• Thu, Apr 17 - 12:30 pm ET

STFU Parents:Being A Mother Is The Toughest Job In The World. We Know.

Over at STFU, Parents, I regularly hear from mothers who share a common gripe. They’re sick of being pandered to. They’ve heard enough about how hard and unforgiving their “jobs” are as parents. And yet everywhere they turn, advertisers are throwing roses at their feet in the hopes of scoring all that precious Mom Money that executives talk about during brainstorms in conference rooms. “Who’s the number one target?” Moms. (A lot.) “How do we reach moms?” Well, first you exalt them and tell them that they have the hardest, most thankless job in the entire world, and then you sit back and watch the magic happen on social media! Sadly, not only is this tired model of advertising (aka momvertising) played out — but it’s also quite effective and not going away anytime soon. The reason for that is simple: For every mother who feels condescended to and insulted by big brands that clearly view them as dollar signs, there are two or three or five mothers who fall for the sentimental marketing strategies time and time again. When assclowns like me (I used to work in marketing) chuckle, looking oh-so-satisfied after coming up with a viral ploy like say, the “World’s Toughest Job” campaign we saw this week, the words that come out of their mouths are essentially (if not verbatim), “Moms LOVE that shit.” And for the most part, they’re right.

However, not everyone loves these ads. Not everyone watches the P&G commercials during the Olympics and weeps into her hands. At least, not after the first go ’round. There was a time in which this saccharine version of appealing to moms worked well across the board, but now it’s just an outlandish display of brands tugging at mothers’ heartstrings with the obvious assumption that they’re directly tied to their pursestrings. It’s a little silly that so many women still fall hook, line, and sinker for opportunistic stunts like the “Rehtom” campaign (which currently has nearly 11 million clicks, accrued since Monday), especially because it presents the facade that ALL women and mothers want to be marketed to in this way. It also reinforces the idea that dads don’t have the “world’s toughest job,” even though both parents often share the load of childrearing duties. Fittingly, the types of moms who like the Rehtom ads are usually the same women who think their husbands don’t appreciate them or do enough at home with the kids. By tapping into that targeted sweet spot, brands like American Greetings can expect this type of woman to zealously share viral videos on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, and with every share comes an emotional caption. No doubt about it, the Rehtom campaign has been a massive pre-Mother’s Day success.

For parents who don’t like feeling patronized to while being “revered,” enough is enough. Back in November, Catherine Deveny wrote the Guardian opinion piece ‘Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world’ and said, “For any woman who uses that line, consider this: If this is meant to exalt motherhood, then why is the line always used to sell toilet cleaner? [...] Enabling this dogma devalues the unpaid labor of rearing children as much as it strategically devalues women’s worth at work.” And this week, some of the response to the “World’s Toughest Job” has been anything but favorable. On Salon, Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote, “The fact that I have had and am raising children is not a résumé item. It’s not something I “gave up” my life for. [...] And I don’t appreciate messages that seem to build women up while essentially telling them that nothing they can achieve in life matters more than having babies.” On Jezebel, Lindy West declared the “World’s Toughest Job” video “obvious, manipulative, and stupid,” and here on Mommyish, Eve added that “being a mom can be exhausting and lonely and heartbreaking and sleep-depriving but it’s just not as horrible as this ad makes it out to be.” Some people tweeted me about the video, too:

 

reward.jpg
critical eye.jpg

 

 

FT dad.jpg

fellow mom_it made them all cry.jpg

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 next  next
Share This Post:
  • CMJ
  • Beth

    I just wrote about this on my blog. Check it out:

    http://nothingandeverythingbeth.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/kwicherbichin-martyr-mommies/
    I am so tired of all these mothers who act like they’re Jesus-on-a-stick every time they talk about motherhood. It’s not that hard most of the time. Sometimes, it sucks balls, but most of the time it is like any other job. Get organized, figure out how you’re going to tackle everything, then do it. I have two daughters, eight and six, and I’ve always found that whining about the shit storm makes it worse, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. STFU, martyr mombies!

    • AP

      Most of the Martyr Mommies I’ve met (and I work with kids, I’ve met a lot) are lying in a bed of their own making, so to speak. They let their kids be in charge, and then whine that the kids don’t listen and and won’t give them a break; they take on too many activities and then complain they’re overburdened; they refuse to read and follow basic directions of kids’ programs, and then argue with the program that they deserve to be exempt from the basic rules.

      You’re in charge. Yes, there’s things you can’t be in charge of- some kids really can’t handle behaving in the grocery store, or eating a more diverse diet than Froot Loops and avocado slices. But you take what you can’t change and work around it, because you’re in charge.

    • Beth

      That’s more or less what I was saying – baby won’t cry himself to death if you put him down for five minutes so you can pee and brush your teeth. In fact, it won’t kill baby to be put on a schedule so that you have some control of your time, either. And YES, the activities …. Dear God. There are some kids in my daughters’ classes that only have two evenings all week when they’re at home with free time. No wonder they’re tired and their parents are tired and their teachers are frustrated …. It’s too much, and they’ve done it to themselves. One activity per kid at any given time is plenty. Downtime is not the enemy of a successful childhood, it’s an essential part of it.

  • rrlo

    Kudos! These parents REALLY need to STFU. Seriously – I am ashamed to have something in common with these people (i.e. children).

  • Valerie

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!! Who are these women who become mothers WILLINGLY (I hope) and then expect the whole fucking world to bow at their feet and pander to them and thank them for doing the job of RAISING THEIR OWN CHILDREN?!?! For most people, having a child is a choice. If you choose to have and raise a child then you should not expect the rest of the world to revere you and applaud you for it. Its biology. Its the human race. Its something billions of women over the ages have done to keep humanity going. To your own family, sure you probably deserve a medal. And so does your husband if he’s pulling his weight. But stop trying to make other people give a shit that you had a P in your V (or fertility treatments or adoption) and are now doing the noble work of raising YOUR OWN FREAKING KID. It is no more worthy of praise than my decision to be someone’s friend or a good daughter to my parents or a good wife to my husband. It is a familial relationship, not a blood sacrifice worthy of admiration!

