Dear Hot Mess Mama, Bad-Ass Mama, Kick-Ass Mama (or any other term you’d like to use),

I hope you know how dope you are. It’s so hard of to embrace what makes us incredible moms, but we have to. If you are anything like me, you are a hot mess sometimes. Okay, maybe you’re a hot mess pretty often–but that’s what makes motherhood so wonderful. We are ALL a hot mess, girl! That mommy friend you have who seems to have it all together all the time? She doesn’t.

None of us do.

We have good days mixed with bad days, and sometimes the bad days are really bad. But we survive. We do our best. We mess up–sometimes epically–and our kids forgive us long before we forgive ourselves. And our kids don’t want perfect parents (do you know how hard it is to love people who try to act perfect?). We place that expectation on ourselves. Our kids just want parents who love them. They want us to be present. They want us to be happy.

Listen, this motherhood thing is no joke. I am still trying to figure out how my own mother did it. As single parent working a full-time job and raising two kids in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York, how did she manage to give us as much as she did without falling apart? I’m still not sure. But you know what? She loved us. I always felt loved. I always felt like I mattered. That was all I needed.

But I have to tell you, I wish I saw my mom taking better care of herself. I wish I witnessed her saying “no” a lot more than she did, so she could say “yes” to what she wanted in life. She constantly gave to others–to the point of letting people walk all over her–but she rarely made herself a priority. She rarely took the time to nurture her body and her spirit. She was often depleted. She did too much. So although I am eternally grateful for all the love she gave us, I wish I saw her giving herself some love, too.

Are you putting yourself last? Are you doing everything for your kids and your family, and failing to take care of yourself? Are you slowly falling apart and hiding it from your kids and anyone else who loves you. After all, motherhood is about being strong, right? You can’t just fall apart. Falling apart is for suckers.

Girl, please! If that’s true, I’m a SUCKER. This motherhood stuff is hard. It’s a blessing, and I would not trade these crazy kids of mine for anything, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is HARD! I fall apart sometimes. But I do my best to make my mental, emotional and physical health a priority, and I turn to my tribe when I need them. They help me pull it together.

Do you have a tribe? If not, stop reading this and go get one RIGHT NOW! Yes, it’s that serious. Without a tribe, you will find yourself lost, broke, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Not a good look. You weren’t meant to do this alone. You weren’t meant to front like you can handle it all, and you are not designed to handle all this motherhood madness on your own.

We all need help. I need help. You need help. We ALL need help.

Your kids, your spouse, and anyone else who thinks of you when they think of Mother’s Day is trying to figure out what you want or need. If I were to take a guess, I think you need to spend Mother’s Day relaxing and thinking about how you are about to make self-care a priority in your life. Mother’s Day shouldn’t be this one day when you get to sleep in or avoid cooking. Why the hell should those things happen on one random day in May? I am not with it.

If you think you are a hot mess, it’s all good. I am a hot mess, too. But I am also a bad-ass. I do my thing. I love my kids hard. I let them know I am always here for them. I make sure they enjoy life. I do the best I can with what I know, and when I know better, I do better.

So stop feeling like you are coming up short. Stop thinking you are a bigger “hot mess” than you other mommy friends. You’re not. They probably just hide it better than you do. And if all your mommy friends make you feel like you are the biggest mess ever, get yourself some new mommy friends. A good friend will make you realize that your mess is nothing new. It may be different than her mess, but we all have some mess in our lives. Believe it or not, that hot-mess-ness makes your kids love you even more. Imperfection is so easy to love.

So enjoy your Mother’s Day. Sleep in if you want. Don’t cook. Take a long nap. Go to the spa. Spend time with loved ones. Do whatever the heck you want to do. But when you wake up on Monday morning, please don’t go back to business as usual. Please don’t wait until next May to have another great day. Make new choices. Change your habits. Choose what truly matters. Then, give everything else the middle finger, and live your best life.

If you can do that, I promise you will be one happy mama raising pretty amazing kids.

Have a Happy Mother’s day!! You deserve it!