Can you tell if someone is a parent without them actually telling you that they are one? That’s the question at the heart of a recent trend of viral parenting TikToks. The trend is a pretty incredible way of showing how sometimes words don’t need to be exchanged for fellow parents to recognize within each other the myriad of struggles, changes and joys that having kids can bring.
TikTok user @mommacusses, or Gwenna Laithland — who has also founded a website with the name Momma Cusses — started the trend, according to Parents. Laithland posted a video encouraging fellow parents of TikTok to, “tell me you have kids without telling me you have kids.”
Laithland explains in the video, saying, “for me, it’s that the decorations get far less breakable the further down the house you look,” and as the camera pans up and down living room walls and the rungs of the Christmas tree, Laithland adds, “even the Christmas decorations start breakable up high but get more and more tamper-proof the further down you go.”
Viewers can spot photo frames, fragile ornaments and figurines up top on the bookshelves, and with each descending shelf below, you’ll see novels, then children’s books and finally a storage container (for toy’s presumably!); glass bulb ornaments to the downward progression of safe-for-kids plastic ornaments on the Christmas tree.
And as with any viral trend, loads of other TikTok users followed suit to share the things about their lives that serve as a dead giveaway that they are indeed parents. With Laithland’s original voiceover of “tell me you have kids without telling me you have kids” playing, @silmiyauk shows viewers a bookshelf full of anything but books — brimming with Monopoly boards and kids plushies galore instead.
TikTok user @bankingonthebanks shows us what is likely to be an all-too familiar sights for parents, i.e. a dreaded sweatshirt covered in spit-up.
TikTok User @piercehan didn’t have to say a word in her TikTok, she only needed the pan the camera over to her fruit bowl, complete with small bites taken out of each piece of fruit.
The trend started on TikTok, but parents across all platforms started to play along. “I found a chunk of chicken nugget in my pocket and I’m a vegetarian,” one parent replied. Another said it all in one photo where a kid’s pair of underwear was hanging off the Christmas tree.
"Tell me you have kids without telling me you have kids"
I found a chunk of chicken nugget in my pocket and I'm a vegetarian.
— Mark Techson's return is imminent | 0.035 (@marktechson) December 10, 2020
My answer to the “tell me you have kids without telling me you have kids” meme pic.twitter.com/RM44ysOaFV
— Dr. Leigh Krietsch Boerner (@LeighJKBoerner) December 10, 2020
We can safely say that this is probably one of the most relatable TikTok trends for parents ever.