One week ago, Dr. Robert Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea, sat down in his home office for a BBC live interview on the topic of expertise. And then, in wandered his toddler daughter, clad in bright yellow — a conspicuous cuteness that immediately hijacked all the attention. She was soon followed by her baby sister, who managed to scoot by with the help of a walker before their mother could rush in and frantically haul them out. The clip went viral. And in response, a New Zealand comedy show offered up their own on point take of how a working mom would respond to the same situation.
In the original BBC interview, Kelly sees his daughter come in the door, and to his credit, seems fairly unflustered. In fact, it looks like he's suppressing a chuckle. But he does attempt to simply ignore her, even putting his hand on her face and trying to coax her backward when she approaches him. In the parody video from Jono and Ben, the working mom does something different. She spins around, acknowledges her child, picks her up and gives her a bottle, all while seamlessly continuing her deft political analysis.
After setting her child back down, the mom goes on to knock out a number of other domestic tasks — checking on dinner, steaming a shirt, scrubbing a toilet. And all the while, she absolutely kills it with her political analysis.
For countless working moms, this is reality. I know, because I know them. Many of my friends who now have children started out their careers in an office environment, but have since transitioned to working from home. It's more flexible and it provides extra time with their kids.
They rock sick babies to sleep while on conference calls. They push a stroller back and forth with one foot while drafting client contracts. They type in the car after dropping their kids off at school. They make dinner in between emails. They also get promoted.
Like the woman in the Jono and Ben sketch, they just handle it. And while I can't claim to have achieved their stratospheric levels of multi-tasking brilliance, I can say that such working moms have been an inspiration to me.
Toward the end of the parody clip, a SWAT team brings a bomb to the working mom. She defuses it, no problem. It's an intentional metaphor for what millions of mothers do every day, so I'll echo here the closing message from Jono and Ben:
"Shout out to all the working women out there defusing bombs on a regular basis!”