One Florida mom’s open letter reminding other parents that appearances can be deceiving, especially in the picture-perfect world of social media, has gone massively viral.
Last week, Jen Flint was swimming with her family at a St. Augustine pool when she spotted a young mom taking tons of photos of her young daughter, Today reports.
The author and mom of six detailed that the mother-daughter duo sported matching swimsuits and the mom, with “her perfect loose curls tied up in a coordinating scarf,” came prepared for the photo op with tons of pool gear, taking selfies and snapping candid shots of her child with a tripod.
After finding “just the right angle and the right light,” the mom posed for pictures with her daughter in and out of the water, then released her daughter to splash in the water as she wished.
Flint continued to claim that the mom then took a phone call and shot down multiple requests from her child to join her in the water.
“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,” the author wrote.
“I sat there thinking about what I'd witnessed for awhile afterwards. I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like "Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories,” she mused.
Flint imagined that another mother, tired after a busy day of “cooking, caring, cleaning and playing” with her kids at home would feel bad after seeing the perfectly staged, poolside photos on social media of the “perfect mama.” The author then argued why comparing one’s self to others was so dangerous.
“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,” Flint said of the theoretical parent. “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.”
“Mamas, don't compare yourself. You ARE enough! You are amazing and the very best part is that you are REAL!” she went on. “Your dirty shirt and your messy house and your happy children are real and they are proof that you are doing it right!”
In the days since, Flint’s passionate post has since gone massively viral online with over 185,000 likes, 130,000 shares, and more than 2,200 comments.
The overwhelming response has inspired the author to even pen a follow-up post, saying she never meant “shame or judge” the pool mom but just remind other parents not to compare themselves, their lives or their children to the perfect moments they see on social media.
Furthermore, Flint told Today that some of her younger friends “are seriously depressed” from comparing themselves to the unrealistic images and experiences they see on Instagram.
“They feel like they’re not good enough,” the author said. “It’s important to remember what we see in our feeds is just one tiny moment. You don’t know what happened before or after the picture was taken.”