Nikki Pennington has three sons, ages 7, 5 and 3. As a result, she said she barely ever sees the floor of her car.
The Florida-based mom and blogger posted a photo of her messy car on Facebook, along with an empowering ode to her fellow “hot mess” parents.
“I’d like to give a shout out to all my fellow hot mess school moms,” she began her post. “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.”
Pennington continued her descriptions of “hot mess school moms” by calling out the ones who “tell the teachers the endless pile of soda cans from the entire year are only there because they are teaching their kids about recycling” and “jump out quickly at the pickup line so get their child so they can maneuver the entire pile of the school years special projects to the side,”
To the moms that pull up 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.
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 and may we all know we are doing the best we can even when our car looks a hot mess like us.
Pennington’s post received more than 6,000 likes on the popular Love What Matters page.
Pennington told HuffPost that as a mom with three young boys, she feels keeping her car clean feels impossible. “I am transporting them to and from school four times a day, five days a week. There is bound to be a mess,” she explained.
“I knew I wasn’t alone in this because I have friends with cars that look the same,” she added, noting that she hoped her post could make other moms in her situation feel less alone with their messes.
Pennington said the response to her Facebook post has been mixed. “You have those that are saying ‘me too!’ and others saying ‘that would never be me,’” she told HuffPost. “You have those being transparent with me and sharing what the inside of their car looks like also.”
Ultimately, Pennington wants her post to resonate with people.
“I hope readers take away the fact that motherhood is messy at times, it doesn’t always look Pinterest perfect and that’s OK because we are all out here doing the best we can,” she said. “I just hope it shows that we don’t have to be perfect moms to be good moms.”