Nothing can prepare you for certain life-changing milestones you encounter in life. For many people, having kids is one of those milestones.
No matter how much time you spend around little ones, nothing quite prepares you for your own.
If nothing can prepare you for parenthood, there’s really nothing that can prepare you for the toddler years. Suddenly, the angelic little cherub you’ve spent months cooing over develops a mind and personality of their own. It can be fun, challenging, and ultimately rewarding. It can also make you look back at your life before and wonder, “How did I end up here?”
Parents all over the internet can relate. Thanks to a hilarious Instagram account, they can share the visual representations of those stages in their life. Mike Julianelle, the man behind the Dad and Buried Blog, introduced his latest project, Got Toddlered. We can’t help but relate to so many of these toddler parents.
If you’re a parent, you know how it is. It’s those days that you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror with unwashed, mangled hair and a mysterious stain on your shirt that you think, “I used to be cool.” You’re not alone. You were cool. Then you got toddlered.
Many people can keep their pre-parenting image at least somewhat together in the early days of parenting. Once you hit the toddler years, all bets are off. Toddlers are nonstop balls of energy that will propel you or run you right over before you even know what happened.
One Instagram account is looking to capture the marked difference in parents’ lives before and after kids. Got Toddlered is the work of Mike Julianelle. Mike also runs the Dad and Buried Blog, so he knows a thing or two about the havoc kids can inflict on unsuspecting parents.
“The account was originally dedicated to the memes I made, which showed examples of things children have destroyed or irrevocably altered,” he told BuzzFeed.
Got Toddlered has amassed over 70,000 followers. It really speaks to how universal the ups and downs of parenting are for everyone.
Everyone goes into parenting swearing to themselves that it won’t be like that. They know better; they can do better. But better is a relative term when a kid’s dumping a bowl of chunky cereal over your head while singing, “Rain, rain, go away.”
What’s worse is that once in a while, in your kid’s wildest moments, you catch a glimpse at your former self. Remember when you had that much energy? Mom brain might make it a little foggy, but there was a time!
It doesn’t just happen to people, either! Pets who once enjoyed being the only baby of the household get a rude awakening once that cute baby gets to walking and talking. Suddenly, they find themselves targeted by the chaos as well.
The toddler years can be full of fun, but they’re also … a lot. It’s a struggle where you’re trying to get your kids to go to sleep — for a nap, for the night, for 15 minutes — while lamenting how sleep-deprived you are yourself. Parents often look back at all the times they took sleep for granted.
The pictures are funny, but they also give parents everywhere something to bond over. “Some people have even messaged me to tell me I’ve made them feel OK about their own lives! Solidarity!” Mike said.
“Parenting is hard, but it’s not exactly rare. We don’t all do everything the same but we share a lot of the same experiences. We should focus on those instead of judging the differences,” Mike noted.
“And we should laugh about the parenting experience, or it will drive us insane.”