— -- Who can blame a mom of two young babies for wanting to primp a bit before a big event?
That's all Gemma Colley was trying to do before an upcoming wedding. She got a spray tan. And by accident, her baby did, too.
"I'd purchased a yellow dress for an Indian wedding which I was attending on the 2nd August,” The Wakefield, U.K., mom told ABC News via email. “As I'm as pasty as Casper the friendly ghost I'd discussed having a spray tan done with my friend who's a beauty therapist. I'm not one to get regular tans, I think the last time I had one was also for a wedding about two years ago, but yellow isn't the most forgiving color on pale skin, so it was a no brainer."
Her husband took her two sons, 2 and 7 months, while she got sprayed and dried. Then she headed home to breast-feed her son, Cooper, as per usual.
"Once he had finished his feed I put my lovely little milk drunk baby in his cot only to discover a 5 o'clock shadow. My first thought: 'Oh, my goodness, what have I done?'"
She'd forgotten all about the tan.
Luckily, much of the color came off Cooper's face with a few baby wipes, but the photo Colley snapped before cleaning him up quickly went viral. Coley said she did see "the funny side to this and wanted to let my friends on Facebook know about my faux pas."
She got such a good response she posted it to the Unmumsy Mums Facebook page, where it received 100,000 “likes” in one day.
Colley said she shared the photo "so other mums could see the funny side to parenthood, and know they weren't the only ones to make mistakes."
While the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, she did get some negative comments. "[There were] people saying I was selfish for getting a tan in the first place, to people accusing me of abusing my child by purposefully feeding him fake tan. I can confirm this is absolutely not the case, I love my babies so much and would never intentionally harm them. They are my everything."
In the end, Colley's glad she shared her parenting mishap. "All I can say is being a mummy is bloody hard at times and when I'm not dealing with sick and poo, I'm trying not to put the milk in the cupboard and cereal in the fridge," she said. "Anyone who claims they are the perfect parent, I'm not convinced this is possible. We all have mishaps, I was just brave enough to admit it, but at the end of the day we're all trying to do our very best to bring good people into the world."