What's A-Parent

Missouri Mom Gets Brutally Honest About Parenting With Depression And Anxiety

"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."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

When mother-of-two Cierra Fortner was at Walmart two weeks ago, a cashier recognized her as a regular customer. The cashier took that moment to pay her a compliment, telling Fortner that her kids are always "dressed cute" and "behaving" and she just seems to "have it all together." Fortner politely thanked her, but on the ride home, she realized she wished the cashier knew the truth. She didn't have it all together — and that's OK. 

In a Facebook post, Fortner outlined the things she wished she had told the cashier. 

"I want her to know I battle a personality disorder every day with anxiety and depression mixed, and I'm a two times [sic] suicide survivor," she 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. I want her to know that my son is late for school three out of four days because I regularly forget what day and time it is, despite the toddler size calendar in my kitchen. I want her to know I have those 'I'm losing my shit' moments when I have to lock myself in the bathroom and cry."

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The Missouri mom went on to share other moments she experiences regularly that show her life is far from perfect. She has struggled with anxiety and depression since her mom passed away from cancer in 2010. After having her first son in 2011, she experienced postpartum depression, a very common condition that affects about 600,000 women in the United States each year.  

She finished her post with a sentiment all people could benefit from hearing. 

"But most importantly I want her to know I don't have it together and may never have it all together," she wrote. "I don't know a mother out there that has it all together, but everything we do is done with love for our children and that right there makes you the perfect mom and in our children's eyes we most definitely have it all together." 

"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."

The post has since been shared over 93,000 times and helped to bring awareness to mental health issues in the process. Hopefully, other people struggling with anxiety, depression, or postpartum depression will read Fortner's words and realize that they're not alone.

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