Does motherhood define you? Are you a parent first and partner, friend, daughter, aunty after? And what about ‘me’ – where does that fit in? A new joint study by a Mumsnet and marketing firm Saatchi and Saatchi has revealed how mums really feel about themselves. Check out these ten truths:
-Less than half of all mums believe that motherhood defines them
-30 per cent of mums admit that they are ‘me first and then a mum’
-Less than a quarter (23 per cent) of mums are happy with people other than -their family members calling them ‘mum
-28 per cent of mums believe that motherhood has made them more ‘mumsy’
-48 per cent of mums say that the best fun they have is with their kids and that -their kids are more fun than most adults they know
-74 per cent of mums agree that they are not perfect and are not trying to be.
-13 per cent of working mums feel guilty about working
-60 per cent of mums agree that their partner is just as involved as they are in parenting.
The research was conducted in an effort to determine the marketing industry’s perceptions of mums and motherhood – and as it turns out, marketers are way off the mark; only one in five mums (19 per cent) believe that there are any examples of mums in advertising that they can relate to.
What’s interesting about the study results is the fact that such many mums (70 per cent) define themselves as ‘mum before me’, which suggests that there have been lots of personal identity sacrifices that have come along with motherhood. Yet 72 per cent of mums don’t believe that motherhood has made them more ‘mumsy’.
Personally, I have made a concerted effort to be a ‘me first and then a mum’. Not that motherhood hasn’t come with sacrifices and not that I wouldn’t do anything for my three children but I know that for me to be the best mum possible, I have to maintain my identity by pursuing my passions, maintaining my friendships and contribution to society in my own relative context. I want my children to see me as a well-rounded person. And I do my best to make that happen although it is by no means easy.