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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Millennial Mom?

Photograph by Twenty20

I had never really thought much about my age until I looked around my daughter's pre-school and noticed I was probably the oldest mom on campus. Overnight, it seemed like I had gone from being just another mom at school to being Matthew McConaughey in "Dazed And Confused"; his character just kept hanging out long after he'd graduated high school.

Honestly, I didn't really mind being the oldest mom at preschool until I overheard one mom whisper to another, "She's 40!" as if aging was contagious and I had the disease. Up until that point I'd tried to blend in and pretend like I, too, followed Kylie Jenner on SnapChat and took my children to Coachella (Instagramming the entire weekend, naturally.)

But there it was, the reason jaws were dropping. It wasn't just that I was older. It's that I wasn't a millennial.

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See, when you're not one of them, a millennial, that is, it's hard to disguise the fact that you're different. I don't want to take myself to an outdoor music festival, much less take my kids. I don't think "YouTube Personality" should be a college major. And I remember when the Spice Girls were a joke girl band from England and not considered classic rock.

But since I want my daughter to have friends, I'm trying to fit in with the young moms at school. I may be a Gen-X Mom, but I'm determined to fit in with the Gen-Me millennial moms. Here's what I think it'll take.

1. You are your own brand.

Millennials like to use the word brand a lot, but only in relation to themselves. Millennials see themselves as a brand and their children an extension of it. So if you want to fit in with the young moms at school, make sure you stay "on brand" and that your kids do, too. That means no tantrums, kids. We'd hate to ruin our Instagram photo of the day with all those tears!

Yes, you can totally list how many followers you have on your child's private school kindergarten application.

2. Gram

The term gram from a millennial means Instagram, not a gram of whatever you dabbled in in college.

3. Talk about food, just don't eat it.

Millennial moms like to talk about what their children are eating, or what they're not, to be exact. That's because a millennial mom wouldn't dare feed her child something as unhealthy (and delicious) as Cheetos. She'd have homemade kale chips on hand with salt-free salt to reduce her little one's sodium intake. So if you're going to invite a millennial mom and her spawn over for a play date, make sure the snacks are homemade, natural and probably taste-free.

4. You have to have a squad.

Millennial moms are all about me-time. If you fall in with a crew of young moms at school, expect endless mom's nights out, regular girl's weekends away and tons of social media posts of the tribe together so that everyone who isn't part of the tribe knows they weren't invited.

5. Everything is curated.

Millennial moms have been creating dream boards for most of their lives. Getting married and having children provides a great opportunity to make those dream boards a reality. So if you want to truly be a millennial mom, you must carefully curate everything in your life—from your uncurated school drop off look to the theme of your toddler's birthday party, which you will have shared on Pinterest before the party's end.

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6. There is no such thing as being alone.

A millennial mom is never alone as long as she has her phone.

7. Life is one big Instagram post.

Those wacky millennials love to document everything from their dinner to their child's bedhead. And for moms of particularly adorable babies, it's totally appropriate to get your child his or her own Instagram account. Children can be their own brand, too.

8. It's all about the followers.

It used to be that the Queen Bee or the Parent Association President ruled the school. But for millennials, the most popular mom is the gal with the most followers. And yes, you can totally list how many followers you have on your child's private school kindergarten application.

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9. "Sex And The City"? What's that?

If you're going to hang out with the young mom tribe at school, be prepared to get an entirely different set of cultural references because those girls don't know from a Carrie Bradshaw reference. They think Tina Fey is the funny lady who hosted the Golden Globes, not the first female head writer of "SNL." And forget about your Madonna references. The millennials are all about Taylor. Eek.

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