One mom recently changed her LinkedIn photo to reflect the unvarnished reality of working parenthood—and her vulnerability has parents everywhere cheering.

September 29, 2020
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Multitasking working mother holding baby and typing on computer
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There's an unspoken rule most working parents live by: No matter how challenging, how messy, how chaotic raising children is, they've historically been expected to leave the mess at home and present themselves as polished, put-together, and all business the minute they step into the office.

Then the pandemic came, effectively destroying the line between our home lives and work lives. It ripped the proverbial curtain we've all worked hard to create, revealing that parenting is, well, sometimes a hot mess. All this has given us a greater understanding of what parents (both those who work outside the home and those who don't) are juggling. And it's about time.

This shift inspired a mom of three who goes by Lauren G. on LinkedIn to take a hard look at her online presence—and to make a change that better reflects reality.

″Recently, I took a long hard look at my LinkedIn profile photo. The woman staring back at me had newly highlighted hair and a fresh cut, a pressed blazer, a hint of a smile that showed just the right amount of teeth to let you know she was serious but could be lighthearted when needed," the mother wrote in a now-viral LinkedIn post.

But when she looked back at that photo, she realized it wasn't a great representation of her reality. So, in the spirit of being "genuine and vulnerable", the mom decided to change her profile photo. She posted her original LinkedIn photo set next to her current picture. In the latter, she wears a sweatshirt, and her hair is not blown out. Her arm is extended, a telltale sign that she took the photo herself (and really, is there a more relatable mom moment than that?). The second picture is not nearly as polished or ″perfect″ as the former but it definitely does a better job of showing what parents everywhere look like right now, especially while working from home.

″Today's remote world has blurred the lines between my professional and personal selves, so I've chosen to represent that in my photo,″ she wrote. ″Barely dried hair, comfy pullover, ripped jeans—slightly frazzled from having just gotten 3 kids ready for 'school'—but smiling and ready for work."

And other parents are chiming in in support of the message in the comments and on Twitter.

So let's hear it for this mom and all the other parents out there who are keeping it real. Because parenting is messy. And parenting through a pandemic that has thrown incredible obstacles our way? It's on another level. But if something good comes from all this tragedy, it just might be a whole new set of expectations and a greater level of understanding towards parents who are juggling the mess of parenthood alongside a million other things.