When my new neighbor knocked on my door one night, I went into panic mode because my house was a mess. I had just barely put the baby to sleep and had yet to put away the toys that lay littered all over my living room. Plus my first was wide awake and smack in the middle of his terrible twos.
I stood at the door trying to decide whether to invite her in or not. I was concerned about the kind of first impression my house would have on my nighttime visitor. I was frazzled as it was and I didn’t want my new neighbor to think that I was nothing but a hot mess. So I stood at my door for what seemed like an eternity before I decided to let her in.
[bctt tweet=”When my neighbour knocked, I panicked. The mess on my floor was too real and I didn’t want her to think that I was nothing but a hot mess #hotmessmom #mummychronicles” username=”wearethetempest”]
I told myself that if she was a mother or a grandmother then she would understand. I made a mental note not to apologize, neither for the state of my living room nor for my hyperactive toddler. I let her in and continued as though the mess on the floor was the norm, as though the fact that my son was jumping all over the seats wasn’t infuriating and didn’t have me feeling embarrassed.
[bctt tweet=”I made a mental note not to apologise for neither the state of my living room nor for my hyper active toddler. I let her in and continued as though the mess on the floor was the norm #hotmessmom #realitycheck” username=”wearethetempest”]
This is the reason why this Facebook post by Danielle Silverstein about being a hot mess mom was shared so widely. It resonates with mothers across geographical and cultural divides. It speaks to an issue all mothers relate to: the expectation of perfection.
[bctt tweet=”Danielle Silverstein’s post on being a #hotmessmom speaks of an issue all mothers relate to… the expectation of perfection.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Motherhood is hard. Taking care of another human being is not a walk in the park. The added responsibility is heavy and women feel it the most as they are still the primary caregivers. Mothers raise kids amid their own insecurities and shifting sense of identity. They sacrifice their sleep, their me-time and sometimes their ambition in a bid to be there for their offspring. They do all this and more with little recognition and almost no avenue to vent.
Yet we still expect perfection from mothers all the time. We expect a clean house and even cleaner kids when we show up at their door. We expect mothers to handle it without ever breaking into a sweat. But the reality on the ground is different. Mothers have days a thousand times worse than your bad days and they deserve a break.
[bctt tweet=”Mothers raise children amid their own insecurities and shifting identities yet we still expect them to have it handled… always #hotmessmom ” username=”wearethetempest”]
Posts like that one should be more commonplace. We should actively push back against the perfect earth mother myth because it makes mothers have unrealistic expectations of their new roles. The subsequent and unavoidable gap between this expectation and reality is where postnatal depression rears its ugly head.
[bctt tweet=”We should actively push back against the perfect earth mother myth. It is an impossible ideal that we should not hold mothers to #hotmessmom” username=”wearethetempest”]
Instead of advancing a narrative that makes all of us feel like we have to be real life Stepford Moms, we should peel back the mask and show the world the truth. We should do this unashamedly because none of us is perfect.