Boss Moms

Part
01
of four
Part
01

UK Mom Psychographic

When it comes to the age women are expected to have children, opinions vary far and wide. It is not a one size fits all situation especially in current times. Women all over are choosing to have children later than past norms have dictated. Taking a closer look into the psychographic profile of mothers living in the UK, with in the age range of 30-45 years old, sheds some light on many of these mother's attributes. These attributes include activities, interests, opinions, values, media consumption, as well as, other behaviors and attitudes. A few of these specific attributes are explained in greater detail for a better understanding of the requested demographic.

Media Consumption/Online Activity

  • According to a report from GlobalWebIndex, mothers in the UK spend approximately 2 hours and 12 minutes per day on social media. The study consisted of 1,569 mothers in the UK, between the ages of 16 and 64. The mothers in this study were also found to have on average 7 different social media accounts that they frequented.
  • Another study by comScore Inc. and UKOM looked at both mothers and non-mothers comparing their online activity, as well as, how they accessed online. The report revealed that women ages 25-54 years old, with children, spent most of their time accessing online from their smart phones. On the contrary the women without children tended to access online mainly from a desktop computer.

Important Values

  • Values of mothers in the 30 years old and above living in the UK place higher importance on money and financial values. Being more financially stable and independent is a big deal for mothers in the UK because of the current economic climate and how expensive childcare is.
  • One of the studies mentioned above under media consumption, also noted that just over half (51%) of the 1,569 mothers living in the UK included in the study, said they were more motivated in investing money now than they probably would have been, 20% said they have actively invested in some sort of real estate or stocks and 70% of those interviewed said they were more likely to consider buying/investing in financial products online.
  • Even on a smaller scale when it came to things such as loyalty programs to earn rewards or have added bonuses such as free shipping, 49% of the women with children rated that as something they valued as highly important.

Opinions and Benefits of Having Children at an Older Age

  • Women are usually told that after a certain age, having children comes with many associated risks. However, in studies done women of older maternal age in the UK, with younger children, there are many opinions on the advantages of having kids older than what past norms have dictated-including the mother's well-being.
  • A relatively large analysis published in the British Medical Journal in 2012, found that younger children with mothers of "advanced maternal age", were actually healthier than children with younger moms. The study looked overall at children 5 and younger and found that these younger children with the older moms were more advanced in language and cognitive development, had less emotional and social strains and a smaller amount of injuries caused accidents.
  • Aside from studies on both the health and well-being of mother and child, there are numerous other advantages to take into consideration when considering having children at a slightly older age. One article takes into consideration what multiple moms living in the UK have to say about having children in their mid-late 30s and 40s.
  • Top reasons these sources say they love being "older mums" include having a stronger sense of maturity by the time you have kids, your patience has evolved, you are wiser from all previous life experiences, you can better trust your instincts and you feel like you have lived a full life before starting that next chapter in life of children.


Other Attitudes, Behaviors and Interests

  • A child's development relies a great degree on their interactions with their caregivers. Mothers with more maturity, stability and life experience have more patience and are better equipped to handle stressful situations. According to studies these mothers are also more likely to exhibit more rewarding and positive behavior towards their children
  • For mothers to be able to acknowledge their child's specific needs, mothers need to have in depth knowledge and understanding of developmental milestones to support their children where needed and have been found to interact more positively with managing their children's behavior.
  • Attitudes around traditional gender roles among older mothers are also changing. Older mothers most likely were further along in their career when having a child and most are interested in going back to work. At the very least they are interested in going back part-time or finding flexible work, so they can be a part of their child's everyday life while still being an independent career woman.

Research Strategy

During our psychographic profile analysis, we were unable to find age data relating specifically to mothers in the UK ages 30-45, with children 5 or younger. However, all research, studies and sources included incorporate mothers within that age demographic — either discussing having children or who have already had children, in or near that age bracket.



Part
02
of four
Part
02

Real Talk from Moms

Based on what 30- to 45-year-old British moms with mostly young children have shared about post-birth incontinence, the condition is life-limiting, isolating, embarrassing, and depressing. It is not something to be taken lightly. Affected moms manage the condition by using pads and laxatives, undergoing physiotherapy, and wearing shorts that are especially designed to build pelvic floor muscle strength, among others.

