The Messy Reality Of Living With Kids: 35 Photos Of Unstaged And Unfiltered Rooms

By Ana J

Who else despises it when you scroll through your socials and you see your friend’s and acquaintances curated feeds of perfect pictures? No one shares their untidied rooms and minor daily breakdowns. A group of people that might feel particularly guilty seeing these perfect feeds are parents. Parenthood is not easy breezy as one might think. Let’s be honest. You are probably too sleep-deprived and stressed out to make your home Instagram-worthy every day with or without kids. There is no doubt that your home might be messy now and then, but you wouldn’t dare share those pictures on your feed. One parent determined that it was time to reveal the truth to the world about what parenting looks like. So, this mom invited parents to show some actual photos of their rooms. Here are 35 pictures of unstaged rooms not curated for social media feeds.

Origin story

Here’s the Tweet that started it all. Twitter user @alkellz invited parents to post some realistic pictures on their social media for a change. When you scroll through your feed, you might be overwhelmed with loneliness because no one shares their unfiltered self.

Source: alkellzz /Twitter

When you look around your own home, you might see toys everywhere and realize how tired you are to put them away. But you won’t see other people admitting their rooms are as messy. Well, thanks to this Twitter thread, things have started to change!

Lead by example

It’s not enough to just call parents to air out their dirty laundry online. Someone has to break the ice first. Since Amanda, or Twitter user @alkellzz, initially started this thread, it was only fair that she posted the first messy unstaged photo.

Source: alkellzz /Twitter

She posted a picture of her bathroom. As she says herself, it’s not too bad. But the issue here is that she has no energy to clean it up. While it’s not too bad, it doesn’t help to see only spotless homes online.


There are different types of pain in life. But one pain most of us know and dread feeling ever again is stepping on a piece of lego. The possibilities of that happening are much more increased if you have kids around.

Source: ruckdashelmama /Twitter

If you see a lego mess like in the picture above, you can make a safe assumption that these are not the only legos around the house. Advice: wear slippers around the house at all times! Protect yourself at all costs.


This was one of the most viral tweets in the thread. It went viral for a good reason. It demonstrates perfectly the struggles of a parent. Sometimes you don’t get to change your clothes during the day. It’s PJs until…

Source: Jessica95432269 /Twitter

… 3 PM or even until it’s bedtime again! The kids are using their mom as a toy or as the “mommy Choo Choo train,” and there’s a wall mirror that the parent didn’t get to hang yet. The struggle is real.


Speaking of Choo Choo, when parents are not being used as the train, kids love playing with toy trains as well. Given their wild imagination, anything can become a train track. Table legs? Train tracks. The baseboard between the wall and the floor?

Source: __apf__ /Twitter

Obviously, it can be train tracks! The picture above seems like the kids actually have wooden train tracks, not improvised ones. But the parent says as soon as they pick them up, they re-manifest somehow. Magic, right? We’re stuck here thinking maybe the imaginary tracks are better; at least they don’t have to be cleaned up after.

Coffee table

When you have kids, it’s time to say goodbye to fancy furniture, well, fancy anything really. You are better off investing in a lovely coffee table when they get a little older. Postpone having nice things; there will be time for it later.

Source: DougasBourdon /Twitter

It’s not you, though. Don’t blame yourself because you can’t have nice or stylish pieces of furniture that you desire. Many moms or dads are going through the exact same things as you. Their coffee table looks very similar to the one in the picture above.

Living room

Listen, the parent who submitted this photo has some impressive things going on for them. First of all, they managed to preserve a super fancy rug! Good for them. Second, the way the photo is taken that cute Yoda chair…

Source: Turra_bear /Twitter

… distracts us from the chaos in the left corner. Unintentionally genius composition. Third, they even managed to keep a pet and a tiny human alive! You need to cut yourself some slack. Sometimes it’s not as bad as you think.


Hey, sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. One day, when your little is all grown up, they won’t remember that mess shoved into the corner. You will soon forget and let go of the things that bother you now…

Source: xTrishMaldonado /Twitter

… like the mess, when things settle. You will feel prepared to do anything when this is all over, and you have kept your baby alive and entertained. After all, you gained invaluable multitasking skills! You can do anything life throws at you!

Christmas tree

Seasonal decorations are super cute, but packing them until next year is not as cute or fun when the season is over. These seasonal decorations might stay up longer than usual when you are a busy parent. Like, until February?

Source: CareBoogaBear /Twitter

Although February is not too long to have Christmas decorations up, it is a little strange. But, give it one more month until it gets to a point where you can’t easily explain it. In fairness to them, there are some hearts too for Valentines.


Children say some creepy stuff sometimes. Some kids talk about their past lives out of the blue or a giant scary monster in vivid detail that you might not be sure how to console them because now you think it’s there.

Source: McginnisNini /Twitter

In the picture above, we have a kid who is clearly a fan of Stephan King. We don’t want to know how he got to see Pennywise for the first time. Maybe he just saw the mask in the store?

