BBC’s Christmas Advert Hits Working Mums Where It Hurts The Most

by pregnancy journalist

A BBC Christmas advertisement is under fire for shaming mothers choosing work over spending time with kids. As if our eternal battle with the monster called work-life balance needed to get any tougher! BBC just hit working mothers where it hurts the most – the unending guilt of not spending enough time with children. However, such commercials not only paint who chose to work on holidays as uncaring, but they are also inconsiderate towards fathers, who ensure that children don’t miss their moms during holiday seasons if she has to work. It conveniently ignores the contribution of dedicated dads when it comes to raising children, by not even giving them two seconds worth of screen time.

“Be a working mother and your kids will be neglected and sad”. Thanks, ⁦@BBCOne!! What a super helpful and Christmassy message!! I think I speak for all working mothers when I give a big ol’ festiveto this mother-shaming tripe. https://t.co/kIPsXcyAqa

— Claire Livingstone (@Raygs1) December 7, 2018

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • BBC’s Christmas advertisement is under fire for shaming mothers choosing to be at work over spending time with kids.
  • It is sad that amidst all the conversation on gender equality at work and home, BBC decided to remind women where their loyalties must lie.
  • The current work culture is a sad by-product of similar pop culture gimmickry, which was so commonplace until the 90s.
  • Being a working parent is not easy for women. Simply because it comes with such unnecessary baggage of shame and guilt.

One can clearly see in the video that the mother is flooded with work, stressed out and trying hard to have things under her control. And yet, it manages to make you feel guilty, if you are a mother who merely chooses to work, who is sincere towards her work, no matter if it is the holiday season.

Is it a crime to be a dedicated employee, just because you are also a mother? How many of us can afford the luxury to toss our work in the bin and abscond office on a whim?

It is sad that amidst all the conversation on gender equality at work and home, BBC decided to remind women where their loyalties must lie. There are many women who work around the holiday season, because they are the primary or sole earners in their families. It is not fair to tell them that choosing work over children is wrong. Besides, what kind of message does this send to our kids? If a father stays back in office or misses out on school fair due to work, he is helpless. The poor thing has to earn and has to fulfil his commitment to work. We use such incidences to teach our children about sincerity, hard work and commitment towards work. But when a woman chooses to do so, no one bats an eyelid before telling her children that she is neglecting them.

The current work culture is a sad by-product of similar pop culture gimmickry, which was so commonplace until the 90s.

Many of us grew up believing that women should always choose family over work. That is what they saw in commercials and movies, or heard around dinner tables. And here we are, feeding the same bias to our own kids. How do we expect them to grow up and become supportive colleagues, partners and bosses? How do we expect young girls to grow up into a career-oriented woman, who don’t feel guilty about enjoying their work?

Besides, it takes two to raise a child. This video either tells men that it is none of their business to keep their kids happy, or that no matter what they do, they can never make their children happy the way their mother does. Both these messages are derogatory and toxic. New age dads are not only considerate helping partners, but they are dedicated parents too. Even in a country as orthodox as India, the number of dads who actively participate in raising children is on a steady rise. But such ads, shake their confidence in their own abilities to keep children happy, in the absence of their mothers.

Being a working parent is not easy for women, because it comes with such unnecessary extra baggage of shame and guilt. Instead of piling on it further, we need to tell mothers that it is okay if you have to choose work over family. That if working late for the sake of the kids makes a dad a hero, it makes you one too. While no children must face neglect at hands of their parents, the duty shouldn’t entirely fall on mothers. That is the only way we can make both parenting and our workspaces gender inclusive.

Picture Credit: BBC

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

The post BBC’s Christmas Advert Hits Working Mums Where It Hurts The Most appeared first on SheThePeople TV.

This content was originally published here.

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