Imagine this: A sparklingly beautiful family, with sparkling white smiles, brushing their teeth in sparkling clean bathrooms. Now juxtapose this image with this one: A haggard mom in her tee and pajama asks her cranky kid to brush his/her teeth. The kid doesn’t pay any heed. The second time around when she asks her kid to brush there is a little edge in her voice. The kid is still not listening and now the mom loses all her patience and has to resort to threats or yelling.
The first scene was obviously from the magical world of advertising, where every mother somehow looks fabulous in the morning and the children have a very unrealistic and somewhat disturbing love for brushing their teeth.
A mom in a TV commercial is always prim and proper, well-maintained, straight out of the parlour, and to top it off, always stress-free. Enamored by these mythical creatures that seemed to live inside my TV screen I started to look for them in my immediate surroundings.
First I searched for that “baby care product” mom. Well, undoubtedly all mothers have the same spirit, pride and emotions but it is nowhere close to that confidence and that look that on-screen mothers posses. Sigh!
New moms are exhausted, sleep-deprived, perplexed and some even lose sense of time as well. The journey of motherhood, despite what society will lead you to believe, starts with tired and exhausted looks and believe me it is just the beginning.
Motherhood is one of the greatest experiences for any woman. Mothers take pride in shaping up lives of their little ones. Running after them for food, helping them in studies, waking up early for studies, their projects, exams or even sport events, is not just a mere duty for a mother, it is who she is. They take pride in dancing around with their toddlers during birthday parties and playing silly games with them. Since, mothers are not superhumans (It is the truth!) while trying to balance all these responsibilities, attain perfection, and compete with the sparkly commercial moms, the real-life moms get tired and stressed.
Being a mom is time consuming, needs a lot of effort and most importantly support. Support of family and friends. We have never seen that in commercials. Most of the moms I meet keep grumbling about not having any support at home. Well maintained, calm, cool and composed mom in a swanky, sophisticated spotless house? Are you kidding me? Not a single shoe, toy or stationary in the frame? What is this place?
While struggling to run a house, balance a career and brave the growing creaks and aches of an aging body, mothers also have to prepare for exams, sports, project deadlines, birthday parties, summer camps, and vacations with the kids. For working mothers, the work pressure keeps them in guilt all the time.
I remember what my son said to me once – “That mom in the TV is smiling and you always keep complaining.” I smiled and shot back, “Because she is paid for that, she is doing her job.” And you will not ask for the same jam if you don’t like that mom on screen. After all, advertising is not just art, it is commercial art.
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