The tension is palpable as this new mum awaits her first post-baby performance review. She’s visibly anxious as she sits in front of her boss, listening carefully to his feedback and preparing to make changes to her approach. And then something great happens…
The struggle is real
This fly-on-the-wall promo for Chicco baby products takes advertising to the next level, focusing in on the tricky work/life balance struggles of back-to-work mums.
The campaign centres on a mum – Jessica O’Dowd – who has returned to her job after having her first baby.
“One of the big challenges is just missing this little human that came from you,” says Jess. “It’s a huge part of your heart.”
We see Jess saying goodbye to her husband and 10-month-old baby daughter Lyric, dealing with those heart-breaking ‘don’t go, Mummy!’ tears and still managing to get out the door looking professional and organised. #AceMum
We then follow Jess in to the office where she’s due for a performance review with her manager that day. She went back to work when Lyric was five months old and this is her first assessment since her return.
The clip lets us sit in on the meeting and we hear Jess nervously and earnestly discussing her work and how her approach might have changed now that she’s mum.
Jess admits she’s been concerned about how being a parent might affect her performance and we sense that she really feels like she’s not nailing the work/life balance thing. It’s then that her colleague reveals he’s put together a video that assesses her performance.
Cue all of the tears.
The whole truth
The Chicco product-sprinkled clip features a bunch of people from Jess’s company as well as her family and friends. They all speak about their admiration of the juggle Jess is managing and note that her work is better than it’s ever been.
“I guess that I’m doing a better job than I thought,” Jess laughs, through tears of her own.
We love this video. It’s a beautiful gesture with a big message for mums who are often too hard on themselves (and those that may judge them from the sidelines.)
It’s plain to see that Jess feels torn between work and home and feels that she’s not managing to juggle things in the way she’d like. Her work pals, friends and family are reassuringly quick to correct her, noting that she’s achieving the seemingly unachievable and doing a wonderful job on both ends.
We love the sentiment behind this campaign, even if it did make us sniffle into an entire box of tissues.
Many, many mums (mistakenly) feel like they’re not quite meeting their own lofty expectations, and perhaps those of others around them, especially on social media.
If we could legislate this kind of positive performance review for all mums – work-at-home or work-in-home – it would be a very, very good thing.