It’s generally accepted that social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives rather than an accurate reflection of the day-to-day.
But one woman said she observed an outing between a mum and daughter at her local pool which highlighted this perfectly.
In a viral post on Facebook, Jen Flint said she watched as a young mum and her daughter entered the facility dressed in adorable matching swimming suits.
The young girl waited patiently as her mum spent a few minutes on the phone, before she proceeded to spread out their haul of pool toys and sunscreen on a matching towel.
Finding just the right angle and light, the mum pulled out a tripod and took a few selfies with her child, the Mirror reports.
Jen said the young girl then asked if they could get into the pool but was told to wait while her parent posed her in front of the pool, then going into the water and coming back out, all the time with a big smile and saying cheese ‘like she’d done it a million times’.
The little one was then told she could play while her mum took a phone call and she swam around for a couple of minutes, while politely asking ‘mama, can you come in the water with me, please?’.
“Mama glanced over at her but never got off the phone,” Jen wrote. “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 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’.”
Jen then thought about another mum at home, in a messy house, tired because she’s spent her day cooking, caring, cleaning and playing with her children.
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“She’s going to look at that photo and she is going to compare herself to the perfect mama at the pool.
“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.
“Mamas, don’t compare yourself. 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.”
After receiving some backlash for ‘mum shaming’, Jen later added that she never intended to judge the mum for her actions or her reasons for doing it, but simply wanted to highlight that the filtered photos we see on social media ‘are not a full depiction of real life’.
Her post has since had more than 140,000 shares with others saying it was ‘spot on’.
One wrote: “This is sooo very true. Real deal right here.”
Another added: “A wonderful reminder to be present in the moment…”