On Wednesday I did my first ‘wordless’ post which I actually found tricky because there is so much I want to say about this glorious piece, ‘Mother of Many’.
Ironically, I also posted three pictures of my boys on Facebook due to a ‘nomination’ for a ‘motherhood challenge.’ My ramblings for this piece were not going to be as follows but I shall save it for another Mother and Child post. However, I felt I needed to get some thoughts down on ‘paper.’
For those not in the bizarre word of social media, ‘ I was nominated to post 3 pictures that make me happy to be a Mother’ and then you had to tag 10 people who you think are great Mothers to post pictures for what was named the ;Motherhood Challenge!’ Now, I deliberated over doing this for two days (amongst everything else) mainly because I really try not to post pictures of the boys on the internet any longer. If I do I try not to get too much of their faces in. It’s a shame really as my whole purpose for joining Facebook way back was so that family abroad could see pictures of their nephews/family here in UK.
I am not sure what I was thinking when I posted them I think I have been spending too much time on Facebook in distracting myself from editing my first draft at an attempt at a novel (now there’s a challenge). But, perhaps I saw it as a celebratory thing rather than a ‘challenge’ and when I chose friends/family for it I didn’t think they were any better at the role than ones I didn’t choose. Anyway, after reading this article in The Guardian I realised I should have been a little stronger in my convictions of not posting. Mainly because of course when you tag someone your post appears in their newsfeed and I find that a little disconcerting.BBC News also have a response and a discussion as people have reacted in very different ways about it. So, I decided then to withdraw my post – I should have just put up the image below. Click on the link to see a lovely animation made by my friend which is called ‘Mother of Many’.
I am not so sure what I feel about the word ‘challenge’ in this instance I think the wrong word has been used. Challenge means a call to prove or justify something / invite to engage in a contest (contest meaning supremacy). I think it is this focus that has caused ruffled feathers. I have done a few challenges lately, yoga, writing and dairy-free diet which all have some element of the definition in it.
Motherhood, however shouldn’t be a contest and it is in this world of social media and school playground politics where there can be an element of bragging and competition which is unhealthy, unrealistic and quite simply annoying. There are women in the world who face real challenges of where to find the next meal, drink of clean water, shelter, place of security for themselves and for their family. Yes, there are women for whom it is a’ challenge’ to get pregnant (I am not sure I like the word challenge in this sentence at all, but I am making my point). For we all face daily challenges, mothers or not, some that makes us smile some that make us frown.
So, I will end my little dilemma debate and dedicate this image to my beautiful Mother, mother to three and many children she has taught, my husband’s Mother who had five children as in the sculpture, to my grand-mothers and to all friends, family, readers and women of the world; whether with children or without because the ‘mothering’ quality is in us all whether we have children entrusted to us or not. ‘Mothering’ which means to care for people the way that a mother does, can be done by anyone. For there is always a moment when someone needs that close care and attention.
“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.” ―Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm