The Motherhood Challenge
Last weekend I was tagged in a photo on Instagram. It was an invite to share three photographs that show why I am happy to be a mother. What a nice idea, I thought. I picked up my phone, selected three pictures to put into a grid on my Instagram account and thought nothing more of it.
So to be honest it surprised and bewildered me a little to find that over the next few days I was noticing this 'Motherhood Challenge' being slated on Facebook and Twitter, being talked about on the radio and popping up as a topic of discussion on blogs and websites here, there, and everywhere.
What's the big deal? I thought to myself.
That was until I read this post by Alice J-T for the Telegraph. God she's right, I thought. It's just another stupid viral meme, it's insensitive to women who aren't mothers and I'm a bloody idiot for joining in.
I continued to follow the raging debate and listened to and read the opinions of many intelligent women and talented writers. Articles like this and this saw me pondering the subject some more. I found myself nodding along with lots of the points that were raised. It devalues women who can't have children, they said. It portrays motherhood as being perfect and happy and rosy and it's not like that for everyone, they argued. It's a daft excuse to post photos of your kids and it's not even for charity, they quipped. And whilst I didn't agree with all the points made, I could understand where these women were coming from.
Stupid, stupid, STUPID, I thought. Then I thought some more.
Is it really all that bad? Is it so insensitive of me to post a few pictures of my children and admit that I am happy and grateful to be a mother?
Maybe it has upset some women, but if we over thought everything we posted on social media because it might offend someone, we would never post anything at all.
Maybe it does depict motherhood as being all perfect and wonderful and happy and shiny. But all mothers know that this isn't the reality. No mother finds raising children delightful and easy all of the time. It's bloody tough. But you know what? It is magical at least some of the time. Is it really so bad to celebrate the good bits?
So I've decided that I'm not stupid after all and there isn't really any harm in me posting a few pictures of my children and declaring that I am both happy and grateful that I get to be a mother to them.
But there is one thing that is stupid about this whole thing.
We shouldn't need a so called 'Motherhood Challenge' to celebrate the fact we made and raised tiny humans.
So I'm raising my glass in a virtual Friday night cheers to all the mothers out there.
Happy weekend everybody.