The “Mother Hood”
An advertisement mocking the various tyrannies of parenting has set tongues wagging, with many calling it one of the “most honest ads ever about parenting”.
Parenting, despite being a deeply personal and unique experience, is not independent of the outside world.
From governments deciding what is the “right” type of family by legislating against those deemed not right, to well-meaning but nosy friends, it seems that everyone has an opinion on the “right” way to parent.
Whether it’s breastfeeding versus formula, stay-at-home mums against working mothers, mothers as sole carers versus equal division between the parents, or a natural birth versus a drug-assisted one, people worldwide feel the need to weigh in on the parenting debate and moralise — or demoralise — certain choices over others.
So the company Similac, which specialises in baby-related products, has released an ad — called Mother ‘Hood — attempting to deal with all the politically fraught issues associated with parenting.
Designed to reflect an Anchorman-like fight between groups of mothers — and one father group — the ad packs in references to every conceivable type of parenting method, pitting the parents against each other
The scene is set at a familiar parenting haunt — the playground — and opens with the line: “Oh, look, the breast police have arrived”.
The “breast police” foursome — holding their infants firmly attached to their bosoms — immediately responds with: “A hundred per cent breast fed, right from the source”.
The next lot of women advocate for a drug-free birth while yoga mums “ooohhhhh”, and another group says that “cuddling is bonding” to the derision of the fathers, who twirl their fingers and shout, “helicopter mum, 12 o’clock”.
“Crunchy granola mums” — depicted as a lesbian couple, just to keep abreast of political correctness — glare at their adversaries, while three other mums wonder “what it’s like to be a part-time mum”.
“Stay at home mums — I wonder what do they do all day?” three power-suited mothers answer, tearing themselves away from their phones long enough to deliver some well-timed derision.
The lone group of fathers say “it’s not all about the breasts” before the entire playground descends into a battlefield of abuse.
Then, suddenly, to the horror of all parents, a pram containing a baby gets accidentally knocked, sending it hurtling down the hill.
All parents immediately abandon their bickering to chase after the pram, the differences forgotten in one, deep realisation: ”no matter what our beliefs, we are parents first”.
Similac has released this manifesto as an explanation for the ad.
“We believe it’s time to embrace mothers who choose to embrace motherhood. Time to put down the fingers and the subtle suggestions.
“Because no two of us are the same, but we’re all in this together. The sisterhood has only one rule — nourish each other the same way we nourish our children.
“And, just like the sister who’s got your back, we’re there to help you get through the first few days and months of motherhood with confidence — and zero judgment. The way it should be.”
Which is all well and nice, but it wouldn’t do to forget that the brand is still intent on selling a product — and that the comments on its Youtube site have been disabled.