3. Capturing the Moment
For generations, mothers have been obsessed with capturing heartwarming memories of their offspring on film. But todays moms are kicking the process of preserving memories up a few notches. Thanks to huge advances in digital photography and the tremendous popularity of scrapbooking, todays moms are obsessed with capturing memories of their kids first years in more creative and expensive ways than ever before.
The watchword for 2005 will be easy, says Gallagher. Moms love the idea of dimensionalizing their memories through scrapbooks, and they adore the creativity and control offered by digital cameras, but these skills still require time to master. Huge opportunities exist for companies that can meet moms demand for high creativity and functionality in an uber-easy way.
4. Ding, Dong the Stepford Mom is Dead.
Long live the flawed, but lovable, new mom of the 21st century! Nobody wants to be Martha Stewart anymore, Gallagher says. Real moms now recognize that the quest for perfection has a price. Your neighbors may envy your well-groomed lawn, tidy house and gourmet cuisine, but if youre spending all of your time trying to make everything around you perfect, your family will resent you in the long run.
Increasingly, women will recognize that good enough is just fine when it comes to running a household, according to Gallagher: And theyll define themselves by the nature of their connections to family and friends, rather than the height of their souffles or the width of their scrapbooks.
The connected mom is a happier mom, Gallagher says. And in 2005, well see her emerge in books, movies and television, as well as at the local playground, park and preschool.
5. Do It All Mom, Shmoo It All Mom
In 1973, 31% of women returned to work within a year of giving birth. By 1998, that number jumped to 68%. And those women are finding it harder than ever to negotiate the second shift at home. As roles are shifting, so are womens perceptions of fulfillment.
In 2005, well begin to see women redefine their sense of success and happiness. Working mothers have spent far too much time and energy focusing on how their work affects their kids, Gallagher says. What about how its impacting themselves?
Even working mothers who love their jobs freely admit that a day doesnt go by when they wish they could clone themselves. This dilemma wont be resolved in 2005 or even 2015, says Gallagher. But well begin to see working women acknowledge for the first time that doing it all doesnt replace our longing for being it all. And on an emotional level, the tenor of the discussion will move away from how it affects kids to how it affects moms, Gallagher says.
"The Gallagher Guide to the Baby Years: The Real Moms Survey of Top-Rated Products and Advice" is available in bookstores and online. Moms can visit www.gallagherguide.com to sign up to contribute to the next edition.