Lessons in motherhood come often. I’m constantly discovering things about motherhood that I never knew to expect. Like my latest revelation that motherhood can be a lot like marketing. Every day, I’m marketing me as mom. Those of you who know me outside of this website know that I have a career in marketing, so it’s fair to say I often have marketing on my mind. But even if you don’t work in marketing like I do, I bet you can find truth in this thinking as well. Maybe even some helpful hints!
Marketing principles in motherhood:
It’s marketing 101 that nobody can buy your product or know your brand without, well, knowing it is out there. In my house full of active boys constantly running by me at record speeds, I often have to shout, “Doesn’t anyone hear me? Do you even know I’m here? Do you know I asked you four times already to please brush your teeth?” How can I drive awareness in the house that I, MOM, a critical force, am indeed there? And, more importantly, that I’ll always be there for my boys. I’ve found these awareness-driving techniques to help:
- Leave occasional notes or sweet treats in their lunchboxes, to “surprise and delight” (a common marketing goal) them during the school day. I have to do this before the kids are too old for this to be cool . . . but hopefully this will never become uncool. I loved getting care packages from my parents when I was in college, so I intend to drive awareness of my existence at least through that era.
- Tuck notes in their clothes for each day that I’m away, if I’m away for business travel, for example. Just little things that show them I’m there even when I’m not physically there — like “Have fun at karate today!” or “Good luck on your spelling test!” or my favorite, “I’ll be home tonight, and I can’t wait to see you!”
- Hugs! Mandatory hugs!
- And, more daily shouting of “Doesn’t anyone hear me?” They eventually get annoyed and grunt, “Yes, Mom,” and then I’m secretly satisfied.
- When in doubt, remind them that you grew them in your belly. And therefore you deserve all the attention and connection you desire.
In marketing, the goal is to make sure your brand or product means something to your consumers, that it plays a certain role that fits nicely into their life and fills a need of some sort. As the only female in a house full of boys, I sometimes worry that it will be hard to find this kind of common ground. We may not have many tea parties or shopping sprees together, but I keep up my relevance by diving deep into the brains of these boys and participating in their adventures, sometimes even initiating them myself.
- Mud. Be willing to get dirty, or at least let them get dirty. Bring on the mud.
- Attend their homemade haunted houses, their impromptu breakdance shows, and even watch their pretend wrestling matches on the inflatable mattress — just don’t let them see you cringe at the thought that they might actually clobber each other.
- Buy gooey bath stuff. Like this.
- Learn to make the amazing sound effects only boys seem to be able to make, like light sabers and explosions and weird animals. Or at least try.
- Know about their day. Participate in their classroom if you’re able. Know their friends. It helps spur conversation, sometimes accompanied by eye-rolling.
Once you have your target consumers aware of your brand and meaning something to them, the goal is, of course, to keep them coming back for more. You want them to stay loyal. How do I keep my boys wanting more and more of Mommy’s amazingness? More time with Mommy, more traditions with Mommy, more memories with Mommy?
- Make mashed potatoes, whenever they want them. And scrambled eggs. Or brownies. Have a signature food that they find extra-special when made by the one and only Mommy.
- Create traditions. Special holiday traditions, vacation spots, songs you sing, books you read. R is eight years old now, and already knows what to expect as we decorate for holidays, because he remembers the traditions from prior years.
- Instill an emotional connection. Thankfully, I think this happens automatically through parenting. And when you’re not sure it’s strong enough, remind your kids again, that you grew them in your belly and they are therefore forever bound to (indebted to?!?) amazing, wonderful you.
The 4P Model:
A common marketing construct — the 4Ps. In my professional life, this stands for Product, Placement, Promotion and Price. But as the mom of three boys, I offer you this:
- Pee: It’s everywhere.
- Poop: It’s frequent. And talked about a lot. And often the crux of conversations including giggle-worthy words like “buttcheek” or “poopy pants.”
- Penis: It’s everywhere. It’s always, always, always on their mind . . . or in their hands.
- Patience: You need a lot of it.
Happy marketing, everyone!
#mobtruths #boymom #parenting #raisingboys #motherofsons #raisingsons