Y’all get these? The cool mom friend you just made turns out to actually be trying to sell you on some multi-level marketing scheme? Or the old friend from high school you thought wanted to reconnect? The old coworker you thought had an actual networking hookup? It’s infuriating. I’m allergic to sales pitches at the best of times, but the bait-and-switch nature of MLM schemes makes me see red.

I used to get just mildly cranky at getting these unsolicited sales pitches from people I thought were my friends, but nowadays I’m just mad. Not at them, but at the situation that more and more parents are finding themselves in these days. Look. No one wants to #hustle jewelry or protein shakes or leggings because they’re #livingthedream. Pull back the veil, and what I think is going on is that parents – mostly moms, because we’re the ones who are pressured out of waged labour – are being forced to pick up these “sales jobs” in the periphery because wages are stagnant and we’re all in ridiculous debt, and we just can’t support families on one income (or two, minus daycare, plus the instability of kid-related complications like sick days) like we’re “supposed” to. Suddenly, the prospect of ‘making a little money on the side, working from home and being your own boss’ is an irresistible temptation to someone who’s just trying to keep their family afloat.

If wages were better, if the cost of living were lower, if benefits were sufficient, if families were supported to the surprising extent that families need to be supported – not just financially, but socially – people wouldn’t be driven into these predatory marketing schemes. And that’s what really makes me mad.

Well, that and the ol’ friend-or-mark switcheroo. That still super sucks.