'If we dismissed everyone the way we dismiss moms' video hits home, but not just for moms
Phew, this is eye-opening.
Sometimes it feels like moms can't win. We're supposed to give our all for our kids, sacrifice ourselves for motherhood, fulfill the various responsibilities of child-rearing, and do it all under two unwritten but well-understood rules: 1) Never mess it up, and 2) Never complain.
It's the second rule that feels particularly cruel since the first rule simply isn't possible anyway. (Moms mess up motherhood all the time, even if we don't admit it.) But when we vent about the hard parts, the response is often dismissal, as if we don't have the right to complain or as if doing so means we're not grateful to have our kids.
A viral video from My Kinda Mum illustrates the absurdity of the way people respond to mom complaints with a little script-flipping roleplay.
The video opens with a man coming home and complaining about traffic, only to be met with "Well if you didn't want to deal with traffic, you shouldn't have learned how to drive." And when he tries to explain that he likes driving, but sometimes it's annoying when traffic gets bad, the response is "Your choice. Live with it."
Sounds silly, right? But moms are told that all the time when we dare to point out parts of motherhood that are frustrating.
Next up comes a business owner who won an award for "Start-up of the Year," who mentions that it's been hard work with all the drama of managing people. "If you didn't want to manage a business, you shouldn't have started one," is the response, which of course, no one ever actually says to business owners when they vent about parts of their work because it sounds…well, ridiculous and dismissive.
Watch the various scenarios that look downright silly but reflect the kinds of responses moms get frequently.
Watch the video below:
Many moms in the comments felt seen.
"Love this couldn't believe my ears when I was told it was your choice to have kids .. yes and they're my world but once in a blue moon I still need a tiny bit of me time," wrote one commenter.
"This is 100% spot on. Thank you for making this video. Single mom here so this hits hard sometimes," wrote another.
"This is how my siblings talk to me," shared another. "Like I absolutely love my kids, I wanted to be a mom. None of that changes because I'm having a difficult time."
But it wasn't just moms who saw themselves in this video. Several people in service jobs said they also get that kind of dismissal of their experience whenever they share struggles.
"It's happened to me as a nurse too. I've heard this soooo many times, especially during COVID," wrote one commenter.
"Same for teachers," wrote another. "'You chose it. You knew the salary. You have summers off. Do it for the children.' Being a mom is hard. I hate comments like these to anyone!"
"I'm a teacher and my ex used to dismiss and invalidate my tiredness at the end of each day like this all the time," shared another. "Kids are hard work. We teachers get it. Hats off to all the mums and teachers in the world!"
Dismissing anyone's difficulties when they share them is unkind. Just because someone is letting off steam about some aspect of their work doesn't mean those difficulties weren't expected or that they don't love what they do. Let's practice letting people vent without making them feel like they don't have a right to complain. We all deserve the space to share our struggles and the grace to not be judged for them.