The Meanest Mummy

Why We Need to Put a Stop to Consumerism with our Children

According to a not-to-be named here Humungous International Advertising Agency| mothers can be divided into categories like Domestic Divas and Rage Brigade| allowing this and other HIAAs to better create advertising which targets our varied purchasing needs. Apparently| we are pro-sumers: pro-active| information-empowered people whose attitudes and behaviors signal emerging consumer trends. Mommy purchase-power. I am dubious.

But this Earnest Mommy finds the whole business of being marketed to| and especially my child likewise being targeted and labeled to better nag and want| enormously offensive.

I am offended by logos stretched across our babies infants bodies| distressedto watch the boys beg for gear and armour instead of clothes and underwear| and want to run raving like a lunatic through the mall when I take my hyper-style conscious tween shopping. 

This is why I think the Humongous Advertising Agency people will have to acknowledge another category: The Meanest Mommy In The World.  I will gladly be the poster-Mama.

I have refused to buy any number of excessively pink or plasticky items| guns| camaflage| video games| clothing of all kinds. It has not been pretty. There has been whining| tears| and tantrums.  One memorable stand-off took place in a shoe store in grade two when my daughter simply insisted| because her classmate had those boots that had heels and went up to her knee| she needed them too.  Had to have them in fact. Her little heart was truly breaking over those boots.  I was The Meanest Mommy ever.  It was loud| it was public| and I did not cave.  

Who among us has not stood in line to buy the newest have-to-have toy? The currently coveted item has always been a sought after ideal of cool.  I remember fighting bitterly with my own mother about the correct colour of the tag on my all-important Levis.  But we are scaling new heights in "I want-itis".  All Mommies| - Yummy| Domestic| Raging. or Super - are targeted| and none of us| nor our offspring|  are immune.

A friend recently told me about theft in her son's locker room. Hockey teammates were stealing each others' wildly expensive under-armour.  Girls in the eight to ten year old set| the ones who are crazy about Hannah Montana & her Manolo heels - have been sexualized by marketers looking to sell fashion to younger and younger demographics. 

How will our children learn to navigate this commercial matrix if we do not show them the way? We are drowning in stuff. The world needs Mamas and kids who are satisfied with enough| not with more and more. Whatever the battle of your choice| stand firm and don the Meanest Mommy In The World crown. Wear it proudly| unfailingly| and hold your head high. 






Catherine’s passion for telling women’s stories was forged in the theatre and resurfaced online where she has been a featured writer for YummyMummyClub blogging as EarnestGirl since 2009. The EarnestGirl Chronicles have been called “a highbrow take on life as a modern Mom” but began as a way to gather the loose ends of the myriad conversations that are not fully represented in the current culture of motherhood. Catherine has also been a featured contributor to CanadaMomsBlog, her pieces have been syndicated, have made appearances on FiveStarFriday and elsewhere on the web, as well as in the pages of ParentsCanada magazine.