I recently posted my 'Motherhood Challenge' photos online. For anyone who doesn't know what this is (have you been living under a rock?!) it is a 'challenge' that went viral where mothers were encouraged to post three or five (depending on who tagged you) photos of what motherhood means to them on Facebook and then nominate other mothers to do the same.
It lasted about three days and I thought I might escape it but, alas, I was tagged. In some ways I hoped I would escape it because I have a lot of friends on social media who don't have children. Some don't want them. Some have lost them. Some are desperately trying for them. Some are not ready yet. I appreciate that not everyone wants to see pictures of my children with a gushing post about motherhood.
But some days I don't feel 'gushing' about motherhood (I'm going to stop using the word 'gushing' because it's beginning to sound rude now). Some days I just 'get by'. Some days I'm tired. That's a lie; every day I'm tired. Some days I'm envious of those people on Facebook posting photos of themselves on a sun lounger in Barbados sipping cocktails, whilst my last holiday consisted mainly of rescuing Thomas the Tank Engine trains from the bottom of the swimming pool.
But when I was tagged, it made me really think about my role as Mummy and my job at Motherhood. And I realised that it's actually quite bloody wonderful. There are difficult days (as there are in every job) and some days my employees are rather unco-operative. But it's hugely rewarding. Watching my children grow makes me inordinately proud. And I realised that I should be proud to be proud.
I shouldn't need to refrain from posting photos of my children as part of a 'Motherhood Challenge'. I know it might upset some people who don't have children. But telling me I can't be openly proud of my children because there are people without children is like telling someone they can't write a status declaring their love for their partner because some people are single.
It's like telling someone not to tell everyone about the wonderful new job they've got because there are people on their Facebook who might hate their job. Or who might not have a job.
It's like telling someone not to post their wedding photos because Janet next door is desperate to get married but her boyfriend doesn't want to.
It's like telling someone not to post a picture of their dog because someone they know has just had to put theirs to sleep.
It's like banning every 'Happy Mother's Day' status because there are people who have lost their mothers.
I'm not being a heartless b*tch I promise. And as someone who has two very close friends who have lost their mums I am not one for posting 'Happy Mother's Day'. Partly because of this but also partly because I speak to my Mum on much more direct levels than social media.
It doesn't mean I think people should accept having their faces rubbed in stuff that upsets them. And if someone were to write a post which read "Just got a new job. Ha ha ha ha to all you poor sods who still hate their job. Or even worse, those of you that don't have a job and can't afford a fancy new car like me" then this would not be acceptably polite or compassionate.
But if someone posted "Just got a new job. So proud of myself and can't wait to start," then I would be happy for them no matter my employment status. Because they are clearly not gloating. They are celebrating and sharing their success.
A lot of the time, when you're yelling "get your shoes on" for the seventh time in ten minutes, or when you've had three hours broken sleep, you do not feel like you're being particularly successful at motherhood. But when you're told to reflect on it, it turns out it really is quite the achievement.
So as long as I know I'm not being a gloating, arrogant cow then I'll continue to share my successes and achievements with my friends via social media. And that includes my children.