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The Motherhood Challenge: Is It a Pass or Fail?

Bath Chronicle
I'm pretty sure we're all friends with at least one person on Facebook who became a mum recently, or at least some time during the last few years. We love those women even if they do sometimes drive us crazy by spamming us with so many pictures of their kids. We get it, they're adorable and as someone who loves kids, it's nice to coo over them now and then. But it seems like some of the mothers on Facebook have gone a step too far with the recent Motherhood Challenge trend. The Motherhood Challenge is basically where mothers are posting pictures of the kids, pictures of things that make them feel proud to be a mum and then tag their friends who they also think are good mums.

For one thing being a mother shouldn't be thought of as a challenge. Yes, it can be hellish and difficult and you might be tempted to scream at your kids sometimes but that's life. As many journalists - and mums - are pointing out, calling it a challenge makes this trend seem like something much more important which is where there's a problem. There is nothing wrong with posting pictures of your kids, of sharing their achievements and being proud of them. Most people are willing to put up with that but when you then get people spamming pictures and then tagging some of their friends as good mums...it kind of just looks smug and really cliquey. In chick-lit you often get these yummy mummies pop up, women who dote on their kids but insist on being modern mums who give their kids natural treats, want them to be individual and yet tend to flock together and judge anyone who doesn't do as they do. It's often treated as a joke and in a way; this Motherhood Challenge is a similar sort of joke.

Comedian Ellie Taylor was tired of seeing all the Motherhood Challenge images herself and decided to post a silly alternative: pictures of herself celebrating not being a mother. A lot of women have thanked her for her post and the now viral images have over 114,000 likes. The pictures were mostly of her asleep in bed and one of them also contains a bottle of red wine, both seem like pretty fair reasons to choose not to be a mum to me.

Non-Motherhood Challenge: I was nominated by myself to post five pictures that make me happy to be a non-mother. Such special memories.
Posted by Ellie Taylor on Monday, 1 February 2016

Ellie's joking response aside, a lot of women are upset about this challenge because it could be seen as unfair. If a woman is choosing not to have children or already has them with her then she's probably not going to be all that bothered, but for a woman suffering post-natal depression, a woman who may have miscarried or can't have kids even if she wants to... they could sting. Even women okay with the challenge understand why some women might not want to see the pictures. A lot of mothers are insecure so how are the women who don't even get the chance to experience that or can't experience it positively supposed to feel? The challenge would be fine if you didn't need to tag other good mothers or if less people were doing it. Women wouldn't be left to wonder why they've not been tagged or wind up depressed by their news feed.

Facebook can be depressing enough as it is. If you think before you share then challenges like these wouldn't seem so smug or meaningless. I'm not saying don't share your pictures and posts about your kids, if you love them then share with your friends but don't act like you're doing something special for the sake of a friend when it could be at the expense of others.


Rosina Brooker

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF


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The Motherhood Challenge: Is It a Pass or Fail? Reviewed by Rosina Brooker on Friday, February 05, 2016 Rating: 5

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