I was flipping through a magazine in the doctor’s waiting room when I came across this ad:
I felt a flood of emotions.
After all, I AM a mom who has to take a sick day, every single day.
I felt ashamed. “That’s right. As a mom, I should not be taking sick days. I should be doing more!”
I felt angry. “But I am sick! All the time. I cannot become ‘unsick’ by simply taking a cold medicine and sleeping it off.”
I felt indignant. “I am sick everyday, but I still do a lot as a mom.”
I felt torn. “I should take sick days from parenting more because I really need to.” OR “I should take less sick days from parenting because my child needs me.”
I felt resentful. “Why can’t I have a curable illness?”
I felt sad. “I am not even a mom, being sick all the time.”
I felt defensive. “The only times I call in sick is when I’m so ill that I have been vomiting for eight hours straight. Otherwise, even though I’m sick, I power through.”
I understand that chronically sick moms are not the core target audience for this ad. I understand this ad never intended to promise a cure beyond that of the common cold/flu.
Yet . . . YET . . . this idea that a mom needs to do everything in her power to get well because a mom cannot take a sick day from parenting really struck such a nerve with me.