On 20 January she shared a Facebook post after a cashier at Walmart told her that she seemed to “have it all together.” In her post, Fortner wrote that she was grateful for the comment but that she wished she could have told the cashier more about her life.
2. Fortner then wrote candidly about motherhood and her mental health, and the post has been shared by over 90,000 people.
3. The full post reads:
Today I was at Walmart doing my weekly Friday shopping when the cashier says to me “I see you in here all the time, your kids are always dressed cute, behaving and you just seem to have it all together” at the time I just thanked her and giggled because that’s far from the truth but as I drove home there was more I wanted her to know about me.
I want her to know I battle a personality disorder everyday with anxiety and depression mixed and I’m a two times suicide survivor.
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 3 out of 4 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.
I want her to know I wasn’t always the most active mom because I use to work 80 hours a week and go to school full time and Jayce spent many days and nights with his grandparents.
I want her to know that I hadn’t washed my hair in 3 days and my kids hadn’t had a bath in 2.
I want her to know that I was trying to hurry out of there because I had forgot the diaper bag at home and Brenton was hungry.
I want her to know that once we got to the parking lot the “well behaved” child decided to stand up in the cart and I wasn’t paying attention and barely caught him as he almost hit the concrete.
But most importantly I want her to know I don’t have it together and may never have it all together. 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.
4. Fortner was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when her mother died in 2010. She was 15 when she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
“I manage my mental health symptoms by making sure there’s always time for me in the day”, Fortner told BuzzFeed, “Even if it’s just watching reality TV after the kids go to bed.”
She also has plans in place should her mental illness become unmanageable: “My husband and I have a discussed a plan of action, but I also have my counselor’s direct number to call if I feel like that is starting to happen.”
5. Fortner told BuzzFeed she had not expected the post to go viral at all. “It was a total shock to me,” she said.
Many comments under the post applauded Fortner for being open about her borderline personality disorder, which she says was easy to discuss: “My mental health is very easy for me to talk about. I’ve always been open to talk about it because I realized there’s lots of others out there dealing with it and it helps people really understand who I am as a person.”
6. Fortner wants other moms to know: “It’s okay to have a cry. Always take time to care for yourselves along with your kids – find a hobby, a few good friends, or a great show to watch and set time aside to do things for yourself.”
If you are feeling at risk of suicide or if you are worried about someone else call the Samaritans: 116 123 (UK) / 116 123 (ROI)
If you’re in the United States you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).