    • JLH1986

      Seriously…can we friends IRL? I could not have said this better.

    • Valerie

      Aww, thanks. I am not normally a screechy ranter but I am a pretty normal mom minding my own business and I hate the thought that these people are out there making us Normals look bad. Lol. And yes, we can totes be friends IRL! Come on over to NY and shovel snow in April with me! ;-)

    • JLH1986

      ha ha We had snow this week too. But it’s 65 now. So I’ll visit in July?

    • Valerie

      Hahaha. Perfect. Its actually around 55 now, I think. We had 2 days of 80 degrees and then a freaking snowstorm. Because that’s normal.

    • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

      Same here. :(
      I was very upset when I had to clear off the car in order to drive it on tuesday.

    • Valerie

      Its such bullshit. My poor little daffodils were so excited on Monday and yesterday morning, they were wilted under a layer of snow and ice. Upstate NY is where nature’s dreams go to die.

    • momjones

      Ya think MOMS have it rough? Think of the DAFFODILS!!! (mine on Saturday/Monday). We Michigan moms have to brave the elements, the elements, I tell you – sun, rain, hail, snow – all in one day!

    • Valerie

      Awwww, poor baby flowers! Just when they thought it was safe! :-(

    • JLH1986

      Sunday was gorgeous and 80. Monday? an inch of freaking snow and 32. Mother nature can suck it after this winter.

    • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

      I want to be your friend, too. You can visit me in California. :-)

    • Valerie

      Yeah for friends in warm places!!!

    • Momma425

      Um, yeah, me too. Let’s be besties today please. ;)

    • CMJ

      I have just been walking around for the past two days yelling: “CHOICES!” to anyone who will listen.

    • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

      I just yell random things at people in general.

    • Robotic Socks

      HODOR!

    • Valerie

      Socks? Is that you?!

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      Yup

    • CMJ

      He got the Butt Trophy for not trolling the circumcision live chat.

    • Valerie

      Hahahahahaha.

    • http://nessyhart.wordpress.com/ pixie

      HODOR, HODOR!

    • The Great Queen Spider

      The perfect duo :)

    • Spongeworthy

      LOUD NOISES!

    • keelhaulrose

      I got into a not too friendly discussion on another site about the toughest job in the world ad, and my favorite part of the discussion when, after my assertion that exaggerating the truth about mom duties doesn’t help raise awareness like she thought it did, her reply was along the lines of “talk to a special needs mom. Then you’ll understand. My friend is a special needs mom, and she’s got it tough.”
      Bitch, I am a special needs mom. You don’t need to tell me about the joys of special needs parenting, but that doesn’t mean I automatically get a cross. It’s a possibility when you have a kid, and it happened, and you deal with it the same as EVERY OTHER PARENT because that’s what parents are supposed to do.

    • Valerie

      Absolutely. Everyone does have a cross to bear- they come in all forms.

    • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

      Did you tell her you are a special needs mom, or did you just realize there was no sense in attempting to get her off her cross?

    • keelhaulrose

      I told her in a very blunt way, and when that didn’t work I broke down some of the specifics on why my special needs child is harder to raise than my older daughter (though, frankly, I can’t discount that this has been hard on my older daughter, who thought she was getting a live in play pal and instead b got a massive attention leech to contend with who couldn’t care less about playing with her). I haven’t heard back from her.

    • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

      Hopefully she was so embarrassed that she crawled back into her hole.

    • Psych Student

      I had someone point out to me the other day that she is totally grateful that her mom was accepting as her coming out as a lesbian but still thinks it’s odd that she should be grateful. Her mom did what parents are supposed to do, love their child and be accepting, that’s it. They don’t get a cookie for doing the right thing (that’s borrowed from a Chris Rock stand-up routine).

    • bookworm81

      Exactly! I’m a SAHM of a special needs kid (and a “normal” one as well) and I have never wanted to smack anyone as hard as I want to smack people every time I get the “I don’t know how you do it!”

    • lemon floor wax

      I always say, “I just do it. I don’t have a choice.” I have two kids with special needs (one physical, one developmental) and yeah, it sucks. I’m a WAHM and I volunteer full time. I also teach CPR/First Aid. I’m not going to bitch about how my job is sooooo hard because guess what? It’s not going to fix the situation and I’m the one that put myself there. I can cut back on volunteering or teaching or let the housework go, but I’m never going to martyr myself and post about how I have “da tuffest job in da wurld”. Gag.

    • Robotic Socks
    • Robotic Socks

      OK… now it looks like I need a Femputer too…

      F’ing Disqus…

    • CMJ
    • Valerie

      Suuuure blame Disqus.

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      I blame anyone and everyone else for all my fails

    • Valerie

      Wrong spelling!

    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      Not too late to fix yours

    • Valerie

      Ew, no. Mine is the only acceptable way to spell it. Say it out loud- Va-lahr-ee? That sounds awful. Val-er-ee? That sounds lovely.