Unfortunate events

Sometimes you might feel like the world is conspiring against you. You feel like you might have offended someone in the past, and karma is getting back at you. But who was it? If it’s not that, why is this happening?!

Source: kayla_marsh /Twitter

This lady who posted the photo above had a period in her life exactly like that. While she was due to give birth, her plumbing started leaking. She had to get used to being a new parent while her kitchen was essentially unusable.

Storage room

If you have an extra room in the house that’s not being used except when the guests are there or as a hobby room in a messy period of your life, this room is destined to become the storage room.

Source: mer_hartley /Twitter

It’s probably not what you intended for this room, but it’s just what happens. You won’t have this mess in there forever! One day you will remember the good old toaster your mom gave you, and you will have to declutter.


We mentioned that feeling overwhelmed is not uncommon when we see all these spotless homes on social media. So, this next parent pitched in with more than their untidied room. They also expressed their support for the initiative to share these photos.

Source: kloreneong /Twitter

As Kristen says, it is hard to forget we don’t always have it together. It seems like a lot of pressure to keep everything spotless, everyone fed, and be fresh and well-rested. There are only so many hours in a day.

Storage space

Just like with the extra room, any extra space in the house that’s not being used daily has the potential to become clutter. In this next photo, Twitter user @MaekItSparkle showed what used to be her crafting area but is now…

Source: MaekItSparkle /Twitter

… catch-all storage area. When you are overwhelmed with life, it’s hard to keep up with chores. Putting everything in the right place is not as easy as it sounds. If anyone understands that, it’s parents with babies and toddlers.


The following picture gives out chaotic energy. We are not judging the parent. It’s pretty hilarious. There’s so much going on and so many colors that you can’t look away. While the parent might have preferred a tidier room…

Source: motherrtris /Twitter

… we appreciate them for sharing this chaotic energy with us. When your kid is old enough to realize what they put you through, we are sure they will appreciate everything you did for them as well! You see chaos; we see a loving home!


Some users were expecting horror shows from this thread. But so far, we saw nothing too out of the ordinary for this period in one’s life. The closest thing to horror we saw on this list was that kid with…

Source: lisaH4N53N /Twitter

… a Pennywise mask scaring their neighbors and us! Anyway, sometimes as we can see in the picture above, cleaning the house for hours can feel like a futile enterprise when you have babies and toddlers. What’s the point anyways?


Sometimes, you have to take a moment and realize that while your house might be messier than usual, your kids are safe and surrounded by loved ones who are all healthy and good. In no time, things will change pretty quickly. Take a moment and just…

Source: sweetblissx /Twitter

… appreciate that. It’s not easy being a caregiver, but it’s easy to forget that your problems might seem small to those fighting bigger battles. You are safe, and your loved ones are healthy, and that’s what matters.


While this thread was made for people to feel less alone, some people still feel like their house is worse off than others—it kind of beats the purpose. We promise you; your house is not the worst one out there.

Source: poetruberson /Twitter

This Twitter user posted the picture of their house that we can see above, thinking it’s worse off than others, but to us, it just looks like all the others. Girl, you are moving soon! Give yourself a needed break!


Sometimes, babies show us their personalities early on. They might be laughing a lot. They might be crying a lot. This next parent shared with us that their baby is super clingy, which prevents them from ever getting things done.

Source: GertjeKayla /Twitter

Having a clingy baby who will only calm down when they are touching you certainly makes it complicated to complete your chores. You can’t ignore a crying baby, you’re doing the best you can mama! We sympathize with you and your struggles.


Sometimes, you can get the kid’s imagination to work in your favor. Kids are great at creating insane plot lines and twists. So, if you tell them that some planets over a stroller and a slide is actually a castle…

Source: AiryHoney1 /Twitter

… they won’t have any trouble believing it. They can spend at least an hour in the new castle while you get to catch up on the chores or some well-deserved alone time. Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.


Now, this room in the following picture is definitely far from the messiest room we’ve seen on this list. But, it’s all about perception and the way parents feel. It’s the constant fear your kid is in the next room…

Source: SiobunnieRN /Twitter

… causing mayhem. One of them is already refusing to wear pants, and who knows what the other one is up to when you can’t even see them? Sometimes it’s not about the messy room. It’s about the mess they cause in your head.


There’s a price for everything. Sometimes, silence is worse than noise when you have kids around the house. You might crave silence, but you get that uneasy feeling when it happens during the day. You are usually right to worry.

Source: Vlonghorn07 /Twitter

In the picture above, we can see that five minutes of silence can mean an unnecessary task for the next few hours. This parent now has to either clean up the chalk, if it’s even possible, or repaint the room!

Pack and Play

Pack ‘N Plays are versatile and a parents’ best friend. You can use them for their primary purpose, as a small place where you can ensure a safe space to play for the little one. But we have all found different uses for them, such as toddlers and babies taking naps there.

Source: starlitdaydream /Twitter

Some parents even opt to change their diapers in the same station. Those are just a few conventional uses of the Pack ‘N Play. However, in the picture above, we have one more. You can also use them for storing random things!

