How juggling conflicting roles is an increasing challenge for mums
In the last six months we’ve seen an overall downward trend in the Mumdex figure as the impact of the economic conditions continues to bite. Instead of seeing the signs of improvement, Asda mums are still battling the effects of the economic downturn.
This quarter we also turn our attention to what it really means to be a mum. The generation I belong to has seen society take significant steps towards equality for women, with some seeing themselves as trailblazers for women that want to have it all, others simply searching for even ground. Whatever the motivation, women’s roles have evolved dramatically over the past 25 years.
I look at my career and I don’t believe that gender has ever held me back. However, I do look at Britain’s boardrooms and our public bodies and see that something somewhere doesn’t add up.
Our latest research shows that the average Asda Mum is no longer constrained by old-fashioned male or female stereotypes either within the home or outside it. However, while Asda mums have become significant earners, they’re still doing the lion’s share of the household chores, as well as managing the household budget. They’re both breadwinners and breadmakers.
“The expectation mums can ‘have it all’… brings a new and unique set of challenges.”
In addition, as mums’ opportunities and responsibilities have increased, so have the pressures. The expectation mums can ‘have it all’ and the pressure to look like ‘supermum’ celebrities mean that being a mum brings a new and unique set of challenges and demands. Juggling their conflicting roles is a constant challenge, but despite this they also find the time to support a huge amount of people outside of their own families: neighbours, friends, relatives – mums are the glue holding our communities together.
Mums tell us that despite it being tough, they’re happy spinning plates if their families are happy. But what is clear from the research is that mums are calling for a fairer future. They think it is important for their daughters to find supportive partners – this was a sentiment that came out clearly in our Mumdex listening groups. They’d like help around the house. They’d like employers to be more flexible. And most of all they want to be heard.