Thoughts + Tips

A New American Dream for the Millennial Parent

Family Canoe in Loxahatchee

Millennial parents should focus the future on the quality of life.Ohhh the American Dream. Passed down from Baby Boomers to Gen Xers to the confused new majority – the Millennials. The values of that Old American Dream (the Old AD) were wholesome and tangible at one time. For many of us 30-somethings, the Millennial parent making our way through this “millennial age,” that dream has become hazy and harder to accept when we think of our kids future.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s nice to dream, but what does it take to live that dream? If you think of it, the American Dream of our parents seemed to focus on the “quantity of life” as a means to seek “quality of life.” In other words, the concept behind that Old AD was to attain and obtain “things” like a degree, marriage, a house and children. Over the generations, the vision that empowered a sense of ownership has misguided the ownership of “purpose” in life – and resulted in our supposedly entitled generation. Of course. Our parents owned things and now we own even more things. With that materialistic change, the focus on “quality” of life diminished for the sake of “quantity.” And now, we’re going through the motions to meet the aspirations of generations before us at a time when the reward comes with different costs and sacrifice – like student debt and work you bring home on your phone.

Study hard to get good grades so you can go to college and get a degree(s). Take your degree to the market and start your career. Commit yourself to 35+ years of work so you can get yourself a home (and mortgage!) Pursue the sacred institution of marriage so you can have a family with 3.2 children – and eventually refinance your mortgage. Then, after working hard to hold a degree(s), take home a paycheck, raise your kids and own your home after 30+ years at whatever % interest, your dream can finally come true. You’ve reached your 60’s and you’re handed the Golden Years trophy – retirement! Finally, you might be able to release from the commitments of work, mortgage and raising children to BEGIN enjoying life and all that you’ve collected along the way. That’s if you’re healthy and able.

Wow, that sucks. Waiting 30+ years to fulfill a dream? Hoping that life doesn’t interrupt along the way with cancer, car accidents or Ashley Madison amongst other life changers. The Old American Dream was a great idea for another time, but it almost has this generation feeling half-full. Heck, it’s turning into a nightmare!

We Bring the Kids is the beginning of our New American Dream and our hope to pave a different path and different values for our children. Marty and I (Danny or “Elf” – that’s us in the selfie to the left!) have decided it’s time to focus on quality of life through a lens of purpose and passion. Sounds so cliché right? Like many 30-somethings, we’ve struggled with the millennial conundrum of pursuing passion – that half-empty feeling that your life is missing something and can’t be this way for 30 more years!

WBTK_logo_FINAL_ 180 HighSo we’ve identified a starting point – our amateur, honest attempt at social media and this blog called We Bring the Kids blog. We are inviting everyone to share our journey and theirs through life as parents and travelers. We have realized that above all, our greatest passion is our family and our children, Landon and Jake (the cute faces down below). Over the last four years, they have given us a thirst to truly experience life in a way that fulfills us – not through the quantity of what we acquire but through the quality of shared memories and moments along the way.

IMG_5311With this passion we have found a purpose – to expose our children to the world around them today so that their American Dream can be fulfilled on the front-end of life and not when they reach 65. If only the Baby Boomers knew, I am sure they would have given us something different too. (Note: thank you to our moms and dads for all they did give us. Our gripe is with a social predisposition, not the four of you!)

As parents, we have the power to influence not just our children, but an entire generation. A simple thought can trigger a world of exploration – so let’s FOLLOW, SHARE and EXPLORE with each other. It’s not like we aren’t changing almost everything else handed down to us and unlike the narcissistic label applied to millennials suggests, we’re doing this for our kids and not ourselves.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Shawna
    10/28/2015 at 8:51 pm

    I’m always in awe of your thirst for adventure that involves your family. A lot of people complain about how kids affect our lives in a negative way by holding us back, but I feel it’s the opposite. I feel inspired to get out and do more, be more active, in order to bring fun and discovery for my children. You guys are doing that and beyond. Can’t wait to see where your journey takes you.

  • Reply
    Morgan Spector
    10/29/2015 at 3:11 am

    I love your family adventure take on the American Dream. You have definitely inspired my family to get out there. We had been hesitant on vacationing with a toddler, but we finally got the courage and #webroughtthekid on a cross country flight and a Californian adventure for the ages. Looking forward to following your adventures and great travel ideas and tips.

    • Reply
      webringthekids@gmail.com
      10/29/2015 at 3:36 am

      Thanks Morgan. California is definitely a great place to start. It’s perfect for mom and dad to get to do “mom + dad” stuff without boring the heck out of a toddler. And, with access to nature, coastlines and plenty of places to go to, there is a enough for the kids too.

      Maybe California should invite every family with a 2-year old to visit as a way to test the traveling with kids waters.

  • Reply
    Chet Elfenbein
    11/06/2015 at 11:29 pm

    You’ll never mine more gold than the treasure you carry with you, enriching the lives, experience, knowledge and endless memories of two hungry and spongable beautiful children! If you have the photo library going forward, your next historian, novelist, urban geniuses time has ever seen! A gift to everyone who ever gets to know and love them like their Grampapa does‼️???✨

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