I’d like to introduce you to Millennial Mom (MM). Her tale is one of darkness – unworthiness, pretense, ego – and ultimately, one of light. I share this story because I believe it is one lived by many.
MM struggles with shame. In her attempt to numb out that vulnerability, her mission as a wife and mother is to manifest the mythical perfect family life, so she will feel worthy. Of course, her plan does not work. Nothing is what she thought it would be. Disillusionment sets in. Anger. Resentment. Victimhood. Withdrawal. After a few crises, much searching, and hours of self-reflection, MM finds peace, in acceptance and love.
Drawing on settings and events from my own life, as well as referencing fashion, popular music, and personal development culture, I have attempted to lighten the narrative with humour, to acknowledge that although there is real pain here, these are the problems of the fortunate.
I originally thought this story was about other things, such as the loneliness side effect of professional travel. I thought it was about a stay-at-home parent’s financial strain, overwhelming drudgery and lack of respect from others. I thought it was about co-dependence, the failure to take responsibility for one’s own life. And I thought it was about the destructive potential of thought. But it’s really about vulnerability – telling the truth, and allowing ourselves to be truly seen and loved for who we are.
Why is MM clothed as a superhero? In the beginning, she feels she needs to summon the strength of another, because she can’t do it all alone. Her childhood hero, DC Comics™ Wonder Woman, is her role model, not only of strength, but of purpose, courage and wisdom. Imagining herself as powerful, she too can be a defender of peace and light in her struggle between truth and myth. As the narrative develops, MM becomes her own hero, a symbol of the eternal strength within us all.
Additional works in the story of Millennial Mom can be found at darlenebaker.com