Parents are sharing photos before and after they had kids. They're hilarious and adorable.

When dad and blogger Mike Julianelle compared a recent photo of himself to a photo from 10 years ago, he noticed a big difference.

Yes, he looked a little older — after all, a decade had gone by. But there was something else: a deep, deep look of utter exhaustion.

The other thing that changed over those 10 years? Julianelle had two kids.


When he posted the side-by-side comparison on Instagram, it was an instant hit. So he invited other parents to share their own "before and afters."

The results were hilarious and oddly inspiring. They also revealed a bunch of important truths about what happens to you when you become a parent.

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After kids, a blanket becomes your favorite outfit.

You are frequently at risk of getting accidentally walloped in the nose.

Your glasses become a favorite toy.

So does your entire face, actually.

When your baby decides to take a nap, thou shalt not move.

Alcohol can go from an indulgence to a necessity.

Did we mention you'll be tired? Like really, really tired?

Most days, doing your best is all you can really do.

But, at the end of those days, it'll all be worth it (at least, most of the time).

The project went viral, with Julianelle receiving hundreds of submissions from other parents via Instagram.

While not everyone has been brave enough to publicly share their no-sleep, just-got-barfed-on selfies with him, Julianelle says the response has been hugely positive.

"I hope people take away a few laughs and a little solidarity," he writes in an email. "Parenting is awesome but it also sucks and there shouldn't be any shame in admitting that."

And as the photos show, he's absolutely right. Parenting is hard but rewarding work, at its best. It's also exhausting, frustrating, frightening, and anxiety-inducing.

Julianelle sums it up perfectly in an interview with Huffington Post: "Kids are the worst best thing that's ever happened to us. If we don’t laugh about the havoc they wreak we'd have to cry instead."

You can see more hilarious before and afters over on the Got Toddlered Instagram account.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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