Sue Backshall

You mothers: A report from the great Huggies housewife war of 2019

We mothers have a lot of opinions. However, it was the level of complaint aimed at the poor PR people of Huggies that makes me think we’re entirely lost the plot.

 

 

As a person (who didn’t have kids) once said: “…I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by childbirth.”

As parents, we fight strange battles. We’re combatting our own hormones to best our creations in daily doses of conflict. Our war is fought with missing shoes, wayward hats and the forced application of sunscreen.

We’re charged not to kill the things we gave birth to, and as a result, our cause is noble, and every hill we die on is worthy.

But because we’re in trenches, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Last week, in my tumble down Facebook’s wall, I came across a raging maternal flashpoint. Huggies, the grand old man of nappies, was under extreme fire for daring to change how much poo their poo catchers can catch.

They had dared to modify the design slightly, and with it, lowered their necks into the guillotine. Well, they hadn’t, but the level of complaint gave me the vibe of a very public execution of a heretic in the muddy town squares of yore.

Except the mud was baby poo, and the mob shook fists of jewellery, not a rake made out of a pig’s spine.

But in this crucible of poor grammar, rhetorical questions and incorrect use of capitalisation was the truth: we love to fight. We live for it. But why? Having to purchase a different brand of nappy, doing so, and then telling the old brand that they made us do it is hardly worth mentioning, but mention it we do:

I opened one of your new Minnie packets this evening. There is a definite change in quality between the Winnie the Pooh & Minnie nappies. I’ve attached photos so you are able to compare for yourselves.

Bring back snugglers. You’ve changed huggies twice in the last 6 years. Nothing like they use to be.

We have been using Huggies ever since my son was born no problems ever! However since using the Mickey Mouse style of nappies we have had nothing but trouble!!! It started with them leaking to now rash issues!! Something is seriously wrong with them & they need to be recalled ASAP!!

Maybe it’s because we’ve lost the will to live, or lost touch with our old lives and interests (and what made us interesting), so we’ve become mercenaries, looking for the nearest fight to eke out meaning. The children have taken our ability to have opinions about non-child issues, so we elevate child-based topics to have opinions about something. Anti-vaxx, school speed zones, the price of tea in the canteen. We’ve constructed grand glass and concrete suburban boxes for safety, but they’ve also walled off our old lives, stripped away along with our vaginal walls when we pushed our beloveds out.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s 2am, and I’m tired and old mate won’t sleep.

Subject to the algorithms of Google, one story begets another. But we choose to narrow our focus. The more memes of maternal truisms we share, the more we feel like we’re saying something. Similarly, the more people that are venting spleen for the sake of it, the more it seems normal. But yelling at the poor and awful Huggies PR intern for replacing the Winnie the Pooh editions with the inferior Mickey/Minnie sequels is a choice. Locating a suitable meme to accompany your bashing of an anti-vaxx page is a choice. Haranguing hospitality staff for daring to be busy, is a choice. I don’t want to make this larger than what it is, but it reveals something about us. Children make us entitled, but only as far as our own children. The emaciated children of Yemen don’t warrant the bat an eyelid, but Huggies pushing you to purchase a near identical (but different) brand of nappy is worth our rage.

We’ve made the choice to have children, which often precludes us from external criticism—especially from those who don’t have kids. The choice to breed is one that we’ve been making for millions of years. It may feel special to you, but that doesn’t make you special. I’m not, you’re not. If these are the interests we’re talking about, we have no interests to speak of.

 

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