Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

I am friends with people on Facebook who have told me in private that their mother friends – one lady is Facebook friends with a sister of hers who has three kids – are actually terrible parents in real life.

Yet, these same terrible mothers who blather on about how wonderful their children are when they are on Facebook, who post scads of posts of their smiling kids, yell and scream at the kids in real life – or neglect them.

Remember that every time you see posts by parents on Facebook, with their sweet family snaps, who are bragging about their children. They are often times selectively editing their social media to present a glossy, happy version of their life that may not be real most of the time.

(Link):  Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

(Link): Mommy Blogger Confesses in Blog Post that Mommy Blogging is a Bunch of Fake, Happy-Clappy B.S. – Kind of Like Most Christian Adult Singleness Blogs

  • Of course it’s meant to be a bit of fun, but this smug club fetishises motherhood, and creates a new way to measure women and find them wanting
  • There are certain phrases that make my heart sink. After “Can I be really honest?” and “Mind if I join you, ladies?” the latest to engender a sense of creeping misery must surely be (Link):Facebook motherhood challenge.Of uncertain origin, this viral “challenge” demands that mothers post a series of pictures that make them “proud to be a mum” and then tag other women who they think are “great mothers”.
  • Many of my friends have done this, bouncily posting shots of themselves with interchangeable babies, all of whom look like glow-worms in padded snowsuits, and tagging whole lists of other “awesome mums” inviting them to do the same.
  • And while I fully understand that they have no intention of hurting anyone, that they are simply happy to have their wonderful children, #blessed, #lovinglife and so on, I still want to punch the screen of my computer in whenever a new one pops up.
  •  The most offensive aspect of this is the idea that it’s a “challenge” at all.
  • A challenge is coping with grief when you wish you were dead, or pushing your mind and body to the limit in a feat of superhuman endurance. It’s not posting a few snaps of your toddler and waiting for your friends to type “aw gorgeous hun xxx” underneath. And it’s unclear whether the challenge in question is to prove what a great mother you are, or merely to challenge your friends to prove that they are too.
  •  This insidious idea of (Link): motherhood as a beatific vocational calling began with the Virgin Mary, and reached its peak with the Victorian notion of “the angel of the hearth”, when mothers who didn’t have to work, and had nannies and housekeepers and nursery maids rushing about looking after their children, were depicted as celestial beings radiating goodness, their sole purpose on Earth to gather little children to their rustling taffeta bosoms and gently instruct them.

  • These women often died in childbirth, completing their ascent to sainthood in record time. (Link): They were not flesh and blood beings, but an idea, created by the prevailing culture, suggesting that mothering was woman’s high and only purpose.
  • This explains the derogatory references to spinster aunts – the unfortunate “freaks” who remained childless, whiskered of chin and bitter of manner. Literature is full of these woman, from Lady Macbeth to Mrs Danvers in Rebecca; women robbed of their natural purpose who descend into madness and fury.
  •  But two world wars which required women to go out to work, (Link): the pill, and the fight for equality in the latter part of the 20th century meant motherhood became less fetished.
  • That is, until the rise of the internet and the (Link): mummy blogger”.
  • Suddenly, every other Twitter biography had to state its owner was “proud to be a mummy” or a “mumpreneur” who just couldn’t find the right softness of cot blanket, so made them herself from possum fur and appeared on (Link): Dragons’ Den.
  • …Of course, if you’ve tried for years to conceive, and now you have a darling, laughing baby in your arms, it must feel wonderful. But there’s a world of difference between happiness and smugness (defined as “having an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements”).
  • Many mothers simply feel inadequate most of the time, and that sense of failure is exacerbated dramatically by others boasting about how easy and rewarding they find it all, from first “latching on” to graduation (“So proud!!”).
  • There was no (Link): Facebook in my son’s babyhood, but if there had been, I’d have steered clear of plastering him all over it and tagging other women who were, in my view, “great mothers”.
  • Firstly, because it doesn’t take a gargantuan leap of empathy to understand that there are many women who wanted children but for various reasons didn’t have them. There are many who have lost children.
  • Equally there are many women with children who are depressed, worried sick about their teenager, or desperately missing their adult child. I’m pretty sure they don’t feel a great deal better when their timeline is full of people boasting about their happy families.
  • …It’s not the casual posting of photos aimed at friends that I mind. It’s the revived fetishisation of motherhood, the idea that it’s a “challenge” that only “mummies” can understand, an exclusive, excluding club of laughing, shiny, breast-feeding super-beings who know exactly how to raise “great kids” and will only invite others of their kind to join the party.
  • In truth, the idea of tagging people you think are “great mothers” is as offensive as tagging people you think are great in bed.
  • How do you know if they are? And how do the ones who don’t get tagged, and see that smug little list of anointed “great mums” feel? If anyone’s judging you as a mother, it should be your children – and nobody else.
  • …But in reality, the “motherhood challenge” is simply another way to measure women and find them wanting.


Related Posts:

(Link): Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world by Catherine Deveny

(Link): Mother Entitlement – Selfish, Self-Centered Mothers Complain that They Are Not Getting ENOUGH Mother Worship from Culture, Church, or Family on Mother’s Day and Some Moms Complain About Churches Showing Compassion to Childless Women

(Link): Is The Church Failing Childless Women? by Diane Paddison

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

(Link): Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman

(Link): Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

(Link): Christian Patriarchy Group: God Demands You Marry and Have Babies to Defeat Paganism and Satan. Singles and the Childless Worthless (in this worldview).

(Link): 26, Unmarried, and Childless – by A. Mast

(Link): Are Older Men’s Sperm Really Any Worse? (study) Also: article author assumes men single and/or childless until their late 30s and older are probably autistic, retarded, or drooling simpletons

(Link): Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Widows and Childless and Childfree Have Better Well Being Than Married Couples and Parents says new study

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): Totally Obnoxious Parent: Childless Couple Who Donates to Childrens Charities Lambasted by Snotty Adult Sister for Not Showering Her Kids with Christmas Presents – Parents Who Discriminate Against the Childless or Childfree

(Link): Prejudiced Writer Stupidly Blames Slutty Halloween Costumes and Societal Ills on Childless the Childfree, and Unmarried Adults – but Married people and parents are not perfect either

(Link): The Fruitful Callings of the Childless By Choice (editorial)

(Link): Bearden: Staying childless right decision for many women

(Link): In terms of childlessness, US ranks near the top worldwide

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