This Mother’s Day will hold a mirror up to every family in the world. I have spent the last 55 days or so in isolation with my three kids, my husband and my dog while trying to continue to run a business, and I can’t help but feel, as a mom, more seen but also misunderstood.
While feeling more connected to my children, I feel more disconnected from my friends; I long to put on my high heels that are collecting dust in my closet, yet I am getting used to, and appreciating the comfort of a more simple wardrobe. I feel solace being home every night for dinner because I’m not travelling for work, yet I feel a huge part of me is still sitting in what is now the dark, empty boardroom downtown.
Enter Mother’s Day. A day where I’m supposed to want to be showered with gifts, time alone, a five-star brunch, a luxurious spa day and the opportunity to throw on my heels. And yet, here I sit wanting and not wanting those things; Torn between the expectation of my husband giving me a piece of jewelry and the guilt I’ll feel accepting that while others are losing their jobs. This all brings to light the change that has happened during this COVID period. I’ve changed. We’ve changed.
My firm, Anstice, recently fielded a research study across Canada, where we surveyed over 800 Canadians on post-COVID behaviour. The changes I and others are experiencing can be substantiated through this research:
We found that women were more likely to appreciate the basics of life now as we’ve taken for granted certain aspects of modern life.
Our survey also showed that the indulgent consumer has been turned upside down, as more than 50 per cent of respondents said that they would be focusing on saving money and spending on quality over quantity. Women with higher household income was the group more likely to shift in this direction.
The survey also showed that, now, women are more likely to turn to a trusted friend to make product purchasing decisions. They are turning more inward towards their community, vs. outward when considering what to buy and who to buy it from. Eliminating the power of persuasion and aspiration that many companies played in their lives before.
We also found that women were more likely to use social media in new ways – ironically, less on shopping and more for connecting with people and streamlining communication (i.e. rather than texting 10 different people, doing so through IG via one single message).
So what does this all mean? It means that the meaning behind Mother’s Day has changed. What mattered before, doesn’t now. How it’s acknowledged and celebrated has changed. As mom’s like myself are trying to navigate and formulate perhaps a new definition for ourselves, this Mother’s Day is an opportune time for the world to start to better understand us as well.
Sheenah Rogers-Pfeiffer is CEO and Chief Strategist for Anstice Communications in Calgary.