Every so often, a mom’s post on social media, whether it’s a message on Facebook or a photo on Instagram, will strike a chord with so many other moms that the message ends up going viral, reaching an audience of thousands, even millions. Some of these messages can raise awareness for the difficulties that women face with breastfeeding, mom-shaming, and parenting in general.
Messages like these are poignant and refreshingly honest. Sometimes all it takes is one brave mom to get something off her chest, and others eventually feel comfortable enough to do the same. Some of these messages show the down and dirty, nitty-gritty side of parenting. Parenting isn’t always beautiful, especially not when there’s mesh underwear involved. But it’s real.
That’s what’s so great about parenting posts that have gone viral. They’re a sign that you’re not alone. They’re a sign that you’re not the only one struggling with a given situation. They often provide hope (and a lot of times, a good dose of humor) that makes a tough time seem a little easier, or at the very least, more temporary.
Many viral posts come from mom bloggers, but sometimes, an unsuspecting mom can share a personal message that unwittingly reaches thousands and thousands of views – because it’s a message that should be acknowledged and applauded, because it calls our attention to a side of parenting we don’t often see, or because it’s a stunningly accurate portrayal of parenting that we can all relate to. Here are some viral messages that you don’t want to miss!
15 Tax Refund Mom
The Internet has been applauding a single mom who publicly shared how she spent her tax refund money this year. Christina Knaack, a mom from Gaffney South Carolina, posted a picture of a receipt fpr $5,400 on Facebook. Instead of buying her kids toys, gadgets, or shoes, she paid her family’s rent – for the entire year.
In her post, Knaack said, “Instead of buying my kids the latest Jordans or fancy electronics, I paid my rent for the YEAR.” She went on to add, “I’m a single mom and I do it all by myself on a minimum wage job. I know that a roof over my kids’ heads is what’s important.”
Her post has received several thousand likes and comments, praising her and thanking her for sharing her wise choice during tax season. When a tax refund check comes in, it can be tempting to take that chunk of change and spend it on something fun – but Knaack reminds us that it's more important to be smart and responsible with our money.
14 Car Seat Safety
Rachel McNamara was adjusting the straps on her son’s car seat, when an idea hit her. She had her son sit in his car seat and buckled him up the way she normally would. Then she had her husband take a picture… while she held the car seat in the air and flipped it upside down towards her.
Why on earth would she do that? She wanted to make a point about car seat safety. The caption from her post stated, “After strapping your child into their car seat, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable flipping it upside down. Remember that the chest clip should be at armpit level and the straps should be tight enough to pass the pinch test. #carseatsafety.”
McNamara’s post attracted a lot of attention from fellow parents. She clarified that she wasn’t advocating for people to flip their kid upside down in his car seat before every trip in the car; but that she wanted parents to feel confident about their car seat in the event of an accident. Her visual is a striking reminder of how important proper car seat safety is.
13 Daycare Message
A Texas day care center has no problem telling parents how it should be. A sign on the front door of the day care has a simple message to parents: PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.
A parent, Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz, posted a picture of the day care’s sign to Facebook and it has been shared over a million times. While the message isn’t anything earth-shattering, it does point out a habit that lots of us are guilty of – spending too much time on our phones.
The sign reads: “You are picking up our child! GET OFF YOUR PHONE. Your child is happy to see you! Are you happy to see your child?”
According to a recent study, nearly one-third of children feel unimportant when they see parents using their cell phones during mealtimes, conversations, while they’re watching TV, and when they’re playing outside. In addition, 54 percent of kids think their parents spend too much time on their phones.
12 Sharing Her Struggle
Suffering from anxiety and depression isn’t easy to begin with; it’s especially tough when you’re a mom who’s trying to stay strong and raise young children. Cierra Fortner shared a detailed post on Facebook that described what it’s like to suffer from a mental illness when you’re a busy mother of two kids.
Fortner says she was inspired to write the post after a shopping trip to Walmart; the cashier complimented her for having it “all together,” but, Fortner really felt like she didn’t. She thought about the comment on her drive home, and how she could have responded to the cashier. In her post, she revealed that she suffers from a personality disorder, anxiety, and depression. She also added that she’s a two-time suicide survivor.
She said the most important thing she wished she could tell the cashier was that, “I don't have it together and may never have it all together. I don't know a mother out there that has it all together but everything we do is done with love for our children and that right there makes you the perfect mom and in our children's eyes we most definitely have it all together.”
Fortner’s post has received almost 100,000 shares and parents who related to her struggles left her supportive comments and messages.