    • ShesKrafty

      Valerie, you nailed it. 100%. I get so sick of seeing all of these “Look at me I’m a MOMMY I deserve extra special treatment!!”
      Listen, we know that being a PARENT (not just a MOMMY) is probably not the easiest thing, but it can’t be the hardest. It’s not a new thing, and it’s not a fucking JOB. If you choose to have a child, or 2, or 3, then yes, it is your responsibility to care for them, love them, and educate them. But it doesn’t merit a trophy.
      Those of us who don’t have children, whether or not it’s by choice, don’t just lay around eating Doritos and watching Maury to see who the baby daddy is.
      We work, we have responsibilities, we have stress, but we don’t constantly remind everyone of how hard we work.
      Not only that, what happened to PARENTS? Fathers take care of their children too, and provide for them and love them- how come nobody gives the dads any credit?
      You have a demanding career, you put time, effort, and hard work into it. It’s not any different, and if you don’t want the responsibility, don’t have kids. It’s not that hard to not get pregnant. Get over it Mombies, nobody cares.

  • SA

    Gawd – so sick of the Motherhood as a job thing. Sometimes it sucks and it is definitely tough, but these are your kids, your choice and the “appreciation” you get is having additional family members to share your life with. Motherhood can be more equated to volunteer work…something you chose to do for the feeling you get helping others.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      I’m a mother AND I have a job. Do I get a coin?
      I don’t see motherhood as a job. It’s a life I dreamed of and wanted to have. It’s my lifestyle.

    • lemon floor wax

      You get a gift card to either Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Target or Michael’s.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      Michaels pl0x!! I don’t drink coffee and I rarely shop at Target but I am all up in the cross stitch section of Michaels and Hobby Lobby!!

  • keelhaulrose

    Some sancti-mommies I’ve talked to about this seem to have forgotten people do things like clean their house, cook, take care of sick family members, etc WITHOUT the benefit of having children.
    I get being a parent is hard, but frankly life ain’t easy for most people.

    • jane

      Or people do all this mommy stuff AND have other real, hard, jobs.

      Mind: Blown.

    • keelhaulrose

      I’ve known nurses who are also mothers. You can’t tell me being a sahm is harder than working the overnight shift on New Year’s Eve in the ER and coming home to take care of your children because it’s winter break so they don’t have school to go off to.

    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

      I used to work in healthcare IT and once was helping out radiology techs on a Friday night overnight shift with their new software, and just. wow. I would not wish that on anyone. Like, it’s gross when my four month old son pees on me but at least he is not a full grown adult doing that?!

    • keelhaulrose

      My mom was a nurse (with three kids and a disability, suck it, martyr moms) in the ICY and I’ll never forget the Christmas she came home from a double shift (due to a blizzard) and stripped nude on the porch due to her exposure to a flesh eating virus at work. I have volunteered in health care, but that was the end of me wanting to be a nurse or doctor.

    • Psych Student

      Plus, I bet your four month old is easier to change. Squirmy, yes, but you can probably pick him up with one hand and shift him around as needed. Though I’d guess that your son is more likely to play with his dirty diaper than most adults are.

    • lemon floor wax

      You’d be surprised. I put in about a decade as a nurse’s aid in nursing homes.I always say it prepared me very well for motherhood because if I can change a diaper on a 150 pound man who is screaming obscenities at me, get a woman suffering from dementia to use the toilet, feed, dress and bathe a bunch of adults and lead them in activities in songs, ANYTHING a tiny human could throw at me couldn’t be that hard.
      I would just laugh when my son would have a tantrum. I told him, “Dude, please. I have dealt with people ten times your size trying to hit and kick me. I can wait.”

    • Momma425

      *raises hand*
      I am a nurse who is also a mother. And for a year and a half, a nurse who was a SINGLE mother. Meaning I worked all day, came home and did all the mom and house stuff, paid for everything, got up early to do mom and house stuff, and worked a full shift. Sometimes even a double.
      And you know what? I don’t even think I have the hardest job ever.
      I stayed at home with my daughter for the first 3 years of her life. It was EASY in comparison.

    • Jezebeelzebub

      I’m a nurse and a single mom- and being a nurse is harder and about a million times more gross. Baby poop is no picnic, but changing an adult diaper? Haa, forget it. Being a SAHM was way easier- but I was so bored I thought I might actually perish from it.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      My aunt did that as a single mom. She worked the midnight shift while a friend spent the night at her house. Then she came home and slept when the baby slept and the oldest went to school. She slept again between kids’ bedtimes and the start of her shift. She had broken sleep for several years and zero free time ever.
      I was horrified and said, “That sounds terrible!”
      She thought about it for a second and said, “It was bullshit.” Then she started laughing.
      I spent a year at home with my baby, so I’ve got some SAH experience. She wins. Holy shit.

    • llama

      I teach a woman who is a single mother of two and is the head/managing doctor of the lung and allergy branch of a hospital. The fact that she’s been making time to take English lessons from me in her free time, along with the fact that her daughters are wonderful teenage girls with whom she has a very positive relationship, makes her one of the most inspiring and impressive people I know. She also never complains, never brags about how hard her job is… I roll my eyes every time I see some narcissistic shit from a stay-at-home mom. Get over yourself.

    • K.

      I was going to say–before these SAHM talk about infant diapers, try complaining to all the people taking care of their aging parents and dealing with adult diapers.

    • Psych Student

      Well said! It’s so much harder to double up on tasks. You do them at work and then you are so freaking done when you get home having to do the same things again just bites (and I’m talking about weak-sauce stuff from when I was a caretaker and had to help keep a house clean then clean my own house – weak stuff)

    • Upsilon

      for real, should I get paid for all the time pre-baby that I cooked the household meals, bought household necessities, paid the bills, cleaned, etc? It’s called life, people.

    • Kendra

      I’m with you!! I went home after my job last night and cooked a meal, and then preceded to clean my house until bedtime. Why are these hours not included on my paycheck?

