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Parenting

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

Every parent "got toddlered" at some point.

parenting, viral photos, comedy, bloggers, community
Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

The daily lives of parents, #Tuesday.

When dad and blogger Mike Julianelle compared a 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.

Life has a way of asking a lot of us. How we cope and manage the moments at work, our personal goals, the friendships, and our loved ones.

All these daily routines navigated that bring the best and ask the most. But what was that other thing which had changed over those 10 years?



Julianelle had two kids.

You've probably seen all sorts of before and after concepts on your social media feeds. If you missed this one, you'll see why they all became a "thing."

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.


All images provided by Kat Chao

A photo of Kat and her mom, and a bowl of her mom's famous curry

True

Whether it’s the mac n’ cheese that reminds you of simpler times, or the exotic spiced chicken recipe you acquired from your travels, every meal tells a story.

This rings especially true for people whose families immigrate to different countries to start a new life. Immigrant parents often not only save every penny, but spend most of their time away working in order to build a future for their children. Each comfort meal they manage to provide their kids in the very few spare hours they have tells the story of love and sacrifice.

For Kat Chao, that meal was her mother’s Korean curry.

korean foodA photo of baby Kat and her mom and dad

Growing up, Kat’s mom worked weekends to support her family. But that didn’t stop her from waking up Saturday morning to dice up some beef and fresh veggies and throw them into a large pot so that Kat’s dad could heat it up and serve it with some rice to her and her brothers later.

Curry was a quick, easy and inexpensive way to feed a full house, but it served more than just practical purposes. As Kat would wake up to the enticing aroma, she was reminded that her mom was always taking care of her, even if she couldn’t physically be there.

koran curryYUM

As Kat grew a little older, her attitude towards her mother’s curry shifted. Instead of looking forward to it, she would “roll her eyes at it,” as is customary of the rebellious teen. Those less-than-positive feelings were only exacerbated by the media constantly labeling carbs, therefore rice, as “bad.” As a kid who struggled with weight, her comfort food became a source of discomfort.

But as an adult, and now a mom herself, Kat has reached a full circle moment.

korean recipes, albertsonsKat, all grown up with her own familiy

As she makes her own kids the exact same curry dish (okay, maybe a leaner cut of beef, and organic veggies…but otherwise exactly the same!) Kat finds a whole new appreciation for the recipe, knowing how hard her mom worked to even make it happen.

Kat was lucky to have grown up with a meal to look forward to each night. Other kids aren’t so lucky. 1 in 8 kids currently experience food insecurity in the United States. But there’s an opportunity to decrease those numbers.

For every O Organics product you purchase, the company will donate a meal to someone in need through the Albertsons Companies Foundation—for up to a total of 28 million meals.

Is there a dish from your childhood that you’ve longed to rekindle with? You could do like Kat does and give it an O Organic twist. Luckily, the O Organics brand has a wide array of affordable ingredients, so creating healthy swaps is easier than ever. Plus, you can provide nourishment to another family at the same time.

Just think—the next meal you prepare could make all the difference to someone else. If every meal tells a story, that’s certainly a story worth telling.

Pop Culture

Woman who lives on a cruise ship for free shares the 4 things she can’t do

Living on a ship isn’t perfect. It’s just close to perfect.

A beautiful ocean liner

Upworthy has covered a few stories about people who decided to live permanently on cruise ships because it's cheaper than living on land or in a nursing home. These stories have connected with millions because they say a lot about the modern cost of living but are also aspirational.

Christine Kesteloo has become popular on TikTok with over 680,000 followers because she shares what living on a cruise ship is really like. Kesteloo is the wife of the ship’s Staff Chief Engineer, so she gets to live on the boat for free. She only has to pay for alcohol and soda, which she gets for half off.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

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Albertsons

No child should have to worry about getting enough food to thrive.

True

When you’re a kid, summer means enjoying the fun of the season—plentiful sunshine, free time with friends, splashing in pools and sprinklers. But not every child’s summer is as carefree as it should be.

For some, summer means going hungry. According to Feeding America, food insecurity affects 1 in 8 children in the U.S., largely because families lose the free or reduced-price meals at school that help keep them fed during the school year.

But back-to-school time doesn’t make food insecurity disappear, either. Hunger is a year-round issue, and with the increased cost of groceries, it’s gotten harder for families who were already struggling to put food on the table.

So what can be done—or more specifically, what can the average person do—to help?

The good news is that one simple choice at the grocery store can help ease the burden a bit for those experiencing food insecurity. And the even better news is that it’s also a healthy choice for ourselves, our families and our planet. When we’re out on our regular shopping trips, we can simply look for the O Organics versions of things we would already buy.

But wait—aren’t we all feeling the pinch at the checkout stand? And isn’t organic food expensive? Here’s the thing: Organic food is often much more affordable than you might think. The cost difference between organic and non-organic products keeps narrowing, and many organic and non-organic foods are now almost identical in price. Sometimes you’ll even find that an organic product is actually cheaper than its brand-name non-organic counterpart.

Since 2005, O Organics has helped give health-conscious shoppers more options by making organic food more accessible and affordable. And now, it’s helping those same shoppers take action to fight food insecurity. For every O Organics product you purchase, the company will donate a meal to someone in need through the Albertsons Companies Foundation—for up to a total of 28 million meals.

Look for the O Organics label in every aisle.O Organics

Here’s what that means in real-world terms:

Say you’re throwing an end-of-summer backyard BBQ bash. If you were to buy O Organics ground beef, hamburger buns, ketchup and sea salt potato chips, you’d be donating four meals just by buying those four ingredients. If you added O Organics butter lettuce and O Organics sandwich slice pickles, you’d be donating two more meals, and so on.

