Dear Readers, please accept my apology. I left you on a cliff.
Although by now you’ve certainly jumped after forgetting all about why you were hanging out there. So let me offer you a hand back up.
A lot of chatter around me lately in these first few months of 2010 (because remember my job is to help clients better market to moms) relates to the year’s HOT TRENDS! BRAND NEW! SHINY PENNIES! But while some say the “new mom blogger” (and I quote because there is frankly NO replacement for the mom blogger – she will only continue to gain steam and savvy) is the dad blogger, I will stake my claim elsewhere.
Dear Readers, allow me to shine a spotlight on the grandma blogger. The nana blogger. The grandboomer blogger. The grammy, mimi, meeha, and vavo blogger.
Internet, we are witnessing a new phenomenon. A trend gaining steam.
Need some proof? What about Mimi, or Sharon, or Nanna, or Nana, or Teresa or this one, that one and the other?
And I could go on and on…
What is fueling this fire, you ask? Remember when you heard for the first time about the Boomer? About the fact that this was the largest generation, comprised of women re-branding their 50s as “the new 30s” and not settling for stagnation in retirement? Yes, these are the women I’m talking about. They are also (gasp!) grandparents.
And guess what. The average age of the first-time grandparent today is 48. This is the new grandboomer. She is not living your grandmother’s grandmotherhood, just like you are not living your mother’s motherhood. She is more likely to help you with caregiving. She is more likely to give your children the gifts you won’t buy them. She is a key player in the village you require to accomplish your motherhood (which now more than ever includes your careerhood, and your empowerment as CHO). She’s already on Facebook, where she not only keeps up with your life and gets the latest pictures of her grandkids, but also? She connects with her girlfriends and old high school boyfriends. Why would we assume she wouldn’t be interested in social media? She’s more social than we are.
Last year the Wall Street Journal took a look at the new generation of involved grandparents, pointing out some 40% of grandparents who live within an hour’s drive of young grandchildren provide regular child care while their mothers work (per a 2008 survey of 500 grandparents by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, an Arlington, Va., nonprofit). I am a living example of this trend.
And at the 2008 M2Moms (the national marketing-to-moms conference where I spoke last year) I heard Jerry Shereshewsky, CEO of Grandparents.com say grandparents spend on average $1,800 a year on their grandkids. While some of this money is spent on gifts for their children, to enable their children to cope with the needs presented by the addition of their grandkids (including cars, washer/dryers, and vacations!), the key takeaway is mom is focused on necessities of life. Grandparents often are focused on luxuries for their grandchildren.
(I’m looking at you, Mom!)
But wait -- that’s not all. One of the most important reasons the new mom blogger is not the dad blogger is one inherent issue: GENDER BEHAVIORS. Dad is a man. Research proves men just don’t communicate in the same way as women. (This is the part where my psychology minor comes out.) Gasp! I know, you’re shocked. Men don’t talk purdy like us. They also don’t share product recommendations like we do. They don’t see themselves as the resource for all their men friends to find out about what they should be buying.
But grandmothers? Women. Are you following?
And guess what other group is comprised of women – aunts. PANKS (Professional Aunt, No Kids). Aunts who blog are unique in that they love our children, and they purchase for our children. But they are not unique in that they, too, share product recommendations like women do. Have you met the lovely Savvy Auntie? If not, go now. Peruse her site. Understand why she has developed an entire community of aunts talking about their nieces, nephews, things they want to buy for them, and experiences they want to share with them.
No, the new mom blogger is not the dad blogger. There is nothing new about the fact that moms, grandmas and aunts are all women. And there is no shiny penny that will replace our inherent communicative behaviors. Sorry, dad, but you just can’t compete with that.