I have a confession.
My kids are slowly destroying our house, one flooded bathroom floor and lipstick-painted rug at a time. As I write this, my daughter is digging Nutella from the jar with a Lego and eating it. She is failing mightily at actually getting it into her mouth.
It’s not unusual these days for my 4- and 2-year-old to have near-total run of the place as I snuggle and rock the baby to sleep, because for some reason that’s the only she will stay asleep, and if baby don’t sleep, mama don’t sleep. And mama don’t play that.
So, Utter Destruction of our Home it is.
Before I continue, let me say I’m fully aware there are Mom Shamers out there who will say I’m lazy or not strict enough, or that I’m raising hellions for kids who won’t know what their boundaries are.
But shh… don’t tell them… I don’t give a damn.
I arrived at my state of DGAF honestly. There was a time when, as a new mom, I really struggled with everything–the exhaustion, the overwhelming responsibility, the anxiety.
But when I reached out to some moms, I didn’t get any honesty.
And it pissed me right the hell off.
That’s when I promised, I would never, ever be That Mom.
You know her.
She’s the one who’s all wide-eyed and, “Great!!!!” when you ask how she’s feeling after her emergency C-section as she’s still on bed rest and the baby is wailing in the background; or the one who’s all “Awesome!!! 12 straight hours!!” when you ask how her 6-week-old is sleeping.
Sure, she could be being honest. But Bigfoot could also be real and my house could also be the next feature in Architectural Digest.
So, you could say I am one who enjoys a little side of Realness with my main course of Exhaustion as a mom. It’s just what I appreciate. And I know a lot of other moms who prefer to get the real deal when it comes to motherhood, too.
So today, I ask you, humbly (and only through a computer, because I haven’t yet showered and damn it if I am going to get out of these lounge pants unless forcibly removed), one small thing.
Don’t be that mom.
Be the other Mom—the Honest Mom.
You know the one I’m talking about.
The truth-teller mom. The mom who commiserates. The mom who shares her lowest and highest points. The mom who tells you how she finally got her baby to latch and nurse. The mom who tells you how relieved she was to finally put her baby on formula. The mom who sleep trained her baby to regain her sanity. The mom who didn’t sleep train because it felt too against her nature. The mom who laughs in utter disbelief that her 6-week-old is sleeping through the night. The moms who cries because she can’t move another muscle because she’s paralyzed by exhaustion. The mom who asks if you need a meal to be delivered. The mom who offers to pick up your kid from daycare when you’re running late. The mom who breaks down in front of you when she’s telling you her horror stories, then lifts you up by telling you how she got through it all.
By owning our vulnerability, we give others permission to do the same. And that’s a beautiful thing.
So, Be That mom. To your family, to friends, to strangers. Because you never know who you could be helping with your honest story.
Be That Mom, then tell her to pass it on.
Sonni Abatta is a mom of three who runs an Orlando lifestyle and mom blog and whose kids run her life. She’s not sure who wins in that matchup. Reach out with qualms, questions or collabs to Sonni@SonniAbatta.com.