Reading this sentence in a mainstream publication just validated everything I feel about the kind of parent I want to be: “It doesn’t mean millennials put parenthood second, but their definition of what makes a good parent is Mom and Dad being happy, and exposing their child to all the things that they have enjoyed.”
That’s what MaryLeigh Bliss, trend editor of New York-based marketing firm Ypulse told the Washington Post in an article about DC’s baby boom.
Post writer Carol Morello reports:
In the past three years, the number of children younger than 5 has grown by almost 20 percent, from 33,000 to 39,000, according to census figures. The number of babies is expected to soar as more millennials, who tend to marry and start families later than previous generations did, reach their early and mid-30s.
It’s encouraging to see the model of parenthood changing. And as Bliss said, these attitudes toward urban parenting aren’t about Mommy and Daddy wanting to party, and to hell with the kids. They — we — are raising kids in cities precisely because we believe the diversity of experiences and interactions make cities an enriching place to grow up.
Still, naysayers like Joel Kotkin, booster of all things suburban, maintain that cities are playgrounds of rich singles and hostile to the needs of families with children.
But the current baby boom in DC tells a different story. It also may signal the final demise of white flight. The ranks of white infants and toddlers grew by 34 percent in the District “even as white children younger than 5 declined by 3 percent nationwide.” Not only are whites coming back to central cities, they’re putting down roots.
How deep are these roots? It’s hard to say. While there are almost 20 percent more babies being born in DC now than three years ago, the number of children ages 5 to 13 rose just 7 percent, and the number of kids 14 and up actually fell. That means city parents are still giving up on urban living — and, perhaps more to the point, urban schools — by the time their kids hit high school.