The award for the most relatable Facebook post I’ve seen all year may just have to go to Kara Lewis Newton. On November 21, the mom of three from Fishers, Indiana posted a perfectly imperfect confessional on her page, beginning with just two words: chopped celery.
What followed was the most brutally honest commentary on modern parenting … ever:
“Chopped celery. That’s what I’m driving to my son’s school today,” Lewis Nelson’s post began. “Why? Because I don’t look in his folder. I missed that he needed to bring chopped celery to school today, and I have no idea why he needs it, but he does. So I’m driving it to him praying that he gets it on time.”
But this wasn’t Lewis Newton’s first slip-up, and it probably won’t be her last. After all, the 35-year-old mom of three is human. And humans “miss things;” moms all over the world “miss things.” It’s par for the course, and yet that doesn’t stop us all from beating ourselves up over it.
“My kids don’t always have clean socks. We ate at Wendy’s last night. I forget to RSVP to parties. [And] we never have cash when we need it. (But who does?)”
She’s right: Who does?
It’s impossible to read Lewis Newton’s post and not instantly feel like she’s literally reaching into your head and pulling out your own thoughts. Feeling like you’re constantly dropping balls — no matter how hard you try — can be one of the most frustrating parts of this whole parenting thing. And what’s almost impossible to remember, is that all of us are simultaneously dropping balls. None of us are getting it completely right. We’re just too caught up in our own chaos to see each other’s missteps.
“My kid doesn’t always have his coat. There might be Halloween candy in their lunches. I sign without reading sometimes. And I don’t always check my kids folders. The good news is that Lewis Newton didn’t beat herself up too much, at least so it seems. Because what matters isn’t clean socks or a container of chopped celery, what matters is that Silas, Lila, and Jack are loved. Happy, healthy, and loved.”
“I love them. And I work dang hard for them. And I’m banking on the fact that 20 years from now, they won’t remember that their mom forgot the chopped celery. I am praying they remember how hard I fought for them everyday to have a good life … one where they know they are fiercely loved no matter what.”
Unsurprisingly, Lewis Newton’s post has quickly gone viral. In the last week alone, it’s garnered over 55,000 likes and been shared more than 26,000 times. It even got some play on Love What Matters, a Facebook page devoted to sharing positive news stories.
It’s also inspired strangers from all over the Internet to give her a virtual high-five for her honesty:
“Yes to all of this! Love that you are real Kara!” wrote one Facebook user.
“Every mother has had those moments and has agonized with guilt over it,” wrote another. “Now that my kids are grown they assure me they don’t remember anything and they had the best Mother. We all live through it and I’m the only one it warped.”
And many others shared personal childhood memories of their own moms:
“I can’t remember the days my mom forgot one thing or another,” another user chimed in. “I remember the special dinner dates just me [and] her, the sick days she made special (even though, looking back, she had all of the typical errands), and her working to provide for us through thick and thin.”
Speaking with Babble, Lewis Newton admits she’s been “totally shocked” by the response to her post. “I have always been very real on my Facebook wall,” she says. “My friends that know me joked [about it going viral] because they said this post was no different than any of my other posts.”
But in the end, the best part about going viral so far has been the amazing outpouring of supportive comments and thank you’s from other moms all over the world. “I was taken aback by all the women who expressed their thanks for helping them not feel so ‘alone,’ says Lewis Newton. “It makes me sad that we aren’t more honest with one another and able to lock arms with other moms and do this thing called ‘motherhood’ thing together.”
In an age where mom guilt and “bad parent”-shaming runs rampant, it’s no wonder why her post struck a cord. This is precisely the message every mom should be reading and sharing and reminding themselves of every day — if for no other reason than to cut themselves some much-needed slack.
Despite our best efforts, we all “miss things.”
We all feel like we’re desperately falling short, no matter how hard we try.
We’re all perfectly imperfect, just doing the best we can for our kids.
And we’re all in this together.More On