One mom’s beautiful, candid photo sparked outrage from nosy internet-goers after she shared it with the world. But her message for the haters was so powerful, it silenced naysayers left and right—all while giving some fellow moms a bit of a confidence boost on the world wide web.
Sometimes, it can seem like the moms of the world just can’t win when it comes to the immense judgement they face. That goes tenfold for the judgement they face on the internet; even when they try to do everything right, there’s always something that people will find fault with. Whether it’s trying too hard, not trying enough, or seeming either too fake or too disheveled and real, there’s always a critic waiting to explain why the way mothers do their jobs just isn’t good enough.
Thirty-one-year-old mom of four Jazmyne Futrell learned that in spades when she posted a candid photo her husband took during a particularly busy evening.
In the photo, her two middle children were on the floor at her feet playing, while her oldest tugged on her shirt to ask a question about homework and her youngest snuggled in her arms and breastfed. All the while, Futrell stirs a pot on the stove, making dinner among the chaos.
She initially captioned the photo laughing at how busy her life is, joking that “friends without kids” think her 9 p.m. bedtime is too early, and her “mom friends” insist they can’t stay up past 8:30. “With four kids I’m way too exhausted to even think about having a life after dark and way too busy to go to bed at a decent hour,” she quipped.
At the time, the picture was profiled by Yahoo! as a “real” look at motherhood during an era where so many moms only post staged, glamorous glimpses into their lives. Yet even among the compliments she received, too many people criticized it. Luckily, instead of leaving up the hateful words without calling them out, Futrell let the world have it.
“The amount of negative comments this photo has received is alarming to me,” she wrote. “What was meant as a reminder of just how good of a mother I am from my husband has been twisted and misconstrued into so many bad things, so I wanted to take some time to acknowledge something.”
She went on to call out the people who had commented on her having four kids by explaining that yes, she and her husband had planned to have a four-child household. And from there, she added that the child-rearing wasn’t left to her at all; her husband had simply stepped out to do a quick chore and snapped the photo when he came back in just before rushing to help her with everything she was juggling.
More importantly, though, she shared that the photo had been taken during a time of post-partum depression for her—and that her husband had used it to show her just how crucial she was to her family.
“If there are any mommas feeling how I felt, please know you are valuable. You are worthy. You are needed! I pray this image helps you see that as it did for me,” she concluded.