The Changing Face of Motherhood

( Kiwi mums are feeling isolated and guilty about the amount of time they spend with their children but are desperate for more ‘Me-Time’ according to a new study*.

The P&G Changing Face of Motherhood Survey found that more than half (52%) of New Zealand mums said they felt some degree of guilt about their work life balance and the amount of time they were able to dedicate to their children.

The study was commissioned by Procter and Gamble (P&G) as part of the company’s Proud Sponsor of Mums campaign which recognises the significant and ongoing role our mothers play in our lives. P&G is the company behind some of New Zealand’s most well-known brands such as Gillette, Pantene, Oral-B, Olay, Clairol, Ambi Pur and Head & Shoulders.

P&G spokesperson Alicia Gorken says the company prides itself on creating products to make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable and it’s why P&G likes to think of itself as the Proud Sponsor of Mums.

“Through countless sacrifices they are loving nurturers and selfless providers and motivators as well as chauffeurs and doers of laundry and dishes,” says Gorken.

“P&G has helped mums for over 170 years, and will continue its quest to serve mums, helping them to care for their families every step of the way,” she says.

And it seems modern mothers do need help. The Changing Face of Motherhood Report showed that three quarters of Kiwi mothers (75%) said they have days where they feel isolated and were raising children by themselves, while more than one in ten (13%) admitted they felt isolated all of the time.

Many Kiwi mums also believed we are worse off than our parents. Nearly half (45%) of New Zealand mums said we have less or significantly less time today than our mothers at the same life-stage.

Psychologist Sara Chatwin says the ‘she’ll be right mentality’ that has permeated NZ society, often leaves mothers feeling alone and unsupported, and that there is no shame in asking friends and family for help.

“Women often don’t ask for help due to fear of judgement and not being able to live up to others expectations and often this isolation and pressure is brought on by themselves as they strive to create ‘perfect families’ and are unable to relax and ask for help and support,” says Chatwin.

Mums did admit to wanting more “time out” with more than half (56%) saying they needed it to “maintain their sanity”; fifty two percent said they also needed to spend quality time with their partner. Nearly half (47%) of New Zealand mothers also agreed they need some simple ‘me-time’.

Chatwin says mothers these days tend to wear many hats: mother, worker, wife/partner, the list goes on.

“There are so many pressures associated with melding all these tasks together and doing them well. This survey is a valuable resource to a company like P&G in helping it to identify and continue to create products which make mothers lives easier,” she says.

Media Release 28 March 2012.