Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride. - Wikipedia
When did being a mom become such a hardship? All over my Facebook news feed last week were re-posts of this viral video, where a (fake) executive is interviewing (fake) applicants for the (fake) director of operations officer position at a (fake) company. The catch? There is no job. It's just a cheesy reminder to call your mom, care of the American Greetings card company.
Look, I'm a mom and, to be fair, it's not an easy gig. I didn't know this going in, however, because my mom never really complained. Not on the scale of a viral video, anyway.
I'm sure she commiserated with her friends about lack of sleep, or time to herself. She may have had a few arguments with my dad about sharing the workload. She may even have gone so far as to (gasp!) tell another parent at the playground about being up all night with a sick child.
So, what's changed? Why do today's mothers feel like everyone needs to be reminded that our lives are so hard? We make it so easy for companies, like the one who paid for this video, to pander to those feelings and manipulate us into thinking we (and others) should keep believing that our lives pretty much suck because we decided to procreate.
Yes, I'm tired. Yes, my kids can be challenging. Yes, I have less time for myself... but, here's the thing:
If you have time to watch a YouTube video and Facebook about it all damn day, motherhood hasn't completely swallowed you up -- you had enough time in your busy day for this, let's be honest, frivolity. Maybe, after all, it isn't the toughest job in the world.
Try working in a Chinese factory all day in deplorable conditions just so that you can earn pennies, which may or may not be enough to feed your family that evening.
Try crouching down in an African cave for days with no food or water, struggling to keep your children quiet so that they will not be taken by rebels and used as child soldiers.
Try selling your body to different men night after night so that your little girl has warm clothes for the winter.
Are we as mothers becoming so self-obsessed and feeling so under-appreciated that we are losing sight of the fact that we are, in fact, so very lucky? Furthermore, why are we allowing companies to pander to this?
How about we see some commercials where motherhood is seen as triumphant, fun, and exhilarating? Maybe we could quit feigning gratitude for a minute and realize that messages like this perpetuate the idea that in order to be a mom, you need to give up everything, including sleep, your sanity, your career and even (according to this latest video) your lunch.
I just don't think I have it that hard. Do you?
(A version of this was first published in The Thirties Grind.)
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