2014

Mother's Day 2014: Three Generations of Motherhood

NEW YORK, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As we approach Mother's Day 2014, most of us can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that however much trouble we might have caused as children, our moms were probably not daunted. Findings from the DDB Life Style Study indicate that 92% of Millennial, Gen X and Boomer moms agree that raising a child brings them a lot of happiness. But once we get beyond the overarching attitude towards motherhood, there are some very real generational differences in how moms with kids under the age of 19 feel about the role, commitment and impact that being a mom takes on their lives.

Although motherhood brings joy, it is not without its challenges. Millennial moms are significantly more likely than Boomer moms (22% v. 11%) and Gen X moms (22% v. 15%) to view parenthood as a real burden. The toll motherhood exacts on Millennial moms is even more apparent when considering how they view time spent with their children. 34% of Millennial moms say that if they had to stay home with their kids day after day they would lose their minds, while only 21% of Gen X and 18% of Boomer moms feel this way. In fact, Millennial moms are more than twice as likely than Gen X and Boomer moms to say they would rather spend time with their friends than their kids (19% v. 8%) and, further, 22% admit they don't enjoy spending time with their kids. Interestingly, they are more tolerant of other people's children than Gen X and Boomer moms claim to be.

"While they might embrace parenthood, Millennial moms are still getting used to their new status," said Denise Delahorne, SVP, Group Strategy Director of DDB U.S., "and they feel the pressures and forfeitures more acutely than their Gen X and Boomer counterparts."

In fact, among those married, Millennial moms are significantly more likely than Gen X and Boomer moms to worry that their husbands no longer think of them as a lover/wife and instead just think of them as "mom" (30% v. 21% and 17%, respectively) and an equal number feel like they've lost their identity because they are moms (29% v. 18% and 12%, respectively).  Across these three generations, the majority of moms indicate they identify first as parents and then as spouses.

Millennial moms, more so than their Gen X and Boomer counterparts, want to make certain their parenting efforts aren't for naught.  61% of Millennial moms say they do whatever they can to make sure their children get preferential treatment, whereas only 46% of Gen X and 44% of Boomer moms do the same. However, we see no differences across generations when it comes to dialing back on careers if they were impacting parenting (the majority of moms would do so) or staying in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the kids (a minority of moms would do so).

Finally, according to DDB's Life Style Study, when it comes to parenting style, the majority of moms want their kids to think of them as the "adult in charge," although 31% of Millennial moms do indicate they would rather their kids think of them as their "friend" instead.

*Value is significantly higher/lower versus Millennial Moms

 

                             
Moms with Kids age 19 or less

 

Millennial

Gen X

 

Boomer

SAMPLE SIZE

 

609

517

288

Raising a child brings me a lot of happiness

92%

92%

93%

I do find parenthood a real burden

25%

17%*

8%*

There's nothing more unpleasant than other people's children

22%

15%*

11%*

If I had to stay home with my kids day after day I would lose my mind

34%

21%*

18%*

Time away from my kids makes me a better parent

45%

46%

45%

I don't enjoy spending time with my kids

22%

13%*

12%*

I would rather spend time with my friends than my kids

19%

8%*

8%*

I think of myself as a parent first and a wife second

71%

66%

57%

I worry that my husband no longer thinks of me as a lover/wife and instead just thinks of me as "Mom"

30%

21%*

17%*

I feel like I've lost my identity because I'm a mom

29%

18%*

12%*

I do whatever I can to make sure my children get preferential treatment

61%

46%*

44%*

Most of my free time is taken up with activities that my kids are involved in

72%

59%*

49%*

If I felt like my career was impacting my parenting I would dial back on my career

77%

80%

75%

If I were unhappily married I would stay married for the sake of the kids

39%

40%

41%

I love my spouse more than my kids

27%

23%

30%

Which better describes your parenting style: 

(A) I want my kids to think of me as their friend

31%

21%*

23%

Which better describes your parenting style: 

(B) I want my kids to think of me as the "adult in charge"

69%

79%

77%

 

The DDB Life Style Study® is the nation's longest running and largest longitudinal study of attitudes and behaviors. Conducted annually since 1975, the sample is balanced to the U.S. Census on gender, age, and race. This proprietary survey, with its 600+ questions, enables DDB to provide exceptional insight into American consumer attitudes and behaviors. The 2014 study was fielded among 7,020 respondents during January 2014. ©2014 DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc.

About DDB
DDB Worldwide (www.ddb.com) is one of the world's largest and most awarded advertising and marketing networks. In 2012 DDB was named Advertising Network of the Year by Campaign, as well as Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year by Strategy magazine. At the prestigious 2013 Cannes International Festival of Creativity, DDB won 93 Lions, the most ever for the network. In addition, The Gunn Report has listed DDB as one of the Top 3 Global Networks for 12 of the last 15 years. The agency's clients include Volkswagen, McDonald's, Unilever, Mars, Johnson & Johnson, and Exxon Mobil, among others.

Founded in 1949, DDB is part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE) and consists of more than 200 offices in over 90 countries with its flagship office in New York, NY.

About Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

For further information on Omnicom and its brands, please visit www.omnicomgroup.com.

Contact:

Christie Giera
Director of Corporate Communications and North American Public Relations, DDB Worldwide
Email: Christie.giera@ddb.com 
Office: 212-415-2186

SOURCE DDB Worldwide



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