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This Woman Posted an Honest Picture of Her Car and the Mom-Shamers Pounced

Nikki Pennington and husband
Nikki Pennington and husband

Nikki Pennington is mom of three young boys — and her car reflects that. “You will find water bottles at all different stages of life from full to half full and empty, Pop Tart wrappers from the mornings when cooking breakfast was not an option, empty juice boxes and papers that I was supposed to sign and return,” the 32-year-old exclusively tells Us Weekly. And that’s not all: Pennington’s well-loved Chevrolet Suburban is also home to toys, baby wipes, school projects, sand from summer vacation, extra shoes and a bag of clothes she was planning to drop off with a friend last month.

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The Florida-based social media coordinator isn’t embarrassed, though. In fact, she penned an entire ode to all the fellow “hot mess school moms” and included a very honest photo of the inside of her SUV. The post went viral after it was featured on the Love What Matters Facebook page on Thursday, August 24.

“I’d like to give a shout out to all my fellow hot mess school moms,” Pennington began. “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 . . . to the moms still trying to find where that smell in the truck is coming form that started sometime after August 1st.”

Pennington went on to give a virtual high-five to the moms who spend their days shuttling their children around , don’t have time to clean and to the moms that aren’t quite sure where some of the stuff 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,” Pennington continued. “And may we all know we are doing the best we can even when our car looks a hot mess like us.”

The post received nearly 800 comments.

While most people praised Pennington for her honesty and tagged their friends, some weren’t impressed. “I kinda don’t agree . . . Even when putting gas in the car, there are trashcans RIGHT THERE. This is too much,” wrote one person. Added another: “How is it comfortable to live like that? We don’t even eat or drink (unless it’s water) inside because I frankly don’t trust any of my four kids not to spill something. I love my car, it’s my sanctuary. Clutter makes me feel overwhelmed.” 

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Other comments included, “Just nasty. It doesn’t take much effort to pick up your trash as you leave the car. Are you that lazy?” and “When I used to be a detailer, I despised you people. It’s disgusting, and if you let food sit in your vehicle it’s definitely not good for your kids. Why does no one have any pride anymore in the things they own?”

But Pennington is unfazed. “The reality is that motherhood is messy,” she tells Us. “It doesn’t look picture perfect all the time and doesn’t have to. I”m busy raising good human beings so my car is not on my priority list.” 

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