Erin Kiernan is a TV news anchor in Des Moines, IA for WHOTV, and she recently had a baby. Like many parents, Kiernan has been having a tough time trying to get her infant son to sleep while he's teething--a notoriously cranky time--and she took to Facebook to post a typical parenthood moment to which we can all relate.
"I used to think I knew what exhausted was. Hilarious," she wrote as the caption of the selfie, which showed her looking bleary-eyed with no makeup, her glasses on and hair pulled back--a far cry from how she usually looks on camera for her career in TV news.
While Kiernan's photo did garner plenty of support from parents who could identify with the totally honest moment, she also got some negative comments. One particularly nasty note from a viewer said, "This doesn't even look like the same person!" which made Kiernan hit her boiling point.
She decided to post another photo, this time a very real, honest "before and after" side-by-side depiction of her in both "work mode" and "mommy mode"--which, as any parent knows, is also very hard (or even harder!) work.
"Newsflash! These ARE NOT pictures of the same person. The woman on the left is well rested, spent two hours on her hair and makeup, had a professional photographer take her picture," she wrote. "The woman on the right got two hours of sleep (maybe), hadn't looked in the mirror, took a selfie, did not put a filter on it and is covered with spit up and drool from a teething and very crabby baby."
This time, her all-too-real message went viral, with thousands of commenters showing encouragement and support for the mom.
"It means a lot to me, and it makes me a little bit emotional because it reinforces that you're not alone," Kiernan told TODAY. "Whether you're a mother or not, just as women, as people, a lot of times we feel that life is hard. No one's life is this shiny, perfect existence."
PLUS: Here are the 11 most inspiring things ever said about aging gracefully.
"Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them." -- Betty White
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