her husband and four children. Visit her website at KelliStuart.com (affiliate links included)