Mugging Off Dads: “It’s Not Easy Being A Mother…”

The missus WhatsApp’d me a photo the other day out of the blue. I’ll admit, it shocked and surprised me as she’d never sent me anything like it before. Her snap was dirty, rude, obscene and pure filth. After a few seconds of trying to comprehend what I was looking at, the image had the affect which I assume the missus was looking for. Mouth wide open and with my eyes glued to the screen, I reached for my…

…phone so that I could share my annoyance on social media. The missus had sent me a photo and link to a McLaggan Smith mug which was on sale in John Lewis. The white mug was pretty inoffensive – well, apart from the huge slogan across the front which read “It’s Not Easy Being A Mother If It Were Easy Fathers Would Do It“. Here is said mug:

Wow, just wow. How such a sexist mug was ever deemed a good idea, let alone made it onto the shelves of the self-proclaimed “leading UK retail business” I will never know. There’s something definitely wrong with their buying, vetting and approval process if crap like this is seen as ‘on brand’. Based on this, it would appear that there’s more than one stupid mug at the company. Ba dum tshh.

If the roles were reversed, I’d highly doubt that they’d be selling a mug which so overtly criticises and belittles the other sex in such a stereotypical way. “It’s not easy going to work, if it were stay-at-home mums would do it.” “It’s not easy assembling flat pack baby furniture, if it were mums would do it”. “It’s not easy teaching your son to play football, if it were mums would do it”. FFS.

I can hardly be described as ‘unhumorous’ – just check out some of my LOL-inducing posts…! – but this does little for my funny bones. I get that to some people, this mug might be amusing. You’re at home all day looking after three kids whilst your deadbeat husband does nothing around the house, nothing with the kids and prefers to spend it in the pub. Sure, that reality exists for some. There are certainly some shit dads out there.

But what about all of the involved dads who are tarnished by stupid, sweeping generalisation such as this? The stay-at-home dads, the single dads, the working dads, the male carers, the wannabe dads etc. Why should all of these dads be made to feel like shit for a cheap laugh plastered on an (overpriced) mug? That’s right, they shouldn’t. Stop mugging dads off.

mugging off dads john lewis mug It's Not Easy Being A Mother If It Were Easy Fathers Would Do It dadventurer family selfie

As a stay-at-home dad, I’m well aware that I might be a bit more sensitive to statements such as this. I spend the majority of my time raising our daughter, so to be told that I must be a crap parent because I have cock and balls obviously pisses me off in a similar vein to dads babysitting. If I’m a crap parent – which I hope I’m not – then I’m a crap parent because I’m a crap parent – it’s nothing to do with what’s in my pants. Having a vagina doesn’t instantly make you an amazing parent.

However, I’m sure most involved dads would be offended by this mug too. In fact, I’d imagine some mums are too. This slogan basically harks back to the 1950’s when the mum raised the kids and the dad went to work. It’s as bad as the “give mum some time off” dad group marketing I wrote about a few months ago. That’s not what society is in 2017, nor is it what society should be anymore. Statements like this are just unhelpful rhetoric against a backdrop of stress and pressure, more commonly known as parenting.

Being a mother is hard. Being a father is hard. Being parents is hard. One is not ‘better’ than the other, nor is it a competition between the sexes to fight for the title of ‘best parent’ – although that’d be a pretty cool game show. However, things like this mug firmly kick dads in their bollocks at a time when – as a collective – dads do more than they ever have to contribute to raising their kids.

Right, that’s me done. Time to go and enjoy a coffee in my non-sexist mug.

FYI – those that are reading and thinking “oh, that’s a nice mug”, you can find the mug in the ‘reduced to clear’ section of John Lewis. At the time of writing, they had seven left in stock, so be quick if you want to grab a bit of that dad-bashing, gender-stereotyping, sexist-promoting, beverage-holding action. Hopefully there won’t be an accident at the warehouse where they’re all unfortunately dropped and broken…