Jen Flint was enjoying a pre-dinner swim with her family at a local pool in St Augustine, Florida, when she noticed a stylish mom staging a photo shoot.
“After finding just the right angle and the right light, Mama pulled out her tripod and took a few selfies with her daughter,” Flint began in a lengthy Facebook post that has gone viral with more than 129,000 shares “Little one smiled big and said, ‘Cheese’ like she’d done it a million times.”
Eventually, the child, who looked around 4-years-old, jumped into the water to play, while her mother took a phone call. “Little One politely and repeatedly asked, ‘Mama can you come in the water with me, please?’ And she was ignored,” Flint wrote. “Mama glanced over at her but never got off the phone.”
Ten minutes later, the woman announced it was time to go home and she swiftly collected “the sunscreen that was never applied” and “the water toys that never touched the water.”
After they were gone, Flint, who shares six kids with her husband Russell, began to process what she had just witnessed. “I imagined the photos she took being perfectly edited and posted to social media with a caption like, ‘Pool time with my girly! #Makingmemories,” Flint wrote.
Flint wants to be clear that she is not judging the woman’s parenting. She wrote the post to remind people that social media is often staged.
“What struck me is that when somebody else sees her pictures, they are going to think in their heads, ‘This mom spent all of this time with her kid, she’s at the pool and looking gorgeous, why can’t I be like that?’” Flint told TODAY Parents. “They are going to compare their whole life to this one moment that looks perfect, but wasn’t.”
Many of Flint’s younger friends “are seriously depressed” and struggling with self-doubt because of what they see on Instagram. “They feel like they’re not good enough,” Flint explained to to TODAY Parents. “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.”