As moms, I think we STRIVE to “have it all together”—even though we know it’s pretty much impossible. But there’s something about “keeping up appearances” that calls to us—me included! For instance, my house is ALWAYS gonna be a mess, but I’m ALWAYS gonna have my makeup done. Just the way I am. Keeping up at least one part of the appearance makes me feel accomplished! And the pressure society puts on us to be “perfect” parents as well as look good and have our babies in the most adorable outfits? Is REAL. It’s dumb, but it’s real. It takes real courage to be able to shove that off and say. “My BEST is good enough, even if it doesn’t look like it to the world.” Because as much pressure as we feel to have it all together, I think most moms innately know what’s REALLY important. We just have to be brave enough to choose it.
Maybe that’s why when I saw this post by mom Cierra Lyn Fortner on Facebook, I was SUPER touched. Cierra was shopping at Walmart when she was complimented for “having it all together”—but she took the time to be honest and REAL about what was going on under the surface.
Today I was at Walmart doing my weekly Friday shopping when the cashier says to me “I see you in here all the time, your kids are always dressed cute, behaving and you just seem to have it all together” at the time I just thanked her and giggled because that’s far from the truth but as I drove home there was more I wanted her to know about me.
I want her to know I battle a personality disorder everyday with anxiety and depression mixed and I’m a two times suicide survivor.
I want her to know that I can’t always get myself up off the couch to feed them anything more than frozen pizza and cereal.
I want her to know that my son is late for school 3 out of 4 days because I regularly forget what day and time it is, despite the toddler size calendar in my kitchen.
I want her to know I have those “I’m losing my shit” moments when I have to lock myself in the bathroom and cry.
I want her to know I wasn’t always the most active mom because I use to work 80 hours a week and go to school full time and Jayce spent many days and nights with his grandparents.
I want her to know that I hadn’t washed my hair in 3 days and my kids hadn’t had a bath in 2.
I want her to know that I was trying to hurry out of there because I had forgot the diaper bag at home and Brenton was hungry.
I want her to know that once we got to the parking lot the “well behaved” child decided to stand up in the cart and I wasn’t paying attention and barely caught him as he almost hit the concrete.
But most importantly I want her to know I don’t have it together and may never have it all together. I don’t know a mother out there that has it all together but everything we do is done with love for our children and that right there makes you the perfect mom and in our children’s eyes we most definitely have it all together.
From one exhausted mom to another, you’re doing great, have that melt down, let your kids eat the crap out of that cereal and take care of yourself always.
Whew! I will confess I had to wipe a tear from my eye after those last couple paragraphs. I love the way Fortner lays her soul bare, from her mental health struggles to her kids’ imperfect behavior to the battle we moms go through just to keep ourselves and our kids CLEAN, for goodness sake!
Mamas, we may not have it “all together” — but we should ALWAYS have EACH OTHER.
Do you know a mama who needs to read this today? I hope you’ll share it with her on Facebook! See Fortner’s original post below.