MRP here with more on the odd and oddly controversial Motrin ad campaign. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I wasn’t at all down with the huge brouhaha being generated by the “babywearing” ad that has mommies across the universe in a flutter. I didn’t love the ad, but I didn’t see the need for all the drama, either.
In a recent copy of Working Mother magazine, I came across what seems to be a related facet of the ad campaign, written in the same Mommy Confidential tone as the “babywearing” ad. This one struck me as somewhat more off-putting and disturbing:
You can click on the image to see the whole thing but here’s an excerpt: “I would kill to get some sleep right now. No really. Try me. Ok, so I don’t really mean that but sometimes I secretly think it. If all us moms said exactly what was on our minds when dealing with our kids’ high fevers, you might as well commit us. Actually, that’s not a bad idea–at least it would be quiet.”
So . . . when delirious with sleeplessness, “all us moms” turn into homicidal maniacs that dream of doing in our own children when they are fussy with a fever? I think what irks me about this copy is the casual conflation of mothering with mental illness. It’s the “well, we’re all just inmates in the asylum” joshing: “We want to take the fever down. Way down. And then our crazy little kids can go back to being their crazy little selves . . . ”
There’s a problem with this ad campaign and I’m not exactly sure what it is. I get the mommytalk thing, but it’s actually more like the mom is making a confession in some third party. As though she’s violating the first rule of Mom Club: Don’t talk about Mom Club. Do moms think and feel things about their kids they would rather not admit? Sure they do. But do they really talk this way to each other? Not in my experience.