I was aware of the mom stereotypes way before I became a mom. The harried working mom, the polished and put-together supermom, and the hot mess mom who, despite her best efforts, could not find a shirt that wasn’t smeared with ketchup and drool; I’ve been a blend of them all (some more than others) depending on the day (sometimes the house) and I would wager that plenty of other moms can say the same. However, that’s not to say that there’s anything to apologize for. In fact, there are so many reasons why you shouldn’t apologize for being a hot mess mom, or any other type of mother you may or may not identity with.
However, knowing that I shouldn't say sorry for how I tackle motherhood doesn't mean that I feel all that great when I realize I'm being more of a hot mess mom than, say, the idolized Pinterest-perfect mom. Making mistakes is never easy and when those mistakes are obvious, well, I can't say I'm smiling or wearing my "hot mess mom badge" all that proudly.
In those moments I try to remember that as long as your kids are safe and healthy, why do you need to make any apologies about your parenting? I know, I know, that’s a much easier question to ask than it is to answer, especially if you’re at a restaurant and sitting in a booth that your kid likes to peer over to stare at the people in the next table. And, alright, maybe there are times when apologies are necessary. However, and in general, simply being a hot mess mom isn’t one of those times, and here’s why:
Because We’ve All Been There Before...
Maybe some of us have been there more than others, but "there" is an inherent part of motherhood. Really, anything that involves years of diaper changes will result in some messes, usually made at inconvenient times. There will be days when you must leave the house before you’ve gotten a chance to clean yourself up and there will be days when you forget everything you absolutely need and there will be days when you can't hide your exhaustion or frustration.
It is what it is and there’s no point in fighting it.
...And We Will Probably All Be There Again
I imagine those hot mess days might look different when our kids are different ages. When my son was a baby, it was about finding clean laundry and avoiding anything crusted with spit-up. Now that my son's a toddler, it’s going out with applesauce on my cuffs and a sideways ponytail that resulted from crawling into our living room fort.
I have no idea what’s in store for preschool years and beyond, but I’m going to stock up on laundry detergent and sanitizer.
Because Your Kids Aren’t Noticing
To be honest, I think my son loves me more when I have stickers on my sleeves and marker smudges on my hands. This can really be the only reason why he insists on it on such a regular basis.
Actually, Most People Aren’t Noticing...
To be fair, if we continue with the sticker example, perhaps people do see it. But the real question is, do they care?
Most of us see plenty of moms when we’re out and about, many in various states of polish and disarray after they’ve gone about their own days. We're all adults here, and we can handle it.
...And If They Are, They’re Probably Feeling A Sense Of Solidarity
Parenting is messy and it's hectic, and it’s stressful. Even the parents who are good at getting themselves pulled together before they go out in public still experience the crazy, stressful mess at home, and can relate to whatever a hot mess mom is going through.
Because You Can Ask For Help Without Apologizing
If your state of hot messiness has reached the point where you need help, you never need to apologize for asking for it. Unless, of course, what you’re asking for involves someone else getting as messy as you are, then I suppose it’s OK to offer some courtesy.
Your “Hot Mess” Day Could Be Another Mom’s Dream Day
Your car didn’t start, your dryer broke, your dog’s sick, and the kids are burning energy by acting up? These inconveniences are the results of having the means to provide and to care for and to grow your family, as well as having active kids. In other words; things that might be what others are searching and hoping for.
Because Your Should Never Apologize For Doing Your Best
No one is perfect.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone makes decisions they regret from the major life-changing ones right down to the, “OMG, why didn’t I feed my kids before taking them with me on this epic errand trip?” It’s cool. Lesson learned, let’s all move on, shall we?
Because Your Sloppy Hair And Baggy Sweats And Sloppy Hoodie Have No Bearing On How Much You Love Your Kids...
In fact, sometimes I personally feel even more in love with my kid when I’m a hot mess because it means I’ve been momming extra hard that day. Not always, but sometimes.
...Or How Much Your Kids Love You
Those boogers on my shirt? Yeah, how do you think they got there?
(Hint: it involves a nuzzle from a tiny person looking for comfort and snuggles. I will never apologize for that.)