A dad’s funny social media post about life after kids has sparked a viral trend.
Mike Julianelle runs the Instagram account Got Toddlered, where he shares memes and photos featuring “things children have ruined.” But as it turns out, his kids have affected not only his household and his old way of life, but his appearance as well.
On Oct. 12, Julianelle shared side-by-side photos of himself. One was from 2006, before he had kids, and it shows him looking youthful and rested. In the other one, from 2016, Julianelle appeared unshaven and exhausted.
“Wanna see something REALLY scary? Here’s me, before and after I had kids!” he wrote alongside the images.
The father of two, who has a seven-year-old and almost two-year-old, told HuffPost that after sharing the picture, he got a message from a follower suggesting he ask for submissions from other parents, as well. So Julianelle encouraged everyone to share their “scariest ‘Before and After Kids’ pics” for him to post on the account.
“Let the nightmares begin!” he wrote.
Julianelle has since shared over a dozen before-and-after photos. He said he’s received far more of those submissions than any of the “my toddler destroyed something” memes he previously got.
“Obviously, it’s meant to be lighthearted, and no one is seriously blaming their children for the state of their faces or lives, except for me when I seriously blame my kids for the state of my face and my life, which is basically all I do on my blog and Facebook page and Twitter,” he told HuffPost.
He said he hopes the pictures make people laugh and let parents know they aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed.
“My blog and everything else have always been about the fact that it’s OK to be honest about the pitfalls of parenthood,” Julianelle said. “There’s no shame in admitting that for all the peaks, there are plenty of pits. Kids are the worst best thing that’s ever happened to us and if we don’t laugh about the havoc they wreak we’d have to cry instead, and I’m not a crier.”