Tess Holliday Crying in This Pic Is Every Overwhelmed Mom, Ever

Tess Holliday

No matter how many filtered photos and messages a mom shares about how "perfect" life is, anyone who's a parent can tell you raising a child isn't always rainbows and daisies. Motherhood gets messy, it's grueling, and it can make you feel like a failure in the worst way possible ... but guess what? You aren't alone. Tess Holliday just wrote an emotional post about the "reality of being a mom," and it hits so close to home it makes me want to wrap my arms around her.


It can be so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're battling in the trenches of motherhood, which is why I understand Tess's tears, her honesty, and her willingness to be vulnerable when the weight of society pressures moms to keep it together.

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The 31-year-old body-positive advocate and plus-size model recently took to Instagram while battling a late-night bout of sleeplessness with her 8-month-old son, Bowie.

"I've been up since 3 a.m., and every time I get Bowie to sleep and try to lay him down, he wakes up," the mom revealed. "He is teething and has no clue I have to work today, and most days I can work 15-hour days, take care of both boys and put some lipstick on and deal with it. Most days I drink my coffee and smile at every little thing he does thinking it's the best thing in the world, but not today."

Tess Holliday

Tess is obviously no stranger to the parenting rodeo, as she also has an 11-year-old son named Rylee, but that doesn't mean she's immune to the struggles of caring for a baby, or how real -- and overwhelming -- things can become in the blink of an eye.

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"I've been crying for nearly two hours, [and] I'm crying as I write this," Tess notes. "I've reached my limit, exceeded it to be honest. My confidence has taken a blow with this birth [and] it wasn't until this morning I realized why."

This poor mom!

It's so freaking easy for moms to feel like their wheels are spinning -- even if they have a much-needed lifeline, like a partner or loved one, ready to help where possible. There were many times -- many nights -- when I felt like I reached my breaking point with my kids. But I never said anything, because I feared in some way it meant I was a horrible mother or didn't deserve my children.

I remember (vividly) not knowing whether or not I could survive the first years of my sons' lives, but I did -- which is why I can't help the feeling of wanting to hug mothers in the thick of it, like Tess, and whisper in their ears that everything is going to be okay and that they're doing just fine.

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I can't begin to imagine what Tess goes through as a working mom who feels "the pressure of 'looking good' for a living."

As Tess questions in her Instagram post, "When your face is breaking out from the hormones of breastfeeding [and] total exhaustion from lack of sleep, bags under your eyes, patchy red skin and to top it off, no energy to work out or leave my bed ... how do you do it? How do you feel confident in your skin and feel like you aren't letting the client down by showing up exhausted and disheveled?"

I don't know, Mama. I don't know.

Though Tess's struggles are unique to her particular industry, trying to find the balance as a working mother is one that resonates with so many of us. It gets freaking hard to feel like you can do and handle it all.

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I often questioned whether or not I could handle working from home full-time with my kids, if the quality of my work would suffer as a result, and how closely I'd resemble an extra from The Walking Dead on the daily. It took focusing on one day at a time to realize I am capable and that things won't be pretty and perfect all the time -- and that's okay.

So, to the new mom who's battling sleep deprivation and a baby who seems inconsolable; the mom struggling to breastfeed; the mom beating herself up for using formula; the mom battling feelings of guilt returning to work; the stay-at-home mom; and the mom who feels nothing will ever get better: Take a breath.

Your best is the only thing that's required, and I'm sure you're giving just that.

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