After the birth of their children, women tend to go out less and dedicate less time to each other. Focus on the family unit is to the detriment of relations with friends. According to a study led by CafeMom, mums claim that while they know a lot of people, they rarely have true friends… which they miss enormously.
On average, mums have two true friends, and 30% think that none of the people they know can be considered as a friend. These relations are therefore superficial, involving people with whom they share some nice moments but whom they don’t feel they could rely on in times of crisis.
While they converse a lot with neighbours (particularly mums whose children go to the same school), these relationships are not considered to be very close for two-thirds of them. Moreover, 32% never speak to their neighbours.
The concept of « local community », with solidarity and mutual aid amongst neighbours, isn’t a reality for them: « You shouldn’t believe what you see on Desperate Housewives, I’ve never been greeted with muffins when moving to a new area! » says one young mum ironically.
According to a recent study led by P&G, European mums are today confronted with an almost “logistics” style management of their professional, family and conjugal life: we refer to them as “mum managers”.
This European study, carried out in 13 countries and amongst 10,000 mums, reveals great changes in society, as well as new forms of “tension” linked to the individualisation of society and the thirst for personal fulfillment of each individual.
Womenology provides a synopsis of the study through 15 distinguishable results:
1. Men / Women: differences remain over home life and the way its organised
Serge Hefez, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and family therapist, observes fathers making a strong and continual investment, like mothers, within the family home. Differences between men and women persist, however, regarding the nature of this investment and the time dedicated to home life. For fathers, the family home still remains symbolically associated with well-earned rest. It’s a “cocoon”-like place that he goes into after the “conquest”, his fulfillment coming first and foremost from his professional universe. Even if fathers are investing more than ever in home life, they quite willingly attribute the responsibility of the home to the mother.
For mothers, the home remains the focus of their personal and family fulfillment, sometimes leading to a sense of guilt for those mums who would like to invest more in their careers. “The level of guilt is higher amongst men than amongst women,” notes Serge Hefez.
In May 2011 a new bimonthly magazine appeared in the kiosks. Mum Magazine, which focuses on mother-daughter relationships., is the first to attract the attention of the world media.
Mum Magazine believes in mother-daughter collusions. For the journalists, interesting subjects to both mothers and daughters are numerous: fashion, psychology, celebrities, economic and political interviews, film and music news, beauty, health, and of course … articles on the sometimes conflictual mother-daughter relationships. These are the themes that frame the magazine, which hopes to be a link and a catalyst for discussion between mothers and their adolescents.
The mother-daughter relationship is closer than ever… and marketers are making the most of it: since the beginning of the 21st century, adverts that target both mothers and daughters have been on the increase.
According to psychiatrists, the proliferation of divorced households where the mother brings her children up on her own is a major cause of this phenomenon. But at stake are the young girls who could end up struggling to establish their own identity because they’re always living in the shadow of their Wonder Woman mothers. According to Isabelle Decoopman, marketing lecturer at the EDHEC Business School, « It’s often the mothers who are searching for such closeness, they don’t intend to pass on the torch by giving up their femininity. They are therefore the ones who suggest clothes-swapping with their daughters. »Of course, not all single-parent households will find themselves in this situation but this youthism syndrome is becoming widespread.
“Mominspired“ is the name of the grant programme created by the Huggies brand. The idea is to encourage women to propose marketable ideas that will improve the lives of new parents.
In the US, twice as many women as men have created their own business but men are more likely to have access to credit. In 2010, Huggies thereby responded to a real problem in society by distributing $250,000 during the MomInspired campaign that rewarded 12 projects.
For instance, one of the winners invented a system to carry all the oxygen and medical items that babies born prematurely need. The grant programme was renewed in 2011.