Does mom ageism exist? Damn right it exists. For most brands, the focus is on younger moms of infants and toddlers. Moms with teenagers are written off. Boomer moms, despite all of their disposable income, are virtually ignored.
But look at this statistic: there are 12 million moms of teenagers (ages 14-17) and 25 million moms of young adults (ages 18-29).
So what started me on this subject? I was recently rejected from appearing on a TV show with other moms because “my children were too old”– I have two teenagers. I’m a mom reject. Wow! I no longer count as a mom. And what does the age of my kids have to do with being a fashionable mom?
Brands don’t want us. They want the younger moms.
Do moms of teens spend less? I don’t think so. Teens want clothing, laptops, iPods, music and concerts. They get driver’s licenses and want cars. They go to college and need dorm rooms stocked and decorated. Teens and young adults eat more–the food budget seems to have doubled. And teen girls? Don’t get me started, with prom dresses, shoes, hair, make-up and manicures.
If motherhood is what triggers social media usage with moms seeking information, camaraderie, and support, then the teenage years are all the more the reason for social media. The teenage years are challenging years for moms with drugs, alcohol, sex, and bullying and just plain growing up questions. Motherhood doesn’t get easier as the children grow up. Motherhood evolves and is just different.
I like to say motherhood is a life sentence. My mom, who is 83 years old, still e-mails me every day to make sure I eat my lunch. I will always be her child, even though age-wise I’m a fully developed adult. We still look to each other for advice on purchases, recipes, financial issues – all the same things younger moms discuss.
And as a mom of older children, I’ve been there and done that. So hey, brands, don’t write off the older, experienced mom. We’re out there giving advice to the younger mom. We also have advanced in our careers and are often making more money than when we were younger moms. And our children think of us as human ATM machines. There’s money in them there older hills!