Okay, I confess: anytime a survey about motherhood is released I’m one of those types that devours the results. I’m always looking to see if there really (I mean really) will be any scintillating new revelations about “Mommying.” And I’ve learned not to get my hopes up. More times than not, I find the same old findings just tweaked a bit to appear earth shaking and new. So when iVillage published their Motherhood Survey of hundreds of moms this week I was more than pleasantly surprised. There really were fresh and interesting findings—and a few that might even surprise you.
Here are just a few fascinating tidbits gathered by the largest community of women online that garnered my attention:
• Moms today find it nearly twice as difficult to teach their children about financial discipline that about the birds and bees. Talk about a flip-flop! I’d bet anything just a few decades back June Clever would have responded the dead opposite. Just bringing up the “sex” topic would have made her--and probably most of our own moms—blush. This is good news! It means we are more open with our kids about subjects that many of our moms would have saved until our wedding night. It’s also interesting to think why it’s so hard to discuss financial discipline with our kids. Could it be because it’s a more materialistic world or we’re having a tough time reining in our own spending urges?
• Moms (64%) also felt that religion/spirituality was the easiest value to teach their children, easier than “the value of education “(62%), morality (52%) and healthy living (46%).
• A huge percentage of moms (75%) feel a stronger connection to their friends than to their own children. This one really caught me off guard? Why do we feel more comfortable talking about the birds and bees to our kids, but we still feel more connected with our girlfriends?
• Only a little more than half (61%) of all women say they feel very connected to their spouse or partner. This one concerns me. I know the balance act is tough and we’re juggling a lot, but putting our marriages on the backburner certainly can’t be helpful or healthy. If there were any word advice here it would be: Date your husband, ladies! If you can’t go out, rent a video and let that be a movie night, but don’t take for granted your relationship.
• 79% of Moms feel guilty and don’t think they’re doing a “good-enough” job with their kids. This one should be no surprise. After all, “Motherhood” and “Guilt” just seem to go hand in hand. But what will it take for us to realize mothering isn’t a contest?
•74% of women agree that today’s mothers have it harder than previous generations despite all those work-life balance programs in companies and technology that allows families to stay closely connected. (I agree with this one. All this technology is just making me a genius at multi-tasking!)
The truth is for the most part we really are doing a “good-enough” job. In fact, just two months ago a University of Maryland study found that we actually spend four more hours each week directly involved with our kids than our own mothers. The iVillage survey found a similar result:
• Most Moms (61%) agree that we spend more time with our children than our mothers.
We really are doing much better than we give ourselves credit for. In fact, when is the last time you took a minute or two to think of things that are going well for your family? In fact, there’s nothing better than the present. Take out a piece of paper. Pick up a pen. Start making yourself a list of all the things you feel good about. Then pin it to your mirror to remind yourself everyday.
Happy Mother’s Day!