Every parent has been there.
The sink is overflowing with dishes. Legos cover the entire floor, piercing your foot every time you take a step. And you suddenly realize that you've made the kids chicken nuggets and mac n' cheese five nights in a row.
Every parent has moments where it all seems to be spinning out of control.
But this isn't momentary chaos. It doesn't mean everything is unraveling. Turns out this might just be a normal part of parenting.
Mom and blogger Danielle Silverstein recently made an "admission" on Facebook: "I really AM a hot-mess mom."
The post, on her page called Where the Eff is My Handbook?, detailed a seemingly never-ending list of the ways in which her household is in utter shambles.
"Never once have I thought to myself, 'OMG, I think I’m actually tackling this whole parenthood thing,'" she wrote.
"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.
I’m that mom who grabs her kids’ clothes out of the dryer in the morning because nothing is folded and put away.
I’m that mom who forgets to send in forms and gets calls reminding me that, yes, I need to send in those forms.
I’m that mom who forgets to RSVP and gets a last minute text asking if my kid is coming to the party.
I’m that mom who packs a crazy, one-food-group lunch because I haven’t gotten around to going food shopping.
I’m that mom who 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."
You can read the entire hilarious and all-too-familiar post below:
Near the end of the now super-viral post, Silverstein reaches an important realization.
"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," she writes. "And that’s ok, I’m realizing."
Because, despite the overflowing sink and the overdue paperwork, raising happy, healthy kids is what it's really all about:
"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."
The post has racked up thousands of shares and comments from other parents who want to say, "YES! THANK YOU!"
The truth is that it's never been harder to be a parent. All the usual stuff is still there — the dirty diapers, the tantrums, the picky eaters — but in the age of social media, when every other parent seems to be totally nailing it, the pressure to be "perfect" has never been higher.
Silverstein says enough is enough.
"We don’t deserve to feel down on ourselves," she writes in a Facebook message. "We deserve to feel celebrated. Our job is damn hard."
(That's not an excuse to not try, never feed your kids a single vegetable, or let them get away with whatever they want! But if you have some off-days, you're forgiven.)
We need less carefully filtered Instagrams and more brutal honesty. Silverstein's post was a much-needed rallying cry for moms she calls "hot messes," but in reality are just overworked and under-appreciated.
So let's all raise a glass (or a haphazardly washed sippy cup) to all the parents out there barely holding it together. This one's for you.