She's battling anxiety and depression, and now this mama is speaking out about the side of parenting most people don't see.
Mom Cierra Lyn Fortner was shopping at Walmart recently when a cashier complimented her on her kids' cute outfits, their good behavior, and the fact that the mom-of-two always seemed to "have it all together."
Fortner giggled and thanked her. But then later, she took to Facebook to drop the mask in a brutally honest post, because there was more, she said, she wanted that cashier to know.
"I want her to know I battle a personality disorder every day with anxiety and depression mixed, and I'm a two-time suicide survivor," she began. "I want her to know that I can't always get myself up off the couch to feed them anything more than frozen pizza and cereal.... that my son is late for school 3 out of 4 days because I regularly forget what day and time it is. I want her to know I have those 'I'm losing my shit' moments when I have to lock myself in the bathroom and cry... that I hadn't washed my hair in 3 days and my kids hadn't had a bath in 2. I want her to know that I was trying to hurry out of there because I had forgot the diaper bag at home and Brenton was hungry... that once we got to the parking lot the 'well behaved' child decided to stand up in the cart and I wasn't paying attention and barely caught him as he almost hit the concrete. But most importantly I want her to know I don't have it together and may never have it all together."
Bravo, Mama! Parenting isn't easy, even under the most ideal circumstances. Those quick glimpses we get of each other in the grocery store or at school pick-up often fail to tell the whole story. Same goes for the carefully edited versions of ourselves we share with the world online. Pizza and cereal are thrice-weekly go-tos in my house—but you won't see me posting pictures of that on my Instagram!
I don't struggle with anxiety and depression like Fortner does, but as a parent just trying to make it through to the next day, her post is completely relatable nonetheless.
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"I don't know a mother out there that has it all together but everything we do is done with love for our children and that right there makes you the perfect mom and in our children's eyes we most definitely have it all together," she explains. "From one exhausted mom to another, you're doing great, have that melt down, let your kids eat the crap out of that cereal and take care of yourself always."
Yes to all of that!
Now, if only I had remembered to buy milk.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.