I keep seeing this meme going around Facebook that says something like “all moms are a hot mess some are just better at hiding it” and it drives me bonkers. It is not true and it is a disservice to let new moms (or any moms) think there is no hope for getting a sense of peace into their lives if they want it.
I am a mom and I am not a hot mess.
I can say this with certainty because I used to be a hot mess. I was a hot mess long before kids and right up until a few years ago. I decided I was unhappy. I decided I wanted things to be different. I decided I did not want to be a hot mess anymore. So I changed.
My level of personal chaos, disorganization, confusion, over scheduling, and mental confusion was of championship merit. I wanted to do, be, and experience it all. I practiced no control over my life and its outcome. It (and I) was miserable.
Slowly I began stepping away from those choices. Stepping out of mainstream parenting was a huge step and helped immensely. Homeschooling took away the need to be up at a certain time, pack lunches that I did not know if my kids would feel like eating, and face the inauthenticity of fighting with my kids to go to a place they did not want to go. This also freed up time for my kids to have experiences during the day instead of trying to cram them into afternoons or weekends.
My husband obtaining a job with less travel also helped. Having two adults to clean and launder every night is a big deal. Finding a work from home career that could be done with my kids helped our financial picture.
Mostly what helped though was a decision that being a “hot mess” was not fun, fulfilling, or desirable. It seemed like the glorification of busy again.
Not being a hot mess does not mean that life is eezy-breezy, or that I never lose my shit. I totally do. It just means that my life, and therefore the lives of my children, are no longer in a state of chaos. We are not constantly running from one activity or commitment to the next. We are not over scheduled. We make plans that can be cancelled. We keep meals simple. We prioritize enjoying each other and life.
I will be called various names for saying these things, no doubt. Anytime we talk about making positive changes we are ridiculed. It’s okay though, because along with the decision to stop being a hot mess came the beginnings of calm and confidence. I no loner live on the brink. I can process what is being said. I can turn it over and see if it means anything to me.
See, we women are capable. We are capable of becoming moms and keeping our sanity. We can strive for the life we want while LIVING! with our kids. Sure it looks different and there will always be messy times, but we don’t have to identify as living as a “hot mess” if we do not want to.
If this kind of thing is empowering or desirable to you, awesome. You go, girl. If it is not though, and you think it is a requirement of motherhood, let mine be the voice who calls bullshit.
If you want things to be different, go for it. Motherhood (and living in general probably) is overgeneralized and we are all lumped onto the same damn conveyor belt. Step off and live your life. Do not believe the memes that say life is chaotic and crazy, because it is only that way if we make it that way- whether we are moms or not.