Children are the greatest gift of life they say. Raising them is fun they say. But no one talks about the changes that come after becoming parents. No one talks about the challenges and compromises though.

That’s why we have decided to touch on this sensitive topic and show you how life changes through the series of these 30 pictures.

@GotToddlered on Instagram shows the messy but hilarious reality of what happens when kids take over your life. The photos shared here contrast photos of adults in their pre-children prime with the now. Although they were once young, attractive, and without a care in the world, they now have to contend with chaotic tiny humans instead. But they see the lighter side of it all though.

Read on for our interviews with the experts too. We spoke with Dr. Ashley Söderlund and Nicole Schwarz on what we can learn from our children.

This Doesn’t Even Need A Caption

I should literally delete every other picture on this page and replace them all with this and put “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” in my bio. My work here is done. All joking aside, this guy is a champ and a half! Giving us dads a good name!

The Instagram page has over 88K followers and was founded by Mike Julianelle, proud father of two and blogger at ‘Dad and Buried’. Mike explains how it initially got started.

It was based on a ‘ten-year challenge’ that was going around on Twitter at the time—one picture of you from before, and one ten years later. After posting his own version and making a joke about parenting, one of his followers asked if Mike would share their one too.

The page started accepting submissions and it was a big success. You can see that many people have similar experiences of their life changing by becoming a parent. There’s the dads who were tough guys, rock-stars and party animals, but have now mellowed out after gaining more responsibility. And the younger, dolled-up versions of moms who have discovered that life with kids isn’t as glamorous as before.


It’s not all bad though. Children bring so much into our lives at the same time. I wanted to learn more about what makes toddlers in particular so special.

We spoke about this with Dr. Ashley Söderlund, a developmental psychologist and founder of the Nurture and Thrive blog. Dr. Söderlund said, “Toddlers live in the moment and appreciate the little things in life. They also wear their hearts on their sleeves. You never have to question how they’re feeling!”

“All of that emotion is what makes this stage so challenging as well,” she explained, “as the parts of the brain responsible for emotion regulation are still under construction in the toddler years.”

We also spoke with Nicole Schwarz, a mom, parent coach, and founder of the Imperfect Families website. Her first book, ‘It Starts With You’ is a guide to parenting children with a calm confidence, and is available for pre-order now.

Nicole agrees with this and told we, “Toddlers see the world with a sense of wonder, everything is new and exciting. It’s an explosion of growth and learning – physically, socially, mentally, and emotionally.”

Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen

From Rock God To Pretty Little Princess!

There’s big emotions for both adults and children alike. So, how should parents keep their own feelings in check when their little ones are having a meltdown?

Dr. Söderlund gives this advice to new parents: “One thing I find that helps is shifting your perspective on emotions.”

“Instead of controlling emotions, acknowledge them. Emotions are not bad, nor do they need to be controlled,” she explains. “When your toddler is angry that you cut their sandwich in the wrong shape, say: ‘Wow, you sound mad!’ Acknowledgment helps toddlers learn to label how they feel and gives them words to express themselves.”

From Falling Down To Lifting Up

From Grabbing Nips To Grabbing Naps. Weekends Sure Have Changed!

From So Focused And Organized And Together To Googling “What Day Is It?” And “Can Parenthood Kill You?”

Before And After Having Children

Before And After Having Children

There’s definitely a lot of great things that kids bring into our life. Perhaps the best of all is becoming like a child again ourselves. Adults can sometimes forget what it means to have fun.

Nicole puts in well in her talk with us. “Slow down. Play is the language of kids. Be silly, sing, play!” Nicole told us.

Dr. Söderlund also encourages us to enjoy everything that our children do too. She said “The wonderful thing about toddlers is their pure expression of emotions. The next time your toddler stops to smell the flowers, or watch a butterfly, allow yourself to slow down for a moment too. And when they express pure joy about that flower or butterfly, let that joy fill you up as well.”

Before: I Wanna Dance With Somebody! After: Not Like That

From Bedroom Eyes To Butt Face

From Prost To Toast. From German To Squirmin’. From Chug To Rug. From Bust To Dust. Do Any Of These Work? From Oktoberfest To Needs Some Rest

And you can also see that kids are fun, little people. They love to play, climb and explore as part of their development in early life. And they love to do all this with their parents too.

It seems that young kids can’t go a moment without mom and dad. So, this high energy and constant need for attention can be challenging (and exhausting) at times. Parents have to ensure that their curious kids aren’t doing or eating something that they shouldn’t. There’s no doubt about it—being a parent is difficult.


He’s Not Smiling Now. And Look At The Kid Playing Dumb!

From Blissed To Pissed!

Trying to get kids to see things the same way as adults is impossible. I asked Nicole why this is and she said, “Kids don’t share your sense of urgency and they do not understand the importance of tasks like ‘going to work’ or ‘running errands’.”

She explains, “You understand that being late for work will make you lose your job, but in your toddler’s world, there is unlimited time for play!”

From Sailing Away To Lost At Sea

From Running Marathons To Running After A Half-Naked Toddler Before He Pees Everywhere

From Duckface To Yuckface

This Is Literally The Coolest Cat I’ve Ever Seen. If I Were That Kid I Would Not Put Another Sticker On Him Or He Might Sit There And Take It!

From Camera-Ready To “Get That Goddamn Camera Away From Me!”

Life’s A Beach, Then You Cry

From Sunbathing To Bear Hugging, Relaxing Changes When You Have Kids

From Ducklips To Feetface

From Looking Sharp To Looking Sharpied!

From Working It To Overworked. The Change In Footwear Tells The Whole Story

What’s The Opposite Of Happily Ever After?

A Fresh ‘Do Is No Match For A Fresh 2yo

She Used To Make Her Own Duck Lips

There Is No Way That’s Joshua Dellis In Both Pictures

I Don’t Even Have A Joke. I Hate It Here