I love the Olympics. I watch sports I’ve never heard of (I live in south Texas…we don’t have “winter” sports around here) and cheer for athletes I’ve never seen before and probably won’t see again for another 4 years. I love the sight of the American flag waving and the sound of our National Anthem played. And I love the stories behind the athletes.
Know what I don’t love? The Proctor & Gamble commercials that never seem to go away during these Olympics. They say they’re the “proud sponsor of mom” and feature prominent US Athletes talking about their supportive, loving moms. In my house, they’ve become known as the “Hey, the Proctor & Gamble dad’s suck commercial” is on. Yes, that’s the name I gave them. Yes, my husband has had to endure me talking about these for weeks now. Yes, I get more irritated by them EVERY BLESSED TIME I SEE THEM! (and you have to say blessed the way it is in my head to get the full effect – bless-ed – it’s a 2 syllable word.)
Here’s what I don’t love about them. They completely leave dad out of the equation. Why not be the proud sponsor of parents everywhere? Or the proud sponsor of hard-working families? Or a proud sponsor of US Athletes?
Before I say anything else, let me say this. To all single parents out there, I salute you. I spent the first 4 years of my son’s life in your shoes. I know the work you face every day. I know how hard it is. I’ve lived it. And whether you successfully get a child out the door for the day or successfully get a child into the Olympics, you have accomplished great things. And you deserve honor that no commercial could ever give you. That’s not what this is about.
But has P&G forgotten that there are single dads out there, too? What about Emily Scott’s father who has raised her as a single dad, working multiple jobs, while her mom is in jail? Where’s his commercial?
Has P&G forgotten about the 2-parent households where both parents work full-time jobs and share the responsibility of getting kids to and from school, practices, sporting events, parties, play dates, etc? You know, that household where dad and mom are equally involved in the responsibilities of raising the kids and all household things?
Or what about the households where dad works full-time to provide a living so that mom can stay home and focus her energy on raising their kids if that’s where she wants to be? Sure she may do more of the school functions, run the mom taxi to practices, drive the kids everywhere they need to be. But dad gets to everything he can while providing a living for his family. And fully invests in his kids’ lives.
What about the families where grandparents or aunts and uncles or other family members pitch in to help in raising the kids? It really does take a village and for some families that village is a part of the day-to-day responsibilities of raising the kids.
My question to P&G (that probably won’t ever have an answer) is why not sponsor all of the families that work hard day in and day out to raise children? P&G, I’m sure you thought you’d tug on all of our heart-strings by being a “proud sponsor of mom”, but, at least for me, you’ve tugged on that last nerve. I’m sure you thought you were targeting the “primary grocery shopper” with those commercials. And you got it with me. But I’ve actually found myself intentionally not buying your products over the last couple of weeks because I don’t want you to sponsor this mom. Not this way.
I’d love to see a company proudly sponsor families, in all ways, shapes and forms. Let’s give these athletes a commercial where they can talk about the people who got them there. Not some spoon fed script that says “talk about your mom”.
Nothing in this world brings joy to my heart in the same way as my kids expressing love to me. But I’ll never live under illusion that I’m doing this alone. All of us who have a part in raising kids make our own, very unique contributions to their lives. Isn’t about time that P&G or someone else, grab hold of that and make a commercial?