Sunday, August 7, 2016

I Don't Want Your 7 Day Spouse Challenge

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.
-Inigo Montoya
I keep getting tagged in these statuses online. You know the ones, “Motherhood Dare” or “7 Day Spouse Challenge”. Have you done one? Or do you just roll your eyes and keep scrolling? I’m going to level with you, anything with the word “7 Day Spouse Challenge” makes it sound as though I am either trying out 7 different spouses or about to enter into some kind of duel.

I have news for you: there is nothing daring or challenging about doing what you do all of the time anyway. If you are already posting pictures online of your spouse/children/puppy, guess what? You aren’t being asked to do anything out of the ordinary other than copy a status word for word. If it’s not scary, new, or hard it doesn’t count.

I don’t feel challenged by these statuses and I don’t interpret other people’s postings as risky in any way. We live in a world where we can show as much or as little as we please online to friends and strangers alike. We can #TBT or #FBF on any day of the week if we’re going to be real about this. I can't work out a situation in my mind where sorting through photos (that I already like and have probably already posted) and then sharing them would be challenging.

If someone told me they were going to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables for 7 days and I know they aren’t normally about that life, I would agree that was a challenge. If I committed to doing pilates every day for a month (which I’m not, by the way, because I am also not about that life) I would consider that challenging because it’s new and it’s difficult. If I dared you to run up to a stranger and slap them in the mouth that would be risky (and mean, don’t do that) and that risk qualifies it as an actual dare. Or if I said you had to forgive someone from your past and then tell them you forgive them, THAT is a dare. I'm getting a sick feeling in my stomach just considering that one.



It feels like the words are losing their power amongst photos of smiling children and wedding flowers that you would already gladly share. Just ask yourself, what would actually be a challenge for your marriage? I imagine it could be something simple, like putting down your electronics and having a conversation every day. I think that would be tough considering how accustomed we are to always being connected to our phones, it would take mindfulness and effort to break out of bad habits and routines. Or, maybe it’s finally being brave enough to voice that thought you’ve been too scared to share with your spouse. That thing that feels too frightening or silly to ever breathe out loud. A challenge for you and your spouse isn't something you can get from what is essentially a social media chain-letter. Whatever it is, only you can say.

You want a motherhood dare? Write your will/living trust and last wishes if you haven’t already, because it’s an act of pure love for your family’s future and because it’s scary as shit. It’s terrifying to think that you might die one day and leave your child without you. Even worse, that your family won’t know what to do and maybe…just maybe your kid winds up being raised by that relative you hate because you never specified one way or the other. Think about it. Yes, that relative.

If you want to challenge me, ask me to do something authentic, encourage me to go beyond what is comfortable. Dare me to be brave or to have trust in ways that don't come so easily to me. Because I will willingly post photos of the highlight reel of my life without prompting, no copy and pasting of a message necessary; but asking me to address the pieces on the editing room that is a challenge.

#Dare # Challenge #Spouse #Motherhood #Bravery

1 comment:

  1. I agree. The Facebook peeps all about these challenges turn sophisticated words into words with watered-down meanings. :/


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