Words by Elise Solé.
A mother whose four children pique public fascination took a Facebook photo that exudes the “realness” of family life.
Jazmyne Futrell, 31, a mother in California recently posted an image to her Facebook page Mixed Mom Brown Babies.
In the image, she’s cooking chicken noodle soup at the stove wearing her seven-month-old baby Koehn, who is breastfeeding.
Karson, her seven-year-old son, is tugging on her shirt and showing her a page of his homework, while her five-year-old daughter Kinley and three-year-old son Karter, enjoy screen time at her feet.
She wrote under the photo taken by her husband, “Friends with no kids: ‘You go to bed at 9pm? Girl I can’t fall asleep before 11pm.’
“Mom [sic] friends: ‘you go to bed at 9 [pm]? Girl I can’t seem to 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.”
“There’s so much to say about this photo,” the blogger tells Yahoo. “I shouldn’t be cooking while holding my baby, my son has a ponytail because I didn’t have time to braid his hair, and my kids are on the floor. That’s why I posted it — there’s not enough realness on social media.”
Futrell took an interest in blogging after Koehn was born.
“I had postpartum depression and all the other mums looked amazing on social media,” she continues. “Many times I thought, ‘Can I do this?’ I hope showing photos like this lets mothers know they’re not fighting their battles alone.”
People said Futrell was a “rock star” and a “warrior,” except for those concerned for her apparent lack of help. “Maybe she’s a single mom [sic],” a commenter wrongly assumed.
When Futrell goes shopping with her children, people aren’t shy to make assumptions.
“A woman asked me, ‘How old you?’ and was relieved to learn I was older than expected,” she says. “While in labor with Koehn, the nurse asked my husband if he was a father to my unborn child or all [of] my kids because she [said there are] ‘a lot of single moms [sic].'”
Meanwhile, Futrell says her husband is doted on in comparison.
“Once at a store, my husband took the kids to another section so I could try on clothes,” she said. “A woman told me, ‘I just want to compliment you for your awesome husband. He’s ‘babysitting’ so you can shop.'”
“He wasn’t babysitting his own children — he’s required by law to care for them,” says Futrell. “The bar is set so low for fathers.”
Futrell says social expectations for families makes her village stand out. “I used to make excuses for people’s comments,” she says. “Not anymore.”