Family celebrations are rarely easy and getting together with our nearest and dearest often makes us revert to the roles we played in childhood. Suddenly adults start to behave like the children they once were, whether it’s bossy older sister or cute but helpless baby brother. If that is not hard enough we now have a leading supermarket promoting the idea that when the family celebrates there is just one person responsible for making it all happen.
If you haven’t seen the Asda Christmas ad yet, it shows a pretty young mother happily taking on every aspect of preparations for the festive season while her hopeless husband and family look on.
Choosing the perfect tree, decorating the house, buying gifts, writing cards, decorating the house, wrapping presents, pumping up the spare mattress, peeling potatoes, cooking lunch, (and not even being able to enjoy it because she is left with a pouffe to sit on). Only when she has finished clearing up afterwards, can she sit down and relax, rewarded by the sight of her beloved, ungrateful family slumped in front of the television, completely oblivious to all her hard work. Apparently this is what real mothers are supposed to do at Christmas, (and presumably Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Diwali and Eid, and any other family celebrations you can think of.)
The ad has already generated complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency, and thousands of tweets on twitter. (Hi @asda I’m worried, I’m considering getting a Chosen By You turkey, but I don’t have a mum to cook it. Should I go to Tesco instead?)
If this advert comes on when your children are on the room, please take the opportunity to have a chat about it. You owe it to yourself and your children to teach them how to look after themselves and other people. If you identify with the woman in the ad you might consider stopping being a martyr and learn to delegate. Even if you enjoy every moment of your hard work you aren’t doing your children any good and you may regret it. You don’t want to end up like a client I once worked with who came home from a hard day’s work every evening to find her teenage children lolling on the sofa asking, ‘What’s for tea, Mum?’