Becoming a mother for the first time brings a whole new world of experiences, emotions and topics of conversation never before uttered or even considered (has your son had any solid induced poo’s yet? springs to mind). I kind of expected that to happen. What I didn’t expect however, was the way previously innocuous ads and images, on TV, in magazines, on terrifyingly huge poster boards in the supermarket, would now speak to me, usually conveying messages about my own mothering abilities or lack there of.
I have become silently fascinated as to the uncanny ability of the mums (and dads) in these images to look so damn good while going about their everyday, parenting business. How has the Mum in the Huggies ad never copped a face full of wee while changing a nappy? And where are the suspicious stains on the hands of the kid playing with the dog in the Aptamil ad? I’m sure there’s a deeper message at play here (‘if you buy me you’ll look/feel/be this good a parent’ is the logical one) but I can’t get past the superficial. Although I’m reasonably confident that I’m doing an ok job as a mum (sometimes), there’s still a selection of ‘ad mums’ that always manage to make me green with envy, snort with laughter or stamp my foot and mutter; ‘Why the bloody hell can’t I do that?’ These are my favourites.
The mum on every box of nursing pads
Before I progress, let me say, I’m all for the boob (and the bottle. Hell, I’m 100% pro mum’s feeding their babies upside down with a sippy cup strapped to their foot if that’s how they want to roll), I’m just insanely jealous as the women look so damn serene and really rather perfect while feeding. Me while feeding my baby? Not so much. Is there anyone else who has vivid mental images of themselves with one enormously engorged left breast hanging out of a stained Bonds maternity singlet, hair haphazardly brushed into so many steps beyond ‘messy up do’ that it doesn’t bear thinking about? Or of the gritted teeth as you attempt to force a nipple into the mouth of a hungry but distracted 6 month old who subsequently uses their brand-new toothy pegs to clamp down on the still tender skin of a nipple?