    • keelhaulrose

      It’s like they forget no one had self cleaning houses and personal chefs they had to give up once pregnant.
      Maid? Did it before getting pregnant. My husband and his mechanic buddies would make a giant, greasy mess to rival children all the time. And the kitchen? Ugh, don’t ask.
      Chef? I was closer to that before getting pregnant. My mac n cheese came from a box approximately never back then, it was more work. Now I make easier meals so the kids will eat it.
      Nurse? My father had kidney failure and my mother had cancer simultaneously. I certainly spent more time doing what they needed than I ever have done after having kids. And, btw, band aids and cuddles does not a nurse make.
      Cabbie? It’s called being the DD and that’s worse because my “fares” can’t be quieted by the Frozen soundtrack, and often sexually harass me.
      Financial advisor? I had bills before kids. I’ll have bills when they’re out of the house. I had to budget and explain to my husband why some things might look like they’re in the budget now, but winter gas bills are coming.
      I could go on.

    • Larkin

      That’s what always confuses me about these. I said this on the other post about this video earlier in the week, too. “Must have degrees in finance, culinary arts, and medicine.” Ummm… I may not have a kid yet, but I manage my household budget, cook meals, and take care of sick family members, too. And I don’t ask to be congratulated about it all the time. It’s called being a grownup.

    • Psych Student

      And you don’t need degrees in any of that to be a parent! I know that many parents *think* they have medical degrees because they can use the internet, but they don’t. We can all bandage cuts and scrapes, but when shit goes down, I’m off to someone with an *actual* degree, not my mom (who is smart and a terrific SAHM, but knew damn well that when your kid is sick, it’s off to the doctor).

    • The Great Queen Spider

      Why didn’t I get an award when I had to care for both my parents post surgeries?! Where’s my starbucks card, huh HUH?!
      /Sarcasm.

  • jane

    The only one that maybe didn’t belong here was Shiloh’s – I didn’t find this so much mommyjacking as tossing out a thought. She even said that maybe motherhood comes second. And while it’s no peace corps, it is a tough job that you should love. A little thoughtless, but not necessarily worth a STFU.

    However, Little Miss “The Only Rainbows I See Are S&*t From My Children’s A$$holes” can get a double helping of STFU, so it evens out.

    • Valerie

      Um, my kids definitely shit rainbows.
      #blessed
      #toomuchFruityPebbles

  • Sara

    I’m a working mom, and if I went in for a job interview, like those poor souls in the video, and THAT was the punchline, I would have smacked a bitch.

    • val97

      Seriously. It’s all sappy and sentimental until someone has to actually earn the money to feed, clothe, and house the kids.

  • Jill

    If you think as a mother you are never being appreciated then you 1.) have a sucky spouse or 2.) suck at parenting and raised a bunch of assholes. That’s on you.

    • Angela Brown

      Truth

    • Sydneygirl

      I want to like this many times – I am a new parent and think it is the easiest job I have had – maybe because my husband is great or maybe because I so desparstely wanted a baby and am not about to complain now we have one – plus it is fun

  • Jallun-Keatres

    I’m judging your segue Valarie (#5) and it sucks.

    • Kendra

      Ya, Valarie is right!!! It’s not like moms have their own DAY or anything like that.

  • Angela Brown

    To quote The Outsiders, “Things are rough all over.” Is being a parent hard? Of course, but so are a lot of other things that people DON’T have control over. Plus there seems to be a strange correlation between buying into this nonsense and shouting from the rooftops how amazing and life-altering parenting is while covering the rear window of a mini van with stick family members. I don’t understand.

  • SunnyD847

    I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to be a SAHM to my girls. It has its challenges, but I certainly don’t think it’s as hard as working outside the home AND parenting. I hate those posts about how a mom is a chef, chauffeur, doctor, teacher, etc. and should have a six figure salary. That is BS. Yeah, I do that stuff but only a few hours a week per job, and I take my kids to professionals when needed because I don’t have the education & training for these jobs IRL.

  • Fireinthefudgehole

    I genuinely feel horrible for that woman if she is SO BUSY that she can’t even look at a rainbow, especially since it reads like she would only have to look out a window.

    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

      Sorry, but as a mom I can only look out a window in good conscience if my precious children are on the other side.

    • EX

      *clutches pearls* You would dare let a window separate you from your special snowflakes?! Shame on you. Shame. On. You.

  • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

    Having been both a teacher and a mom, being a mom is WAY easier than trying to control a roomful of 25+ high schoolers, a decent chunk of which might 1.) speak little or no English, 2.) have a variety of special needs and learning disabilities, and 3.) who need to know about mitosis or I will lose my job. And I don’t think teaching is the hardest job in the world either (although special ed teachers might rank pretty high up there, bless ‘em).

    • Robotic Socks

      That’s how you knew the 1-100 formula! >:(

      You’re no longer eligible for my math nerd games!

    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

      NO NO NO I taught science, not math! And if there is any concept at the core of science, it’s “finding patterns to help me cheat at doing actual math”.

      Also tinkering with graphs to make your data look meaningful when it’s not.

    • Robotic Socks
    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden
    • Butt Trophy Recipient

      Let’s combine that

      QUEERD

    • Rowan

      Seconded. My son drives me up the wall sometimes, but he hasn’t caused me to have a nervous breakdown the way teaching did.

  • val97

    I was complaining about this on fb, and the basic consensus from some of my friends and relatives was that the reason I don’t relate to it is because I’ve never been a stay at home mom and my kids are no longer in diapers. Talk about condescending.

    • Kendra

      Why do people act like diapers are that big of a deal? It’s not THAT bad or time consuming, unless your inept.

    • Guets

      I never got this either- unless its a blow out up the back kind of diaper it should be wham bam done kind of deal. If your kid is blowing out constantly you’ve got other problems.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Wait, wait, wait… You’re a mom, but because you never stayed at home YOUR mothering isn’t the most difficult in the world?

      Is it opposite day again?

    • Mystik Spiral

      Wait, wait, wait… You’re a mom, but because you never stayed at home YOUR mothering isn’t the most difficult in the world?

