Sweet, smug or insensitive? Why the 'Motherhood Challenge' is causing a huge divide

The internet can't decide, here's what they have to say...

The Motherhood Challenge: You've probably noticed it doing the rounds on Facebook, but far from sharing their own sweet snaps some mums are debating what they think it represents. And it's not good.

In case you've missed it, the Motherhood Challenge encourages women to post a number of pictures that represent their journey as a mother, with them tagging other mothers to do the same - to pass on the challenge.

It might sound like a sentimental and sweet idea but in forums all over the internet women are discussing the potential harm the pictures could be doing to women who can't conceive, are grieving over the loss of a child, have fertility problems or have miscarried a baby. Elsewhere mums are standing up for the collection of snaps, saying that they are a happy expression of love and shouldn't be criticised.

And it's not just the politics behind the pictures that people are struggling with, other mums are pointing out the privacy issues surrounding sharing pictures of your children on social media.

Donna T on Netmums brought up the privacy issue with tagging friends in the posts, saying, 'I have issues with it as I don't think people realise how many people can see some of their more 'intimate' photos like when someone posts a photo of the moments just after baby was born and having skin on skin for first time etc I'm seeing these photos of women who I don't know and so are many others. It just concerns me that anyone can see them.'

This is in reference to the fact that if you tag a friend in a Facebook post you're essentially 'allowing' all their friends and friends of friends to see that post. One to be careful of.

Elsewhere, one Mumsnet a user, TeamAgamemnon expressed her concerns over the effect these posts could be having on other women, saying: 'FB can be hard enough when you are dealing with heartache, never mind when this sort of thing is plastered all over it.

'It's the self-congratulating tone of 'proud to be a mother' and 'motherhood challenge' aspect that grates for me. A bit like these posts that say shit like 'you'll never understand true love until you love your child' or some such nonsense.'

Others have reacted in a slightly less serious way with women who just happen not to be mothers turning the challenge on its head and celebrating their status as non-mothers.

Comedian Ellie Taylor uploaded a lovely selection of five pictures, including one of her sleeping on a bottle of wine. She commented alongside the post, 'Non-Motherhood Challenge: I was nominated by myself to post five pictures that make me happy to be a non-mother. Such special memories.'


What GoodtoKnow users thought

We asked you what you thought on Facebook and we weren't disappointed - here's what you had to say...

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Natalie Vernalls pointed out that she wonders why it's only applicable to mothers, saying: '"mother"hood challenge refers to women posting pics. What about the "father"hood challenge. The fathers never have any credit.'

On the other hand, Bindi's Journal and Alandt Mccoy think the viral challenge is a sweet chance to share pictures you love, saying 'I think its a sweet idea, the intent wasn't meant to create unhappiness ♡' and 'I am sorry for those that can't conceive but it is a celebration for mothers. I am single should that mean couples can't post their happy moments'.

One GoodtoKnow-er wasn't so keen, and it looks like lots of you agree with her, judging by the likes. Sarah Southam said, 'Sorry I don't understand this "motherhood challenge" me personally have been nominated a fair few times but I refuse to do it. Why should I prove to everyone? My kids know I'm proud of them, know I love them and vice versa. And whys it for mothers only? Do fathers not love/care/or proud to be a father? I think it's all a big bloody scam.'

So, what do you think? Sweet, silly, smug or insensitive? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Rosie Conroy
Food Writer

Rosie is an experienced food and drinks journalist who has spent over a decade writing about restaurants, cookery, and foodie products. Previously Content Editor at Goodto.com and Digital Food Editor on Woman&Home, Rosie is well used to covering everything from food news through to taste tests. Now, as well as heading up the team at SquareMeal - the UK's leading guide to restaurants and bars - she also runs a wedding floristry business in Scotland called Lavender and Rose.