If you're a mama in your 30s a few things are probably true: You still know all the words to NSYNC's "I want you back," you are tired and miss the support system that gave you a break pre-pandemic and you probably don't want to recreate viral TikTok dances (or, at least, won't admit publicly that you do).

That's okay mama, we found the TikTokker for you and she's gonna make you smile today.


Renee Reina is a Toronto mother who is aiming to finish a PhD in psychology and keep her sense of humor during these trying times and one of her TikTok videos is giving many fellow mamas a good laugh.

"Dear daycare" she writes over the sound of NSYNC hitting the beats to "I want you back."

We get you, Renee. We really get you.


We asked Reina what she wants other mamas missing their childcare (whether that's day care, school or grandparents who can no longer provide it) to do, and her advice is simple: "laugh as much as possible throughout the day," she tells Motherly.

She continues: "Try to find the humor in stressful situations. I have noticed a huge difference in myself when I react to situations calmly and with humor as opposed to reacting in frustration. This is also how I get most of my ideas for TikTok. If you're not laughing, you're probably crying."

Experts agree. According to Lisa Tams, a Master's level licensed and accredited clinical social worker working in the areas of maternal and child health, human development, frustrated parents dealing with frustrated preschoolers should "use humor when you can to make the situation more bearable for you or for the child when appropriate."

Writing for Michigan State University Extension, Tams explains "helpful responses and appropriate role modeling from adults can make the difference between a toddler that learns to express themselves in an appropriate way and one that does not learn to regulate their frustration and anger."

It's okay if you are laughing to keep from crying, but missing day care is a huge issue for mothers right now that shouldn't be laughed off.

Motherly's third annual State of Motherhood survey found that not having childcare is a major source of stress for moms during this pandemic. Childcare is the second biggest concern for moms right now after their family's mental health, and it's easy to see why.

Childcare doesn't just give us a break, it gives a lot to our kids, too. A third (33%) of moms feel the hardest thing their kids are dealing with is no longer socializing with their friends. They are also most concerned with their family's mental health (31%) and nearly a quarter (23%) feel the hardest thing for their kids is a lack of structure/daily routine.

Like NSYNC survived the 1999 lawsuit that made them lose the *, we will survive the pandemic of 2020, mama. Hang in there. It's okay to cry but it's okay to laugh and be silly, too.