      Is it opposite day again?

    • rrlo

      i would think not having kids in diapers would give you a better perspective on motherhood.
      The hormone-fueled infant stage is the worst time to reflect on motherhood.

    • http://www.thislemonyogurt.com/ Amanda

      I complained about it on my FB and actually got the condescension smackdown from mothers with grown children who played the “just wait for the teenage hormonal years when you have to chauffeur them everywhere” card.

    • K.

      Wow, your kids came out of the womb and onto the toilet? Lucky you!

      And I’m assuming that you NEVER had to deal with diapers outside of your working hours, right? Kids only poop M-F, 9-5, right?

      Sigh.

    • ChickenKira

      Wait.. what?
      I think I’m doing this whole diaper thing wrong if it’s really that difficult.
      Kid pees in it.
      You change it.

      That’s how it works, right? WHAT AM I MISSING HERE?

  • whiteroses

    Being a parent is hard. Nobody’s denying that. But I figure- I get a day every year that’s mostly about me. Mother’s Day is awesome. I live for handprints on canvases. LIVE for that. And while I do believe a “thanks for doing all the laundry and picking up the house” is very nice, I don’t NEED it in order to function.

    I chose to have a kid, and the entire world doesn’t need to bring offerings unto me and lay them at my feet. Many parents have it worse than I do. Many parents have it easier. But that’s life, and you deal with it and move on.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    Motherhood is hard sometimes, in that it’s ongoing, emotional and you can have epic bad days. But it’s not the hardest thing ever. I worked as a hotel maid for a couple summers and those hours were way harder. I had much more down time, and pleasant time staying at home with my baby for a year than I did as a maid. I came home exhausted every day and needing a shower and nap after those shifts.
    One day I passed out in a sink and sliced open my finger on a glass I was washing. I had to skip my break because a bunch of slobs (teams) had trashed all my rooms.
    That’s never happened to me as a mother.

  • Kendra

    My eyes just rolled so far back in my head I’m scared they won’t resurface.

  • hurricanewarningdc

    I get it and I hate the “mom is a job” thing as much as the next person. (Can we ditch the “it takes a village” bs, too?)
    But really, don’t we as moms have better things to do than to fuel a social-media onslaught about some stupid viral ad campaign? (Fair enough, I’ve wasted time even typing this reply!?!) All that those ppl have done in the last 48 hours is spread the ad further, thus promoting, perhaps, the company/marketers’ mission. (IMO, it was a bad, obvious, overreaching ad…trying way too hard. But the intent wasn’t evil – “yeah! moms on mothers’ day… buy a card” – and the reactions of the ppl in the ad – assuming that they weren’t actors – were nice. At least, their own moms were likely touched? That said, I’m neither impressed nor running out to purchase greeting cards. It’s just an ad. End of story.)
    Anyway, you want obnoxious ads? Write something about those awful yogurt/cleaning product/pantyliner/shampoo ads where women are apparently so base that we’re expected to buy things based on shirtless men and sexual innuendo. Or the “dads are dopes; moms are omniscient” ads? Personally, i much prefer the suck-up-to-moms approach to those.

    • CMJ

      They have written about those things on this site.

    • hurricanewarningdc

      ah… relatively new here. In that case, carry on. :)

    • rrlo

      We like to rant and rave about other things too. We are just “angry” people and love the solidarity of the Mommyish forum. Haha.

  • Maria

    Thank you for this. I saw the Rehtom video posted several times, and couldn’t put my finger on why it made my eyes roll instead of tear up. This is why.

  • BakerMom-Iwork&momOMG!

    One of my FB friends posted how amazing this video was, I said I actually hate it because I got to sit down, binge watch Queer as Folk and sleep when my son was an infant and it perpetuates the ‘motherhood is horrible’ mantra. She asserted that it only highlights our ‘superpowers’, that’s when you know that further discussion is pointless.

    • Kendra

      When does one get these superpowers? I’m feeling super ripped off here. My daughter is over a year and a half now. I expected them to come before now. Who do I file a complaint with?

    • G.S.

      Do you think she meant about the stories where a mom lifts a an actual car off of her son’s leg single-handedly? I didn’t watch the ad, but was that part of the requirements for the job?

    • BakerMom-Iwork&momOMG

      I’m thinking it was an implied requirement, just like producing liquid gold from your mammaries and making placenta art.

    • aliceblue

      The Justice League?

  • BeckyBoo

    I’m glad to see MOTHERS calling B.S. on this stupid video. No one is arguing that parenthood isn’t hard, but it’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle choice.

  • kay

    I’m a stay at home mom and it’s awesome. I get to hang out with my baby who is super fun, I get to go to gymboree classes and swimming and peruse target…. And sure, I’m covered in puke and goldfish crumbs and my purse has more diapers than makeup in it but like, if motherhood is this horrible awful thing then don’t do it.

    I’ve taught in the hood, I’ve worked terrible retail jobs, I’ve been an aide at a nursing home where I changed adult diapers. Being a mom is way cooler.

    (I will give all my respect to single moms. I don’t think I’d be having nearly the fun I have if I didn’t have a husband who is an awesome dad, and who tells me I am killing at at the mom stuff. You need someone where you can tap out, and you need to hear you’re not royally messing up your child)

    • Kendra

      It’s totally awesome to hear a SAHM being honest about it. I’ve noticed a trend in the stuff I see on facebook, where there are plenty of conversation about how being a SAHM is the hardest, most difficult, grossest, sleep denying job anyone could ever have ever. And then the same people will also defend that being a SAHM is the best job, most rewarding, greatest gift life could ever provide. I fail to understand how it can be both the worst thing and the best thing ever. I think, as with any job, it is most likely somewhere in the middle, with awesome days and shitty days and all of that.

