Mom’s Post About Motherhood and Mental Illness Strikes a Chord Around the Globe

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OAK GROVE, Mo. -- A Missouri mom is making headlines after sharing an emotional Facebook post about motherhood and mental illness that’s gone viral.

Cierra Fortner, a married mom of two living in Oak Grove, Mo., wrote the post that's now been shared more than 93,000 times as of Tuesday night.

“It`s crazy how fast things can spread and how far they can spread,” Fortner told FOX 4.

Fortner wrote her emotional essay after a trip to Wal-Mart with her little boys, 4-year-old Jayce and 10-month-old Brenton.

She wrote: “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.”

Her Facebook post went on to list all the times Fortner felt like she was dreading water while juggling a job, a marriage and motherhood.

“It was a great compliment,” she said, “but at the same time, I was just like, ‘If only she really knew.’”

That small comment is what inspired Fortner’s brutally honest post in which she also opens up about her private battles with depression, anxiety and suicide attempts.

“I don`t have it all together,” she said, “and I probably will never have it all together, because kids are crazy, and they do their own thing and test your emotions every single day.”

“It`s okay to not be perfect. It`s okay to have a mental disease and battle your own demons while still being a really great mom and a really great parent.”

It was a vulnerable message that's now resonated with other moms everywhere – getting shared more than 93,000 times on Facebook and being featured in countless news publications across the globe.

“From Pakistan and I know I made the Belgian paper,” Fortner said, “and just random places I would never even think, like Switzerland, has messaged me and been like, ‘You`ve reached out to mothers everywhere,’ and everyone can contribute to this, everyone can say, ‘I feel this.’”

Her inbox is now overflowing with messages of support and her heart is hopeful other moms who are struggling know they're not alone.

“No matter where you are in the world,” she said, “there`s a mom out there that understands what you`re going through and it`s going to be okay.”


  • Leah

    I am a mother with Asperger’s syndrome locally in NEPA. I can completely relate to this mother’s post. Two of my many symptoms are being depressed, having anxiety, among plenty of others. My son is 5 and there are days where putting a kraft mac and cheese cup in the microwave or giving him cereal for dinner is all I can do. Getting up in the morning to take him to school is very hard at times. I have a pretty good routine right now because he’s been at the same Pre K school for 2 years but that changes in the fall when he starts kindergarten and on top of that my son has had numerous medical issues over the years from RSV to constantly ear infections, torticollis (neck stiffness), severe lack in weight gain because of C diff and RSV, leading to hospital stays, and being diagnosed with developemental coordination disorder a year ago and having physical, occupational, and vision therapy 6 times a week along with trying to work 40 hours a week struggling with learning to manage my Asperger’s in adulthood after college the whole time. My son understands that if I go into my room after he’s tended to, that he must knock before coming in. I always let him in of course, but I need that quiet time constantly to avoid overload. I started on an anti anxiety medication and have a supportive boyfriend now and I have been able to spend a lot more time with my son without feeling overwhelmed but there are days that the laundry sits in a huge pile in the corner because I cant bring myself to do it because even the smallest tasks can be overwhelming.

    I 100% understand and support this mother because I am that mother too. I’d love to answer any questions anyone has or be interviewed on my personal experience.

    • Dawn Davenport

      *hugs* thank you for sharing! I have a teen son with aspergers, and it’s always comforting hearing from adults on the spectrum.

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