Post-Birth Incontinence is Life-Limiting

  • Katie Crowhurst, who was a 38-year-old British mother to three-year-old Hayden in 2019, shared that while delivering Hayden by forceps in June 2015, her anal sphincter suffered a tear that resulted in her having partial bowel incontinence.
  • Crowhurst attempted a year of physiotherapy or pelvic floor exercises and underwent a slightly embarrassing electric shock treatment, but both these measures proved futile. Her physiotherapists told her she was not engaging her pelvic floor muscles in any way, while the mild electric shock treatment, which was delivered to her pelvic floor through a vaginal probe, did not work.
  • According to Crowhurst, her partial bowel incontinence is life-limiting because she can no longer have another child and she cannot go outside as much as she wants to. Crowhurst says “I can’t be more than minutes from a loo or I’ll have an accident.” She shares that there were already several occasions where she was not able to make it.
  • She adds that there was “no life” for her, her son, or her husband. In the few months following Hayden’s birth, she did not go out of the house and had all her shopping delivered, and she missed taking her son out for “his first walk in his pram.”

Post-Birth Incontinence Is Isolating

  • Giving birth to her only child Amelia left Kelly-Anne Combes with complete urinary incontinence. Pregnancy and childbirth have both weakened Combes's bladder. Combes is a British mom who was 32 years old in 2019.
  • As she was ashamed of her condition, Combes suffered in silence and hid her condition from her husband for over a year. She stopped going out and meeting with friends. To cope with her condition, she isolated herself from the outside world and even her husband.
  • Her mother was initially the only person she talked to about her condition.
  • To help Combes manage her condition, a specialist prescribed her “a pair of shorts with electro muscle stimulation technology” that is designed to build pelvic floor muscle strength.
  • Leonora Fox, a London-based mom who was 36 years old in 2019 and who became incontinent after recently giving birth to her daughter Aria, also felt left out when she found out that none of her mom-friends have post-birth incontinence.

Post-Birth Incontinence is Embarrassing

  • Rhiannon, a British mother of three who is now in her 40s, has endured bowel incontinence since giving birth to her first child at age 32. Her anal sphincter suffered a tear during delivery.
  • Though there are now conversations around postnatal health, post-birth bowel incontinence remains a taboo and embarrassing subject. According to Rhiannon, the condition is not easy to hide, and there were several accidents that she hoped no one was able to notice.
  • Rhiannon adds that there are products designed specifically for urinary incontinence but there are none that can sufficiently hide bowel incontinence. There were times when “she had to push in front of her toddler in the toilet queue” because her toddler had better control of his bowels.
  • By her own admission, Rhiannon only got the courage to seek professional help after four years of suffering from bowel incontinence.
  • Anna Curtis, a British mom who was 39 years old in 2018, also says she felt embarrassed about her incontinence, which was caused by her bladder getting displaced during labor. Curtis has two young children, a daughter and a son.

Post-Birth Incontinence is Not Something to Take Lightly

  • Erica Foggett, a fitness coach from Sussex who was 42 years old in 2018, shared that she lost control of her bladder after giving birth through ventouse extraction to her second child Marley in 2011.
  • A fitness aficionado, she resumed her workouts shortly after giving birth. She did not know then, however, that the high-impact workout classes she was doing were in fact weakening, not strengthening, her pelvic floor.
  • She spoke with her husband and friends about her incontinence, but unfortunately, the only impression she got was that her incontinence was “simply an annoying side effect of giving birth.” At the time, she was just thankful that the incontinence had no effect on her sex life.
  • In 2014, however, she discovered how serious post-birth incontinence can be. Her condition took a turn for the worse when she leaked a considerable amount of urine during an intense workout class.
  • The embarrassment that ensued was what triggered Foggett to try Holistic Core Restore, a pelvic floor strengthening program that can be done at home. After six months of following the program, Foggett was no longer incontinent.

