Honest Mom of 4 Silences Haters Who Judged a Candid Photo Her Husband Snapped

Jazmyne Futrell makes dinner while holding her newborn and helping her son with his homework.
Jazmyne Futrell

Jazmyne Futrell is the first to admit that she's new at this whole mommy blogging thing. She launched her blog, Mixed Mom Brown Babies, in August with her main goal being simple: She just wants to let other moms like her know that they're not alone

"I try to share real things," she tells CafeMom. "Things that I am struggling with or have had issues with in the past."

  • Last month, one of her posts hit the nail right on the head, when she shared a photo of herself and her four kids on a pretty typical night.

    In it, Futrell can be seen making dinner with one hand and holding her infant with another, while simultaneously helping her other child with their homework and watching her two other kids play on the floor in front of her.

    In a nutshell, it's one of those slice-of-life moments most parents with multiple kids can relate to -- in all its frenetic, not-so-Instagram-worthy glory.

    "My husband snapped the picture," Futrell tells CafeMom. "He came in the house after walking the dogs and saw me in the kitchen and felt I needed to see myself. Actually see myself."

    And boy, did she. 

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  • Futrell admits that she often falls victim to the same negative self-talk so many moms do -- and that she's usually her own worst critic.

    "The mom shame gets pretty rough in my own head," she admits. "[My husband's] been there firsthand having to deal with it and he wanted me to see why he thought I was so amazing."

    And so, she shared the photo far and wide, in the hopes that other mothers might see themselves in it.

    "I figured, if I felt that way maybe other moms did too," she says , looking back. "If seeing myself in action is what I needed to know I wasn't this horrible mom I so often feel like, maybe other moms would see the image and feel inspired as well."

  • She expected to be met with some supportive "I'm right there with you!" comments from other mamas. What she got instead shocked her.

    Although Futrell says the post did drum up some support, it was also met with "major criticism" and even some racist assumptions. 

    "A lot of people talk about how I need to stop having kids or how my children probably all have different dads," she says. "I've seen some comments say I should learn how to keep my legs closed or get the free birth control that is so readily available."

    WHAT?

    And then there were the other judgments hurled at her "poor mothering skills" because all of Futrell's children were in the kitchen with her while she was cooking. 

    Ugh -- so now she's being judged for being too close to her kids? If that doesn't boggle your mind, I don't know what will.

  • Futrell admits that all of the comments stung a bit at first (I mean, how could they not?), and that she wasn't fully prepared for it.

    Understandably, she never expected to "see such hurt from an image I hoped would bring hope," and that realization was more than a little disheartening. 

    Ultimately, though, she's learned to ignore it. 

    "It's simple," she says. "Those with negative comments come from one of two places: Either they are projecting their own insecurities on me or going based off of what society says about a 'black mom' with several children. Neither of these thought processes can be changed by a single reply from me, so no point in going back and forth with them."

  • AMEN! Though even if she's taking the high road, it's sad to know that a harmless post meant to be supportive wound up being divisive instead.

    Especially when you consider that Futrell's whole purpose in sharing her life is to bring people together -- not push them apart.

    Her other objective, she says, is to reach biracial parents, as well as parents with biracial kids. 

    "A lot of times biracial children feel pressured to pick a side," she tells CafeMom. "For example, I have always been considered black by most people who meet me. And that in itself is kind of funny, because to a lot of black people in general, I wasn't black enough."

  • Growing up, Futrell says she was asked countless insensitive questions about her race, like "Why do you talk white?" and "Why is your hair so white?" 

    "I never really felt like I belonged," she admits, adding that she wants to offer a safe space for discussion among parents who may have had to deal with these same things growing up or are navigating them now with their own children. 

    Her blog, Futrell shares, is a no-judgment zone where she hopes others will turn for guidance or even just to vent if they feel the need.

    But above all, it's a reminder that there's no such thing as the perfect mother, and we need to remind ourselves to stop striving for that.

    "Do the best you can and give your all, but in that same aspect make sure you set realistic expectations," she says. "And most importantly, give yourself grace. You're going to mess up -- that's a given. Be prepared to forgive yourself, realize what you can and cannot do, and move forward from it."