Mothers and Grandmothers

The majority of Irish mothers (89%) feel fulfilled in their role, but only 12% feel valued by society, according to a new research report into motherhood published by iconic Irish brand Sudocrem.

Amárach Research, on behalf of Sudocrem, surveyed 400 mothers of young children and 400 grandmothers who are themselves mothers to adult daughters with children. The survey explored a variety of issues, including feelings towards motherhood, mothers’ ‘me-time’ and quality of life.

The overall picture is largely positive: today’s mothers are generally happy and satisfied with their role as mothers and a majority say they have a good work-life balance. Today’s mothers say their quality of life is better than it was for their mothers, with whom they enjoy strong relationships.

However, today’s mothers also face challenges, many societal, which although changing are not fully overcome. Many mothers feel they are not valued in the role, lack self-confidence and struggle to get their partner to contribute to household chores.

Today’s mothers – key findings:

  • Mothers’ sense of value: Almost nine out of ten of today’s mothers (89%) say they are satisfied with their role as a mother; but only one in three mothers (35%) feel valued by their family, with an even smaller number, one in ten (12%), feeling valued by society.
  • Sources of support and information: While today’s mothers point to their partners as their greatest source of support (62%), their own mothers are their largest source of information on child-rearing.
  • The mother-daughter relationship: Two out of three of today’s mother say they have a good relationship with their own mother.
  • Saying thanks: 35% of today’s mothers say they are rarely or never thanked by their family.
  • Me-time: A third of today’s mothers rarely or never have time for themselves, while 60% say they were not able to continue to pursue hobbies after becoming a mother.
  • Work-life balance: Half of all mothers are happy with their work life balance, but 42% believe it could be better.
  • Role of partners: Only 14% of partners undertake at least half of all housework, while 19% undertake no household chores whatsoever.
  • Working vs staying-at-home: Almost two out of three of today’s mothers (63%) said they would prefer to stay at home to raise their children, if they had the option and were in a financial position to do so.

Interestingly, grandmothers and their daughters’ attitudes diverge on a number of areas, including grandmothers’ views on the sense of value for mothers today from family and society, and the availability of supports for today’s mothers.

Grandmothers – key findings:

  • Value of mothers in the past: A significantly larger number of grandmothers felt that they were very valued by their families when they were raising their children (57% vs 35% for today’s mothers);
  • Supports for mothers in the past: 71% of grandmothers feel that today’s mothers have greater supports than they did;
  • Dependence on grandmothers: 61% of grandmothers feel their adult daughters are more dependent on them than they were on their mothers;
  • Contribution of grandmothers: Almost half of grandmothers (49%) think that their daughter’s partner either could do more or do not do enough chores around the house.

Launching the report today, Maia Dunphy said:

“I’m delighted to be launching this report on behalf of Sudocrem today. Sudocrem has been a central part of the lives of Irish families, especially mothers, for generations.

“As a mother, a lot of the findings struck a chord with me.  Motherhood is a wonderful, life-changing and hugely positive experience, but as this report’s findings show, it can also be challenging. 

“The vast majority of mother’s relish and enjoy their role, but the fact that they don’t feel valued for the work they do should make us all sit up and evaluate how mothers are viewed and respected by society and most importantly, what can be done to change this.

“The fact that two-out-of-three of today’s mothers would like to be stay-at-home mothers perhaps indicates a shift from the attitudes of their own mothers, many of whom encouraged their daughters to pursue a career outside the home. Our society must consider how we can facilitate mothers (and fathers, too) in having greater time at home with their young children. A number of factors, like extending maternity and paternity leave, more flexible working conditions for parents, more affordable housing and reducing commute times all come into play.”

Yvonne Neeson, Product Manager OTC and Retail, Sudocrem, said:

“Sudocrem has supported Irish mothers and families for more than 80 years. Over the course of that period, as Irish society has changed, almost beyond recognition, so too have the lives of Irish mothers.

“Highlighting the attitudes and experiences of today’s Irish mothers, and theirs, allows wider society to understand how mothers and their families can be better supported. The report’s findings shine a light on many of the critical issues facing Irish families today. It also gives a voice to mothers, often too busy juggling their day-to-day roles, on what motivates, challenges and drives them every day.

“As a brand, we hope that this report will start a national debate on mothers and family life in Ireland today, and how we could improve the lives of all families.”

Sudocrem ‘Today’s Mum’ campaign

The Sudocrem ‘Today’s Mum’ research report forms part of Sudocrem new ‘Today’s Mum’ campaign to coincide with the launch of their new nappy rash barrier ointment ‘Care and Protect’. Sudocrem Care and Protect is a barrier ointment with a unique formula designed to offer triple action protection to safeguard against the causes of nappy rash.

The campaign also features the ‘Today’s Mum’ video created by leading Dublin video producer Banjoman Films. Link to video:


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