Mom's Humorous Post Celebrates Imperfect Parents With Messy Cars

"May we promise to look the other way when we see one and not mom shame."

There are lots of parents who are able to manage their work, schedule their children's playdates, help them with their homework, make home-cooked meals, and keep both their home and car looking pristine. But many others are a little less organized — and that's totally OK, too! 

Florida-based mom and blogger Nikki Pennington recently decided to celebrate some of the messier parents out there. Pennington, who has three sons ages 7, 5, and 3, shared a photo of her messy car on Facebook along with some empowering words. 


"I'd like to give a shout out to all my fellow hot mess school moms. The ones that let their child out at the drop off line and yesterday mornings breakfast wrapper rolls out with them. The moms that haven't been able to find the floor board of their vehicles since August 1st of last year," she wrote. "To the moms that live inside their cars four times a day, five days a week and don't have time to clean up that mess, they just move it over. To the moms that pull up to the drop off line with a minute to spare and hear everything in their vehicle shift as they slam on the breaks because breakfast, snacks, school projects and emergency toys while waiting in the pickup line pile up fast y'all. To the moms that really aren't sure where some of the stuff even came from."

We often give accolades to the seemingly perfect parents who have got it all together, but the "hot mess moms" deserve to be recognized, too. 

"May we know them, may we love them, may we confess we've all been one, may we promise to look the other way when we see one and not mom shame," Pennington wrote. "And may we all know we are doing the best we can even when our car looks a hot mess like us."

Pennington hopes the honest look at her messy car and her words will help other parents just like her remember that they're not alone. We often see posts of flawless families on social media since so many use their platforms to put their best selves forward, so it's important for parents to be reminded that it's perfectly OK to be imperfect. A messy car is nothing to be ashamed of if your kids are happy, healthy, and safe. 

Pennington's post has resonated with many and was even shared to the Love What Matters Facebook page. On it, her post racked up nearly 1,500 shares and more than 6,000 likes. 

"This is one of my FAVORITE post! Reality: Single mama, always exhausted," one commenter wrote. "Current car status: hot mess express. Love the reality and humor in this, just can't pull off the clean car and boy do I try try try!" 

"Just remember: The breakfast wrapper means you made sure your child was fed in the morning. The school projects mean you've raised a kid who works hard in school. The emergency toys slamming around in drop off line mean that not only do you show your kids that you care about punctuality and education, but you know that fun is needed in life too," another commenter wrote. "Get an air-freshener, turn in the cola cans and breathe: you're doing fine." 

This isn't the first time Pennington has gone viral for showing the real side of her family. Just a few weeks ago, she used Facebook to share the secret to a successful marriage. Pennington, who has been with her high school sweetheart for 13 years and married for 11, revealed the secret "to a long lasting marriage is there is no secret at all." 

"It's a get up and try again over and over every damn day," she wrote. "Just try every single day, in the trenches and on top of the mountains don't ever stop. Because stopping, that's one thing that isn't a secret, it will make you fail." 

We'd say Pennington's advice is valuable in all aspects of life whether it's at work, in your relationship, or with your kids: Try your best again and again and again. 


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