Think Mother’s Day is all about flowers, cards and taking mom out for nice meal? Think again. More than $1.46 billion will be spent on consumer tech for Mother’s Day this year in the U.S., nearly double the amount spent just five years ago, according to the National Retail Federation.
The 2011 NRF survey, released last week, showed that the portion of people purchasing tech-related Mother’s Day gifts this year will top 13 percent, up from 9 percent last year, with each person spending an average of $95 on consumer electronics or computer accessory related items.
According to stats compiled by She-Economy, women account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care, and account for 66 percent of PC purchases.
We reached out to five tech savvy mom’s to find out why they know best about what technologies are right for their family, and what’s high on their wish list for Mother’s Day.
Colleen Padilla is a full-time mother of two who is based in Philadelphia and is known to many for her blog ClassyMommy. She is currently working on a book titled “The Digital Mom Handbook,” which will be released in July from Harper Collins.
“Moms aren’t blinded by the latest and greatest whiz bang technology,” says Padilla. “We need to see how it will actually improve our daily lives and offer practical solutions for our family.Moms seem to have an innate sense of just when new tech gadgets are a necessity in our lives versus a whimsical want.”
What’s on Padilla’s Mother’s Day wish list? “A new fashionable cover for my Kindle, a pink HP Mini netbook and maybe a little surprise from Tiffany’s,” she says.
Amy Oztan is a mother of two and shares her genuine, humor-laced parenting experiences and advice on SelfishMom. “I’ve always been into gadgets and electronics,” she says.
“I think moms in general have the edge when it comes to buying tech for the family and home because most of us are more in tune with the rhythms of daily life in our households. Even for those households where both parents work full-time, mom probably has her finger on the pulse of what will work and what won’t – budget wise, habit wise, longevity wise.”
What’s on Selfish Mom Oztan’s Mother’s Day wish list?
“Most years for Mother’s Day I have a very selfish wish: to spend most of the day alone,” she says. “That day has always been kind-of a get-out-of-jail-free day, a day to do whatever you want. But to be honest, as my kids get older, I think that hurts their feelings a little bit. So I’ll spend part of the day with them and part of it doing something indulgent for myself.”
“As far as tech goes,” she says, “it’s probably time for me to move to a new camera. I love my two point-and-shoot cameras, but I drool over the pictures my friends take with their fancier cameras. And if we want to go into the really wishful stuff, I fell in love with those little dancing Nao robots. Make one tall enough to open my fridge and bring me a drink, and I’ll be the happiest mom in Brooklyn!”
On the week leading up to Mother’s Day, Becky Worley actually found her life invaded by robots as she prepared a consumer technology segment for ABC News’ “Good Morning America” and Yahoo! News’ Upgrade Your Life.
“Mom’s work is NEVER done,” she says. “Can she get a little help? A robot just might do the trick.”
Worley’s job allows her to not only test out the latest consumer products, it allows her to meet with the people from companies that make them.
“The Jetson’s dream of mechanized cleaners and laundry folding robots is not quite here, but innovations in home robotics are promising busy moms like me some respite,” said Worley.
“In my years of testing, the vacuum cleaners are amazing,” she says. “The Roomba from iRobot is great on hard-wood floors and low-pile rugs, it doesn’t have much suction for deep-pile rugs. But for me, the Neato is the holy grail of home robots, and it’s a Mother’s day gift that would save mom 30 minutes or more each week.”
“Moms know best because they are the main one purchasing tech for families, so they need to find best tech” that fits the family’s need, says Blecherman.
What’s on Techmama’s Mother’s Day wish list?
“I want one of those new thin and light laptops like Samsung Series 9,” she says. “And a desktop with a BIG screen for our family room.
“Although my husband is in charge of the televisions in the house (and the remotes),” she says, “I have always been the one in charge of the other technology around the home, probably because of the many different hats I wear:”
In addition to being a mother of two, Kane says she’s “an Entrepreneur running two businesses out of my living room office; the Chief Homework Officer and Captain of the Video Game Police; the Family Archivist responsible for capturing and preserving digital memories; the Family Administrator and keeper of the calendar dates like birthdays; and Tech Support, because when something breaks, I’m the troubleshooter and unlike my husband, I have no problem calling in the professionals.”
“When it comes to how best to manage all these responsibilities,” she concludes, “I’m the Decider. Period.”
What’s on Kane’s Mother’s Day wish list?” A trip to church with no complaints from anyone,” she says. “Brunch, where I don’t have to cook or clean up after. Alone time, preferably at a spa. And of course, a Sonos wireless multi-room music system, something I’m test-driving now.”