I have no idea how long the term “hot mess mom” has been around, but I feel like I hear it everywhere. “I’m always late to everything; I’m such a hot mess.” “I haven’t washed my hair all week; I’m such a hot mess.” “I forgot to pack diapers in my bag; I’m such a hot mess.” “My kids haven’t eaten a vegetable for days; I’m such a hot mess.” You get the point. You name whatever you believe is not living up to the societal norm, and then add “I’m a hot mess” to the end of it.
Can I just say that I am over this trend? I am 110% for vulnerability in life, but why does that mean that we’re a mess? Is there anyone who is free of areas that need work? Do we truly believe there is this magical creature of a mother who exists? A mother who has it all together? A woman who everyday is flawlessly coiffed, dressed perfectly chic, who never forgets anything for anyone in her life, only eats health food, does all the things for everybody, only wears workout clothes when working out, and is never late to anything?
We’re all smart women here. We know this unicorn mom does not exist.
When we label ourselves as being a hot mess, I feel that we are diminishing who we are and what we do as parents, adults, and human beings. Let’s face it, being any or all of those things at any given time can be challenging. Hygiene, chores, health, finances, shuttling of small children, hygiene-chores-health of small children, jobs, doing things that bring you joy, doing things that don’t bring you joy but you still have to do them, being a loving and attentive wife/mother/daughter/friend, and so on. Each one of those areas are multi-faceted. Let’s give ourselves some grace, because clearly we have a lot on our plate. If you’re a mess, by all means claim it. My guess though is that for most of us we’re setting the expectation for ourselves a bit too high. More so, when we tell people we’re a hot mess, we are unintentionally setting that bar for who we talk to as well. “If she’s a hot mess, I guess I’m a hot mess, too.”
Here is what I propose: let’s continue to be real and honest with each other, but let’s also be kind to ourselves. As I write this I’m in dire need of a shower, I’ve worn workout clothes almost everyday regardless of if I’ve actually worked out, I’m 10 pounds heavier than normal, and my family has eaten out for almost every meal this week. These are not my ideal standards, but this is life! It’s perfectly imperfect. I know that I’m trying my best and loving people, and that is good enough for me.
I leave you with the wise words of Tina Fey, “It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated, perfect is boring.”