Hot mess or not, it’s all good


There's a meme that's been making it's way around Facebook, and it caught my eye.

I think this is funny, and I can relate. I just reflexively tried to tamp down my hair as I wrote that.

But here are the top comments on this thread:


This commenter (I apologize for my messy attempt to cover her name) seems to think this meme is saying it's cool to teach irresponsibility to children. I'm not so sure that's what this does. Believe me, I realize that being a hot mess is not my aspiration, but also if I see someone in the thick of it, I empathize with them. I think maybe we all need to realize that our path is not everyone's path, and maybe the reason someone is late or bedraggled is not because they stayed up late watching Netflix but because their daughter was awake 7 times because of a perceived monster in the closet, or that their son's medicine turned out to be the wrong prescription.

Of course, why is it the top comment? Because so many people reacted. This idea of whether you ought to show how perfect you are at parenting (or, it seems, at making things for your kids like this0r this) or try to make everyone feel better about how they are failing (like this ). I have to admit, I fall into the latter camp most of the time. But I have been a little, you know, "extra" at times too. (Remember this?)

What I have done, that I really regret, is to judge others. And whether you are a hot mess and you're fine with it, or you aspire not to be one or (could this be?) you are actually not a hot mess, it is ok. Sometimes it feels like we live in a zero-sum society -- if one person espouses a point of view, there are always those who will respond in the opposite. There is a middle ground, and we can see it better if our reactions don't demonize those who disagree with us.

In that spirit, I'd like to re-examine that commenter whose name I erased. This person did say it's okay to cut yourself some slack and that being perpetually late is a problem to be addressed. I think those are fair points. Maybe it feels to this person like those points are being lost in an attempt at humor. Not everyone thinks the same things are funny.