By Danielle Campoamor
**This post originally appeared on Romper.com
My friends labeled me a “hot mess” since always and, well, there are some things motherhood just doesn’t change. I’m still horribly late to dang-near everything; I still need three cups of coffee to be able to function; I still lose my phone way too frequently; I still find myself wearing my shirts on inside out and backwards. I’m also still a pretty incredible friend. The reasons a hot mess mom is the best friend everyone needs are why, even when I’m late and there’s a questionable something on my shirt and I’m making mistake after mistake after mistake, I also manage to be there for my friends.
There’s something to be said for being honest and real and transparent about your flaws. It can be so easy to fall into that infamous “mommy wars” culture and try to constantly portray yourself as the “perfect mother,” because, well, judgment and shame are very real. However, as a hot mess I can tell you that it’s nothing short of liberating to wear my imperfections on my stained sleeve. The more honest I am about the mess I am and how, on most days, I feel like I’m barely surviving, the more my friends know they can be their real, authentic and flawed selves around me, too. They know I won’t judge them and they know I won’t shame them and they know that if anyone else does, I’ll have their back and speak up and come to their defense.
So, sure, we might be late all the time and we’ll probably ask you for a few favors on a semi-regular basis and we’ll probably need you to check to see if that stain is chocolate or poop, but us hot mess moms are also the friend you’ll be so glad you have in your life.
1. She’s Never Going To Judge You
As a hot mess mom myself, I can tell you that rarely if ever do I feel like I’m in a position to judge another person — mom or not. I mean, most days it feels like I’m barely keeping my head above water, so who am I to say I know what someone else should be doing or choosing? I’m too busy trying to keep my life together, if I’m being honest.
So, it comes at no surprise that a hot-mess mom isn’t going to be the one to point a judgmental finger in your direction. She’ll be too busy wiping something questionable off said finger, while simultaneously attempting to send a work email and get her kid strapped into their car seat.
2. She Won’t Make You Feel Inferior
True story: I’ve had more than one friend tell me that they like having me around because I make them feel better about their own life choices and decisions and just how they’re doing in their day-to-day lives. Thanks?
I mean, I guess I could take that personally, but I truly feel like being open and honest and transparent about how you live your life, gives people the silent permission to do the same. In the end, we all just want to know we’re not alone. If I can be “real” about my mess of a mom-life, my friends know they can be real about theirs.
3. You Can Be Yourself Around Her
There’s no need to put on your best dress or do your hair or makeup or pretend that you aren’t completely frustrated with your kid when they throw yet another toy in your direction. You don’t have to pretend much of anything at all, actually.
I know that when I’m around my like-minded hot mess mom friends, I know I can be exactly who I am, flaws and faults and all. It’s liberating.
4. You Can Tell Her What You’re Actually Feeling
I’ve had some of the best conversations with other moms because I’m pretty transparent about my mistakes. So many of those conversations start a little something like, “I know I can be honest with you, so I have to talk about…” and then I’ll listen as my friend tells me about her relationship and the problems she’s having with her partner or her child who was crying for four hours the night before and the amount of sleep she isn’t getting.
To know that you can tell someone, “Yeah, sometimes I wish I wasn’t a mom,” and know it won’t end with that someone raking you over the metaphorical coals is, well, nice.
5. She’ll Be A Source Of Necessary Perspective
I’m constantly looking for some perspective because, well, if I don’t find it I might lose my mind. So, as a professional perspective provider (self-appointed, of course) I am pretty handy when another friend needs to find neutral.
6. She Won’t Hide Her Mistakes, So You Won’t Have To Hide Yours
In my opinion, it would take too much energy to hide the random and numerous mistakes I make on a pretty daily basis. Instead, I’d rather just admit that I made them, learn from them and move on. As a result, friends don’t feel like they have to hide the mistakes they make, either. There’s so much pressure on women (whether they choose to be mothers or not) to be perfect. To be able to say, “Yeah, screw that,” and just be unapologetically flawed is an amazing feeling, and something every hot-mess mom can provide.
7. She Won’t Make You Feel Like You’re In Silent Competition With One Another
One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling like you’re part of some silent-yet-palpable competition with a friend. I’ve had a few friendship that have made me feel that way and (surprise, surprise) they don’t last very long. It’s so exhausting.
Thankfully, a hot mess mom is going to be too busy just trying to keep her sh*t together to even care what you’re doing or how many “winning at life check boxes” you’ve managed to check off in a day (or ever). Seriously, unless she is celebrating a new success with your or supporting you in your next endeavor, she’s not going to care. She’ll be there to lift you up, because trying to keep you down or make you feel like sh*t would just take too much time and energy.
8. She’s All About You Making The Life Choices That Work Best For You
As a hot mess mom, I am a big believer in people, you know, doing whatever the hell it is they want to do. As long as you’re not hurting someone else, or yourself, I say go for it. I really don’t have the time or the energy to participate in the “mommy wars” or shame other women for making the choice to never experience motherhood. (In fact, if I’m being honest, some days I think the women who decide to forego parenthood are the ones with their heads on straight).
If you want to co-sleep because it works best for you, go for it. If you want to sleep train, be my guest. If you want to breastfeed and do so for an extended period of time, I will support you relentlessly. If you can’t breastfeed or just don’t want to breastfeed, and bottle feeding is your thing, I’ll make a damn bottle for you and your baby. Whatever you want to do, do, because I’m over here doing whatever it is I want to do, too.
9. She’ll Always Be There To Bail You Out, Because You’ve Definitely Done The Same For Her
I owe my friends about 103,467,501 favors, so when they call I come running. If you need me to babysit, I’m there. If you need me to pick you up from a bar, I’ll be there before you can settle your tab. If you need me to talk to your parents or attend some horribly boring wedding as your plus one or do whatever it is you need in the moment, I’m your girl. I know, as a hot mess myself, that you’ll return the favor a time or two (at least).
10. She Hasn’t Lost Herself To Motherhood
I think our culture makes it so easy for women to lose themselves in motherhood, because our culture makes motherhood the end-all-be-all of womanhood. False.
The hot mess mom isn’t going to deny herself her individuality, or the other parts of herself that make her, her. I would argue that I’m the hot mess I am because I’m still the same woman I was before I became a mother; another facet of my identity was just added the day I became someone’s “mom.” I’m the same person, I just have a 2-year-old toddler attached now.