Carpet sweeper

Woman’s ingenious toddler toy ‘Mummy’s Little Sweeper’ criticized for not being ‘inclusive enough’

‘You can’t say that, it’s 2021’: Mum lambasted for calling her genius cleaning invention for kids ‘Mummy’s Tiny Helper’ and accused of ‘gender stereotyping’ – are her critics right?

  • Siblings Dennis Mitrevski and Sam Minniti made a toy bike with a sweeper
  • They called it “Mommy’s Tiny Helper” for the initial launch in New York
  • But Australians have reacted against the name, complaining that it is not “inclusive”.










The siblings behind an ingenious toddler toy have been shocked by Australians’ attempts to quash their invention because they claim it is ‘not inclusive’.

Dennis Mitrevski of Perth has designed a ride-on toy “equipped with a removable sweeping mechanism”, called Mommy’s Tiny Helper, which was originally named for the US market.

The toy bike has a dust collector inside that lets toddlers sweep up anything they spill as they ride around the house.

Although there are six times more stay-at-home moms than stay-at-home dads, many people have complained that the name Mommy’s Tiny Helper by Dennis Mitrevski (pictured) isn’t ‘inclusive’

Sam Minniti, 34 (pictured with daughter Scarlett) was shocked by the reaction from Australian mums when she promoted her brother's ingenious toy bike in several Facebook groups

Sam Minniti, 34 (pictured with daughter Scarlett) was shocked by the reaction from Australian mums when she promoted her brother’s ingenious toy bike in several Facebook groups

Survey

Does the name “Mommy’s Tiny Helper” fit this toy?

  • Yes 229 votes
  • No 36 votes

The product sold well in the United States, with Mr Mitrevski and his sister Sam Minniti successfully launching it at the 2019 New York Toy Fair.

But recent efforts to promote the toy online in Australia have left them perplexed.

Ms Minniti asked for comments on the name in several Australian mums groups online and was shocked to learn the name was ‘ridiculous’ and unwelcome ‘gender stereotyping’.

‘Yes, that’s a no from me. It’s 2021, it’s not mum’s job to mop the floor,’ one woman wrote in a Facebook group.

“You’ll be absolutely devastated if you put a product on the market called mommy’s little helper,” said another.

Screenshots of some of the online responses to Mommy's Tiny Helper toy produced by Dennis Mitrevski and Sam Minniti

Screenshots of some of the online responses to Mommy’s Tiny Helper toy produced by Dennis Mitrevski and Sam Minniti

The Mommy's Tiny Helper sweeper picks up dirt and debris from around the house as the driver pedals through the house, including pet hair.

The Mommy’s Tiny Helper sweeper picks up dirt and debris from around the house as the driver pedals through the house, including pet hair.

Ms Minniti (pictured with her toddler Scarlett), thinks complaints that the name Mommy's Tiny Helper is sexist are

Ms Minniti (pictured with her toddler Scarlett), thinks complaints that the name Mommy’s Tiny Helper is sexist are ‘a bit precious’

Another woman complained ‘it’s not inclusive’ and suggested ‘Vroom Broom’, while another said fathers, grandparents and non-binary parents were overlooked.

Ms Minniti, who has a seven-year-old daughter, Scarlett, was surprised Australians were reacting differently to Americans.

She said it would cost too much to change the name on all the marketing and packaging.

“I think they’re just kinda precious,” she said.

‘It never occurred to me that the name might offend which is why I tested the name on a few of the mums groups in Perth I belong to, and now I’m really worried about the negative feedback we have received.’

Ms Minniti said she thought mothers would be more supportive as women still do most of the housework and child-rearing – even if they work.

“You come home, you have to cook dinner, these kids’ mouths are ready to eat,” she said.

“So you give them a snack so you can have peace to cook dinner and by the time you come back the snacks are all over the floor so you have to clean that up, plus the bath.

“Kids will play with toys as they walk around, that way they pick up their own mess.”

Sam Minniti helped his brother Dennis Mitrevski (pictured left and right) develop and market his Mommy's Tiny Helper

Sam Minniti helped his brother Dennis Mitrevski (pictured left and right) develop and market his Mommy’s Tiny Helper

Ms Minniti said she believed mothers would be more supportive as women still do most of the housework and child-rearing - even if they work

Ms Minniti said she believed mothers would be more supportive as women still do most of the housework and child-rearing – even if they work

Ms Minniti said she and her brother researched the number of women in the home compared to men and found that there were six times as many mothers in the home as there were fathers.

“Given that there are something like 489,000 stay-at-home moms versus 80,000 stay-at-home dads, I’m particularly surprised at the reaction of women,” she said.

“I’m a mum and there are a lot of women out there who would like a little help around the house. We really didn’t mean to offend anyone.

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