Don’t drink the Mom-Koolaid

I had a few moms over for coffee the other day and one of them was telling me about the “imposter syndrome” among moms. I’d never heard of it before, but I’ve definitely experienced it. The imposter syndrome, she said, is a term for moms trying to appear to have it all together, probably because they feel less-than.

Look, I know that’s tempting. I dropped the F-bomb at the kiddy park today when my dog pulled over my stroller and later mom-handled a isntshetoooldforthis tantrum from my four-year-old. In that moment, I remembered how my friend used to use a fake name at the bar, and considered that that might be a good idea for me at the park. Hello, I’m Veronica and these are my kids Kevin, Stuart, Jenny, and Britney. You will not find us on Facebook. Please forget we ever met, kthanksbye.

On my walk home, I remembered for the thousandth time that the only people I want in my life are the ones who take me as I am. I am a mom who has five months of hair grow out, enjoys long walks alone at Trader Joes, and swears when startled. That is who I am. I am also madly in love with my kids and husband, I’m a loyal friend, and I’m passionate about social justice issues.

If someone doesn’t accept you with your flaws, they don’t deserve your gifts either.

The mom-koolaid is the idea that we have to have it together, and it’s a load of toddler poop (toddler poop comes second only to dog poop in grossness amiright?). Connection requires that we keep it real, and honestly, motherhood has required that I keep it more real than ever before.

Being a mom has pulled out all the gold in my heart, and it has pulled out all the crap too. I thought I was patient-ish until I became a mom. If someone had ever recorded my husband and I’s middle of the night feeding conversations, you’d know what I mean. It was really precious.

Motherhood accentuates our flaws and it enlarges our hearts 1000x its original size at the same time. It IS MESSY, it is exhausting, and you need people who GET IT and GET YOU more than ever.

I think there is so much shame attached to our flaws as parents because it matters so much to us. I’ve never wanted to be good at anything more than I want to be good at being my kids’ mom. I want to stay connected to their precious hearts forever. The facts are though, I make mistakes daily. I struggle with being the best I can be while shaking off the mom guilt that sometimes grips my heart.

My current struggle is with how distracted I am through the day. I’m distracted with my phone, distracted with my work, distracted with the fact that I’m pretty sure my butt is getting big. This struggle is exactly that though, it’s a struggle. It’s a wrestling with wanting to be the best I can be, while also loving myself how I am (just like I want my kids to love themselves how they are).

Motherhood is wonderful, it’s beautiful, it’s messy as hell, and it has the potential to be a very lonely job.

Don’t drink the mom-Koolaid. NO ONE has it all together. I PROMISE.

You have nothing to prove.

If you are around people that make you feel like you’ve got to pretend to fit in, either stop pretending and see what happens, or find new friends.

You are worth it exactly as you are today, and if you don’t have any one else to say this, let me say it:

I see you in your mess and your flaws and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Your kids love you more than you think.

Your tribe is out there, I promise.


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38 thoughts on “Don’t drink the Mom-Koolaid

  1. Ashley E Poklar

    It can be so damn hard, and scary, to find a tribe! Sometimes it feels easier to just drink the bottle of wine myself in the few moments between “kids finally asleep” and “can’t keep my own eyes open” than to try to break through to honesty in another mom.
    Your blog is a breath of fresh, honest air—thank you!

  2. wonderoak

    Yes I hear you! It’s already so exhausting 😫❤️🍷I hope you find that person/tribe easily. Maybe a mom will drop an f bomb next to you in the park or something 😂

  3. Becky Steve

    Ummmmmmm. Let me try to write this through the tears streaming down my face right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. Today was probably the worst day yet with my three year old daughter (it may or may not have involved shoes flying across the grocery store parking lot and plenty of words I won’t repeat on here. LOL). Both of us were in tears. I felt defeated. Totally. And then I just read this. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. wonderoak

    Awe my friend, I wish I could give you and hug and hand you some chocolate and 🍷Through this screen!!

  5. Highly Caffeinated Mommy

    This is such a great post and so true! What matters the most in the end is that we are the best moms we can be. Getting wrapped up in falsehoods while trying to impress people that you’re a mom that has your shit together is a fruitless endeavor, yet so many fall for that trap.

  6. iwannabealady

    I still love long walks through the grocery store. It’s one of my favorite past times. I’ve had imposter syndrome lots of times wondering how nature possibly saw fit for me to be in charge of other humans’ lives, lol.