    • Ally

      Pretty sure facebook would disappear in a vacuum if all of the SAHMs stopped posting about how hard it is to be a SAHM.

    • rrlo

      I wish more people would say that they choose to be a SAHM because they love it as opposed to implying “it’s the right thing to do”.

    • Kendra

      Oh, absolutely. YES YES YES. I’m all for doing whatever you want to do or whatever works for your family, but the guilt trip stuff is NOT COOL.

    • rrlo

      The comment I find most insulting is when people imply others are raising my child because he goes to daycare. The daycare is NOT raising my child. They are ensuring he doesn’t die from swallowing LEGO batman.

      I don’t ever recall the traditional working dad ever being called an “absentee father”. Nor do I ever hear people complaining that schools are raising the kids either.

    • ChickenKira

      Yeah, it’s amazing how the ‘raising’ of the child is no longer an issue once the kid reaches school age.

    • kay

      The right thing to do is whatever makes you and your family happy.

      (so long as what makes you happy isn’t like, sacrificing neighborhood cats or blasting Limp Bizkit in my backyard. Don’t do that.)

    • rrlo

      Yeah, I read about these parents that made their toddler wear a Nazi armband and do the goose-step. We mustn’t do that either.

    • wonderstruck

      Ahahahaha! Comment of the day.

    • K.

      See, I LOVE to hear more responses like yours. It makes me just feel depressed when mothers are like, “It’s so hard! I’m so brave! How will I get through the day!!”

      I like SAHMs who like being SAHMs. Liking it doesn’t mean it doesn’t require skill or that it’s a walk in the park–I feel like more women should embrace the fact the enjoy their responsibilities!

    • Courtney Lynn

      This. I worked at Starbucks for 8 years. Not dying to go back, let me tell ya!

  • Ursi

    I gave a sick cat injections for a month and all I got was scratched up. Where’s my cat-mommy-martyr medal? How can I get in on this?

    • Rachel Sea

      Any parent wanting to bitch about poop blowouts is welcome to come to my house when my elderly wolfdog’s digestion goes supernova. He is 10 times the size of a baby, and I can’t put him in a diaper.

    • Rachel Sea

      Any parent wanting to bitch about poop blowouts is welcome to come to my house when my elderly wolfdog’s digestion goes supernova. He is 10 times the size of a baby, and I can’t put him in a diaper.

    • SarahJesness

      Talk about how you’re a veterinarian. My dog gets heartworm pills and she and all the cats get flea medicine in the summer. I SHOULD BE GETTING PAID FOR THIS

    • The Great Queen Spider

      Having to pin down my dog and wretch his mouth open to shove pills down his throat was just so much fun.. Doggy fan martyr medal!

  • Actually the worst

    My first thought when I saw this was actually “you wore THAT to a job interview for a director of operations job???”

  • Jessica

    Wow, Valerie in #5 is a whiny pants! Grow the f up lady.

  • K.

    I don’t think this is going to be a very popular opinion, but I’ll put it out there anyway: based on my own experiences, I really think the reason why the rhetoric of “it’s the hardest job of the world” combined with a plea for acknowledgment is NOT because it is so very hard or because moms get so very little credit…I think it’s
    because being a SAHM is just not…that…fulfilling for a great many women and a great many can’t admit that. Who wants to admit that they’re not fulfilled by their own children?

    But when I was a SAHM, I clung to shit like this ad—the passive-aggressiveness of it, the martyrdom, because I needed a way to express my own frustration and anger that I couldn’t even really recognize, let alone express directly. So the REAL geeling, which was for me “I don’t find childrearing or motherhood or my own CHILD fulfilling” gets converted to something more acceptable: “It’s the JOB that’s HARD and that’s why I’m unhappy” and “It’s the fact that no one acknowledges me and that’s why I’m frustrated.” In my life at least, the SAHMs that dislike this ad or don’t really take it seriously one way or the other are all SAHMs who love their lives and enjoy their children. The SAHMs who “need” this ad are those who are frustrated. People who enjoy their occupations don’t need a whole lot of outside validation.

    To be clear, btw, I love my child like nothing else on this earth, and I am certainly “fulfilled” by having him in my life, but that’s different from saying I’m fulfilled by watching him play with a toilet paper roll for an hour or that I’m fulfilled teaching him how to use the toilet (I love my husband too, but I wouldn’t find our marriage particularly fulfilling to spend every waking second with him). I think being a good mother has nothing to do with how much you love your child; it has to do with how much you love and honor YOU and who you are, such that you can figure out what kind of role motherhood will play in your daily life. And for that reason, I really hate this ad and for the way that it contributes to a cycle of telling women that subsuming their individuality in service to others out of *love* (because, as the ad reminds us, it sure for shit ain’t for money or prestige) is something to be revered. This ad seems to be premised on the concept that SAHM-mommy-martyrs sacrifice because their love for their children exceeds everyone else’s. How ridiculous.

    • Kendra

      I have been thinking the same thing for a very long time now, ever since I was involved in my first SAHM vs working mom debate. The only problem was, I never really knew how to articulate what I was trying to say. I think this is the most completely true thing I have ever read. The defensiveness about how “hard” it is coming from an insecurity of how little they are actually “enjoying” it. I’m sure it is so hard nowadays especially with the pinterest moms making it seem like everything is rainbows and glitter. I would imagine people probably feel like they are supposed to feel like it is the most fun and amazing thing, and the truth is, it’s just an ordinary life. It’s not supposed to be extravagant.

    • K.

      The truth is, *I* found being a SAHM much “harder” than being a working mom–and I say that as someone who currently wakes up at 4:30am and gets home at 6:00p and barely makes enough to cover childcare and gas.

