Our husbands know it. Our kids know it. The other moms certainly know it.
Face it: all moms are scrambling. Scrambling to remember lunch, scrambling to find shoes, scrambling to pack diaper bags. Some moms deal with the scrambling better than others. They lay out plastic bags of extra outfits. They pre-make peanut butter and jelly. They plan field trips, complete with little binoculars and mini-notebooks, in which their kids record observations of unmoving zoo animals.
Those moms always have change for the meter. They can actually parallel park the minivan (which, by the way, isn't floored in fast food cups and French fries). They wear neat, unobtrusive outfits with vests and jeans and spotless sneakers. They favor headbands.
Then there are the rest of us. We aren't lazy. We aren't incompetent. We're just, for lack of a better term, a hot mess. Our husbands know it. Our kids know it. The other moms certainly know it. Hopefully they don't judge us.
But regardless of mama judgment or swirling chaos, we are who we are. And that's a hot damn mess. Here are nine signs you're a hot mess of a mom.
1. Your eyes are tightlined and your kids have dirty faces.
You can't go out the door without doing your face, and you can't do your face without tightlining your eyelids. Preferably in black, preferably with a smoky eye. It's a personal tic, like saying "like" a lot or patting children on the head. But that tic doesn't extend to examining your kids' faces, and you're in the danger zone if they've recently consumed ketchup, pudding, or anything chocolate.
It's not that you don't look at your kids' faces; you just don't notice the jam smears. So your eyes may look fab, but your kids look like urchins. If you're lucky, you notice the mess before you leave the car. If you're even luckier, you can find the wipes to clean them.
2. You can't find the wipes.
Most moms carry multiple packs of baby wipes long past the baby stage. There's the pack at home, the pack in the purse, the pack in the car, the pack in the diaper bag. All are full. All are still wet, because those mamas remembered to close the little tab.
Hot mess moms can never find the wipes. We carry one pair, which migrates from diaper bag to car to purse. We often forget to shut the sticky tab, so even if we can find the wipes, we can't actually use them, or have to use them with spit like a 1960s grandma. When our kid poops, we will borrow wipes from the normal moms. No one will find this surprising.
3. You don't have extra pants.
Every mom worth her motherhood carries, somewhere on her bag or vehicle, one extra pair of pants per child. This is because children's pants encounter regular atrocities, from mud to jam to urine.
We Hot Mess Moms never have extra pants. We just don't think about it, despite how much small children leak. Other kids get a change of clothes; our kids ride home commando. Hey, at least we look good in that rearview mirror.
4. You forget the bake sale, party, or snack day.
Normal moms mark these things on something called a calendar. Hot Mess Moms don't use these. These normal moms have lead time to bake something, probably from Pinterest, probably with pumpkin spice, which everyone will rave over.
Hot Mess Moms, on the other hand, recall snack obligations when their spawn reminds them on the way to school. A tire screech, a grocery run, and bakery cupcakes for the whole team. They're full of gluten and Red Dye #4. The kids will snarf them down like candy. Pumpkin Spice Mom will hate you.
5. You forget to sign permission slips.
Or signed homework. Or any other kind of school-to-home communication. Yes, you want your kid to go on that field trip, and you can cover the $5 fee. But Junior only mentioned it once, and between laundry and cooking and tightlining, you totally forgot.
All other school missives get packed into the paper detritus flooring Junior's enormous backpack. Normal moms clean that out. Hot Mess Moms don't look in backpacks.
6. You drop off and pick up your kids while wearing pajamas.
Everyone excuses pajamas at 7 AM. But never admit that you didn't have anything better to do than clothe yourself during the long stretch of school hours. Though you might be wearing a tank top and yoga pants, you still found time to tightline.
7. You live out of laundry baskets and have totally gone to Target for more.
Dressers? Folding? You sort all your family's clothes into appropriate baskets, set them in the relevant bedroom, and call it a day. Each person requires at least two baskets, and your husband needs a vast pyramid of them wrapping around his dresser.
You have, at some point, run out of baskets for actual laundry. Rather than do some folding, you hit up Target for more baskets. You tell yourself that's because you can never have too many baskets. This is a lie.
8. You can't have people over.
Normal moms sweep their arms over room that looks like Martha does, indeed, live there, and say, "Oh, I'm sorry about the mess!" They mean the pile of books on the floor and the Legos in the corner.
Your house is an actual mess. You haven't cleaned the baseboards since ever, toys litter every room, and the sink in your master bath may be growing sentient mold. No play dates are happening here.
9. Your Christmas tree is still up ... in March.
You're a hot mess. You know it. You're always scrambling to keep your head above water; your kids might have some smudgy faces, and your housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired. It's hard work being a hot mess, but at least your eyes look good.
Are you a hot mess mom? Find out the different types of moms you meet: