Shouldn’t mothers take care of themselves first, to be able to care for babies right? When they put being selfless above self-care, what is it that brands can do to make them a tad more rational?
Frank About Women, a 14-year-old global think tank founded by MullenLowe to improve marketing communication for women, released a white paper that attempts to answer such questions, based on findings from a study titled ‘Global Motherhood Survey’.
The survey was conducted in six markets, using an online opt-in methodology to reach 600 mothers in each. The markets covered were India, China, US, UK, Colombia and Australia. The mothers were either expecting or had kids below 2 years of age.
‘Child comes first’
The study finds that Indian mothers are 36 times more likely than their peers in Australia to agree that ‘the child always comes first’, in the context of being selfless versus self-care. According to the study, 82 per cent mothers in the US said they were blindsided by conversations post delivery, as the concern shifts from the mother’s health to the child’s.
“The data indicates that most moms just accept the culturally reinforced idea that now it’s all about the baby,” observes the white paper. The authors add that brands have a tremendous opportunity therefore, to teach mothers about the value of putting themselves first.
The Competitive Chindians
Seventy five percent of all mothers surveyed said they cannot resist comparing their child’s development to that of other kids. This was found to be 90 per cent in China.
“Indian mothers don’t just compare, they are also the most anxious and obsessed in this regard compared to the other countries,” reads the paper.
Mothers in India and China seem to buck a global trend, going by the findings. While 82 per cent of respondents globally said kids should learn at their own pace, this number stands at 49 per cent for China and India. The majority in the two Asian markets surveyed would encourage their kids to reach milestones ahead of schedule.
Is tech good for kids?
Sixty per cent of respondents across markets said kids should not be exposed to technology at an early age, with China bucking the trend, with 60 per cent encouraging early use of technology. In contrast, 79 per cent moms surveyed in Colombia and 62 per cent in India felt it could be harmful.
The authors observe that marketers should pay heed to the differing perceptions across markets, on how mothers perceive they should support their child’s development.
Disregard for budget
In the Indian sample, nine out of 10 mothers were living in an extended family set up, with 74 per cent living with their in-laws. Over 50 per cent expecting Indian mothers were concerned over their ability to exert views on child rearing, while 30 per cent mothers said it was even harder to do so after the child was born.
Mothers in India and China share another commonality: they disregard their budgets the most when shopping for their kids compared to peers from the other four markets.
Asked which items are worth paying more for, the sample responded as per the chart pasted below.
Once again, respondents from India and China showed a common slant, accounting for the top two nationalities to pick Personal Care, Educational Products, Child Furniture, Clothes and Accessories, and Toys.