In my former life before kids, I had it all together. My apartment was spotless. My cute little desk area was always tidy with adorable hot pink sticky notes and bills paid on time. I spent my Saturdays doing the one or two loads of laundry my husband and I generated and washed a few dishes after we made chicken or burgers on our tiny balcony grill. Then we’d take a leisurely stroll around the lake, stop at a bookstore or coffee shop, and rent a movie. So cute, we were. So damn adorable.
Now? That girl is a distant memory, replaced by a hot mess mom who can’t remember if she brushed her teeth, with an overflowing sink full of dirty dishes, and at least one kid out of clean underwear. And it sounds like Where the Eff is My Handbook can relate.
In a recent Facebook post, Danielle Silverstein, who runs Where the Eff is My Handbook with fellow mom and friend Farrah Maliavsky, talks about being a hot mess mom. And women everywhere are saying yessssss and thanking her for keeping it real.
“Ok, full disclosure: I really AM a hot-mess mom,” her post begins. “I am consistently five steps behind where I should be in the world of responsible adulting. Like, for real. Never once have I thought to myself, ‘OMG, I think I’m actually tackling this whole parenthood thing.'”
And thank God for this breath of honesty, because who among us actually DOES think they are rocking parenting? And if you do have that confidence, please tell us your secret.
What I love most about Danielle’s post is that just because she admits to being a hot mess, doesn’t mean she’s a bad mom. In fact, she’s actually a pretty awesome one.
“Do I think I’m a good mom? Yeah, I really do. But I don’t have it all together by any stretch of the imagination. And that’s ok, I’m realizing. I’m not so sure having it together and being a good mom are even synonymous,” she says.
When asked what does make a good mom, Danielle replied, “I don’t know exactly, but I do know it has nothing to do with organization, deadlines, and cleanliness and way more to do with kindness and love and laughter.”
Well, then I think I’m going okay. And I’ll bet you are, too.
She goes on to detail why she’s a hot mess, saying, “I am that mom who doesn’t do dishes at night before I go to bed. I do dishes when I get around to doing dishes.” Also of relatable note, she admits, “I’m that mom who grabs her kids’ clothes out of the dryer in the morning because nothing is folded and put away.”
And she not afraid of being “that mom” who “packs a crazy, one-food-group lunch because I haven’t gotten around to going food shopping.” She even “lets her kids have endless screen time sometimes (ok, more than sometimes) just because I don’t feel like fighting and need to get a few things done.”
At the end of her post, though, Danielle says something that serves as an important reminder for us all. She might be hot mess, but you know what else she is?
“I’m also that mom whose kids are safe.
I’m also that mom whose kids are, for the most part, happy.
I’m also that mom whose home has lots of love and laughter.
I’m also that mom who cheers on her kids and is their biggest fan.
I’m also that mom who is constantly working to show her kids they are accepted no matter what.
I’m also that mom who takes her kids to do cool stuff and have great experiences.
I’m also that mom who loves being a mom.”
That’s it. THAT is the definition of a good mom. Loved. Safe. Accepted. That’s the stuff. Clean counters, fancy lunches, strict screen rules, and neatly folded clothes are great. You can be a kick-ass mom and do all of those things. But what makes you GREAT? Loving them. Cheering for them. Being there for them.
Danielle will be the first to say that if you’re doing all these things, you’re “pretty fabulous.”
And I’ll bet your kids think so, too. And when they are grown, I’ll bet your kids will remember your bedtime snuggles and your laugh far more than how clean your counters were.