Brand Mom: The 2017 Face of Motherhood
In marketing, we often categorize consumers and buyers by persona.
In life, we often label people based on their behaviors, fashion tastes, and quirks. When I was growing up, we had stay-at-home moms (the vast majority) and working moms (whose kids were often pitied by other mothers but envied by kids of stay-at-home moms — especially as we got older). We had one older mom and one super-glam mom. I ran into her daughter many years later and she had followed in her footsteps — she had an all-white apartment and a cute little white yappy dog.
Technology changed the mom thing Work-at-home used to mean stuffing envelopes or making telemarketing calls. We can now work from anywhere…and we do.
This morning, I saw a LinkedIn post that read, “ It was tough leaving the LO [little one] at home but I’m happy to get back to normal and set a good example for my daughter.” But some mothers (like my own highly-educated daughter and her friends) choose to stay home and spend time with their kids when they are babies. Neither is right nor wrong. We need to stop the mom-shaming and just figure out a lifestyle that makes us and our partner — and our kids — the happiest. Most people HAVE to work. Choosing how and where you work can make a huge difference in life quality.
Now (thanks to the wonders of technology) we now also have social media moms. They are constantly sharing their families’ and kids’ photos and news. I’m not talking about the occasional graduation or prom or wedding pic. We have the Fab Brand Ma who goes for the beauty shots of herself, her spouse, and her kids. Her life always looks perfect…no vomit stains or messy hair. The Angry Mommy rants within community groups about issues related to the school system and policies. Among the Professional Blogger Moms, Lenore Skenazy is my personal fave — she suggests that we all just ease up a little, stop helicoptering, and let our kids roam free (within reason).
No matter what we’re sharing or saying, the reality is that this mom thing is a long-term gig; the hardest job we’ll ever have. We make mistakes — lots of them. We prompt eye-rolling and door-slamming and tears. We never know if we’re doing the right thing, because despite all our degrees and workshops, no one ever really teaches us to parent. The only “performance reviews” and KPIs we get are from our kids…and we usually are told we need improvement. But we can’t usually be fired.
We can talk about mom personas, but we are all an amalgam…depending on what’s going on at work, what our kids needs are at any given moment, or how we’re dealing with stress and the people around us.
At the end of the day, we moms — of all types — need to know this:
Motherhood is ultimately about how much you love your kids and what they will say about you when you’re 90 (like my own mother is). I’ll have to print this post out and send it to her (because she refuses to learn how to use technology). She encouraged me to write, took me to the library often and bought me books, and told me that girls could do anything when they grow up.
1960’s moms were “trapped” by certain social standards…1980’s moms plunged head-on into the boardroom/crib world…1990’s moms began to discover work/life integration (because one can never have true balance)…and moms of the 2000’s have virtually unlimited choices, a wide range of mentors, and many of the same conflicts. (Guilt seems to be timeless!)
No matter what we do, or how we do it, let’s just set good role models, try to be kind and loving (no matter how stressed we are), and take a few hours off this week — in honor of Mother’s Day — to treat ourselves to something WE want and need! Every type of mom needs that sometimes.
Smart moms know their stats:
- The average age of first-time mothers in America is climbing. The average is now 26.3.
- A whopping 83% of the babies in the U.S. are born to millennials, who spend an average of $13,000 per year on their kids.
- When they aren’t shopping, they are blogging — 4 million of them in fact!
- Here are some superwomen — single mothers who run their own businesses. (I can’t stand the “mompreneur” term, however.)