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messy house, kids toys mess, messiest house

This is what life with kids looks like.

There is a big difference between what parenthood looks like in real life versus how it appears on social media, especially Instagram. We’ve seen this fake version of parenting so many times that it has become a cliché.

Mom and her children are somewhere beautiful on vacation or in a field with wildflowers in full bloom. Everyone is dressed in matching white linen outfits that are somehow perfectly clean. Mom is wearing a big floppy hat, large sunglasses and looks well-rested.

This may be somebody’s version of fantasy but it sure isn’t real life.

The problem is that when people look at these images they consciously or subconsciously compare themselves to these families and wonder why they seem to be coming up short. In reality, most parents of young children are tired, could use a long shower and are in a living room that looks like a clown moved in.


There are bright-colored bowls and bottles strewn about. Random Legos are embedded in the carpet and a naked dolly with frizzy hair is stashed away in a corner. Being the parent of young kids is all about survival, and appearances are the last thing most have the time or energy to worry about.

Let’s not even get started on the ecological disaster that is the bathroom.

A Twitter user named Amanda injected some much-needed reality into social media on Saturday when she asked a simple question to her followers. “Can we get a realistic mom/parenting photo thread going? No aesthetic filters, no staging - what does the room you’re in look like RIGHT NOW?”

She received an outpouring of posts that were photos of the mess, clutter and chaos that accompanies being the parent of a small child. Trashed bathrooms, bedrooms with boxes stacked sky-high, tired parents, toddlers with saggy diapers and lots of toys strewn all over the place.

And the laundry. No one ever has the time to get all the laundry done.

The photos would give most neat freaks apoplexy but they did a great job at showing how most people with young kids actually live. Sure they may clean up the house when they’re having company or act as they have it together on social media, but this is how day-to-day life looks.

It’s great that so many parents were totally fine sharing photos of their mess.

But there’s one thing that is unmistakable about these photos, they’re filled with love.

Here are some of the most real photos that Amanda received after asking what people's lives look like “RIGHT NOW.” If you have a small child and your house is a disaster, these photos should make you feel less alone.

After scrolling through those photos, don’t you feel a bit better about yourself? Just know that doing your best doesn’t look like a family decked out in matching linen staring at sunset on Waikiki Beach. Nope. It looks like a stack of laundry on a La-Z-Boy chair, a carpet that’s littered with Legos and love, lots and lots of love.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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