And where are those meals going? Albertsons Companies Foundation works with a network of national and local charities fighting hunger, and regional divisions choose organizations to fund locally. So every O Organics product you purchase means a meal on the table for someone in your area who might not otherwise have the nourishment they need.

No kid should have to worry about getting enough food to thrive. We all make conscious choices each time we walk down a grocery store aisle, and by choosing

O Organics, we can make a difference in a child’s life while also making healthy choices for ourselves and our families. It’s truly a win-win.
Canva

We could all use a little extra cash.

Living is expensive, as we are all very, very aware. And for many of us, one job's wages aren't going to cut it, forcing us to get creative when it comes to making a little extra money.

In some ways, necessity really is the mother of invention. Nearly every niche talent, interest and/or skill set can be turned into a profitable business. Have a knack for finding cool, unique things at Goodwill? Sell them online. Willing to do simple chores that others can't be bothered to complete? Offer those services. The world is your capitalist oyster.

In other ways, society is a serpent eating its own tail. When people are all but forced to squeeze a penny out of every moment just to make ends meet or dare to try to make life better for themselves, then suddenly the only value registered is monetary value. That causes potential soul-nourishing hobbies to be drained of their magic by constantly trying to turn them into a "brand," never pursuing certain hobbies in the first place for fear that they won't make money, chasing get-rich-quick schemes out of desperation, following less-than-virtuous business practices…the list goes on.

But let's focus on the former for today.

Recently, u/bigdope-smallgirl asked folks on Reddit to share the 'weirdest' ways they make money. In a world where it seemed like we've seen every side hustle in existence, the answers were quite unexpected, not to mention lucrative, with some gigs raking in an extra $400 to $500+ a month. Perhaps most surprising of all—only one person seemed to mention selling pictures of their feet.

Here's what they had to say:

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Joy

Sorry, Labradors. After 31 years, America has a new favorite dog.

The American Kennel Club has crowned a new favorite.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.

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Parents are debating over whether to give children "adult" or "baby" names.

The names we choose to give our children can significantly impact their lives. Multiple studies from across the globe have found that a person’s name can influence their employment, social and economic outcomes.

Unfortunately, humans make snap judgments about one another, and having an unusual name can lead people to make unflattering assumptions. “We’re hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody,” Northwestern University researcher David Figlio said, according to Live Science.

However, an increasing number of parents are giving their children non-traditional names to help them stand out. “Parents are trying to be original, almost branding their kids in an era where names are viewed on the same level as Twitter handles or a website URL,” writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.

Ruby, a mother on TikTok, took a hard stance on parents giving their children names that sound childish in a post that’s received over 11 million views. Ruby says she named her kids as “adults, not babies” hoping they would never “outgrow” their names.

@rubyyvillarreal

#stitch with @nikkiruble love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesnt mean they will perfer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options 🤷🏻‍♀️ #nicknames #babynames #babytok #adultnames #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #momtok #momlife #babynames #babyname

“The whole concept when I was trying to look for a name and choose a name for her is I did not want her to outgrow her name,” she said in the viral video. “I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and into adulthood. So, it's like I really am happy with what I ended up with naming her and it just fits her so well.”

She captioned the video, “love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options.”

People in the comments responded with modern names they think that kids will outgrow.

"My name is Koazy and I’m here for a job interview," Stalker joked. "Hello sir, I am Bluey Mason Garrison! I was called in for a job interview last Tuesday," Pastel Purr added.

"I can’t imagine knowing [a] 30-year-old named Emma or Posie," Mikey wrote.

However, a lot of people commented that names that seem like they’ll be outgrown will sound fine in the future when those names are popular with the new generation. “Kids grow up with their generation having their own names on trend. They will be normal adult names when they are grown,” Kerry wrote.

“Names grow with the generation,” Lauren added. “The name Dennis sounded like a baby name once too. Names grow up just like generations.”

@rubyyvillarreal

Replying to @19eighty_5 my kids name and the process 😬 #babynames #nicknames #babytok #adultnames #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #babyname #babyfever

In a follow-up video, Ruby shared the names she gave her children. Her girl is named Karla Esmerelda and her boy is called Deluca.

“I just really liked how simple, how bold, and strong that the name by itself just really kind of is. Doing some research names with the letter K tend to be like very bold and powerful names, so I really wanted it with a K and not with a C,” she said.

She named her son Deluca, after a doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she chose the name because there was nothing to connect it to, and it sounded “nice.”


This article originally appeared on 4.26.23


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Therapist explains panic attacks and how to control them.

It seems since therapy has become more acceptable to talk about, people are becoming more open about their mental health challenges. But there's also been an increase in self-diagnosis, which in some cases can be helpful, while in others can lead to a bit of misinformation.

Self-diagnoses have also caused confusion around anxiety and panic attacks. That's where Dr. Julie Smith comes in. Smith, a clinical psychologist, takes the time to differentiate between anxiety, anxiety attacks and panic attacks. (Psst...anxiety attacks aren't a thing. It's a misunderstanding around the term, and Smith does a great job sifting through the use of the term.)

"An anxiety attack is a term that's being used more and more online and on social media, often to mean slightly different things," Smith says. "And the reason for that is because it's not a clinical disorder or a diagnosis, so it's not a term that's recognized or used by professionals to mean anything in particular."

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