I have a secret. No matter how perfect a mom looks in the drop off line at school or on Instagram, I assure you, she's not perfect. That's OK. And then there's the rest of us, the hot mess moms, with bad hair days and mismatched socks who constantly run late and say or do the wrong thing on a daily basis. Yeah, we're human, too. It's time for society (and other moms) to stop expecting perfection. Those "hot mess moments" are basically a mom just being a human being, and that's OK because moms are human beings.
When we hold other moms (and ourselves) up to impossible standards, we set a bar too high to reach, let alone leap over. I not only accept that I'm nowhere near perfect, I run with it (or more accurately trip over it) and embrace my hot messiness. I want other moms to understand that it's OK to make mistakes. Motherhood isn't a competition and when you treat it that way, no one wins.
It's time for moms to realize that they don't have to be perfect. When we give up the culture of perfection, and the cult of "sanctimommy," we can put a dent in the patriarchy. If we all do it, that's going to be a pretty big dent. Let's support each other in our imperfection and find ways to laugh at the hot mess moments that fill our days. After all, those moments prove that we are actually human beings. When we make it through them, we're not just hot mess moms, we're freaking badasses.
When You Do School Drop Off In Your Pajamas
I am constantly that mom who throws her boots and hat (or flip flops and sunglasses) on to run out the door and do school drop off in my pajamas. If I'm honest, now that I work from home I do this for school pick up, too. Motherhood is not a popularity contest, and even if it was, I have blue hair in a red state. I'm not likely to win it anyway.
When You Are Late. Again.
We've determined that we almost always leave the house 40 minutes later than planned – 10 minutes for each child we have. Except for school drop off. See above.
When You Run Out Of Milk, Or Worse, Coffee
As much as I try to use grocery lists and organizational tools, we are always out of something in our house. I when I go shopping I constantly forget things at the store. Usually it's the only cereal my kids will eat this week (which is likely different from last week), milk, or coffee. The last one is of significant concern, because I have no clue how to function to go get coffee, without having coffee in the first place.
When You Fall Asleep At Work
This really only happens once in a while. Well, maybe only on mornings when I didn't get enough sleep the night before or on afternoons after I've had a big lunch, or when I've run out of coffee. #FML
When You Wear Two Different Shoes
I wish I was making this one up. This is what happens when you find shoes you like and buy them in every color, especially during the winter months when it's dark in your bedroom, and you are trying to get out the door on time. See also: the time when I brought two left shoes to the gym to teach interval training. I bet my students wondered why we did barefoot kickboxing that day for our cardio.
When You Forget To Sentd Something Important To School With Your Kid
When you have three kids in elementary school, you have to have a system. All backpacks get checked for homework and permission slips when the kids get home and are re-packed the night before. I wish.
Excuse me for a moment, school is calling because a child forgot their lunch, homework, trombone, gym shoes, project, item for show and tell.
When You Forget To Put Eyeliner On One Of Your Eyes
I hate it when I catch someone looking at me funny and then realize that I only put eyeliner on one eye, forgot mascara, am only wearing lip liner but no lipstick. I really should be banned from applying cosmetics before coffee.
When You Have A Stain On Your Shirt
I have had a stain on my shirt since 2009. It moves and changes form. Sometimes it's on my baby bump or larger than normal boobs. When I wear white, it's coffee or soda. When I wear black, it's yogurt. When I am breastfeeding, it's a pair of wet spots or spit up down my back. When I have a toddler, it's a small hand print. Don't even get me started on cat hair.
When You Say Something Completely Inappropriate
I am constantly either sticking my foot in my mouth or having words come out in the wrong order or context. Like when I say, "I love you," before hanging up with customer service, or when I say, "You, too," when a store clerk tells me "Thanks for shopping here."
Then, there's the time when my daughter asked me why I became a vegetarian, and I explained that it's because I don't want animals to have to die to make my food. She was horrified. Or the time when I explained to her that she shouldn't be imminently afraid of global warming, because by the time the earth dies, everyone she knows will be dead. That went over real well.
I should really just start smiling and nodding, instead of talking.
When You Mess Up
There have been so many times when we have had scheduling snafus, creating momentary panic and requiring quick thinking and creativity. Like when my husband and I both thought the other person was picking the kids up from school and daycare. It's like the worst story problem imaginable, "If I leave home now, driving at a pace of 'trying to not getting pulled over,' and spouse leaves work 45 miles away, driving at a pace of exactly nine miles over the speed limit, who will get there in time?"
When You Cry
I cry. A lot. I can't help it. When you are as big of a mess as I am, you have two choices: give up, or accept that you are human and will occasionally (or frequently) screw things up. It's endearing, right? Right?
Sometimes tears will come, from frustration or from literally falling on your face. Get it out, mama. If you are gonna be a mess, you might as well be a hot one. You can do this.