Top 25 Photos From the Instagram #parentingforreal Photo Challenge

Parenting For Real
My favorite Fern photo of the challenge, taken after she learned a new trick: taking off her diaper and peeing all over the place. #parentingforreal

This past week a number of you joined in on the Instagram baby photo challenge that I proposed and it was so much fun!

All week long I looked forward to sharing in the real-life moments you experienced with your little ones and I know that many of you felt the same.  I received many comments and e-mails from people who found the challenge to be a source of encouragement for them, because they thought everyone else had it all together and they felt better knowing that we all have our ups, downs, joys and struggles.

It seems like the #parentingforreal hashtag really caught on and gave us all a bit of solidarity in parenting which is most definitely a good thing.

And now, here are my top 25 favorite photos from the challenge….


  • From: emop 1 of 25
    From: emop
    After commenting on how impressive the photo of her 5 month old standing unassisted was Erin responded, "Here is the truth! She stood long enough for 12 snapshots and then I just barely caught her!"
    Follow emop on Instagram
  • From: danniremender 2 of 25
    From: danniremender
    "See this sweet moment of my baby falling asleep? I'm actually checking instagram and wishing he would hurry up and fall asleep so I can shower and clean the cat litter."
    Follow danniremender on Instagram
  • From: definingtabitha 3 of 25
    From: definingtabitha
    "Using my son's bib to clean up the spill from my bloody mary."
    Follow definingtabitha on Instagram
  • From: rynomiandtheboys 4 of 25
    From: rynomiandtheboys
    "Ryan just sent me this picture from the park. Oliver is pissed that Arlo had to come and he won't get out of the stroller. I'm glad I wasn't invited to boy's time today hahaha!"
    Follow rynomiandtheboys on Instagram
  • From: clairevoisine 5 of 25
    From: clairevoisine
    "Trying to take a sweet sleeping baby photo, then realizing I left the flash on. Angry baby cries ensued."
    Follow clairevoisine on Instagram
  • From: britmann 6 of 25
    From: britmann
    "For the other moms out there: a photo of my house and the toddler who I just found playing in a puddle of her own pee."
  • From: krysblue 7 of 25
    From: krysblue
    "Deadlines + Baby = #parentingforreal"
    Follow krysblue on Instagram
  • From: sarahhanns 8 of 25
    From: sarahhanns
    "The iPhone tug-of-war."
  • From: emosser 9 of 25
    From: emosser
    "Dried food, Legos, burp cloths, baby carriers... I think it's time to clean the car."
    Follow emosser on Instagram
  • From: threewildthings 10 of 25
    From: threewildthings
    "9:15 PM. We're that crazy family who decides to grocery shop five minutes before the store closes. The baby is sucking on the shopping cart handle and clearly I don't care, Spiderman is having a semi-conniption for some unknown reason and the oldest is mad because I told him to get off the back of the shopping cart for the tenth time."
    Follow threewildthings on Instagram
  • From: mrswatson 11 of 25
    From: mrswatson
    "Woke up to the baby screaming. Picked her up and she burped & threw up down my front. Nice."
    Follow mrswatson on Instagram
  • From: ykpettengill 12 of 25
    From: ykpettengill
    "He learned how to take off his new shades. So glad I spent 20 bucks for yet another teething toy."
    Follow ykpettengill on Instagram
  • From: echoziel 13 of 25
    From: echoziel
    "Unmade beds, ragamuffin kids, door being slammed in my face when I ask for a photo."
  • From: amandanewell 14 of 25
    From: amandanewell
    "My $6 crock pot meal that has 3 ingredients and looks like barf because I don't have time to care what my food looks like :)."
  • From: lifeat1521 15 of 25
    From: lifeat1521
    "I made ooblek to play with and thought he'd be really excited...but once he touched it he immediately had to wash his hands because they were dirty. No it's cool Bennett, I'm glad I just spent the last 10 minutes stirring it to get all the lumps out."
  • From: kaciecollection 16 of 25
    From: kaciecollection
    "I sure hope we don't need the bribery and earplugs for our fellow (airplane) passengers but we got 'em just in case."
    Follow kaciecollection on Instagram
  • From: deelitt 17 of 25
    From: deelitt
    "After 2 meltdowns this morning, I decided to let him stay in his {mismatched} PJs all day. And after telling him to get down 50+ times, I'm going to watch as he hangs out on top of the table."
    Follow deelitt on Instagram
  • From: happywife_happylife 18 of 25
    From: happywife_happylife
    "This picure does not belong on #pinterest! No dark-out curtains, this is how we make shift our way to peaceful and longer naps."
    Follow happywife_happylife on Instagram
  • From: misskatem 19 of 25
    From: misskatem
    "In a wedding 4 months postpartum = this little number."
    Follow misskatem on Instagram
  • From: ali_fiff 20 of 25
    From: ali_fiff
    "'Making a poopy' #pottytraining"
  • From: mnm3505 21 of 25
    From: mnm3505
    "They eat. I eat. #makingeverysecondcount"
    Follow mnm3505 on Instagram
  • From: pakcitychick 22 of 25
    From: pakcitychick
    "Dad didn't secure the diaper straps before nap time. We were all rudely awakened by a baby with a fistful of poop."
  • From: jennjhall 23 of 25
    From: jennjhall
    "Cute picture until I realized that I had forgotten to buckle him into his carseat!! I just about cried."
    Follow jennjhall on Instagram
  • From: clairevoisine 24 of 25
    From: clairevoisine
    "Epic mom to mom texting from @thelittlethingswedo."
    Follow clairevoisine on Instagram
  • From: steviekenyon 25 of 25
    From: steviekenyon
    "In every crazy day there are little snippets that feel so calm."
    Follow steviekenyon on Instagram


Thank you all for joining in on this photo challenge!  I hope to see more #parentingforreal moments from time to time even though the challenge is over, because I know when I’m having a bad day and feeling like I’m doing a crappy job at parenting, I’ll be heading over for a peek at that hashtag.

Make sure to check out more photos from the mamas from this challenge!


Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

More from Lauren…


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Extreme breastfeeding! 19 photos of moms nursing in outrageous places
25 totally ridiculous vintage ads featuring babies
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