Hope you're not wearing mascara while watching this mom's viral TikTok about the phases of motherhood – Motherly Inc.

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You will 100% need a tissue before watching this. Or 10.
By Cassandra Stone October 3, 2022
There isn’t a mother alive who isn’t fully aware of the concept of “the days are long but the years are short,” because we’re living it. Every single moment, we’re living it. And this mom’s viral TikTok—featuring audio from Bing Bong of “Inside Out”—is going to absolutely gut you. Because it’s beautiful and painful and exciting all at the same time.
“When your kid starts to get a little older, you get a little bit of your independence back and you start to feel like yourself again,” the video begins, showing TikTok user @_itsbriannam in full-on independent mom mode.
cred: @Annalee
♬ som original – FLY (;

You can hear Amy Poehler’s “Bing Bong, we did it!” audio for this part of the viral TikTok video. Those who are familiar with “Inside Out” know the beauty and heartbreak of Riley’s imaginary friend, Bing Bong, helping Joy reach the top of the Long-Term Memory part of Riley’s HQ.
That audio is the perfect soundtrack to this video for so many layered, deeply emotional reasons.
Related: Mom’s viral TikTok nails the emotional rollercoaster of letting your kids sleep in your bed
The next shot of the video is the same mom, hair in a messy bun, pretending to hold a newborn baby, looking and feeling like we all did during those endlessly exhausting newborn days.
“The part of you that will always be a brand-new mom sitting alone in a nursery, rocking your newborn baby, wondering how in the world you’re going to get through this.”
The “brand-new mom” is seen cheering on the newly-independent mom with tears in her eyes, and honestly it’s the most perfect depiction of the phases of motherhood I’ve ever seen.
The second part of the audio is from Bing Bong, Riley’s old imaginary friend again, reciting his famous line: “You made it! Go, go save Riley! Take her to the moon for me.”
That audio in conjunction with the image of a brand-new mom rocking a newborn is an automatic, guaranteed trip to Tissue Town. WHEW. IS IT DUSTY IN HERE?
And, of course, it’s resonating with moms all over TikTok—in the comments section, in stitches, duets, etc. Because we all know those feelings all too well.
Related: This viral video has mothers everywhere feeling so seen (and crying)
For me, the newborn phase was the hardest. Sure, I know they sleep all day and they’re so tiny and sweet and they can’t talk back (or make you chase them around the house while chewing on quarters, but I digress). I know that. And I loved all of those parts of the newborn phase and more.
But it was the hardest part for me for exactly the reasons shown in this video—the all-encompassing loss of self. The loss of your old identity. The loss of your independence and free time. The loss of boobs that don’t hurt from being cracked and bleeding all day. The loss of clean hair and clothes. The loss of the world outside your cocoon of new motherhood—I struggled. Big time. Postpartum anxiety and depression hit me hard.
And yet, even though toddlerhood is exhausting in many other ways, it’s not an all-encompassing life phase. Because they don’t need you for every single tiny thing every single day. You find yourself again. You’re able to take time for yourself again. You start to get back in touch with your own needs, wants, and desires.
Thinking about New Mom Me chokes me up, because the first time around she didn’t realize there was an expiration date for the newborn and infant phases because she couldn’t see that far ahead. Life didn’t exist outside of nursing, cat naps, spit-up, blow-outs, the witching hour, and never knowing if you’re doing the right thing—for yourself or your baby.
Now that I’m out of the “thick of it,” I wish I could show New Mom Me—anxious beyond sanity and covered in breastmilk while looking wistfully outside my living room window—that I’m on a trip to the moon with both of my girls. The phases are fleeting, it’s true, but we’re on this ride for life.
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