11 The Chopped Celery Post
We’ve all probably been in Kara Lewis Newton’s shoes at one point or another, and if we haven’t yet, our time will probably come. Her November Facebook post about chopped celery has gone viral.
What does chopped celery have to do with being a mom? In her post, Lewis Newton shares a picture of herself in a car with a container of chopped celery because she had to drive it to her son’s school. Why? “Because I don’t look in his folder,” the mom of three said. She missed that he was supposed to bring chopped celery to school, she didn’t even have any idea what it was for, but she dropped everything and drove it to the school in the hopes that he would get it in time.
The mom admits to letting other things slip from time to time: dirty socks, fast food for dinner, forgetting coats, and not remembering to check homework folders. But she doesn’t sweat the small stuff because she knows that 20 years from now, it won’t matter that she forgot the chopped celery, because instead, her kids will know that they are “fiercely loved no matter what.”
10 Foster Mom
Foster mom and blogger Jamie, from the blog Foster The Family penned a thoughtful blog post about the power of the word “Mommy” on her blog, and it was recently shared in a Facebook post. The blogger writes about welcoming a two-year-old into her home for a brief stay. At age two, the little girl had already spent five months in foster care; of those five months, she’d already been in four different homes.
Jamie wrote that the other kids in the house welcomed her right away and tried to make her feel at home. After a few minutes, she ran into the room with a smile and said, “Look, Mommy!” In just a few minutes, the little girl had already accepted Jamie as her mommy; she said her heart sank as she realized the little girl who’d been shuttled from house to house probably considered “mommy” to mean the female adult who was taking care of her at that time.
But “Mommy” means so much more than that. And, as Jamie shares in her post, she hoped that some day the little girl would know what mommy really means; her biological mother was working to get her back, and a foster mom was ready to step in if that wasn’t possible.
9 You're A Good Mom
Mom shaming has become pretty typical these days; it’s easy to find in mom groups, in our families, and especially online. All the negativity and criticism can often leave us wondering if we’re a good mom. And even if the criticism doesn’t come from someone else, we end up worrying that we’re doing something wrong.
Ashle Potter recognized this and decided to send a positive message to all us moms out there; her post lets us know that whether it’s other people who are questioning our parenting choices, or it’s just us giving ourselves a hard time; we’re still good moms.
A tidbit from her message reads:
“To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.
To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.”
Thanks, Ashle. We needed that.
8 Sophia's Reward
Brandi Benner of South Carolina had promised her two-year-old daughter Sophia a big reward after a month of potty training. The mom took the little girl to Target so she could pick out any toy she wanted. According to Benner’s Instagram post, Sophia spent some time wandering the aisles and eventually selected a black doll dressed up in a doctor’s uniform – her dream job.
When it came time to check out, the cashier seemed to be confused over why a little white girl would be buying a black doll. Was it a gift? Was she buying it for someone else? Did she want to go pick out another doll?
Yup. The cashier pointed out that the doll didn’t look like Sophia, and that maybe she should go back and find a doll that better resembled her.
Before Benner could figure out what to say, Sophia spoke up. In the Instagram post, Benner explains Sophia’s response: “Yes, she does [look like me.] She’s a doctor and I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?”
The cashier let it go, but hopefully she learned something that Sophia already knows – that color shouldn’t matter.
7 Rough Day
West Virginia mom Aly Brothers recently shared a photo of herself in her car, crying with frustration after a particularly stressful day with her kids. In her post, she talks about how hard it is to be a mom, especially a single mom.
The event that caused her to break into tears was a shopping trip gone wrong; her kids cried, threw things, and knocked things off store shelves. Even though she tried to keep herself composed and get her children to behave, she was aware that other shoppers were watching her and judging.
What really bothered her was the fact that people were judging her without knowing a single thing about her. She offered these words of advice to people reading her post: “If you see a parent struggling, if you see a kid throwing a tantrum, if you see a mom on the verge of tears, please say something nice. Please don’t glare with judgement. And to all the moms out there having a day like mine… I see you, I know you, I love you. You are strong, and you are doing just fine.”
6 The Kid Comes First
Jessica Singleton is a mom to a cute little boy named Pierson. While she might not be in a relationship with her son’s father anymore, she’s far from a single mom. She’s not parenting her son on her own. She recently took to Facebook to write a post thanking her ex for that.
“This is my ex,” she says. “This right here is more valuable than gold. This is a man who doesn’t pay a dime through the state because when my son needs new clothes, I just call him.”
