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.

Like...

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.

Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less

Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

Keep Reading Show less