This Mum’s thoughts on “The Motherhood Challenge”

Let’s face it, in the hum-drum of everyday life, we all love a bit of a hoo-ha, something different to have an opinion on, and if needs be a jolly good moan about!! The ‘Motherhood Challenge’ doing the Facebook rounds at the moment seems to have provided that and has certainly divided opinion.

I saw it a few days ago and thought ‘ah that’s nice’… I then saw a few posts and articles about people getting their knickers in a twist about it and how it perpetuates the pressure to portray a perfect family but I didn’t think about it too deeply… I went as far as to think about what pictures I might choose assuming I’d probably get involved at some point… and then… no-one nominated me…!!

At first I was a bit put out that this social media ‘craze’ (if we can call it that!?!) hadn’t landed at my door… but it also made me consider, why do I care?

Do we need other people on Facebook to nominate us to validate us as a ‘good mother’…?

While, in all honesty, I can’t say we don’t sometimes need it, I know for sure that we shouldn’t.

The journey of being a parent isn’t about other people thinking you’re an ace Mum, that you’re on the ball all the time, that you have perfect kids with perfect manners and discipline… It’s not about looking and acting 100% great all the time… It’s not about never losing your shit in public and being a poster child for everyone else… It certainly isn’t about making other people feel inadequate in their own parenting and trying to play catch up with everyone else who, on the surface, is doing a better job than you…

Whether this is raising the bar, or to some maybe lowering it, regardless of what anyone else thinks, today I know I am a good Mum because:

I’ve told my kids I love them (numerous times) and also, more importantly, shown them…

Everyone made it out the door on time this morning, fully dressed in the correct uniform and with matching socks…

There haven’t been too many tears or tantrums and we’ve got through the day unscathed…

We have sat down and eaten together and laughed and talked about our days…

I’ve managed for once to fit in reading practice with my five year old before he’s too tired to concentrate…

The house may currently look like a bomb site but it is warm and secure and ours…

But most importantly, today I know I am a good mum because everyone has gone to bed happy. The children are sleeping soundly in their beds and they are healthy and safe.

I may well look through some photos later on and pick out some favourites and reminisce about the early days of motherhood, of ‘firsts’ and good times. I will certainly be taken aback by how quickly my babies are growing up and changing, and will more than likely mutter “I can’t believe how small they were!”, “Look how much they’ve grown”, “Look at his gorgeous face”.

But this time, I’m going to keep these moments for me. Despite being a bit of a social media addict, on this occasion I’m not going to join in. I’m not going to accept the “Motherhood Challenge” and display photos that show my ‘perfect children’. I don’t need to be part of this to continue doing my best, and when my best isn’t always good enough, to at least keep trying. And because I’m doing my best and striving for it every day for them, that alone tells me I’m a good Mum, and it should tell you all too.

So whatever side of the fence you’re on with this one – share or don’t share, join in and post your photos with pride or don’t – know that all Mum’s are good Mum’s every day of the week. Because we show up, we try, and we keep going. Because we love our kids and they love us back. We don’t need social media to empower us or tell us how to act or feel. We are enough. And we are awesome.

xx

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PS: this obviously goes without saying for Dad’s too, but as it’s about the Motherhood challenge, I’ve kept this about Mum’s this time as frankly I’m too knackered to muck about with the tenses for pural parenting!!

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