      Being a SAHM was much harder for me because I felt like I couldn’t ever mentally ‘turn off’–it wasn’t that I didn’t take breaks, it was that I had to constantly think about my responsibilities–what was going on with his development? Did we have diapers? What was for dinner? Where was I on the laundry? etc. etc. I also resented my poor husband for stupid things like the fact he had to ask me where the crib sheets were (because I was annoyed *I* had to devote mental energy to knowing where they were at all times) and he didn’t have to give up a boob and both hands every 4 hours to feed an infant. It was also socially isolating and it was tiresome after a while that I was hanging out with mothers with whom I had nothing in common with and the fact I was a mother first before I was anyone else.

      So, I was clearly not the right temperament to be a SAHM, and it was a much better decision to go work. But the thing is, my daycare does a much better job with my son than I could ever do–they do the sing-a-longs and the no-sippy-cup training and the art projects and all that, and I think I give MORE to my son by having them take over a responsibility I would end up resenting. That’s why I’m convinced the mommy wars are bullshit–neither choice is in itself a better choice for the welfare of children; it’s only a better choice for the child insofar as an extension of what’s best for MOM (or Dad, too).

      Thank you so much for the compliment, too! That makes my day.

    • RN_that_thinks

      There were studies done when my daughter was small that basically showed if a mother stayed at home when she wanted to go back to work she and the children were less happy. The same was also true of mothers who had to go back to work when they wanted to stay home with the children. The happiest were the ones where the mother was allowed her choice. There’s no one size to fit all solution so wouldn’t it be better to just support someone’s choice?

    • rrlo

      This is such an emotionally charged topic.

      But if anything feels too much like sacrifice or a 24/7 drag for an extended period of time – it’s time to get some help or change things around.

    • ChickenKira

      You know what, I did the exact same thing.
      I realised it in a weird fight with my husband, after I’d had a not-too-bad day honestly. My daughter and I did the groceries, we played at the playground near the supermarket, I got a really good take away coffee, we came home, she had a nap while I watched re-runs of House, cooked dinner, husband came home, I cooked dinner, we ate, he was playing with her on the couch and asked what we did today, I told him, he said “Wow, sounds like you guys had a lot of fun” and I snapped.

      My daughter had barrel loads of fun. She thinks shopping is fun. Playgrounds are the best thing ever to her. She also saw a puppy at the playground.
      I’m kind of past the grocery store being a magical place, pushing someone on a swing really isn’t that mentally stimulating and there is only so many times you can watch the same few episodes of House over and over (what the fuck, Universal? You do it with SVU too).

      I was bored, and I had gone from having quite an academic job to the groceries being the intellectual highlight of my day. So I played into this too.

      I wasn’t amazing, I was bored. (And I have since gone back to work and I don’t have this chip on my shoulder any more, I do get a LOT of thanks and recognition from my family, I always have, but I was too frustrated with my situation to acknowledge it).

    • Sara610

      I think you have a really good point, actually. Some women are meant to be SAHMs and can be really happy in that role. I’m not one of them. I would be the shittiest SAHM ever because I wouldn’t be happy.

      It’s one of the reasons I can’t stand the “You should just quit your job when you have babies, because your salary just goes to daycare!” argument. Yes, my daughter’s daycare tuition eats up about half my take-home pay, and if we ever have two in daycare at the same time, it will eat up just about all of it. That would suck for a year or two. But I still won’t quit my job, because I LOVE what I do and being happy and fulfilled on a professional AND personal level makes me a better person and a better mom. Earning a paycheck isn’t the only reason to work, although it is important.

    • guest

      You are summing up exactly why I lean toward not having children at all.

  • Kat

    WTF LOL ROTFLMAO and other assorted internet speak at the woman who thinks motherhood is harder than the Peace Corps. I am a mother, and I’ve never done Peace Corps but I know for god damn certain which one is tougher. Even on the worst days at home for 12 hours with the baby, I always had running water, electricity, food in the pantry, and a car to take me to a) the park, b) Starbucks, c) Target or d) nowhere, but driving in the car put him to sleep so I could have 20 minutes of peace and quiet.

  • wonderstruck

    I didn’t bother watching the video for several days because I just knew it was going to be one of those…finally did, and I didn’t make it past the bit about being on your feet and physically active all the time with no breaks. Really? That is not reality and IMO just makes the moms who buy this crap sound ridiculous. Because guess what? My kid takes naps! Yeah, sometimes when he’s napping I’m doing housework, but sometimes I *gasp* take a break. And even when he’s awake, sometimes I *double gasp* leave him to play BY HIMSELF. I know, clearly I’m the worst mom in the world and doing this SAHM thing completely wrong. I can live with that. My son doesn’t seem to have noticed, haha.

  • Ana

    I can’t believe advertisers are sticking so rigidly to these gender stereotypes in this day and age. There is nothing more noble about me changing a poopy diaper than my husband doing it. Dads make sacrifices and clean up messes and worry about their children too. But when fathers are seen doing things for their kids they’re being a “good” dad. It’s all PARENTING. This kind of advertising discounts the efforts dads make and perpetuates the idea that motherhood is some role women take on that overshadows everything else about them.

    • rrlo

      Yeah, it’s wonderful to be “The Mommy” (THE mommy to an individual child, my child). It’s annoying to be “A Mommy” where society defines you as a mommy – because motherhood is only one part of me. I don’t want to be put in a box.

  • Justme

    As a teacher, I would have answered #6′s question with, “the liquor store.”

    • MegzWray

      I always gave my daughter’s daycare provider a bottle of wine and gift card to Target for Teacher’s Day. She deserved it!

    • neighbor57

      Valarie: I’ll trade (for a day or so) your stay-at-home day with loads of flextime for my teaching day with just enough time to dash to the bathroom between running off copies and doing corrections. Oh, but I go home at the end of the day… and do planning, mull over a difficult student, take classes (which I pay for out of pocket). Oh yeah, and parent my own two kids on my own, and do all the same chores you do.

