A North Carolina mom is sharing a relatable and funny take on the traditional back-to-school photo trend.
Instead of placing her kids front and center, Jeni Bukolt, a mom of two and the owner of branding agency HAVEN Creative, snapped a recent selfie wearing sunglasses and holding up a black sign mimicking the chalkboards that have become ubiquitous in kids' back-to-school pictures, sharing the photo to Instagram on Monday.
Where the chalkboard would usually list a child's age, grade and teacher, and favorite things, Bukolt's sign read, "Mom's First Day of School" along with several all-too-real admissions, including:
"I am 42 years tired."
"I'll probably miss a school 'theme' day."
"I really like sleep."
And last but not least, "Please don't ask me to volunteer, but I will buy you supplies."
"Happy 'Back to School' season to all the parents. May we not forget a 'theme' day or accidentally send our kids to the bus stop on the teacher work days, or forget to pick them up on the randomly scheduled half days," Bukolt wrote in the accompanying caption. "May we have patience and give each other grace for doing our best!"
Bukolt, who lives in Waxhaw, North Carolina, with her husband and two sons, said the hilarious post was inspired by her desire to connect with other parents and share a snippet of her reality.
"I thought maybe if I can create a lighthearted moment, some other moms will laugh and understand we're all in this kind of struggle together. Like, let's have empathy for each other," Bukolt told "Good Morning America."
"I also feel like when you look at social media, there's all these, [picture perfect] worlds. It's not the true story. And some people think like, 'Oh, they have it better or they're perfect,' and this is an opportunity to say no, we're all real human beings ... we're all in the struggle together."
Bukolt added it wasn't a pre-planned project.
"It really was a last-minute thing," the mom and entrepreneur continued. "I did it right after my boys were getting ready to go to school and the whole purpose behind it was just the struggle of myself going, 'Here comes another year. I hope I don't forget anything.' Because trying to be an entrepreneur and a wife and a mom and juggling all the things, I feel like I'm constantly failing in some area of my life."
Bukolt said she's heard from fellow parents since sharing the photo. "Most of the comments have been positive and funny, which I feel makes me feel better knowing that I'm not the only parent that struggles with trying to be the best parent," she said.
And for her critics, Bukolt said at the end of the day, her post was all in good fun.
"If other moms can get a good laugh about it, then that makes my heart happy," she said.