Women are held to absolutely absurd and impossible standards. When women are also moms? Double the ridiculousness and the impossibility and, insidiously, the pressure we're under to achieve perfection. This crap is hard for any mom, but it's especially hard if you're a self-proclaimed hot mess mom. Look, not everyone can be Type A (and, frankly, I think the world needs at least some people who are a little more... haphazard). Sometimes hot messiness is a temporary situation. For others it's a way of life. Frankly, either is fine, but there are embarrassing moments every hot mess mom experiences.
Can you blame us for for the hotness of our mess? Motherhood is hard. Kids are chaos personified and, what's more, these little monsters have physically altered our brains to better do their bidding. They're like tiny Draculas: self-interested, but charismatic and hypnotic. We are their thralls. While it's important to take care of yourself and never let all your needs fall by the wayside, the fact of the matter is that being a parent of any stripe requires some level of self-sacrifice. That's just... kind of the gig. These little creatures require your near-constant care and attention. And you know what gets lost in that monumental task? Social niceties. Hygiene. Tact. Our damn minds.
Here are some moments you'll be cringing over later.
1. You Have No Fewer Than Three Stains On You At Any Given Moment
They can be any stains. In fact there will be little that can stain that won't wind up as a stain on you at some point. Coffee. Food. Baby body fluids. Arts and crafts supplies. Mud and dirt. There will also be stains you can guess at but will never definitively know the origin of. This is just who you are. You're busy and clumsy and you don't know the best way to get spit-up off a cardigan. I recommend busy patterns to minimize how conspicuous said stains appear.
2. You Discover Something In Your Hair
Honestly it could be anything. A sticker. A pencil you stuck in your topknot yesterday and forgot about completely. A small toy. A lollipop. You always discover these items, of course, in front of someone. Bad enough to realize your personal grooming habits have really hit rock bottom, but what really seals the hotness of your mess is that other people make that same realization alongside you.
This basic rule can also apply to things you find down your bra, at the bottom of your purse, or in a coat pocket.
3. You're The Last One At Pick-Up... Again
Like... you're basically on time. What's five minutes between friends... or between a caregiver and a mom who got stuck in traffic because she left work late because her boss is also a hot mess and asked her to do something just before she had to head out? I mean, what's really important is that you showed up. That's a victory for everyone.
4. You've Gotten A Date Wrong... Again
If you suspect you are or will be a hot mess mom, it will behoove you to practice the following phrase, because you will be saying it on the reg.
"F*ck! That's today? F*********ck!"
This will apply to basically everything. Birthday parties, school plays, project due dates, doctor's appointments, meetings. You will forget absolutely everything in your life until the last possible minute and then rush to get everything you need to make it happen. Whether or not it will happen... that depends. It's kind of a crap shoot.
5. You're Caught Singing In Your Car
Whatever. Those people at the red light really enjoyed listened to your rendition of Missy Elliot's "Work It."
6. If You Breastfeed, Your Boob Will Be Completely Exposed Without You Knowing It At Least Once
Or, like, a lot. Like... constantly, maybe. I'm just saying it's not outside of the realm of possibility. And while it can happen can happen literally anywhere (at Target, at work after a pumping session, at church), the closer you are to home the more likely it is to happen. I cannot tell you the number of delivery people who have showed up to deliver a package and left with a full view of my entire chest.
So: To the UPS people across the tristate area, I'm sorry. I've never received any complaints, but still...
7. You Trip Over Something While Texting
But it's not your fault. You were just so busy managing your child's schedule and looking up healthy vegan snack recipes and reading a long-form article on the best parenting techniques to get your child into Harvard and...
Ha. No. You were watching a make-up tutorial on IG.
(BTW: your later attempt at recreating that look later is best not spoken of.)
8. You Misread The Tone Of A Mom Conversation In A Group Of Moms And Say Something Uncouth
They seemed like they would appreciate the fact that you called your kid an a--hole. I mean... you were all standing around complaining about the a--holish things your kids do. Are we really going to avoid using the actual term? You're all thinking it and you know it.
9. You Absolutely Cannot Remember Aiden's Mom's Name
You have seen this woman at pick up every day for two years. You know her children (Aiden and Olivia), you know what she does for a living (data analyst), you know her daughter has a serious allergy (tree nuts). You know she and her husband (whose name you know because she's mentioned it a few times... it's Cliff) went on a vacation to the Dominican Republic and where they stayed... but. what. is. her. naaaaaaaaaame? You're in too deep now. It's way too late to ask. You're going to pray that one day she introduces herself to someone else in front of you, or just be cool not knowing for the rest of your life.
10. Your Kid Swears In Mixed Company
"Oh my stars and garters! Heavens to Betsy! Where on Earth did he learn that word? I just can't imagine where the little scamp picked that up."
*pulling child aside*
11. Basically Just Your Life
Don't worry. You make it look cute.
After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.