April

Moms deserve thanks even if they don’t raise Olympians

Feb 26 • Opinion • 397

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I’m a sucker for mom shout-outs, so it’s no surprise Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You, Mom” ads tug at my heartstrings.

The campaign, which debuted ahead of the Winter Olympics, includes TV spots as well as a series of online videos called “Raising an Olympian,” which feature individual Sochi competitors. Each ad shows mothers supporting their young athletes through triumphs, losses, falls and physical therapy.

In terms of emotional appeal, it’s an extremely effective strategy. Anything that combines soft piano music and footage of children in itty bitty ice skates is bound to receive positive feedback.

There’s just one flaw: P&G states that the company is a “proud sponsor of moms,” yet it only highlights those who produced Olympians.

Where is the commercial that depicts the everyday mother scrubbing ketchup stains out of T-shirts? Or begging her sick toddler to swallow foul-tasting medicine? Or helping with a school project that’s due the next morning?

Don’t those deeds warrant commendation?

FrugalDad.com pulled data from the USDA, New York State Education Department and other sources to create an excellent infographic that breaks down motherhood into numbers.

For example, the graphic says that moms usually find their sleep disrupted for a total of three hours a night during the first months of a newborn’s life. (I’m sure it feels like more in the moment.) That means that by the time you were 9 months old, you’d already cost her 810 hours of sleep. And by the time you were 2, you’d kept her awake an estimated six months.

To experience the average new mom’s insomnia, you should force yourself out of bed for 20 minutes every hour – for 10 solid hours.

“There are no statistics on how much sleep mothers lose on average worrying about their teenage kids,” the infographic says, “but it can’t be good.”

Anyway, it’s no secret that babies are a lot of work, but what about older children?

Say you had soccer practice three times a week and lived 10 miles from your school’s field. Your mom would have driven you 240 miles per month there and back. Assuming you had practices year round – basketball, football, hockey, dance, swimming, there was always something in season – your mom would have logged 2,880 miles by the end of the year.

She could’ve driven from Hoboken to Los Angeles with the gas she used to take you to practice. That’s an especially long trip when you factor in the smell of dirty shinguards.

When she wasn’t hauling you across town, she was probably scrounging up something to eat.

The National Peanut Board – yes, there is such a thing – estimates that the average child graduates high school having eaten 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

No wonder your mom was so good at making them. She had done it literally a thousand times, only for you to accidentally leave your lunch in the car on way too many occasions.

When you look at it this way, all moms are pretty fantastic. They all deserve a thank you. So here’s mine:

Thank you, Mom.

 

 

APRIL SHERNISKY

shernisk003@knights.gannon.edu

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