From Marketer to Mommy and Back Again
Hi! You are probably wondering why in the world you should take time out of your day to read this blog. I’m wondering the same thing, sort of. If you are anything like me you are super busy. But if you are anything like me, this blog will probably have lots of juicy information you will enjoy soaking up. So I guess I’m wondering if you are like me. What am I like? Here’s a little bit of background about me.
I have loved marketing from an early age. I recall going to an event with my father, who owned his own consulting business, and filling out a form on which I listed myself as the Vice President of Marketing at his company. I took a huge demotion after that when I started my first job. I enjoy reading marketing blogs and articles and keeping up with the latest marketing trends, it is truly a big part of who I am.
I am also the mother of two beautiful children. This role of “Mommy” has also become a big part of who I am. In fact, some days it seems that is all I am. There is no other job in the world as rewarding and difficult (demanding, challenging and downright not fun sometimes) as being a mother. I have absolutely loved the joys of motherhood. (Warning, cliché coming) My kids have changed my life, for the better (most days). But on those rare occasions when I have time to sit back and relax I have seen an overlap too big to ignore between marketing and motherhood.
Seven years ago when I became a mother I started noticing the HUGE amounts of marketing directed toward moms. It starts before the child is even born. Companies target expecting mothers because, let’s face it, expecting moms are in the market for a lot of stuff. They register for strollers, diapers, car seats, cribs, clothes, bibs, blankets and everything in between. Not that they need everything baby stores tell them they need, but that’s another post. The cost of these items adds up quick and each company wants a piece of the pie. Moms buy a lot of stuff, before the baby is born and for years and years and years after the baby is born.
As my children grew I also noticed another slightly disturbing phenomenon, marketers are targeting my children! The reality is, marketing begins influencing us right from the start. When we are born, we start the process of consuming (see above about all the stuff a baby needs). Our little head starts taking in all the influence from our parents and the world around us: Commercials!!! We begin amassing stuff! It is truly astounding how much stuff a baby has, not to mention a one year old. Granted, at first this is all purchased by mom, which is why moms are the primary target. But as kids get older the advertising and marketing shifts to target the child directly who then presumably asks the parent to buy the items.
Marketing is not a bad thing in and of itself. Marketing is only communicating your offer to someone who may be in need of your product or service. It is what we allow marketing to do to us, the influence we allow marketing to have over us that is the problem.
The difficulties begin when the accumulation of stuff takes over.
I have way too much stuff in my house. No matter how much I think I get rid of, there is always more. This stuff, clutter, begins to control us. We spend time cleaning it, arranging and organizing it, sorting through it to find something, walking around it, and looking at it while feeling guilty about it. The clutter creates a cocoon and we are trapped inside.
Throw in not just your stuff but your kids’ stuff and usually your husband’s stuff and it’s enough to make anyone crazy. Taking care of all that stuff plus cooking, cleaning (the ‘removing-dirt’ kind as opposed to the ‘putting-things-away’ kind) making sure homework is done, and spending quality time with your kids, it’s no wonder moms are stressed. And those are stay at home moms, what about us working moms who are expected to do all that in less than half the time (when you throw in weekends)?
While marketing and the corresponding accumulation of stuff can lead to cutting yourself off from the world (have you seen hoarders?), motherhood and the trap of making our children the center of our universe can also lead to isolation.
I have felt trapped. I want to break free and allow my creativity out! This is my story of breaking out of my cocoon and becoming a butterfly. Did you know that it is the process of pushing out of the cocoon that makes a butterfly’s wings strong? If you cut open the cocoon for the little butterfly you will find shriveled wings and a swollen body. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to break out, but it is that very effort that creates the ability to fly. There is so much potential awaiting inside us all, but it is only with really hard work that we can realize that potential. I am more than just a marketer or just a mother. I hope you will join me on the journey of exploring and reaching new heights.