I’m sure by now just about everyone has seen this viral video from American Greetings about the “world’s toughest job.” If you haven’t, click here.
It’s been all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds for two days. Yet for every post I see praising its message, I see another criticizing it. And I think it’s worth noting that every person that’s had something negative to say about it, is also a mom. What’s the argument? That being a mom isn’t a “job”, in the literal sense. It’s also not that tough. Nor is the “job description” all that accurate. And dads have it hard too but there’s no mention of them. And maybe it’s also a bit cheesy. And mean to trick people. And…I lost count of all the criticisms. (Even if I agree with most of them.)
As someone who shared it on my own Facebook page, here’s what I think. I think American Greetings came up with a clever Mother’s Day ad. Most likely, they wanted to capitalize on the “Thank You, Mom” theme that P&G made popular during the summer and winter olympics. And to that I say, “well done.” Will they sell more cards as a result? That has yet to be seen.
But back to the argument at hand. Do I think being a mom is the world’s toughest job? Hardly. I’m not risking my life day in and day out. It’s also not a literal “job”, as others have pointed out. (Point taken.) But is it the toughest aspect of my life? So far, yes. And I personally think it’s sort of nice when anyone – a person or a company eager to drive sales – takes a moment to appreciate everything I do. Because heaven knows it’s going to be YEARS before my own children will appreciate it. And when they do, I’ll be lucky to get a hand-scribbled piece of paper and a dandelion picked from the yard. And I’ll love it. I mean, no one becomes a mom expecting to be told “hey, thanks for gestating me, and birthing me, and feeding me (even in the middle of the night), and generally keeping me alive for the last X years.” But…it would be nice, right? So if a company wants to make an ad telling everyone to appreciate their mother and hey, maybe get her an American Greetings card for Mother’s Day while you’re at it, well then I say go right ahead. And I’ll be sure to back you up when you come out with your Father’s Day ad next month, which will inevitably characterize dads as being “superheros” to their kids, and then people will get all up in arms about dads not being literal superheros. Because it’s the Internet.