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. We decided to find out exactly what it means to be today’s mum, so with Amárach Research, we 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.

You can read the full Today’s Mum report here.