2017 has had its highs and lows, to say the least, but we fully believe millennial mamas are coming out on top. This year, we’ve seen more women find their voices, work together and come into their own. And we are HERE FOR IT. ?

With the year *almost* in the rearview mirror, we wanted to reflect on the trends that shaped our lives in 2017.

Here are 10 things we learned about millennial mamas this year.

1. Millennial moms are busy

In 2017, a survey found the average mom is working 98 hours a week—without much in the way of a real “day off” from it all. We’re squeezing in work wherever we can, with a lot of moms grinding it out during non-traditional hours. It makes sense, because you’ve gotta have a flexible work schedule if you’re gonna devote more than five hours a week to driving kids around. ?

2. Millennial mamas carry huge mental loads

Considering just how busy we are, it’s no wonder today’s moms have heavy mental loads. There’s so much to think about: schedules, appointments, whether or not you need to stop for milk on the way home… It can become pretty overwhelming.

In 2017, we learned a lot about this buzzworthy phrase and how it applies to moms. We also started the discussion about what to do about it—because one trend we’d like to see in 2018 is a lightened mental load.

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3. Millennials love parenting

Despite the work and the mental load, moms in 2017 are proving that we are all in on parenting—with one survey finding 99% of millennial parents “love” raising kids. While this generation has often been criticized for being selfish, the stats also show 91% of today’s parents value “raising successful children” even more than living up to their own highest levels of potential.

4. Millennials are leaving cities to raise families

Many millennial moms are moving out of the big cities. According to Ellie Mae, little Athens, Ohio,
is the top city for millennials homebuyers, and WalletHub ranked Overland Park, Kansas, as the best place to raise a family in 2017.

5. Millennial mamas are embracing #honestmotherhood

With celebrities like Whitney Port and Pink leading the charge, 2017 has been a great year for honesty in the parenting sphere. Because while millennial moms love parenting, we’re not afraid to talk about the downsides. Being real about the struggles of parenting (like the loneliness, and depression and anxiety) is an important part of creating an environment where people aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it.

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6. Millennial mamas are calling out mom-shaming

A recent survey by the BBC found 14% of moms have been shamed by random strangers—and we millennial moms are over it. This generation has been on the receiving end of a lot of shaming, but many millennial moms are standing against it and refusing to dish it out to others. Celebrities like Julia Stiles and Chrissy Teigen are standing up to online mom-shamers and empowering non-celeb mamas to do the same.

7. Millennial moms love inventive baby photos

Letterboards, number blankets and, of course, baby meloning (that’s taking a picture of your baby while holding watermelon in front of them so it looks like clothes) were all the rage on Insta this year. Baby photos are cute, but creative baby photos are even better.

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8. Millennials value marriages and relationships

Despite declining millennial marriage rates, studies suggest this generation’s moms are still into the idea. We’re also willing to work on our relationships and let our partners know what we need: Studies show that marriages improve when couples split the chores, so talking about who loads the dishwasher is just as important as talking about mental load.

9. Millennial mamas are campaigning for change

This generation of moms is helping ensure things will be easier for the next: Paid parental leave for moms (and dads) is super important and while it may not happen for those who are due in 2018, the work millennials are doing now is setting the stage for a change in parental leave policies that will be better for babies and families.

10. Millennial moms really, really (no, really) love Target

No, seriously. Whether it’s self-care through a trip to the store or just a quick trip to the parking lot to pick up an online order, millennial moms are all about Target.

Bottom line: There is so much to be optimistic about for millennial moms in 2018—and that’s not just because Chip and Joanna Gaines’ line is finally in Target stores. (But that, too.)