With her shiny blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes, Cierra Fortner looks like the mom you envy at school drop off. But the 21-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, wants you to know that appearances can be deceiving.
“Today I was at Walmart doing my weekly Friday shopping when the cashier says to me, ‘I see you in here all the time, your kids are always dressed cute, behaving and you just seem to have it all together,” the mother of Jayce, 4, and Brenton, 10 months, began in her now viral Facebook post on January 20. “At the time I just thanked her and giggled because that’s far from the truth, but as I drove home there was more I wanted her to know about me.”
“I want her to know I battle a personality disorder every day with anxiety and depression mixed and I’m a two times suicide survivor,” Fortner wrote. “I want her to know that I can’t always get myself up off the couch to feed them anything more than frozen pizza and cereal.”
The patient-care technician went on to reveal that her eldest is late for school “3 out of 4 days” a week and that she regularly has “I’m losing my s--t moments” where she locks herself in the bathroom and cries. “I want her to know that I hadn’t washed my hair in 3 days and my kids hadn’t had a bath in 2,” Fortner continued. “I want her to know that I was trying to hurry out of [Walmart] because I had forgot the diaper bag at home and Brenton was hungry.”
But she signed off on a hopeful note. “But most importantly I want her to know I don’t have it together and may never have it all together. I don’t know a mother out there that has it all together but everything we do is done with love for our children,” wrote Fortner. “From one exhausted mom to another, you’re doing great, have that melt down, let your kids eat the crap out of that cereal and take care of yourself always.”
Fortner’s honest message about motherhood has been shared 90,000 times.
“I wrote the post because I felt alone for a long time in my struggle with anxiety and depression, and I never want a mom to feel alone in her struggle,” she tells Us Weekly. “It’s OK to cry and break down, it’s OK to not always be OK. Celebrate the days you have it together and the days you don’t, because that’s another day day you made it in the baddest hood there is, motherhood.”
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