Once a Mom, always a Mom….
This is so true. I remember my own late Mom who fussed over me even when I was already an adult. She sent me off to graduate studies in the U.S. with a thick wad of index cards on which she lovingly wrote recipes I could whip up in a short time. She worried I would not eat well and wanted me to have some of her home recipes to bring with me. Even when I got married and had one child after another, I could always count on her advice and years of wisdom to see me through difficult parenting phases.
But unlike my Mom who chose to give up her music career early on in her motherhood days, I continued on my very career-driven, stressful corporate life till our fourth child was born. A threatened abortion was my wake-up call that made me assess what was truly important in life – my job or family. The latter won out. I left behind a promising career, an executive position and a comfortable salary to stay home and raise my kids.
I guess my working years in the IT industry made me naturally gravitate to blogging and social media. Tech was in my blood. I loved gadgets. And blogging became my personal outlet for sharing, informing, educating and influencing since I first stumbled upon it in 2006. Back then, there were just a handful of Moms I knew who were even into blogging. I remember very well meeting my very good friend now, Noemi Dado (@momblogger) at iBlog 3. Most of the attendees were people young enough to be our children. Finding Noemi there was quite a relief. Both of us eventually discovered more Moms who began blogging and many of them became our good friends. We try to gather annually, at the very least, to exchange notes personally. In between those offline moments, we keep in touch through Facebook and/or Twitter.
Fast forward to the present and mommies have now grown into a force of their own. So many more mommies are now blogging and are present on social media. In fact, advertisers and brands have exhibited a strong preference for tapping moms with young kids for campaigns precisely because the natural influencer within the family for consumer products and services is Mom.
But these advertisers and brands seem to forget or underestimate a growing circle of Mom influencers and advocates who no longer have young kids. This group of Moms are my generation — older women, social media savvy, still involved with our families, wiser (we would like to think) after many successes and failures during our parenting years. We have survived the schooling years of our kids, even going as far as sleepless nights helping them with exam preparations, homework and projects. We graduated from tutoring as our kids graduated from school. We saw them through struggles to find employment on their own. We have been there through their heartbreaks and relationships. We have worried over them as they traveled to foreign lands. We have prayed each day for their protection as they drive off to work. And we remain a presence for them even if some of them have already left the “nest” to settle somewhere else.
Moms like me who fall in this category must not be underestimated for the following reasons:
1. We remain interested in what’s going on in the world of parenting and consumer products for parents and kids because we are grandparents in the making. Personally, I continue to enjoy learning what’s new in the mommy realm. It is fun to discover the new inventions that make mommy-hood so much more convenient compared to how it was during my time. Just the battery-operated breast pump alone is such a wonder for me because everything back then was — MANUAL!
2. Because our kids already have lives of their own, or are close to establishing independence, we are now relatively free to pursue our own passions armed with whatever we have already saved up from decades of working.
3. Even if our kids already have their own kids, the bonds of motherhood will remain. I would like to imagine that if my daughters were to have kids of their own, they would probably still consult me sometimes or seek my advice even on choices of products for their little ones. I did….with my Mom.
4. We have more time now to be on social media and to blog, precisely because we do not need many hours in a day to attend to parenting small kids. My involvement as a citizen advocate with Blog Watch is happening only now because there was no time to for me to be anything else than a full-time Mom, tutor and homemaker when the kids were much younger.
5. The importance of a meaningful life as well as a deeper awareness of the importance of health and fitness manifests itself most strongly at this stage of our life. Now that our kids are grown, we continue to search for ways to make our remaining years purposeful and meaningful. At the same time, we are aware that this is a phase when we can be more susceptible to medical conditions due to the aging process so we are even more conscious of health, fitness and wellness products and services.
So how come Moms of my generation seem to be “under the radar” when it comes to events involving parents or young kids? That is still a big mystery to me.
There is hope! Mommy Mundo Social Media Moms (SoMoms) came into Noemi’s and my life just recently.
It’s quite serendipitous to think that most of the wonderful mommies in the SoMoms network have long been friends of mine. We would bump into each other in different events once in a while and a small group of us who live within the same area have hung out a couple of times just to chat and while away the time or see each other in church. I never knew they were part of SoMoms until Janice of Mommy Mundo enumerated them to us during our chat. Mommy Mundo understood the importance of our generation of Moms. I felt that finally, Moms like us who have already transitioned out of active parenting but remain involved parents, can continue to contribute and influence through the Mommy Mundo network.
I am very happy and proud that at yesterday’s Social Media Weekend event where Noemi, Janice and I happened to be speakers, Janice announced during her presentation that we were joining the #SoMoms community. The timing of the announcement, giving recognition to Moms on social media, could not have been more perfect.
Just so you know what Mommy Mundo SoMoms is all about, here is a screencap from a page of Mommy Mundo describing SoMoms:
For me, it is exciting to be with my young mommy friends as well as with my friend Noemi and (who knows?) other older mommies down the road. There is so much I can learn from the young Moms as they are exposed to the newest products and ideas applicable to parenting in the 21st century. They are glowing examples of Moms who are lovingly dedicated to their children. I am looking forward to being a tita to their kids. At the same time, I am eager to share with them, with our readers and with the public from the deep well of experience that older Moms like myself have accumulated over the years. Now that we have joined Mommy Mundo, I feel that we have filled a missing piece of the whole spectrum of mommyhood – older Moms who are still actively engaged on social media as well as in their families’ lives even during the empty nest phase, who continue to advocate for brands they believe in and serve as influencers within their spheres of contact.
I truly hope that just as Mommy Mundo has warmly embraced our generation, brands and advertisers will eventually do so as well.