Motrin has a new ad campaign about mothers who carry their babies in slings. In it, they talk about the new “trend” (that’s been around as long as there have been mothers, actually) of carrying babies in slings, pouches and such. They talk about how it makes us “tired and crazy” and causes all sorts of pain, but we’ll do it anyway because it makes us seem like good moms.
They want us to know they feel our pain as we do our silly, self-sacrificing rituals.
How big of them.
The ad just puts me off, and puts off most of the mothers I’ve talked to about it.
First off, there are so many types of slings and pouches that most mothers can find one that does not cause pain. They’ve come a long way since those early Baby Bjorn contraptions, and women around the world have been using better types of slings for thousands of years. My personal favorite is the Kangaroo Korner pouch and just about every AP mama I know has her own sling that she swears by.
That said, slings and pouches do hurt my neck and shoulders. I have an injured neck from a car accident 9 years ago and have been told my neck will never be normal again. So yeah, I know what it’s like to use a sling and have your neck or shoulders be on fire.
But there’s something about the ad that makes it quite clear that it’s not really written by anyone who’s ever carried a baby in a sling or even really agrees with the practice. It’s condescending and fake. The ad pretends to be one of us so it can make fun of us. That’s not cute. It’s rude.
All sorts of AP, pro-baby messages could have been in there somehow without sending the message that we’re somehow idiots who are damaging ourselves and causing ourselves pain because of a fashion, a whim, overindulged babies and trendy advice.
My neck and shoulder hurt today, just like pretty much every day. I haven’t used a sling in a long time but I carry my toddler on my hip. That hurts me just as much (even though it’s probably not as easy to make fun of in commercials).
I didn’t take any Motrin. I soaked in an epsom salt bath, had two of my kids take turns pounding on my shoulder and then got a Tonka massage. That’s where you let your kids drive on your back with toy trucks. 🙂
Sometimes parenting is a pain in the neck– or back, or shoulders. It’s great if the drug companies want to capitalize on that, but next time they should try doing it without mocking us.
We mothers are a pretty great bunch. We’re smart, we’re caring, we’re educated, we’re loving and we do a great job of meeting our babies’ needs, even when it’s harder on ourselves sometimes. Personally, I think they’d sell a lot more painkillers if they’d say that.