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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.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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