"Have that meltdown, let your kids eat the crap out of that cereal and take care of yourself always."
Parenting comes with a set of commitments and responsibilities that can often seem overwhelming. That said, when you're scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram and see so many moms who seem to have it all together, it's easy to doubt your capabilities and be hard on yourself. To help those mothers feel less alone, Cierra Lyn Fortner recently took to Facebook to share what it's like to parent when you have a mental illness.
In her post, Fortner recounts a comment a cashier made during her weekly trip to the store with her kids. While checking out, the woman complimented Fortner, admiring how she always seemed to "have it all together." At the time, Fortner responded with a smile, realizing that statement was far from the truth.
So, she decided to share her struggles on Facebook to remind mothers that sometimes things aren't always as they appear. She revealed that she lived with a personality disorder, anxiety and depression and that she's survived two suicide attempts. These issues have taken a huge toll on her, and continues her post by listing a series of imperfect moments she wishes the cashier knew about to get a better picture of what it's like to care for kids while battling mental illness. (Read: 9 Ways to Fight Depression—Besides Taking Anti-Depressants)
She confesses that she's made her son late to school because she forgets the time and day, and how she's had several "I'm losing my sh*t" moments that cause her to lock herself in the bathroom and cry. Some days she can't get off the couch to feed her kids anything more than frozen pizza or cereal. Other times she forgets diaper bags, skips a shower or two and at one point, barely saved her toddler from falling off of the shopping cart onto the concrete floor because she was distracted.
At the end of her post, Fortner calls out to the moms who have doubted themselves for not being perfect. "I don't have it together and may never have it all together," she says. "I don't know a mother out there that has it all together. From one exhausted mom to another, you're doing great, have that meltdown, let your kids eat the crap out of that cereal and take care of yourself always."
Fortner's post has since gone viral and has over 93,000 likes and 163,000 shares. It's a simple yet much-needed reality check for moms that parenting isn't easy and that it's okay to take a break and give yourself the time you need to be the best mom you can be.