by Zach Rosenberg
LA Dads Group
What happens when an online card vendor wants to “win” the Mother’s Day season? They create a viral video. And that’s just what American Greetings (for Cardstore.com) did with the help of ad agency Mullen. And if your vagina doesn’t tremble with love and happiness after seeing this video, then you’re probably not human. Or something.
The video, “World’s Toughest Job” is a well-meaning stunt meant to make people think about how much mothers do for their families. But it all comes off as martyr-mom falsehoods that insult more people than it compliments, including moms.
So, basically: Mullen created a fake company named Rehtom Inc., and posted a job listing online and in newspapers for a “director of operations.” Of the 2.7 million impressions that the job posting/ad got, only 24 people applied. So, some actor held video-call interviews to tell candidates about the position. And during the interviews, the actor listed the “really quite extensive” job requirements:
- The job requires you to work standing up “most or really all of the time” (sorry, wheelchair-bound parents, you’re already out).
- The hours are “135 to unlimited hours per week”.
- “There are no breaks available”, and ”no time to sleep”.
- “You can have lunch, but only when the associate is done eating their lunch.”
- They’re looking for someone “with a degree in medicine, in finance, and the culinary arts” (this isn’t at all elitist sounding).
- If you had a life, they’re asking you “to give that life up”.
- There is no pay.
And so on and so forth.
So then when the candidates start pushing back (especially at the zero-pay part), the piano starts and it’s revealed that the “job” is being a mom! OMG! SMH! ROFL! IDKFA!
But don’t take my word for it, watch the American Greetings’ ‘World’s Toughest Job’ video.
Also, har-dee-har-har, “Rehtom” backward is “mother.” Zing!
Look, we get it. Mother’s Day is coming up. And being a mom is tough. Is it a job? I don’t think so. It’s more than a job – it’s a life choice. If you’re running it like a job, you’re going to lose out on all of the incredible, soul-fulfilling parts of parenthood. And this martyred thing where moms compete on Facebook to see who’s gotten less sleep or who has eaten a more gnarly leftover of their toddler’s meal has got to go. You chose this. You. Chose. This.
And I know you’re all like “Zach, we know you’re going to say ‘and what about dads?!‘” You know, I totally would, but this is a Mother’s Day commercial, so I get it. True, this commercial ignores dads and puts all of the parenting burden and responsibility onto mom – but I’m just taking this as a Mother’s Day commercial. Which reminds me, dads:
Dads, just tune-out all commercials until mid-May.
As a Mother’s Day commercial – do moms want to be treated like motherhood is a “job” and that if they DO get to ever sit down or eat a hot meal, like they’re not doing it right? That’s bullshit. I’m sorry, but moms get to sit down, they get to eat, they get to sleep (albeit, not to the capacity that anyone would like). And the amount of hot meals, sit-downs and nights you get varies. Some of it is skill-based and some of it’s dumb luck.
Some of it depends on how helpful of a spouse you’ve got – and that’s on you, ladies. Choose a dude that is loving, helpful and responsible EVEN BEFORE you’ve got a kid, and guess what? He’ll be helpful once you’ve got a kid. Because if you marry some butthole that refers to certain tasks as “women’s work” or is out every day “with the homies” from the second he’s off work until bedtime, chances are that he’s not going to magically love emptying the dishwasher or doing laundry once you have a baby. I know this because I watch MTV’s Teen Mom.
BTW, one of my favorite mom bloggers, Eve Vawter, does so much of a better job raking this commercial over the coals over at Mommyish. Also, she’s a mom, so if you’ve been all “yeah Zach, but you’re a dad, you’re not a mom so you don’t know,” then maybe you’ll believe Eve. I haven’t personally seen her vagina, but I’m sure she’s qualified to tell you about moms.
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Zach Rosenberg, a writer for print and online media, has spent the last few years speaking directly to brands regarding their involvement with fathers, and culminated 2013 with a look at 140 commercials that featured dads.
He blogs at 8BitDad.com, and helps organize events for the L.A. Dads Group. He lives in Southern California with his wife and son.
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