Post-Birth Incontinence Is Depressing

Research Strategy

As there is limited information specific to 30- to 45-year-old British moms with children under five, we supplemented our findings with insights from 30- to 45-year-old British moms who have experienced incontinence shortly after giving birth but whose children may now be over five. After searching for relevant news articles, social media groups, blogs, and forums, we learned that only a few individuals belonging exactly to the specified demographic have publicly shared details about what they are thinking, feeling, doing and saying about post-birth incontinence.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Boss Moms

Blending instead of balancing work and life, starting own company to gain flexibility, and relinquishing some control at home to husband or partner are three trends or insights surrounding the concept of “boss moms” in the United Kingdom.

Blending Instead of Balancing Work and Life

  • There are successful working mothers in the United Kingdom who preach that the key to their success was moving away from the notion of balancing work and life and aiming for work and life integration instead.
  • Natalie Cummins, the new chief executive officer of Zenith UK and a single mother to three children, is one of the proponents of this concept of work-life blending. She shares that, compared to work-life balancing, work-life blending is a better way for working mothers to manage their time.
  • Work-life blending, according to Cummins, means leaving work early in time for the kids’ swimming or piano lessons and working for a short while after the kids’ bedtime instead of establishing a firm rule of not working at all in the evenings.
  • Work-life blending means letting kids play with their tablets and catching up on emails on the plane ride home to be able to take the kids to school on their first day back instead of not working on holiday at all.
  • Nabanita Sen Bekkers, a HuffPost UK contributor and a mom whose elder daughter is suffering from cerebral palsy, goes as far as saying that working mothers seek work-life balance only to discover it does not exist or is an impossible dream. Similar to Cummins, she aims instead for work-life integration, for example, joining a Skype work call on mute unless she has to speak while simultaneously feeding her two children.
  • She recommends planning, improvising, prioritizing, simplifying, and multi-tasking to working mothers who wish to achieve work-life integration.
  • For Amanda Augustine, a mom and an expert at United Kingdom-based CV building company TopCV, parent-friendly company policies like flexible working hours are a big help in achieving work-life integration.

Starting Own Company to Gain Flexibility

  • Some super moms in the country were able to manage their time well because they work at their own company and being the boss of their own company gives them more flexibility.
  • Lily Liebel, for example, was able to manage her time between work and her family more effectively because she works as the Creative Director for her own company, Entourage Collection, a London-based bespoke event and concierge service provider. When her first child was born, she left her job at Graff Diamonds so she and her husband can focus on their son and on building their own company.
  • According to Liebel, having her own company has given her the freedom and the flexibility that a traditional work setting could not provide. Being a mother to two young children, on the other hand, has made her better at time management and her job in general, and has motivated her to work smarter and harder.
  • Another example is Danusia Malina-Derben who has gone from being a mother of six and a career academic to being a mother of ten (including triplets) and the founder of DMD Global, a company in the United Kingdom that offers consultancy services to C-suite teams and boards.

Relinquishing Some Control at Home to Husband or Partner

  • Some women in the country, who can be considered 'boss moms,' are of the belief that a way for mothers to have successful careers is to be kinder to themselves and to relinquish some of the control at home to their husbands or partners.
  • Clarissa Farr, former head of London’s prominent St. Paul’s Girls’ School, believes that “women who “do it all” are their own worst enemies.” She sees a lot of high-achieving working mothers whom she fears are taking on more responsibilities at home and at work than they can manage.
  • Fiona Mcintosh, co-founder of London-based, on-demand beauty business 'blow LTD' and a mother to two daughters, says she knows a lot of men who desire deeper involvement in the home and in their families and are likely willing to share domestic responsibilities.
  • According to Mcintosh, while it is still widely believed that parenting is more of a maternal duty than a paternal one, it is the responsibility of working mothers to change this mindset. Working mothers should stop putting pressure on themselves with their unreasonable ideals of perfectionism and instead aim for equal partnership or shared responsibilities at home.
  • Mcintosh, who teaches her two daughters the value of financial independence, says “success is about learning to juggle and manage all parts of your life.”
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Motherhood in Entertainment

Ten examples of entertainment or infotainment sources on motherhood that tackle the subject head-on with humor and realism include MyLifeSuckers, What's Up Moms, Erin Says, One Bad Mother, Spawned, and Mom Struggling Well, among others. Details for these sources are below.

