The parenting world is full of ups and downs and twists and turns, and I’m not just talking about raising kids. A big part of it also includes interacting with other parents in the process.
Nicole Walters still considers herself new to the parenting world. Though she’s been a mom for the past three years, her family’s adoption of their three daughters just became official. She also entered new territory this year as she dropped off her 18-year-old daughter at college for the first time, and enrolled her 6-year-old in kindergarten.
Walters also just moved to a new suburban neighborhood, where she’s experiencing a common dilemma in the parenting world: getting kids off to school alongside other moms who look elegant at all hours of the day, and appear to have this mom thing nailed down to a science.
“You see her?” Walters says to the camera in a Facebook video that’s now going viral. “There she goes, she’s so fancy. She’s so fancy … She’s just so good at life, I’m going to get back inside before she sees me.”
In the video, Walters can be seen in clothes from the night before with a bonnet over her hair, crouching and hiding next to the window as the morning bus stop routine gets underway. She sends her nanny to fill in for her at the bus stop with her kindergartner, and gives hilarious commentary as the whole thing goes down, nailing the early morning pressures of chatting with fancy bus stop moms — while looking like a hot mess yourself.
“Have any of you ever had to deal with other moms at the bus stop?” she asks. “It’s traumatic. I’m literally hiding in my house right now.”
It’s at this point that another mom walks down the street with her kids, looking well put-together in her usual upscale tennis outfit and designer coffee. You can hear the usual high-pitched pleasant chit-chat in the background at the bus stop. It all leaves Walters with a common feeling as the hot-mess mom, but she proudly flies the hot-mess flag.
“I like to call my parenting a functional hot mess parenting,” she continues. “Like, I’m a hot mess, but I’m functional, I get stuff done.”
She makes a humorous stab at a common issue: moms feeling pressured or inferior to other moms that appear to have it all together. But despite learning all of the new quirks and nuances that come along with parenting, she knows the bottom line.
“I had no idea there were unspoken rules!” she admits. “No cupcakes on birthdays — bring a pencil for the kids. Don’t use BPA plastic cups — are you a mother or a murderer? I mean, there’s no end to the ways that we manage to shame, embarrass, or judge fellow moms, when the truth is, NONE OF US KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING. Haha! I happily wear the ‘awkward, slightly jealous of the mom who’s tummy bounced back after twins’ while I’m still trying to remember my FitBit and my kids jacket’ badge — every single day. I’m not worried about learning the quirks, just being present and loving my babies!”
Walters is honest, hilarious, and all-too-real — but if she looks familiar to you, that’s because this isn’t her first hilarious Facebook video to go viral since she started opening up about her new parenting journey. Just last week, she swept the Internet with a video of herself driving to her 18-year-old daughter’s college dorm, after her texts went ignored for three days.
“I’ve learned that there’s a lot of freedom in showing that we aren’t perfect at every step of the journey, and that vulnerability can be empowering to your fellow business owner!” she says. “It’s natural for me to share a real, and often humorous look at every day life with the Walters — and if it let’s another Mom know she’s a hot mess too … we’ll we’re in it together, sister!”
It’s at this point in the video that Walters sneaks around outside to show a glimpse of the scene at the bus stop. As the bus pulls away, she hurries back inside just before Tennis Mom walks by.
When asked how she might handle it if Tennis Mom happened to catch a glimpse of the video, Walters tells Babble: “Yikes! That wasn’t the plan! Haha! However, if she DOES see it — I’m so okay with that, ’cause then we can mutually stand at the bus stop in awkwardness.”
Despite making honest videos that poke fun at common parental dramas, she knows that other parents can also offer valuable wisdom and help.
“Raising children,” she say, “It’s the hardest job in the world — that’s often made complicated by other parents and their unsolicited opinions. However, I do believe in the phrase ‘it takes a village’ and I can’t count how many times a kind, considerate, parent pitched in some advice that made sure my kid wasn’t the only one in jeans on Pajama Day. It’s all in how they deliver the love, and making sure you’re prepared to receive it.”
At the end of the video, Walters and her nanny (who, by the way, asked to borrow a blazer before heading to the bus stop to look a little more put together herself) share a knowing moment before going on about their day… no doubt wanting to do a good ‘ole round of rock, paper, scissors for who takes afternoon pickup.