Down goes another one. My Facebook feed is increasingly infiltrated with friends that have been turned into facial product pawning soldiers. Some are hocking miracle shakes and hard core workout routines. Others post endless selfies in crazy looking leggings and flowy cardigans. Jewelry, vitamins, essential oils galore. And they ALL want me to join them.
Whether they ask directly or not, their status updates tease and implore us all to be a part of their wonderful worlds where money flows like a summer sprinkler and time is abundant and theirs to spend however they’d like. They found a way to have it all and suckers like you and me are missing out on all the fun. It’s ok, I’ve never trusted easy money or been comfortable with idle time. But there’s a very thin line between casual suggestions and outright affronts, and it’s starting to feel a little like that latter.
Saying that I respect working moms is an understatement. Being a positive model for your daughters, maybe more importantly for your sons, that’s a cause I get behind. Making money to support your family, to grant your children wishes that never came true for you while your mom suffered silently and helplessly under your father’s thumb for years, that is something that I will never walk away from by choice. But I don’t go around preaching about how that choice is making all of our lives great. I don’t sing from the rooftops every two weeks on payday and tell my network what I’m spending it on. I may be a senior woman at my firm- a managing director (of what?!), but I don’t go around taking selfies and calling myself “Boss Babe”. I don’t make it look like fun, because frankly, it’s not, and I am not sure it is meant to be. After all, it’s called work for a reason, and it’s supposed to be, well, work.
Saying that I respect moms who choose to stay home with their children is also an understatement. It’s not an easy job either. Little humans are a complicated, tangled, twisted ball of emotions, impulses, questions, and frustrations. I have three of them myself. I would love some more time with mine, but I make the utmost of the precious moments I get to spend with them. And I understand why some extra pocket money would never hurt anyone, so the appeal to join these institutions, these armies of Facebook marketers is strong.
At what point does this stop being about pocket change and running a business and start being about even more time spent staring at your screen, filtering pictures to make your skin, your clothes, your life appear simply perfect and irresistible to other women who are afraid of missing out? When does waxing poetic about “your why” stop being about your children and start being about free gifts, glamorous trips, and perks like pearly white SUVs?
Why do I feel like each time a woman I genuinely like joins one of these businesses or schemes do I feel such disappointment? Because I’ve seen it happen so many times. The cute posts of her kids become fewer or, even worse, get attached to a compelling reason to join her, those little munchkins just reduced to advertising fodder. The questions she often asks her community are a hook to reel in more engagement, and hence, more views. The comments on my own updates need to be questioned- are they coming from my friend I always loved polishing off a bottle of wine with or my friend who wants to transform my lashes and recruit my sister/coworker/babysitter?
Women everywhere sure do seem to be gaining fruitfully from these business ventures. But for some reason I feel a gaping loss each time someone joins in. If it truly is lucrative and fulfilling I am very happy for each and every one. But please remember, although I may choose not to join you, I have a why too- so why not scale it back a bit for everyone else?