Coffee making, lunch packing, carpooling, rushing to school, driving to work, taking a quick lunch break, hitting rush hour, and finally pulling in the driveway near dark. Once at home, the focus turns to homework and if you’re really lucky, there’s a chance to sneak in a little time just for you. Being a working mom doesn’t ever stop. Of course, you wouldn’t have it any other way, but what about that precious and elusive “me time”?
Believe it or not, the majority of working mothers find their “me time” not at the spa or with a long soak in a hot bath, but in front of the television. Even if it’s just a few minutes snuck in here and there, TV allows busy moms to escape from their version of reality for the fantasy of television, whether it’s a steamy telenovela, a crime scene-style drama, or a fluffy celebrity gossip program.
Since the dawn of the television era, mothers have used television to disconnect from one area of life in order to connect with another. On average, Americans spend 20% of their day watching TV, according to Nielsen ratings. Is it to find a bit of sanity in an otherwise crazy world? Or to find a bit of craziness to escape from day to day normalcy? Whatever the case, flipping channels on cable TV does appear to be our nation’s most popular form of relaxation.
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A common complaint of busy moms, whether they’re working in the home or out, is the lack of time to hang out with other female friends. So if you’re in the Los Angeles viewing area and longing for a fun girl-talk session with your pals, ¡Hola, LA! is a good substitute for the real thing. It’s an English-language talk show similar to The View, but with a Hispanic twist. It not only showcases “Latina topics,” but incorporates universal topics with a Latina point of view. Bel Hernandez is the creator, producer and co-host of ¡Hola, LA! and she’s hoping to take the show national, with the possible title of ¡Hola, USA!
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For Latina working moms seeking TV content in Spanish, the most popular television network is Univision, the dominant Spanish-language network in the U.S. Recently, the network announced a new name and look—UniMás—for its second-largest network, TeleFutura. The move is a direct shot at Telemundo, its rival for second place among domestic Spanish-speaking viewers. By adding más content (drama, movies, sports), UniMás is hoping to become the true “Hispanic Heartbeat of America.”
While the network is setting its sights on edgier, alternative content, many of the shows will incorporate more drama and will still feature the essential ingredient in many Spanish-language series: romance. This is where escapism comes in more than ever—as Latina moms work hard on their professional careers and entrepreneurial ambitions—everyone needs a little romantic fantasy now and then. On TV, romantic storylines lure viewers in and keep them involved and wanting more—and of course, that’s good for ratings!
No matter what television shows working mothers choose to watch, it’s precious time that’s being devoted to relaxation. Hispanic moms are the largest growing segment in what’s being called the “mom market.” That means even more television programming will cater to this demographic, and even more “me time” for Mommy!