Another coffee table

Coffee tables are the first victims of kids’ mess. What was once a place where you put your coffee, tea, or any other beverage while you enjoy some TV entertainment is now storage for dolls, toys, coloring books, and such.

Source: youhveeverything /Twitter

At least the mess is sort of concentrated around the repurposed coffee table. Those shelves and pictures seem well-preserved for their primary purpose. Good job for standing your ground, parent! You can’t let them have all of your space!


The following user used a brilliant word to describe the chaos that toddlers can cause within just 10 minutes. They said it’s like going from totally clean to “chaosville.” It does feel sometimes like you have traveled to a different place.

Source: Aitchess55 /Twitter

One moment you have it all together, everything has a place in your home and is all neat and proper. The next minute, chaos! You just have to embrace it. There is no fighting it. Most importantly, you are not alone.


Ok, there’s quite a bit of unpacking that needs to go on here. Not because of the mess in the room but because of the picture’s description. Are we expected to believe the woman pictured above has a grandchild already? What sorcery is this?

Source: PlourdeKaren /Twitter

So, there are several players in the picture above to consider. The husband is rearranging cables, an alleged grandchild, photos that were hung about a year ago, and stuff that’s supposed to be sold. Is there something not going on?


“For once, it looks like this!” This is what Twitter user Sara Brinton said when she shared a photo of her clean kitchen where her teenage kids are cooking. It’s a good reminder that your troubles won’t last forever! There is hope still!

Source: sarambrinton /Twitter

It’s three kids cleaning the kitchen after dinner, and, get this, one is folding the laundry upstairs! And she is chilling while this is all happening. You and your babies will get there too. Remember that they grow up! Keep at it moms!


In this next photo, we will see a weird way to park a baby’s vehicle. We are not sure if this is legal, but apparently, you can park their little cars there when the usual crib residents are absent. We need to speak to the manager here!

Source: timabila07 /Twitter

The balloon looks like an accident waiting to happen too. It might pop and wake up the baby you worked so hard to get to sleep. But we guess the little one is absent, so just be careful when they are back!

Tidying up

Ok. We are going to be honest, we had to google what “Stepford” meant. Apparently, it means to be conformist. So, this next person feels guilty when they clean and when they don’t! What a pickle. What now?

Source: mmmdeliciouspie /Twitter

Well, we guess not cleaning once won’t hurt, but should you feel like a weirdo for cleaning usually? Probably not! Anyway, at least the toys match the carpet, so you can definitely get away with it for the night. Just make sure that cat doesn’t take any of the toys for herself!


Considering what this next person described, their entryway looks much better than they think! We’ve seen much worse halls after just three days of going to work and back. Not even including seven basketball games and one soccer game!

Source: AnnaDBrandt /Twitter

Or a pizza party at the end! Don’t feel guilty, Twitter user Anna Brandt! Of course, it can stay there until tomorrow. Hell, it can probably stay there for another week. It’s not the worst entryway ever. You can rest.


This next thread entry is from a very realistic person. They know they tidied up a little bit, but they also know that having all these toys around makes sense for where their life is right now. As they said…

Source: cyb0rgbette /Twitter

… it’s typical. See? You are not alone. Everyone’s living room looks like this! From the space, we can conclude that is one happy toddler. Those toys are amazing! They are like something out of a dream catalog for kids. Good job!


Sometimes most of the chaos related to kids happens over the weekend, not during workdays. They might have some activities during workdays like preschool, sports, playdates, etc. During the weekend, they can unleash all of that chaos! For the whole day!

Source: g_in_cle /Twitter

Well, for two whole days! Even worse. In the photo above, we see some intense playtime. There’s a random mattress on the floor. One of the kids is in full costume, while the other has accepted their faith. So much going on!

Happy dog

Listen, this is the third time on this list that we see a repurposed coffee table, lets accept them for what they are. As we said, they are the first victims of your decision to bring adorable little devils into your home. This coffee table is…

Source: LucyBby04 /Twitter

… full of cars and snacks. This is pretty standard for coffee tables used by toddlers and kids. But hey, at least the dog is happy! And as Twitter user Lucy Molina says, the dog is always happy no matter the mess.


Some users in this thread did not post their photos, but they did post their comments. In this next entry, we have a dad asking people how do they have their rooms so tidy. He feels like his house looks…

Source: i_am_camilo /Twitter

… “like a toy hoarding dragon decided to share all at once, on every surface.” Although he didn’t share a picture, he painted it with words. We can definitely imagine what that looks like! Stay strong, Twitter user @i_am_camilo!

Homework due

No matter your age, parenting is no easy task. When you are a younger parent, you may have more energy to play and care for your children, but you may also have other obligations like studying or establishing yourself in your career.

Source: _emilyhayes23 /Twitter

All stages of life come with some serious compromises. You might be more established and stable when you are older, but your energy is lower. You can’t win. This poor young parent has homework on top of her parenting duties! It can’t be easy, but it won’t last forever.