Advice columnist slammed for ‘tough love’ response to exhausted mum

Advice columnist faces furious backlash for ‘cruel’ advice he gave a mum who indicated she felt drained, exhausted and unfulfilled – with critics insisting her letter was clearly a cry for help and the columnist’s response was dismissive and distraught.

The mother wrote in Slate’s Care and Feeding column, written by California-based author and motivational speaker Doyin Richards, explaining that she was basically a single mother because her husband was away working for months at a time. .

She said she spends most of her time taking care of her toddler, and although she supports himself as an artist, she no longer has the time or energy to create. art – but she desperately wants to.

Richards, who is a husband and father of two daughters, responded with what he described as ‘tough love’: scolding her for making an ‘apology’, apparently accusing her of being mediocre and saying she should give up sleeping to spend time on it works of art.

On Twitter, commenters were horrified, saying the response was “condescending” and “hurtful”, with some suggesting the mother suffered from postpartum depression and that Richards’ dismissal was callous and callous.

Advice columnist Doyin Richards (seen) is facing a furious backlash for the ‘cruel’ advice he gave to a mother who indicated she felt exhausted, exhausted and unfulfilled

The mother wrote in Slate's Care and Feeding column, which Richards writes, explaining that she hasn't had the time or energy to do art since having a baby.

The mother wrote in Slate’s Care and Feeding column, which Richards writes, explaining that she hasn’t had the time or energy to do art since having a baby.

The anonymous mother’s letter appeared in the column on Tuesday.

She wrote that she is an artist who has won enough commissions and sold enough pieces to support herself for most of her adult life, but struggles to maintain her “creative hobby”. since she had a baby.

‘I didn’t expect to be able to work so much with a baby, but between the general baby/toddler chaos and the COVID-19 lockdowns, there never seems to be a time when I have time to be creative,’ she wrote.

Because her husband works at remote sites ‘for months’, she’s ‘essentially a single parent’ – and although she loves her daughter ‘more than anything’, she struggles with running out of time for creative projects .

“I tried to sit down and do something after my daughter went to bed, but after a full day with a baby (understimulating but still exhausting) my brain is in mush and I just want to be entertained passively through television or a podcast,” she said.

Richards offered a

Richards offered ‘tough love’, scolding her for making ‘apologies’, apparently accusing her of being mediocre and saying she should forgo sleep to spend time on her artwork

“Plus, I feel like I have to spend every second I’m not a parent cleaning up, cooking meals, or dealing with something I couldn’t do while she was awake.” I’m sure it just takes time management, but I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day, and my whole brain is dedicated to taking care of my daughter.

The mum said she was a part of herself ‘can’t be fulfilled without creative expression’, but right now ‘I’m giving everything I have to keep our life together and it’s still not sufficient”.

Richards, who is the author of the parenting blog Daddy Doin’ Work and published a book for Macmillan with the same name, is a married father of two daughters – but appears to have no sympathy for the writer’s plight.

‘Can I offer you some tough love here?’ he started. “All I hear is a bunch of excuses. Millions of parents across America are pursuing their side businesses in all types of fields – and many are making money in the process. they can do it, why not you?

He advised her to work while her baby sleeps, “even if you want to sleep too.”

He suggested that she let her house get “incredibly messy”, hire a nanny, or have a family member or friend babysit – assuming she can afford to or has that kind of local support system.

He is a motivational speaker who has published several books including Daddy Doin' Work

He is a motivational speaker who has published several books including Daddy Doin' Work

Richards, a father of two daughters, is a motivational speaker who has published several books, including Daddy Doin’ Work. He also maintains a parenting blog.

“If you talk to someone who is successful with young children, they will share similar stories about the sacrifices they made to get to where they are now,” he wrote.

“It really comes down to how badly you want it. In other words, are you window shopping on your dreams or are you willing to do whatever it takes to make them come true? »

Here, he quoted author Brendon Burchard: “Mediocrity begins the exact moment you trade love for challenge with love for comfort.”

“Great people do hard things,” he concluded, “and I hope you rise to the challenge and accept the challenge to live your best life.”

Screenshots of the article were quickly shared on Twitter by the writer Sarah Hollowellewho asked in disbelief, ‘Holy s*** what kind of answer is that??’

She went on to call Richards’ advice and tone “mean” and “super cruel”.

‘Like oh my god, imagine a mum describing clear signs of burnout and saying she doesn’t really have any support systems and she’s really struggling and your response is ‘try harder .Have you considered using a ‘AHH I’M SO MAD’ support system,’ she wrote.

Twitter users called Richards' response cruel, condescending and hurtful, accusing him of being dismissive and

Twitter users called Richards’ response cruel, condescending and hurtful, accusing him of being dismissive and “disgusting”.

Her tweet gained over 14,000 likes, along with many similar comments.

‘It makes me so angry. I have a toddler and this advice is not only unnecessary but condescending and hurtful. Fun!’ wrote one.

‘WHOA. I don’t think I could have ironically even thought of a worse answer than that,” another wrote.

“Almost threw my phone across the room when I read this this morning. Terrible advice. Literally the worst,” wrote a third, while a fourth tweeted: “This is disgusting. from someone who has always had others to take care of the parts of life that are necessary but relentless drudgery I am angry and disgusted This malignant ignorance is EXACTLY how gender inequality is maintained in all areas.

“This advice would 100% corrupt my creativity forever and make the creative block much more emotionally intense.” I would just feel like a failure who should stop pretending because clearly she is already trying as hard as she can,’ another added.

Several commenters said the mother’s letter sounded like a plea for help, with some suggesting she may even be suffering from postpartum depression.

Several commenters said the mother's letter sounded like a plea for help, with some suggesting she may even be suffering from postpartum depression.

Several commenters said the mother’s letter sounded like a plea for help, with some suggesting she may even be suffering from postpartum depression.

“If I had received this advice when my daughter was very small, when I was clearly crying out for help, I would have died. I already had ideas at that time and then sought help from medical professionals, but it was precarious for me at the time,” one wrote.

“This is the kind of advice that sent me into a horrible PPD spiral of 18 months after my first baby. What sleep? Try no sleep for 18 months and see how well you perform adviser,” wrote one other.

‘It’s not just burnout. It’s postpartum depression. It is a call for help. Telling him to suck it is such the wrong answer,” another suggested.

Others have pointed out that mental exhaustion is not the same as poor time management.

“Didn’t they see the part where she has no emotional or creative energy at the end of the day?” It’s not time management, it’s mental exhaustion. I don’t know about her, but I find it almost impossible to work in this state! one tweeted.

“Everything about this answer is bad, but it *really* neglects the mental exhaustion that comes with childcare, which makes creative pursuits so impossible. It’s not something you can pass up! Pause is the only solution for that! added another.