She continued to praise her ex’s parenting skills. He fixes things around the house, spends time with his son and his cousins, drops off diapers and other supplies when needed, and has no problem swooping in with short notice to take care of Pierson if needed. He's still there for his son - and his son's mother. While some people might find it difficult to co-parent with an ex, Jessica and her ex put their son first – which is the way it should be.
5 Breastfeeding Is Hard
Breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone. New mom Leah Beyer posted a picture on Instagram that depicted her struggles with nursing her newborn daughter. She says, “Breastfeeding is hard. It’s really, really hard. Sometimes I can’t even explain what makes it so difficult.”
Beyer points out how, as new moms, we naturally trust our bodies’ ability to grow and protect our babies for 9 months. Then, when it comes time to nurse our newborns, we trust that our bodies will once again automatically know what to do.
It’s hard to admit that you’re struggling when you feel so much pressure to do something that supposedly should come naturally; it’s especially hard when you fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other moms. Social media is full of breastfeeding selfies that depict a beautiful, blissful experience, and a picture is just a second in time; it’s not always like that for everyone.
Beyer concluded her post with a message to other moms: “…you're not going crazy, it is hard, but you're doing good. Keep going!! There's a rumor going around that it gets easier.”
4 Motherhood Is Beautiful, Isn't It?
Well, it is, and it isn’t. According to North Carolina mom Amanda Bacon, motherhood is “raw, stunning, messy, and freaking hilarious all rolled into one.”
You would think the last thing a new mom would want posted on Facebook for all of her friends and family to see would be a picture of her in a pair of those gloriously oversized hospital-issued mesh underwear packed with a giant postpartum pad. But to Bacon, the picture honestly sums up what life is like as a mom of a newborn.
The picture came about when Bacon’s fiancé, Ken Hardy, snapped a selfie while holding the baby. In the background, Bacon was sneaking some sweets that she hadn’t been allowed to have during her pregnancy thanks to gestational diabetes. She mostly wore just the mesh undergarments in the hospital to make it easier to nurse.
She told The Today Show that the picture shows a candid sneak peek into postpartum life: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
3 You Will Get Through This
This post is a couple years old now, but we’re willing to bet it will still strike a chord with many new moms who are adjusting to life with a newborn. Danielle Haines posed for a picture holding her son to her bare chest, on the verge of tears. In the caption, she explains, “I loved my baby, I missed his daddy (he went back to work that day), I was mad at my mom…” She goes on to add that, in addition to being on a hormonal, emotional rollercoaster, at three days postpartum, her milk was almost in, her nipples were cracked and bleeding, and she was sore from nursing almost constantly.
Haines’ friends came to the rescue. They brought food. They shared stories of their equally emotional postpartum periods. A friend shared milk and nursed Haines’ son. Another called to reassure Haines that she – and her baby – would be just fine. It’s important to remember that even as you’re struggling to figure things out, you will get through this.
2 Can't Wifey Today
Australian mom Constance Hall has a personal website called Like A Queen.com. She writes refreshingly real and often hilarious posts about marriage, motherhood, parenting, and sex. She manages to celebrate the highs, acknowledge the lows, and make many women feel like they’re not alone. Several of her posts have gone viral, and you’re probably already familiar with them, but just in case...
Her post “I Love You Husband, But… I Just Can’t Wifey Today” takes how we all feel when we have that bad day every once in awhile and lays it out there for all the world to see. We all have those moments where we feel like we’re doing the same thing on repeat, each day the same as the last. We all have those nights where we don’t feel like being touched because we’ve had kids climbing all over us like a human jungle gym all day long. But, like Hall… We hope it’ll get better tomorrow.
1 To The Woman In The Park
Another one of Hall’s posts, “To The Woman In The Park,” has received a lot of social media attention as well. In it, Hall salutes moms of the world who would likely be criticized, judged, or mom-shamed for their actions because what they’re really doing is taking care of themselves. She writes:
“To the woman with piles of dishes and washing who walks straight out the door for a coffee at her friends, I salute you. Being a good mum or wife or human does NOT mean spending eternity cleaning your house. If you leave them for long enough your friends will start doing them. Trust me.”
“To the woman who didn't lose all of that baby weight, I salute you. A brand new 24 hour job that doesn't pay and won't end for around 20 years is NOT a good time to give up cake. Eat the cake, eat the whole ****ing cake and **** anyone who dares to say anything.”
Now that’s the kind of mom you want to hang out with at playdates.