Maybe You're Not A Hot Mess

There’s something about the “hot mess mom” trend that’s rubbing me the wrong way lately. I really appreciate these tweets from Cindy Brandt that name that unsettledness:

I’m grateful to folks like Glennon Doyle and Heather Armstrong for breaking ground a decade ago by blogging about motherhood in a way that was real and unedited, instead of the precious “everything’s perfect” stuff out there before. 

But I’m also, frankly, getting tired of it.

Mamas: maybe you’re NOT a hot mess. Maybe you’re doing the best you can in a (patriarchal) world that’s not set up for you to succeed. Maybe this is bigger than just frantically getting the kids out of the house dressed on time. Maybe we need huge structural change: universal childcare, single-payer healthcare, parental support, paid maternity leave, flexible work hours, aunties and uncles and grandmothers and neighbors who help raise our kids, instead of this myth that we’re all supposed to do it perfectly within the nuclear family.

Maybe instead of putting ourselves down we need to f***ing claim our power. Step into our wholeness, and own it unapologetically. Yes, this shiz is hard, but we’re doing it, the best we can. And my wholeness can lift yours up. We can rock this together, giving one another permission to be real and to take up space but also not getting bogged down by this “hot mess” narrative.

Who does it serve for you to talk shit about yourself? Who benefits from all that self-deprecation? 

'Cause, guess what: you’re doing great. You’re keeping them alive. Trust yourself. Motherhood is hard and holy, and we can have both. 


Rachel Meyer is an American writer and yoga teacher based in Switzerland. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, On Being, Yoga Journal, Tricycle, Yoga International, HuffPost, and more. You can find her at or @rachelmeyeryoga.

Art by Steve Johnson


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