Are you a real freak

“Hot Chaos” on Wheels: Are You a Messy Car Mom?

Last month, blogger and Tampa, Florida mom of three Nikki Pennington hit a nerve on Facebook with a photo of the messy and crowded passenger seat of her car. In seeking solidarity with other mothers who might relate to the sight of floorboards with bottled water, snack trash, random empty soda cans and who-knows-where paper, she wrote, “I would like to call out all of my hot schoolmothers . "

“Here is the end of the year, my car is filled to the brim with memories of this school year, I lived in my car, I promise I'm not a hoarder or a homeless person, I'll clean it up from school on the last day, trash rolls out of my truck in the drop off line, my house ain't that messy, I'll try harder next year, hot mess school moms, ”said Pennington.

“May we know her, may we love her, may we confess that we were all one, we may promise to look away when we see one and not mom, shame, and may we all know that we are doing our best even when our car looks as hot as we do. "

Many mothers praised Pennington's post and acknowledged that they too had messy mother cars. However, some claimed that they did not - and they ignored Pennington's request to refrain from judging those who do.

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“The shame is not that their vehicle looks like this, but that they justify and defend a chaotic, unsanitary environment,” one commenter wrote. “Have you ever heard of a ten second order? You don't have to be a proper freak or even a halfway composed person to avoid the disaster in their picture! It's just a priority issue ... Stop making excuses and seek confirmation! "

Pennington told TODAY parents that she believes mothers have messy cars not because their priorities are wrong, but because they are human. "The average mother juggles so many different things on a daily basis," she said. “Our cars are usually at the bottom of the list of things that need to be done. Most days we live in our cars - this is where our daily life takes place, from trips to and from school, sports, family vacations - this is where most of the chaos happens.

“To those who judge the messy car mothers, I wish they would realize that motherhood is messy and we are all here to do our best and sometimes that means a messy car so we can put everything in a different area can give to motherhood, ”added Pennington.

But Sumer Ramsey, an Indianapolis mother of six children ages 13 to 3 - including 3-year-old triplets - told TODAY parents that the reason their minivan is messy is, in fact, about what matters most to them in their lives holds. "I could justify the filth by saying my hands are full of so many kids, blah blah blah," she said.

“But honestly, it's just not a priority. The van takes us where we need to go and then I focus on making dinner, cleaning the house, doing homework and overseeing basic hygiene, ”she said. "And, bonus: lugging around so much rubbish means that I'm often prepared when minor emergencies such as needing a hair tie or a change of pants arise."

Parents website founder Scary Mommy and mom of three Jill Smokler told TODAY Parents that emergency preparedness is one of the perks she sees of having a messy mom car herself. “I find my car liberating,” she said. “I don't have to look for a trash can or a plastic bag; the floor works fine. What kids? You are hungry? There is basically a buffet between the floor and the seats. Bon Appetit!"

Where do you stand on the messy mom car debate? Should keeping a clean car be a priority when you are a parent, or is a messy car just a result of more important things to worry about?