Its back. The Facebook Parenting Challenge. The challenge which makes many Mums smile and the majority of non parents cringe. The challenge which did the rounds last year in a slightly different format – sharing 3 images of what makes you proud to be a parent. This time? Its back as the Motherhood Dare – this time sharing one image of why you are proud to be a Mum. One image of you and your child that showcases a special moment or an experience you have been through together.
There are a few reasons why I for one, won’t be taking part.
Don’t get me wrong – I am of course, proud to be a mother. I am proud to have raised an intelligent, beautiful, caring, (and lets be honest, sometimes nightmare of a child!). I am proud of how much we have taught her, how many challenges she has overcome, and how we have shared almost 3 special years together.
I am proud to be a mum, and I am proud to be bringing my second child into the world.
However, I can also think of many reasons why this parenting challenge can cause unnecessary pain. As well as being a Mum, I have also experienced the loss of a child. I have experienced the pain of miscarriage, and gone through the roller-coaster of emotions and excitement of expecting a child only for it to be taken away from you. Some people share this experience with friends and family, others suffer this pain in private. But Mums should be aware – whilst you are sharing the reasons you are proud to be a mum, others are mourning the loss of their baby – wishing they were that Mum, and seeing your posts may inadvertently bring that pain back to the surface.
Then there are those who are trying to conceive, and struggling. Many of my friends have either struggled to conceive naturally, gone through painful and mentally exhausting fertility treatments, or are indeed dealing with the news that they may never be able to naturally have a child of their own. Less serious than this but equally painful, are those who are desperate to conceive, and facing the disappointment of their period arriving month on month, starting to worry whether it will ever happen for them, or if they have left it ‘too late’. Again, they know you have children, you probably share photos of your children most days, but why remind them of what they don’t have? Of course they are happy for you, they just don’t need reminding of how proud everyone else is to be a parent.
I also have friends who have decided not to have children. They either don’t feel ready yet, or are questioning whether they want children at all. Does not having children imply they don’t have something to be proud of? That their life is somewhat lacking? This one has actually caused the most debate from the challenge, with many women sharing pictures of their dogs, glasses of wine, or a big cosy bed as reasons why their proud NOT to be a Mum!
Finally, those who are Mums also know that the reality of parenting is far more pinterest fail than Instagram filter! It’s about time we were honest about real life, and don’t rise to challenge of displaying the perfect perception of motherhood!!
Rant over. 🙂 x