Why I Won’t Be Taking Part In The Motherhood Challenge

Comedian Ellie Taylor Posts her ‘Non Motherhood Challenge’. [Photo: Instagram/elliejanetaylor]

When it comes to viral Facebook trends, I’m normally right up there. I posted a grainy picture of myself in my gymnastics kit age 6 for #waybackweek, shared my #friendsday video and French flagged my profile in support of last year’s Paris attacks. But there’s one viral trend I definitely won’t be taking part in, despite being invited to several times, and that’s The Motherhood Challenge.

On Facebook? You can’t have missed it. Your feed has likely been full of it this past week. Mothers are invited to post pictures that make them ‘proud to be a mum’ and tag other ‘great mothers’, asking them to do the same. Though I’m definitely not a sharent, I’m also not one to shy away from posting cute pictures of my kids. So, picking a few of my favourite family snaps to share should have been right up my street. But for me, there’s a world of difference between the odd obligatory first-day-of-school pic to the motherhood challenge. So here’s why I’ll be giving this one a miss…

Not a mother? You can’t join our club. For non-mums it must feel a bit like being excluded from the cool gang at school. And who wants to feel like that? On a more serious note, just imagine the effect on anyone battling infertility or silently grieving after a miscarriage. Over the past few days, Gateway Women — a global support network for childless women — has been flooded with messages from childless women feeling alienated by the Facebook motherhood challenge. 

Comedian Ellie Taylor has provided the perfect eye-rolling response. The 32-year-old has uploaded a collage of photos of herself sleeping and using a bottle of red wine as a makeshift pillow: “I was nominated by myself to post five pictures that make me happy to be a non-mother. Such special memories,” she wrote. The post has had more than 110,000 Facebook likes and 11,000 shares, with most high-fiving her light-hearted antidote to the challenge.  

In my experience many mums simply feel grateful to have survived the day, so seeing pictures of other mums seemingly nailing motherhood can only exacerbate the sense of ‘failure’ so many feel on a daily basis.

A picture captures a moment. Who the hell knows what else is going on – a floor covered in cheerios, a massive tantrum five seconds later? The challenge portrays a filtered, edited, glossed-up version of motherhood and the reality is often quite different. Show me anyone who can be an ‘awesome’ mother every day and I’ll happily shake their hand.

Who the hell am I to decide which of my mum friends are ‘great’ at the motherhood job? In my opinion just being a parent makes you pretty great and you don’t need to be tagged on Facebook to prove it.

The challenge reminds me of other photo/video based social media campaigns – the No Make Up Selfie, the Smear For Smear. Though I didn’t take part in these either at least there was some sort of point to them – raising awareness and money for charity.

Saying all that. I’m certainly not judging anyone who has taken part in the challenge and I’ve actually really enjoyed looking at my friends’ shiny, happy kiddie pics. When all is said and done it is just a bit of fun and celebrating someone else’s happiness is never a bad thing.

What do you think about The Motherhood Challenge? Let us know @YahooStyleUK.

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