In the midst of everyday parenting chaos, one mom stopped to take a selfie. And it summed up parenthood pretty well.
Kara Lewis Newton posted a photo of herself holding a container of chopped celery on Facebook.
In the caption, Newton explained she was taking the celery to her son’s school because she missed a note in his folder instructing them to send it to school with him that day.
“So I’m driving it to him praying that he gets it on time,” she wrote.
Newton and her husband, Luke, have three kids ― 11-year-old Silas, 10-year-old Lila and 6-year-old Jack.
In her post, she opened up about her imperfections as a parent.
“I miss things,” she wrote. “My kids don’t always have clean socks. We ate at Wendy’s last night. I forget to RSVP to parties. We never have cash when we need it. My kid doesn’t always have his coat. There might be Halloween candy in their lunches. I sign without reading sometimes. And I don’t always check my kids folders.”
But, she added, she loves her children and works “dang hard” to support and care for them. “I’m banking on the fact that 20 years from now, they won’t remember that their mom forgot the chopped celery,” she wrote.
“I am praying they remember how hard I fought for them everyday to have a good life ... one where they know they are fiercely loved no matter what,” she concluded.
Newton’s post received over 55,000 likes. It also appeared on the Love What Matters Facebook page, where it received almost 100,000 likes.
The mom told The Huffington Post she shared the post because she’d been feeling overwhelmed and guilty after some recent mess-ups.
“I knew that if I were struggling to keep up, other moms had to be, too,” she said. “I figured my ‘real life’ confessions might encourage someone else.”
Newton thinks her post resonated with other parents because these small failures and feelings of inadequacy are common. The mom said she has a hard time juggling a full-time job, marriage, three children, a house and non-stop activities.
“No matter how organized and together we may be, we always feel like we’ve missed something,” she explained. “Every mom at some point in time feels like she is failing. In a world of social media, where everyone posts the ‘highs’ of their day, we are often left feeling like we don’t measure up.”
Ultimately, she thinks parents just need to know they’re not alone. “We all feel the insane pressure to be perfect, and yet … at the end of the day, the most important thing is that our kids know we love them,” the mom said.
Newton told HuffPost she’s received lots of messages from fellow moms thanking her for her honesty. “So many women are doing this every day, just like me, and I think its just nice to feel like we are all in this together,” she said.
She added that she believes her post reminds parents that “what we do isn’t as important as how we make our children feel.”
Said Newton, “Yes, I forgot the celery, but when they comes home from school, I smother them with kisses. I tell them I love them every day. I snuggle before bed, and I make sure all three of them know that I love them fiercely.”