  • brebay

    Hey Kimi – If you’re old enough to be a mother, it’s time to retire that last “i.”

  • ENorth

    How much do your kids shit, Kimi? Pack a changing pad, a couple of diapers, a bottle and some cheerios and go enjoy the outdoors with your offsprings. Trust me, they don’t want to be stuck indoors with you either.

  • SarahJesness

    I dislike, maybe even hate, the whole “parenthood is a tough job!” thing. Because I don’t consider it a job. The majority of people who have kids do so willingly. Parenthood is a choice. If you want to do it, that’s great, but don’t act like you’re a martyr for keeping your kids alive. Yeah, I’m quite certain it’s hard, but again, you made the choice.

    I also hate the whole “parents have to cook and clean and go grocery shopping and blah blah blah!”. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t have any kids and I still have to do those things. Yet I don’t complain that I don’t receive a paycheck every time I make my spaghetti or chicken.

  • The Great Queen Spider

    I just honestly want to yell random names of tough occupations at these people.
    For example, “Coal Miner!” Or “Firefighter!” And so on.

    • Marie

      Whenever someone says that being home with their kids is “way harder” or even “just as hard” as working a real job I want to ask them what kind of easy-ass job they had before they had kids. I never had a boss that let me surf the net or get my grocery shopping done while I was at work!

  • Airbones

    My uncle, single father of 6, went to law school at night while working as an inner city police officer during the day. Assuredly, the parenting was the easy part.

  • Tiffany

    I don’t get these “Moms never get weekends off” comments. I’ve been a working Mom and a SAHM. When I’ve been working, weekends are great! I get time off with kids! When I’ve been a SAHM, weekends are great! The kids get time off school! We could hang out at home, we could go do something. We could hang out with my friends, their friends. Isn’t this all what “days off” are for? There is nothing I loved doing before I had kids that I can’t/don’t do now, in some form. If anything, introducing my kids to my interests is one of the best parts of parenting.
    You don’t get days off from being a parent because being a parent isn’t a job! It so much more, and calling it a job minimizes it.

  • Marie

    I just don’t understand why some people feel that raising kids is somehow equivalent to a paid job. It’s not a job; it’s called living your life. Do you post on Facebook that you had a shower, brushed your teeth and got yourself fed and dressed this morning so yay me, I deserve a medal now? When you reproduce, doing these things for your dependent offspring is just part of the deal. (And yes, I have two preschoolers and a job. I get up at 5:30, work a full day, pick up my kids and then do all that work the other moms complain about in the 2-3 hours between dinner and bed and on weekends. So what? No one made me have them.) Women have always contributed to the household income and the “full time mom” is a mid 20th century invention. My great grandmother grew acres of vegetables, canned and preserved all of them for winter, raised hens and sold the eggs, did laundry by hand and sewed the clothes for her family and then pitched in beside her husband on the farm during the busiest months to bring the harvest in. All while popping out a new baby every two years or so for 20 years. Throwing in a load of laundry and making lunches for the next day after the kids have gone to bed doesn’t seem so bad in comparison. People who whine about how hard moms work really need to go to a third world country and look at the moms everywhere who work all day with a new baby tied to their backs to see how easy life really is in this place and time. Most stay at home moms I know are just plain lazy. There, I said it. Then again, in the overall scheme of things, I’m lazier than most, too. I just have my eyes open wide enough to see it.

  • missiemeghan

    I can’t decide who I want to punch first and harder, Kimi or Valarie.

  • AugustW

    I must be an awful mom because I sleep all the time. Like, every night. That first year was a little spotty, but I still slept enough to maintain my sanity. It wasn’t *hard*.

  • Rowan Buhler

    I hate that Teddy quote. I mean honestly, what if a man is staying home and raising his children while his wife works? Is a woman who does the same thing still better, more responsible, and in general more deserving of praise? It’s disgusting that someone would post something like that in this day and age.

  • Jill

    So I just saw the Bud Light (I think) ad to make fun of this one while directing it at dads. If this first video made you rage hard (like I did) I’d recommend watching this one. Funny stuff.

  • brebay

    These people act like their kids never grow. Sure, newborns are tough, but it doesn’t last that long. And yes, it’s work, but it’s the kind of work you can do in your pajamas while talking on your phone and watching TV. You don’t have to put makeup on or sit in traffic, deal with office politics or job insecurity.

  • h

    One thing that I feel often gets overlooked in topics such as this is the variables that affect stress level. Everyone experiences stress differently, is more stressed by certain situations than others, etc. Add to that the fact that every child and every profession is different as well. That is why you have some women (and men) saying that they have done xyz and yet nothing compares to the stress/fatigue/etc of being a parent, while other folks say that their career, or time in school, etc makes parenting feel like a breeze in comparison. Neither is more true than the other, it is all your particular experience with these things, and aspects of both the situation and yourself.

  • RW

    So much love for this. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was offended by this ad. My husband is just as much a parent as I am, and very active in our child’s care and well being – even more so since I’m pregnant with our second and bordering useless most days. Sure the first year was hard (but let’s not kid ourselves – there’s a LOT of downtime with an infant) and I felt like I was taking the brunt of the responsibility and sacrifice, but once I went back to work that changed FAST.

    I agree with what others have said – being a parent isn’t a fucking JOB. Living your life and having responsibility for others isn’t a job. I’d like to see a spoof ad about the toughest job as being a KID – all those awful chores to do, the enforced bedtimes, mandatory schooling, no choice in the foods you eat… I’m telling you, being a kid takes dedication and SACRIFICE.

  • Pingback: Idiotic Mother’s Day Video | MeReader

  • Pingback: don’t condescend me, man. | Cheaper Than Therapy