I’m a mom of two kids under 5, and if your house is anything like mine, your living room looks like a toy store; your sink is piled high with dishes; and there’s at least three to four revolving hampers of laundry that either need to be washed or folded and put away on any given day. It’s stressful to look at everything that needs to get done and wonder when I’m going to find the time (and energy) to do it all.

But sometimes all your brain needs is to see you’re not alone, and I let out a big sigh of relief when I saw Instagrammer Steph Bae’s (@happy_baes) recent viral reel where she gave followers a tour of her “lived-in home” with three kids. 

“Hey, fellow mom with a messy house,” she wrote in the caption. “I see you. And it’s okay – this season of not being able to catch up to the overflowing drawers, the mess on the floor, in the kitchen, piles of laundry waiting to be folded AND put away, and crammed full hide everything storage spaces too shall pass.”

It might be odd to call a video that shows a messy house therapeutic, but it truly is! And I’m not the only one who feels that way. Bae’s comments were flooded with messages of solidarity and gratitude for sharing what real life looks like for so many.

“Thank you for sharing this because I think so often that there is obviously something wrong with me, I cannot keep the house clean with 3 kids,” one mom wrote. “The struggle is real and I am glad I am not alone.”

“This might sound extreme, but this literally healed something in me,” wrote another. “I watched it over and over and just let myself cry. I have 5 kids ages 1-6. My house looks like this all the time (sometimes even a little messier) and I have a family member who’s been extremely critical about it. I’ve felt so judged and literally started to wonder if I was just some [obviously] horrible mom. Thank you for sharing this.”

As moms, we tend to carry the mental load when it comes to housework—and just about anything related to children—and in the age of social media it’s easy to be hard on ourselves when we are bombarded with the seemingly perfect lives of content creators. It’s time to normalize the mess! And a great way to do that is being comfortable with letting others in your space, even if it’s not clean. Next time you have a mom friend over to your house, try to not tidy up beforehand. It will put less pressure on you and might make her feel more seen, too.