Hilarious Support Mum Received After Sharing 'Parenting Fail'
A familiar moment of anguish for a Sydney mum was quickly turned around thanks to other mothers supporting rather than turning on one another.
Social media is often an insidious place, where personal lives are put on show and often quietly scrutinised or openly attacked by internet justice warriors.
Zoe Vayanos doesn't often share family photos with strangers, but an overwhelming sense of helplessness led her to post photos of her toddler's texta rampage on a popular mums' Facebook group.
"So my 2 year old got busy when she was meant to be going to sleep tonight 😫 Send help mums" she wrote on Wednesday night.
"I had just been congratulating myself that my daughter went to bed so quietly and quickly and then when I saw it I thought, oh no this is a parenting fail," she told 10 daily.
It turns out that her 7-year-old had left her textas out, inspiring her youngest child to "express herself".
"[After posting] I couldn't get mad, the one thing that comforted me last night was just how funny and uplifting the comments were," she said.
The Inner West Mums Facebook group has almost 24 000 members and, while discussion threads can get heated and divisive, this one demonstrated a more unifying culture.
"Nothing was about discipline or questioning why she had access to textas, it just totally turned things around," she said.
Among the hundreds of comments, were several pictures of children making an enormous, and at times revolting, mess.
Dozens of posts offered encouragement about Vayanos' little ones' artistic prowess, which helped her digest the fact that she had just painted the bedroom walls and the bed was "expensive and only a few weeks old."
And of course, there were countless suggestions on how she could clean the kid graffiti.
"I tried gumption, Jif, Koh, paint thinner, sugar soap, hair spray but nothing worked," she said.
Feeling guilty, her 7-year-old tried furiously to clean the walls and bed and offered to foot the damage bill.
"She said that I could have all the money she had saved up to buy a new mattress."
Vayanos says mothers continue to inspire her. She currently helps run a business, Ladies Running Errands, which was inspired by noting a gap in support services for mothers that arose from discussions on Inner West Mums.
Inspiration aside, the bed could not be salvaged, and the family is preparing to repaint the walls.