Mom guilt is real. I usually think that I should be doing more. After all, there are so many things on the list that need to or should be done. I can’t keep up! And it makes my mom guilt go into overdrive. Most moms feel like this. There are SO many articles written about mom guilt because it can be hard to keep up with all things.
But who put all those things on the list? Did you? Why?
Because you think you should? Again, why?
Why do we think we have to do all the things? I have a theory about that.
Commercial Mom Guilt
Turn on any daytime TV show and wait until the next commercial segment. I will bet good money that in at least one of the commercials you will see the inside of a home. Maybe it’s a floor cleaner commercial or an ad for a breakfast beverage. But right there you will probably see the kitchen or maybe the family room. And what does that home look like? I can tell you it looks nothing like the inside of my home which usually has at least one Lego set laying on the floor or coffee table, random shoes from one of my kids, a half-full water glass, stuffed animals, and two or three blankets strewn about. And that’s on a good day when I’ve “cleaned up.”
Magazines aren’t any better. Let’s not even talk about the way women look in make-up ads. How about something more realistic like an ad for coffee. In one ad I saw, the woman holding her cup and smiling didn’t have a messy bun or a stain on her shirt from where her kid spilled something on her. No, her make-up was perfect and wonderfully natural. Her hair was down, curled perfectly, and there were no fly-away hairs. Her tasteful jewelry matched her outfit too. Ugh! I certainly don’t look like that when I wake up and am drinking my coffee in the morning. I don’t even think I look that good when I’m on my way to an important meeting!
It Isn’t Real (or even Memorex)
Marketing and advertising is adding to our mom guilt. It’s where we get the idea that everyone else has it all together, except us. That life really can, and should, be this perfect. And if our house or face or life doesn’t look like that, then there must be something wrong with us.
Okay, I will admit there are a certain number of moms out there who can keep it all together. I recently heard one mom (of grown children) say that she always vacuums her lampshades. Really? Who has time for that? My own mother worked full time and still kept a very clean house. Of course, she also had a weekly cleaning service come in and do all the dirty work for her. Not all of us have that luxury. I haven’t met one mom who works outside the house who didn’t have a cleaning service but had that picture-perfect home. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
But so what?
We need to stop letting big corporations and their advertising tell us what our lives ‘should’ be like. Sure my house is cluttered and needs vacuuming more often than not, but my kids are loved and happy. They are well-fed, have warm clothes, and more hugs than they can count. If I keep up with dishes, laundry, and basic cleaning, but don’t vacuum my lampshades, or dust my baseboards, then I feel like I’m winning. And you should too.
I’d love to hear or see some other examples of advertising and marketing that you think portray an unrealistic expectation. Leave a comment below with a link to some of your favorites.