Parenting experiences and stories of Central and Eastern Europe’s Millennials, and how the wild post-Socialist 1990s has shaped a generation.
The Millennials of Central and Eastern Europe were born into a society that underwent astounding changes during their childhood and adolescence. They grew up during the wild post-Socialist 1990s, and this tense context of dramatic transformations has shaped who they are, as well as their strengths and weaknesses today. In The Children of the Nineties Become Parents, author and urban sociologist Veronika Urbonaitė-Barkauskienė reflects on the modern parenting dramas that arise from an attempt to reconcile (too) many different selves in one body and the tortuous path to achieving balance.
The children of the 1990s are a generation molded by that time, that space, and those contexts. They are now stepping into adulthood in their 30s and 40s, and some of them are becoming parents.
They are the daughters and sons of a world that was suddenly turned upside down. Many of their parents lost their jobs when the Soviet Union collapsed and had to find new ones right away. They are the children of a great new world, raised by television and life in the courtyard. These are the children of the promise of freedom, who felt they just needed to “make an effort”, and the great new world would be at their feet.
They are tough, hard-working maximalists who still know how to make jam, enjoy picking mushrooms, keep a drawer full of used plastic bags, and many other deep-rooted, zero-waste habits. They feel at home in the modern world, yet do not take its comforts and luxuries for granted.
What happens when they become parents?
Parenthood has gradually taught them some of life’s most difficult lessons: to err, to lose, to give in with dignity, to accept their own and other people’s vulnerabilities, and to be patient with themselves and others. Parenting for this special generation is a path to empathy—for others as well as for their own kids—but above all, it is self-acceptance. This skill makes them a new and bold Central and Eastern European generation.
The Children of the Nineties Become Parents is for:
Everyone who was born and raised in the post-Socialist 1990s;
Everyone who wants to understand Central and East Europeans better;
Everyone interested in the cultural specificity of parenting in different
regions of the world;
Everyone interested in the parenting experiences and stories of the millennials.
Veronika Urbonaite Barkauskiene is an urban sociologist, the author of the blog Pterodaktilis (Pterodactylus), and a mother of three. At work, she researches unauthorized urban writings and drawings (graffiti), and at other times, she writes about the Millennial generation and a rather unsettling process of becoming a parent. In her blog stories, media articles, and the book The Children of the Nineties Become Parents, she reflects on today’s parenting dramas that arise from the attempt to reconcile (too) many different selves in one body and a tortuous path to achieving balance.