Last week I participated in my first focus group! One of the other moms at Sammy's school works for a marketing company, so I had an "in." (I hear it can be hard to get into these things, but I'd never tried before.)
I'm probably not supposed to talk about the products we looked at, but it was a group of moms of 3-year-olds so you can guess what kind of thing we're talking about. It was a lot of fun, Sammy came home with 2 new toys, and I got quite a nice paycheck for 3 hours work. I'm hoping they invite me back again.
I really enjoyed seeing what other moms found important. In some ways we were all the same, but in others we were all quite different. I wish I could talk about it more, but they had me sign papers so quickly that I might have signed a confidentiality agreement without noticing it.
One funny thing happened that I can explain without giving out any important information. We were reviewing something about the product and the facilitator said, "What about safety? You've all mentioned safety but you didn't comment about [this aspect of the product]. You wouldn't let your 3-year-olds use knives or hammers or anything, so where is your concern for safety here?"
I had to pipe up about that one. "I let my daughter use real knives, and I let her try to use the hammer and other tools too. She does a fine job." I wish I could say that jaws dropped, but there wasn't a strong reaction. Still, I felt like a real Free Range mama at that moment, and it felt good!