All Moms are Not a Hot Mess

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.

image of face with text saying all moms are not a hot mess

All Moms are Not a Hot Mess by Jennifer Andersen

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.


Anger is Not My Contribution to the World

Anger is Not My Contribution to the World by Jennifer Andersen

A couple of weeks ago at the Free to Be Unschooling Conference, Sandra Dodd gave me a gift. She, and the conference, have given me many gifts toward my journey of creating a happier life. Like all those gifts that have come before, this one was timely. Sandra gave a talk called "Being Calm". All that she shared was helpful and there was one … Continue Reading...

Our Family Life is Better, Not Perfect

image saying PSA: Our Family Life is Better, Not perfect.

I read a comment on my Facebook page recently that gave me an a-ha moment. Even though what I predominantly talk about is getting better at parenting, my posts could lead one to believe that my family lives in a nice and peaceful home. My posts could make it look like I've got it all figure out, and I so. do. not. So today, I would like to … Continue Reading...

“She’s All Girl”: The Uncertainty of Responding to Ignorance

"She's All Girl": The Uncertainty of Responding to Ignorance
by Jennifer Andersen

This situation comes up more regularly that we would like, doesn't it? Somebody makes an unknowing remark to or around our children, and we find ourselves responding to ignorance. This happened to me last week. We were shopping at HomeGoods when my six year old declared "this is amaze" testing our the new-to-her slang word after hearing it … Continue Reading...

Ridiculously Easy Vegan Black Bean Tacos Recipe

Ridiculously Easy Vegan Black Bean Tacos

Vegan Black Bean Tacos Tacos are something I really missed when I decided to eat a vegan diet. Taco shells and veggies were not an adequate replacement. We've tried all of the fake meats, but none compare to this Vegan Black Bean Tacos "recipe"! I love finding really delicious ways to eat the things I missed! This Vegan Black Bean Tacos … Continue Reading...

Homeschool Fall: Moving Beyond Old Expectations

Homeschool Fall: Moving Beyond Outdates Expectations

It happens every year. Fall rolls around and kids go back to school. Many of my fellow homeschool families are busy forming schedules and registering for classes. For us though, Fall is just like Summer, which is just like Spring, which is just like Winter. While we love the change of seasons, they don't bring required changes to our daily … Continue Reading...

Overcoming Negativity: Switching My Life Feed to Positive and Intentional Living

Overcoming Negativity: Switching My Life Feed to Positive by Jennifer Andersen

Being intentional about what fills my world is a priority for me, so I had to eliminate the negativity that surrounded me. This includes social media and my in-person circle of friends because it is all part of my life feed. I have been adjusting my family and friend relationships to shield myself from negativity. I stopped watching the news. I … Continue Reading...

Why I Do Not Make My Kids Share: Empowering Myself and My Kids

Why I Do Not Make My Kids Share by Jennifer Andersen

From the beginning it never felt right. Every time I forced my 18 month old to share a toy the sound of my own voice drove me bonkers. Ultimately, I decided not to make my kids share. As my son got older, I found myself conflicted. I knew the people I was with expected me to step in when my two year old would not share- to teach him a lesson, to … Continue Reading...

In the Wake of Orlando: When Darkness Falls Be the Light

In the Wake of Orlando be Light in the Darkness by Jennifer Hilliard

This is a Facebook post written by a dear friend of mine- a woman who is brave. Jennifer is sharing her words in hopes that her voice might add to the light that is surely permeating the darkness. Thank you, Jen. I've been struggling to find the right things to say in the wake of this tragedy in Orlando, but the truth is that there really isn't … Continue Reading...

Instead of Judging My Kids I say “I Love Being Your Mom”

Instead of Judging My Kids I Say "I Love Being Your Mom" by Jennifer Andersen

A couple of years ago, I read this piece about changing the way I speak to my children. It resonated immediately. Even though I meant well with my words, telling my daughter that she's an excellent hula hooper, or my son that he's a good builder, was forging an unintentional path for them. It created tension. I was placing value on what they … Continue Reading...

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