Mom TikToker Bri James put herself out there about how hard it can be to keep up with cleaning while raising four kids
Sure, it’s easy to tell yourself that the pristine Instagram posts of moms in their all-white sheets sipping their morning coffee without a hair out of place are staged and completely unrealistic — but even with that mindset, it can still feel like our homes don’t exactly measure up. That’s why it is so damn refreshing when moms who aren’t running a lifestyle brand share the reality of the messiness of living with kids.
TikToker Bri James, aka @themessymama4, has always been candid about how messy a home with four kiddos can get, as her handle suggests. While most of her videos get a decent amount of views, the latest clip she shared after not picking up her house for four days has people applauding — and condemning — the mom.
The video paints a very real picture any mom with a slammed schedule recognizes: toys are strewn across the floor, dirty dishes are precariously stacked in the sink, and a puddle or two of unknown sticky substances adorn the floor. “This is to keep me accountable not for views,” Bri explained in the caption of the video as she takes us through her home.
“This is what happens when two really lazy adults have four kids and don’t clean up after themselves. Because it’s a mess,” she said. “Four days guys, I have not done dishes or picked things up for four days and this is what my house looks like.”
It looks like there were moments that Bri attempted to get some cleaning done, as evidenced by the vacuum cleaner sitting in the kitchen, but surprise! Sometimes having four kids interrupts, well, every part of your life, including cleaning.
I will block those who are mean. this is to keep me accountable not for views.
♬ original sound – Bri James
“It is not dirty, it’s simply messy. And so that’s what I’m going to do today,” she said. Most commenters applauded Bri, thanking her for the realness, but of course, there were detractors and people giving unsolicited parenting advice to Bri.
“Bio says stay at home mom…what r u doing all day????” asked one user. “If CPS [child protective services] came to your house looking like that they would 100% open a case. They take kids away for far less,” added another critic.
Thankfully, there were moms backing up Bri. “[These] comments don’t pass the vibe check. Having children is mentally and physically exhausting and you don’t always have the energy to clean everyday,” said one. “I have 5 kids and my house will get this bad in an hour lol. No one should judge this,” added another mama.
“This is how my house is too. I’ve got 4 kids and it looks like this with in a few min of cleaning,” said another. Bri replied, “so true 😂 it’s endless😅” Who else felt this in their bones?
Bri then shared a couple followup videos cleaning up the mess
“Obviously I’m not going to post a really crappy video of my house being a mess and not post a video of me cleaning it,” she said. She starts by getting everything off the floor, which let’s be real, that’s half the battle. No more stepping on Legos or rouge tricycles in the kitchen!
In her second cleanup video, she talks about the struggles of cleaning the kitchen, a seemingly never-ending task when as soon as you’re done it’s time to clean up again post-dinner. After putting the kids to bed, she took a small reprieve to check her TikTok notifications and then got back to work.
“It was really soothing and relaxing to be cleaning and not be interrupted,” she said after she put the kids down. There is something so cathartic about cleaning up after everyone else in the house is down for the count, even if said cleanliness will only last until the next morning.
Um, yeah, you deserve to be sassy and proud of your cleanup job, Bri! And to all the haters, take a note from the comment section: “The lack of compassion in the comments is real! I hope you find a system that works for you and your family!”
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128