MyLifeSuckers

The Funny Mom Blog

  • The Funny Mom Blog's website can be found here.
  • Desiree Eaglin is a mom of four who lives in Southern California. She believes that "motherhood requires funny" and that her ability to "laugh through it all" is what has kept her sane.
  • She invites readers to follow her on her motherhood journey on her website and social media pages.
  • The Funny Mom Blog has 3,900 followers on Facebook, 16,400 followers on Twitter, and 3,800 followers on Instagram.

What's Up Moms

  • The What's Up Moms website can be found here.
  • Meg and Ellie started the What's Up Moms website when they could not find video-based content to help them learn how to fly with a baby when they were new moms.
  • The blog is designed to give readers "inspiration on how to enjoy [their] parenthood and a satirical way to enjoy life with [their] kids.
  • The blog has 2.2 million subscribers and their videos have over 1 billion views.
  • The What's Up Moms site has 609,500 followers on Facebook, 12,500 followers on Twitter, and 127,800 followers on Instagram.

Mommy Shorts

  • The Mommy Shorts website can be found here.
  • Ilana Wiles is a working mom of two daughters who lives in New York City. She writes humorous personal stories about parenting and records episodes of "The Mommy Show," where she interviews celebrity mothers.
  • Humorous topics include "average parent problems," "war stories," "parenting charts," and "ridiculous lists."
  • The Mommy Shorts blog has 153,500 followers on Facebook, 31,200 followers on Twitter, and 168,200 followers on Instagram.

Erin Says

  • The Erin Says website can be found here.
  • Erin writes real stories (except the ones she lies about) that document the events of her life in a humorous way, including how she parents her children.
  • It is described as an "R-Rated mom/wife blog intended only for adults with a sense of humor."
  • The Erin Says blog has 117,100 followers on Facebook.

One Bad Mother

Spawned

  • The Spawned podcast does not have its own website, but it is a part of CoolMomPicks.com.
  • Kristen Chase and Liz Gumbinner, founders of CoolMomPicks.com, host the Spawned podcast, which aims to tackle "all things parenting — and sometimes not parenting — with a common sense, humorous approach."
  • CoolMomPicks is a "major lifestyle network" and its Facebook page has 142,300 followers, so it is assumed that many of those followers also enjoy the podcast.
  • On Twitter, CoolMomPicks has 476,800 followers and on Instagram, it has 21,800 followers.

Mom Struggling Well

  • The website for Mom Struggling Well can be found here.
  • Emily is a stay-at-home mom who used to be a teacher and a nurse. She now discusses topics like "infertility, adoption, living overseas, the pitfalls of comparison, and the days [she's] crying on the floor."
  • It is listed third on the list of Best Funny Moms Podcasts on PlayerFM.
  • Mom Struggling Well has 16,100 followers on Instagram and 4,400 followers on Facebook.

What the Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

  • The website for What the Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood can be found here.
  • Amy Wilson and Margaret Ables are two moms with extensive comedy experience who use their podcast to "discuss a sticky bit of parenting- anything from sick days to sleep training."
  • They "talk about it, laugh about it, call out each other’s nonsense, and then [they] offer [their] listeners concrete takeaways."
  • In 2018, the podcast won the Iris Award for Best Podcast and it has 12,700 followers on Facebook and 2,500 followers on Instagram.

Moms Rule! YouTube Channel

  • The Moms Rule! YouTube channel can be found here.
  • Stephanie Blum is a comedian and school psychologist who hosts the Moms Rule! series on YouTube.
  • According to the description, Moms Rule! "is an over-the-top, irreverent, how-to manual providing tips, tricks and stories to help moms everywhere survive, thrive and laugh out loud!"
  • TCL and Discovery liked this video series so much that they are currently developing a sitcom for Stephanie.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 04