This Mom Is Normalizing 'Being Normal' on TikTok and We're So Here for It

Finally, a depiction of parenting on social media that *actually* represents reality, from messy fridges to cluttered garages.

An image of a messy fridge on a colorful background.
Photo: Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

If you've ever looked at so much of the parenting content floating around on social media and thought to yourself, "well, I just can't relate to that," you're not alone. For better or worse, perfectly organized homes, spotless all-white decor, home-cooked organic meals, beautifully dressed children, and elaborately maintained yards are not always the stuff of reality—though online snapshots would have you believe otherwise.

But every once in a while we see a so-real-it-hurts depiction of parenting small children that makes us feel totally seen. Like we're not the only ones wading through the chaos and the mess and the imperfection of this whole parenting gig. Enter Emily Feret, the mother behind the beloved TikTok clips that aim to "normalize being normal."

Feret has amassed an audience of more than 1 million followers who look to the videos of her life and home, where she hilariously narrates scenes that are less Instagram-perfect (read: staged) and more, well, normal.

"Life without the filters: Let me walk around my house and make you feel better about yours," Feret announces. In one video, she proceeds to point out the hallmarks of her "normal" home: Damaged furniture (she refuses to buy more because kids ruin everything, natch), her toy-strewn living room floor ("a wreck"), and an end table cluttered with energy drinks (because parents are tired, maybe you've heard?) and two partially-eaten bananas (her toddler insisted on eating Feret's after noshing on half of her own, then predictably didn't finish either).

Another video gives us a look at Feret's yard, which is where her family parks their cars. Why, you ask? Well, because her garage is home to "too much crap" for them to park there. Stuffed in her garage are an old couch, an exercise bike, a kiddie pool, and a wagon her toddler refuses to sit in during walks. The relatability level is sky-high, and these videos surely make parents who are dealing with imperfection feel better about their own realities—which was Feret's goal when she set out to document snippets of her life.

"I was watching all these videos and seeing all these pictures on social media of these picture-perfect houses and 'filtered lives,' and it was making me feel bad about my life," Feret tells Parents. "I was not seeing any houses or moms that looked like me and my life. I wanted to show how my life is not at all like that and that you can be 'normal' and be doing a wonderful job even if your house is a mess and your kids are driving you crazy."

Amen to that. As much as we all want to feel like we're navigating the same issues as parents, it can be really tough to share your unfiltered reality when it feels like everyone else has a cleaner house or a better wardrobe or a more picture-perfect life. And as hard as we try to avoid the comparison game, it's only natural to compare our lives to what we see all over social media.

Not surprisingly, people are loving the videos. "The response has been overwhelming and emotional," Feret says. "I have had childhood heroes commenting on my videos, gifts sent to me, and people messaging me, every day thanking me for helping them. All I have ever wanted was to help other people and it is surreal that these videos of me walking around my house have had such an impact on others."

Feret's videos cover an impressive array of topics that most parents will find themselves relating to, from getting parent shamed by older mothers to preparing her anxiety to make a phone call and so much more. Collectively, Feret has attracted 32 million likes on her videos, which tells us that her goal to normalize normal is resonating with parents everywhere.

Listen, parenting will always be super tough, but that doesn't mean we cant laugh about it, vent about it, or even hilariously celebrate the small wins (like finally emptying the dishwasher!) together. Feret's TikTok channel is exactly the tonic that most frazzled parents need and we are so here for it.

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