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Sunday, November 16, 2008

You stay classy, Motrin!

There is buzz spreading like wildfire through the parenting communities today. Somehow Motrin thought it would be a good idea to run an ad that actually mocks a parenting choice. It's known as babywearing. It has been poked fun at before, by different people, but the fact of the matter is, it's NOT a new concept. It's been around for thousands of years. People all over the world do it, as part of their normal daily lives. In some countries, it's not even by choice, but out of necessity. Countries where the mom works, but does not have the luxuries of babysitters or strollers. So they do the natural thing, they throw the baby up on their back.

Babywearing is stereotyped as painful or tiring, but I promise it's not. Different carriers work for different people, and when you find the right one, it doesn't hurt. It just works. It's funny to me to see the moms lugging the infant car seat around. They have that lopsided gait because those seats are so heavy, especially with a larger baby in it. I watch as the huff and puff, and wince when the carrier hits their legs. And you know what? They look at me like I'm the crazy one for wearing my child on my back. Or the moms with their baby in a stroller, looking at me the same way. Even as they try to maneuver through a door, bumping the sides and having trouble, while I stand there with a smile, holding the door open for them.

I know how it is, I used to be one of those moms. Until I let my guard down, and stopped scoffing at the idea and actually tried it for myself. The first type of carrier worked well for a bit, but as my youngest got older, I had to find something else, and I'm glad I stuck to it and found something. Even though she is now two, I can still wear her in it. And I can honestly say that wearing your two year old on your back is much simpler and convenient than pushing them in a stroller or having to chase them down.

Babywearing is something that has so many stereotypes with it, that are wrong. And it just doesn't help when a big brand name company participates in perpetuating that stereotype. Here's the transcript of the Motrin ad:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion.

I mean, in theory it’s a great idea.

There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch.

And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free.

Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience.

They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others.

But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t?

I sure do!

These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?!

I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom.

And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

An email writing campaign has actually been launched, to let Motrin know the ignorance they are spreading with the ad. And to let them know that maybe it isn't the brightest idea in the world to insult part of your customer base in your advertising.

/soap box

p.s.-if you'd like to let Motrin know your thoughts, their contact page can be found here: https://www.motrin.com/page.jhtml?id=/motrin/include/email.inc

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