A Mom Powerfully Describes How Social Media Ruins Parents’ Self-Esteem, and Her Words Strike a Chord
It can happen to any parent nowadays: you see a perfect family photo on someone’s social media account and suddenly feel down and guilty, because your family life doesn’t seem to be that interesting. A scene Jen Flint once saw at a pool made her write a powerful post where she revealed the whole truth behind “flawless” parenting photos on social media and the way they can ruin any parent’s self-esteem. The post instantly went viral and hit home with thousands of women and men who thanked Jen for being so honest.
Here at Bright Side we were so touched by Jen’s post and now we want to share it with all the moms and dads out there!
“Yesterday while at the pool I watched a young Mama and her little daughter enter the pool area, dressed in very nice coordinating swimming suits. The mom, with her perfect loose curls tied up in a coordinating scarf, spent the first few minutes talking loudly on her phone to a friend while her daughter stood waiting to get into the pool. Mom ended the phone call and proceeded to spread out pool toys and sunscreen on a matching towel. Then, after finding just the right angle and the right light, Mama pulled out her tripod and took a few selfies with her daughter.
Little One asked to get in the pool. Mama said wait and then posed her daughter in front of the pool, then going in to the pool, and then coming back out of the pool. Little One smiled big and said, “Cheese!” like she’d done it a million times. Then Mama told her she could play. Little One walked in and swam around for a couple of minutes. Mama called a friend on her phone and began another conversation while Little One politely and repeatedly asked, “Mama, can you come in the water with me, please?”
She was ignored. “Mama, come play with me?” she asked 4 more times. Mama glanced over at her, but never got off the phone. After 10 minutes Mama ended her call, collected the sunscreen that was never applied, the water toys that never touched the water, and then her daughter, and left the pool.
I sat there thinking about what I’d witnessed for a while afterward. I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like, “Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories.”
Somewhere another Mama is going to be at home with her children, the house is a mess from their playing, her hair is unruly from a day of mothering, and her clothes are dirty with spit up or peanut butter. She’s going to be tired, because she’s spent her day cooking, caring, cleaning, and playing with her children. She’s going to look at that photo and she is going to compare herself to the perfect Mama at the pool.
The Adversary is going to whisper into her ear, “You aren’t good enough... You don’t look like that Mama at the pool... You don’t have the money to buy expensive swimsuits like that, and you don’t have time to make memories like her,” and that young Mama is going to believe it. She’s going to feel like a failure. Ugh!! She’ll never know that how she spent her time that day was so much better in God’s eyes and in her children’s eyes than that “perfect Mama” at the pool.
What we see on social media isn’t always real. Sometimes, and often, it’s a complete set-up. It’s staged and filtered and it’s counterfeit.
Sometimes we do see absolutely real photos of vacations and beautiful homes and freshly done hair, but it’s only ONE moment. It’s the very best moment out of a whole day spent much like our own. Working, cleaning, and picking up little messes...
Mamas, don’t compare yourselves. You ARE enough! You are amazing and the very best part is that you are REAL! Your dirty shirt and your messy house and your happy children are real and they are proof that you are doing it right!"
Do you agree with Jen’s words? Have you ever felt down because of social media pressure? We’d be happy to know what you think, please leave a note in the comments!
Preview photo credit jlo / Instagram