Facebook shits me. I mean, not Facebook so much as the people using Facebook (present company excluded, obviously). “Comment and like or the cancer kid gets it.” That shits me. “Illegal refugees receive more in benefits than war veterans.” That shits me. Anti-vaxxers. Homeopaths. Candy Crush. They OBVIOUSLY shit me. But right now, this week, the thing that’s shitting me most about Facebook is the motherhood challenge. I mean no disrespect to the mammas out there who’ve taken up the motherhood challenge by posting three pictures that capture their proudest mummy moments (or some bollocks), but – as I think I’ve made quite clear – it’s shitting me.
First of all, there are enough pictures of your kid/s on Facebook. There are enough pictures of MY kid/s on Facebook. The world doesn’t need anymore. We KNOW you made a baby. Excellent work, well done, gold star, go to the top of the class. You made a fucking baby. Now get over it.
Secondly, what about all those people without babies? The ones who choose not to have children (sensible bitches that they are) and the ones who can’t. Glorified images of motherhood are everywhere on the best of days, so why do we need to keep rubbing childless-women’s noses in our smug accomplishments?
Thirdly – and here’s the big one – those pictures are NOT MOTHERHOOD. They’re not even close to motherhood. The motherhood challenge encapsulates EVERYTHING that shits me about social media – it’s selling a styled, sepia-tinted version of parenthood thats one and only objective is to make everybody else feel like shit. “Oh! Look at my twins turning the pages of a foreign-language storybook together, ain’t life GRAND?” But what you don’t see, just out of shot, is the older kid – the one with the cross-eyes and a limp – about to attack his straight-seeing siblings with a potato peeler.
That might be an exaggeration. Slightly. But what about the pictures of mums in parks, with their newborn infant draped delicately across their full and enviable bosom? What you don’t see is the breastmilk leaking from mummy’s engorged mammaries, and the explosive shit that’s seeping out of baby’s Country Road onesie. THAT’S fucking motherhood.
The poo and the swearing and the fights and the shouting and the spew and the wee and the poo (yep, more of it) and the exhaustion – and, despite all that, or perhaps because of it – our fierce fucking love for these demanding little humans – THAT’S motherhood.
As some of you may know, I started my blog as a diary. Motherhood was passing me by in a blur, and I wanted to document it. Along the way, it’s become my therapy – if you don’t laugh you cry, that sort of thing. And no, I don’t hold back. If my kid shits in a park, then I’m going to write about it, if only as material for his 21st.
Along the way, something quite unexpected and kinda brilliant has happened. Other battle-weary parents have started sharing their tales from the frontline. And I tell you what, nothing – NOTHING – makes you feel better about your kids smearing themselves from head to toe in Sudocrem than being told that someone else’s kids have painted themselves, their bedrooms and the soft furnishings in purple paint. Nothing cheers you up more after a supermarket tantrum than hearing about the kid who stood in the garden shouting loud enough for the neighbours to hear: PLEASE DON’T HIT ME AGAIN MUMMY! And nothing makes up for forgetting what time the siren goes than being told that another mum only picked up one of her two children from school. I live for this shit. This shit keeps me going. This shit is REAL parenthood, and again: if you don’t laugh, you cry.
Which brings me to the point I probably should’ve made four paragraphs ago: I want you to hit me up with your real motherhood moments. Send me a message, post on my Facebook page, email me or tag me in a photo on Instagram. If you want me to share your motherhood moment with the rest of the sweary mums’ club, then just give me the nod (THINK OF HOW MUCH BETTER YOU’LL BE MAKING THE REST OF THE GANG FEEL) but if not, that’s cool too. We’re gonna use the hashtag #swearymumsclub, just COS, and may even get t-shirts and mugs printed, just to keep things real. I’m getting carried away now. I apologise. But seriously, let’s do this, and then we’ll all get together and drink and dance and tell inappropriate stories and be home by 9pm cos CHILDREN. You in?