Yesterday on social media I shared the new Baby Dove campaign image of the “perfect mum” which was launched in Waterloo station. It was all about the “perfect mum” and how this woman represented that – if you know me at all, know Toby & Roo AT ALL, you will know this is exactly the opposite of what it all means to me and what I stand for.
I’ve built my blogging career on trying to bust the illusion we’re often force fed by the media of the perfect mum – she simply doesn’t exist. We all have our epic moments, we all have our naff moments and we’re all struggling in one way or another at some point. The “Perfection perception” as I like to call it, is just another way to apply pressure, especially to new mums. As this is a sentiment that my readers agree with, you can imagine the absolute hammering that Baby Dove received yesterday on instagram… but as it happens that was the plan all along (crafty eh?).
Dove has launched their Baby Dove range and they want it to represent the values of Dove at heart – there is no right way to be a parent, only you can tell what is right for YOUR parenting journey and what works for your child. Baby Dove wants to encourage mums to trust THEIR own way of parenting and stop the constant comparisons to what we think of as the perfect parent, because that perfect parent isn’t even real at all. Essentially the message rings loud and clear: there are no perfect mums, only real ones. Baby Dove have conducted a pretty hardcore survey with over 3,000 first time mums and you know what they found? 9 out of 10 new mums* feel pressure (as if there isn’t enough PRESSURE in suddenly being responsible for a whole other human being when, if you’re like me, you’ve probably just about come to terms with looking after yourself) to be “perfect” because of the image portrayed in the media. The media being instagrammers (one of the biggest contributions to the pressure according to the survey*), magazines and TV. It’s all there, laid out for you in a neat box… the perfect mum ticks the boxes that society asks her to with a perfectly manicured hand and a perfect flip of her well groomed hair. The perfect mum loves crafting with her kids, constantly smiles and appears to float through parenthood without any behaviour letters sent home, baby sick on her work jacket or bags under her eyes. She LIVES to be a mother and adores it 24/7… yeah right.
88% of us* are shouting from the rooftops that we just don’t agree with this portrayal – and that’s just the new mums, 95% said they felt that the media should share a more realistic image of motherhood* – something I strive to do here and I’m passionate about over on my Instagram page. Geez, when 1 in 4 of us is terrified of being judged* there has to be a breaking point somewhere. There also shouldn’t be any judgement if you ARE that mother who enjoys the crafting, the baking and who could happily never leave her baby’s side – this is YOUR journey, and your fellow mother (who is guaranteed to feel differently to you) should have your back.
I feel really honoured to be a part of this campaign from Baby Dove. It celebrates the real mums in the world and, in a refreshing version of marketing, tells us that we have their full support to be the mother’s that we choose to be without judgement. Breastfeed, bottle feed, baby led wean, shove em full of shop-bought puree, cry it out, sleep together, shout, don’t… it doesn’t matter.
We’ve got this.
*research carried out by Baby Dove, who conducted a survey of 3,000 first time Mums.
*Collaborative post with Baby Dove.