The big national supermarket chain that has my brand loyalty started rolling out a new advertising campaign, around the phrase ‘shop like a mother’, which I didn’t know when I saw these bags for sale in-store but felt, with a creeping weariness crawling up my bones, that some capitalist bullshit was afoot.

My emotions about this are complicated! The first and foremost is surprise that this got past how many people…? Because I’d hoped that we, as a society, had realized that conflating motherhood with domestic labour with the valorization of consumerism is passe. It reminds me of marketing class and rolling my eyes when we’d learn about demographics, and how mothers are a disproportionately large market because they shop for their whole families. Mothers! And only mothers! Go forth, woman, and breed new consumers with strong brand loyalties, and forage in the large, well-lit box we have set up like a trap for your intellect, a Sisyphean labour of love and service.

It’s! Just! Argh! Mothers aren’t the only people who shop! Insinuating that mothers are the best at shopping reinforces social conditioning that sees us gently squeezed out of the workforce and into ‘women’s work’ because it puts the burden of all of this domestic labour on our shoulders, and suppresses the idea that fathers can and should pull their equal share of the mental load! Because they should be shopping like a mother?

(I read a thing clarifying that the rallying cry of ‘like a mother’ didn’t just mean mothers, it was for everyone, because I suppose we should all aspire to be mothers when we think about domestic excellence. I think if you have to clarify, you should have canned the campaign before it got legs.)


On the other hand.

I saw the bags only because I was doing the week’s shopping for our family, juggling the mental load of what nights we need quick dinners vs. when we’ll be out vs. dietary restrictions vs. budget vs. what’s on sale and in season, weighed down with a huge basket (that would that day be my undoing, as I threw out my back that trip), and I thought… well, if that ain’t some #relatable #content.

Borrowed Imogen and 3/4ths of her brood from Motherlover today, because as Pressed as I am, she’s much more the archetype then I am. 😀