It can’t be easy being mum to a budding Olympian; crack of dawn training, endless kit washing and catering for insatiable post-sports session appetites is no mean feat. Then again, neither is being a mother full stop, and once again Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mum” campaign for Rio 2016 aims to champion mums around the world.
To highlight the hard work that goes into raising children and equipping them for life’s challenges, Procter & Gamble have partnered with heptathlete and Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill and her mum , Alison Powell, as part of this year’s gratitude focused campaign. A new mum herself, Jessica has nothing but appreciation for the woman who set her on a path to greatness:
“[My mum] has been a driving force and inspiration in helping me realise my dreams. She’s been a huge influence and support, so it means so much that P&G and all their brands, that support mums every day, are recognising her as well.”
“During my athletic career there has been lots of occasions where I have had injuries and times when things didn’t quite go to plan when I was younger in training and competitions. In 2008 I had three stress fractures in my right foot and it was such an awful time; I had to stay at home whilst the team flew out to compete. You have days where you feel like you want to retire and you think it won’t work out. My mum has always been there to say ‘it is going to work out, don’t worry, you’ll be back’ and it’s those little words of encouragement that make the biggest, biggest difference.”
As “Proud Sponsor of Mums”, P&G are passionate about shouting out the work that mums put in behind the scenes, and there’s even a P&G Family Home in the pipeline to offer a ‘home away from home’ for athletes' mums and families in Rio this summer, providing a space for athletes’ nearest and dearest to unwind, watch the games and benefit from P&G brand services. P&G UK Marketing Director, Roisin Donnelly, emphasises that supporting mums forms a big part of the company’s ethos:
“P&G brands are committed to giving mums the best, each and every day. Not just mums of Olympians but all mums, around the world. Our brands live in the everyday moments that make up the journey all mums take with their kids, so that’s why when we partner with an athlete, we also celebrate the mum who raised them.”
With Mother’s Day on Sunday 6th March in mind, and as part of the “Thank You, Mum” campaign, P&G have also this week released the UK findings of a new “Face of Modern Motherhood” study. For the survey, the company spoke with over 1000 mums in the UK to put a spotlight on the joys and challenges of modern motherhood, concentrating on mums with children under the age of 16. Of the 1,026 mums involved in the study, resilience and sensitivity emerged as key emotional traits for any mother, with 46% of women revealing that becoming a mother had made them more fully appreciate their own mother’s patience, with her emotional strength (44%) and empathy (33%) also gaining greater respect from the sphere of motherhood. In fact, 69% of mothers stated that becoming a mother had made them reevaluate the way that their own mother had raised them. Passing virtues down the family line is clearly a priority; the top three values that mums today wish to instil in their children are emotional strength (36%), open-mindedness (36%) and good old fashioned hard work (35%).
Mothers are determined to lead by example, and think that laying the foundations for an emotionally happy and healthy child is more important than being involved with every aspect of their child’s care (57% prioritise being a good role model over managing each and every responsibility associated with raising a child). In bringing up their children, the most important things are to show love and care (84%), to ensure the education and social development of their children (47%) and to set a good example (41%). 89% of mothers also want their children to feel the impact of their positive parenting even when they’re not together, which is heartening given that 76% of mums think that they’re doing a pretty excellent job at making decisions about how their child is raised. ‘Thanks yous’ are most definitely in order, not just this Sunday, and not just at Rio this summer in Jessica’s case, but you know, every day wouldn’t go amiss. From coaching to cooking to acting as courier, mums are essentially Olympians on the side anyway.
What are you most grateful to your mother for? Has motherhood made you see your own mum in a different light? Comment below or let us know on Twitter @GetTheGloss
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