Indiana mom Kara Lewis Newton speaks for every imperfect parent in a new, viral post that was shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page. Her candid confessional about missing things and messing up has close to 40,000 shares and more than 112,000 reactions. Why? Because she is indeed every one of us, even those of us who struggle to admit they don't have it all together.
"Chopped celery. That's what I'm driving to my son's school today. Why? Because I don't look in his folder. I missed that he needed to bring chopped celery to school today, and I have no idea why he needs it, but he does. So I'm driving it to him praying that he gets it on time," her viral post begins.
Newton's honest account of modern motherhood continues: "I miss things. My kids don't always have clean socks. We ate at Wendy's last night. I forget to RSVP to parties. We never have cash when we need it. My kid doesn't always have his coat. There might be Halloween candy in their lunches."
"I sign without reading sometimes," the mom-of-three goes on. "And I don't always check my kids folders."
But here's the thing; despite all of her "shortcomings," Newton loves her kids, which is all that really matters. "And I work dang hard for them," she adds. "And I'm banking on the fact that 20 years from now, they won't remember that their mom forgot the chopped celery. I am praying they remember how hard I fought for them everyday to have a good life...one where they know they are fiercely loved no matter what."
Oh, Kara. That is my sincere hope for my kids too. Just last night, I forgot to pack underwear for one of my daughters in her post-swimming-lesson change of clothes. Boy, did I hear about it! In that moment, when I felt like a failure, that I'd let down my child, I just looked at her, and sincerely said, "I'm sorry. I messed up. I'm not perfect. But I love you. Can you forgive me?"
That's all it took. My daughter hugged me, and we laughed about it. And we moved on. I'm hoping, like Newton, that the hug, the love, and the laughter is what my little girl will remember in 20 years, and not that Mommy forgot to pack her underwear!
Between her child's celery and my daughter's underwear, here's hoping every parent reading this will feel a little more supported in their "imperfection."
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.