The Facebook Motherhood Challenge

by | 7 Feb 2016

Am I the only person in the world that is NOT offended by Facebook’s ‘Motherhood Challenge’ – the viral campaign that involves posting pictures of you and your beautiful children, before tagging other mothers and encouraging them to do the same?

I know I should be. Happy family photos are the bruise of a woman who can’t have children. And I’ve read some brilliant articles from both mothers and non-mothers about how loathsome this trend has become. I particularly liked Flic Everett in the Guardian and Alice Judge-Talbot in The Telegraph. Both women (who are in fact mothers themselves) object to how it fetishizes motherhood and are sensitive to how people going through the heartbreak of infertility might feel. But they also think of those who have lost a child; of those struggling with teenagers who are seemingly out of control; and of those who have become estranged from their children in adulthood and may be wondering where all those years of love have gone.

I’m glad they wrote these things. I appreciate their outrage very much. But when I first heard about the Facebook ‘Motherhood Challenge’ myself, I just thought: ‘Jessica, lean in.’ This is the world we live in. You can’t ask people to stop feeling proud and happy to be a mum. I would if I was one although I probably wouldn’t be posting pictures on Facebook. But maybe that’s just because of what I’ve been through. So don’t worry about tagging me, I’ll just send you this picture of me and my mum instead. Because these days whenever something presses the bruise, I’ve made the decision to lean in.

Mum and Me



  1. kiftsgate

    Gorgeous picture!! you both look lovely. 🙂

  2. jnorland

    Such a great pic – thanks for saying what needs to be said! xx

  3. Jane

    Thanks Jessica for saying this, it helps for those without to be spared a thought and to know that others do too. You’ve got me thinking about “lean in” – thought provoking, my instinct is still to run or put up a brick wall. I will keep this in my thoughts. x

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      That makes me tremendously happy! I think it’s everyone instinct to run or put up a brick wall. I’m trying another way these days and it feels good. See what you think! Jessica x

  4. Lou

    Thank you Jessica, I really need to start thinking this way. I cried so much when scrolling down the news feed & seeing all my friends tagging each other in, I felt an outsider of this special group. But you are right we can change this if life & I shouldn’t feel bitter, I feel awful fo feeling this way. Love your posts, you are such an inspiration xxx

  5. thepursuitofmotherhood

    Bless you Lou – just replied to your other comment as well. I think if you can embrace the sadness it does help, at least it has for me. Scroll and stay strong! Jessica x