Redefining Empty Nester

I am officially an empty nester. Seems impossible since my kids were born just yesterday and I don’t feel old enough to have two college aged kids. Hey, I’m NOT old enough to have two college aged kids based on today’s standards for first time, working moms.  (I almost said “professional” moms, but I realized that most moms are professional at something). Since I do a lot of work in the kids business, I tend to think about moms and what defines the 21st century mom.

She’s super connected.  Over 25 million moms 25 to 45 are on Facebook.  If she’s an average mom, she’s got 130 friends, posts 90 things a year, and checks in at least once a day. And based on the numbers, she’s probably playing Farmville.  11% of moms are also using Twitter and this number is growing fast.

She’s got a cell phone and it’s her most prized possession.  She spends over $90 a month on her phone bill. It’s more likely that she’s got an iPhone, which she uses to Text, check Facebook, communicate with kids and friends, and yes, play games.  Moms are consumers of all different kinds of apps including things like Lose It! (dieting), Couch to 5K (running),  Groupon (shopping), and People (Gossip). She’s also likely to have kids games on her device when junior gets fidgety in the car or doctor’s office.

She uses the internet all the time.  Moms represent almost 20% of the active online population in the U.S.  She shops a lot, with Target and Wal*Mart  at the top of the list because she can get great deals online.  Mom’s also a big Craigslist and Amazon user.  Facebook is a daily destination.  The internet’s more important to her than TV because it’s an information source, a place to share, a utility, and entertainment.

What’s all this mean?

This 21st century mom is super tech savvy. Her kids will  grow up never knowing a world without handheld and connected products that are everywhere. She’s comfortable with technology because it makes her life easier, and better.

I know that’s how I feel.  Skype’s my new favorite thing. It puts me in my son’s room at college to see the mountain of laundry and “evidence”.  I’ve long been using Facebook to keep up with my kids and their friends. I get a nearly front row seat to what’s happening down at Tulane and I’m looking forward to doing the same at University of Oregon.  We’ve come a long way from  calling home collect on Sunday night from the payphone in the dorm!

Here’s to redefining the Empty Nester!