A multinational company recently interviewed me on the current and emerging behavior patterns and values of Moms in the Philippines in terms of family and lifestyle. Now I told the marketing guy that I can only speak for myself and observations of mommy friends. I agreed to cooperate because my inner-researcher was curious on what these marketing guys are fishing from moms.
I opened the door to a very young man with a video cam. Oops, so he’s going to take a video recording of the interview. After checking that my nose was not shiny, I started to answer his questions:
1.What is the true role of a mother?
My role as a mother changes in every phase of my child’s life. As a mother of babies and toddlers, I devoted full-time attention to their physical and emotional needs . The first three years holds a child’s highest potential for learning so I wanted to be there to nurture their growth. I rarely left the house for long periods of time till the kids went to pre-school. As a mother of teenagers, my role had to adjust a little. They were the turbulent years. It’s hard seeing them grow so fast thinking they are just babies. I knew I had to let go of being a control-freak without being too liberal. I failed miserably as a mother to Lauren, the teenager merely because I thought her personality was like mine. The more control I placed, the more she rebelled. I learned to let go by the time L reached 19 years old. I think M was lucky because I learned from my mistakes. A mom of a 20 year old and above girls is more of a bestfriend role. I still fuss over them especially on health and security matters.
2. Does family still stay together on weekends?
As much as possible, sunday is family day. Since the girls have their own social life, they limit their social activities to friday or saturdays.
3. Do moms still do the traditional cooking?
I don’t cook that often since my husband took over the cooking job on sundays. I used to cook when the girls were still toddlers. These days, I come up with fancy dishes during special occasions like birthdays or Christmas day.
4. Are ingredients complete when cooking?
Of course. Whenever I plan to cook, I make sure I shop for it a day before. I have this grocery list application in my iPhone which makes shopping such a fun and organized experience.
5. How long does cooking time on a weekday take? on weekend?
An hour of preparation and cooking time is average for weekdays and even on weekends.
6. How often does family eat at home? Eat out
We often eat at home. Eating out is rare, probably done once a month or when we’re invited out.
7. How much have family life changed?
With adult kids at home, they are preoccupied with their friends “Mom I have a party so I won’t be home for dinner”. Gone are the days when I can say “time for dinner. As in NOW”.
8. Is beauty important in a husband & wife relationship?
Beauty is really skin deep, so the cliche goes. If one is unhappy, it shows in the face. Over time, the frown or scowl lines show. My husband thinks the world of me and believes I am beautiful. I don’t know how other husbands think about beauty. Even without my husband’s flattery, I believe in making myself beautiful for my own sake and not just for himself.
9. What are other activities do moms get involve with?
I often go to the gym to make sure my metabolism keeps on kicking. Then there is my usual retail therapy to keep me happy but I make sure I don’t overspend. Another weekly treat is a visit to the beauty salon. I love pampering myself whether it be a body massage, facial treatment, manicure, pedicure. These moments are what I call my ME time and I use this to calm my nerves during a stressful week. I know other moms are into yoga and other mind-relaxing techniques.
One thing for sure, the role of moms is constantly evolving as the kids grow up and move on to another phase in their lives. Whatever the mother role, I believe a mother should always nurture herself. How else can she give love to her family without loving herself first? Nurturing is very important in a woman’s life because we show love for ourselves. Nurtured moms are effective in their work and in their relationships. We learn to feel loved by ourselves so much that we can truly love others and let them love us.
Looks like the company is interested in consumer products that mommies buy without considering the hard times ahead of us. Like most families, I impose a Money Management policy in our family. There are many ways to live within our means without scrimping on our lifestyle.
I believe in keeping an optimistic attitude towards the future without necessarily being in denial that the country’s economy is not in tip-top shape. I expect good things for myself and my loved ones.