  7. Sarah

    Can we please be best friends? I literally just realized all my favorite mom articles were written by you. Thanks for the awesome -ness!!

  8. Trish

    Drinking the koolaid refers to Jonestown. It’s a term that references 100s of people dying a horrible death. It’s a term treat needs to stop being used in this context.

  9. Granny🇨🇦

    Thank you…I am a Granny. My sons are 42&43. The older boy has seven children. His wife has isolated him & the children from us. We never see them. Please…all you Young Mom’s out there, be thankful for your children’s grandparents. While looking for your tribe…remember the tribe you have loves you how you are.

  10. valerie woolgar

    Hi. I like your integrity of the blog. Honest, for you young women, it would be good to share daycare between each other, i mean trade, and just go off by yourself when it is your turn, to run, walk be alone all by yourself. It is a long long day full of stuff to do, a list that grows. So important. Maybe post a list somewhere in the church nursery of phone numbers and a way to put this together.? So important to get some free time. Without always having to pay pay pay. Refresh, refresh, pencil yourself in on the calendar. If you don’t, those distracting days slip by, and now that it is Spring, faster even. I hope every young mom gets a chance to take some time away during the day just for herself to regroup, and refresh.

  11. Julie M

    Wow! It’s like you read my soul when writing this!! SO. PERFECTLY. SAID. Thank you for this!

  12. madetofail

    It really is crazy how it seems like when you are looking around at other mom’s it seems like they have it all together. A lot of times it seems like people are putting on some sort of show for others, but really I think people just like to share positive things. Sharing triumphs is much easier than sharing your failures… BUT it is always refreshing to get the reassurance that other moms have their struggles too 😀

  13. Jeanne Justine

    I actually liked how the author phrased it. The title is eye catching and did its job to get many people to read it. Also, the content was wonderful! Great post!

  14. confessionsfrom20something

    I’m a single mom, and I constantly pretend or semipretend to have it all together because I see all these “perfect” moms, especially the married ones who have two parents in the home, and it makes me feel so insignificant and like I am doing it all wrong and failing so horribly! But then there are moments where I realize that even the children with two parents are having meltdowns at the school party, and those moms cry too, and WHY are we all out here trying to pretend to have it together and see who can have it the “most” together? Why aren’t we trying to help each other more? I LOVE your articles <3 you rock!

  15. Kat Schilling

    Thank you for your post. This is me…mess and all. I’ve stopped pretending to have everything together. I’m a mess…my kids clothes usually match but I can’t promise you they had a bath today…come to think of it I don’t know when the last time I had one…

    Embrace the mess and craziness of motherhood and when thing aren’t perfect just roll it and stop preteneding.

  16. MamaT

    Love that line about how you’ve never wanted to be good at anything as much as you want to be a good parent. That is such a source of anxiety for me, as are all those “imposter moms.” Lol. Great name for them!

  17. dishesbyhand

    I certainly don’t have it all together, and I really needed this reminder that I’m not the only one. Beautiful post!

  18. Rupal

    Beautiful post.. I try everyday to get it together.. but there is always so much left to do!! Love the thoughts!!

  19. Pingback: Don't Drink The Mom Kool-Aid - That's Inappropriate

  20. Vanessa J Meade

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Reading this gave me the strength to keep going today.

    I do not have it together. EXAMPLE:

    My little girl, (the one I thought was the most normal), stuck her hand in her poopy diaper today, put it in her mouth, and then wiped her poopy hand on me and the couch-so she could “Clean” it.

    She is also stashing any coin she finds in her dirty diapers now.

    SO, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Your writing is like the best, BIGGEST glass of wine!

  21. Jules

    I’m an empty-nest mom and I don’t have it together yet. I’m also not changing to be accepted. Others have to accept me as I am. Which means right now, I don’t have anyone my age to go out with or such. I have a 75 y/o friend and an 84 y/o friend, neither of whom I can call in an emergency! Ha!

    My favorite part: “….. kthanksbye” 🙂
    Great writing. Found this from a share on FB!

  22. Denise

    Thank you for these words of truth!!!! I *love* my tribe and the honesty we live with. Well, there’s only 3 of us, and we’re sisters, but we’re moms and we don’t pretend! Love this article!

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