On Parenting, And Why It's So Important We Share Our Stories

Here are 7 people helping parents everywhere.

When Mom Kesha Bernard took to Facebook to open up about the struggles of parenting — particularly the challenge of flying with a child — her post went viral. And when Kendra Wilkinson showed off her post-pregnancy stretch marks on Mother's Day, writing "Look what my 2 babies did," her post reached thousands, thanks to its positive message about self-love and parenting. 

Parents from all walks of life relate to these accounts, and countless other parenting stories, posted on social media, which is why it's so important we share them. Not only does it create a support system, but it opens up a new type of positive conversation — outside of traditional parenting books and resources — so that others facing similar issues don't feel so alone. 

When it comes to parenting confessions, people have opened up in all sorts of ways, whether that's taking part in a trending hashtag by sharing their funny parenting tweets, offering up their best pieces of parenting tips to give others some parenting guidance, showing off their parenting hacks, or even sharing their creative parenting techniques

But it's not only parents who shed light on all the ups and downs of family life. Sons and daughters have also shared the best pieces of parenting advice that's stuck with them, allowing for others to take that advice and use it in their own lives. 

To show just how valuable it is to share parenting stories — the good, the bad, and the ugly —we've rounded up seven that have stood out to us. 

1. This father who used humor to express what being a parent is like.

Cartoonist Brian Gordon, a father-of-two, highlights parenting struggles in his comic series, Fowl Language

"You don't know frustration until you've argued with a tiny version of yourself over the reasons they need to eat, drink or use the bathroom," Gordon told BuzzFeed. 

His comics highlight parenting expectations vs. realities, the woes of dinnertime, and even the struggles of picking out a Halloween costume.  

It seems a lot of people agree that it can be a good thing to sometimes turn a struggle into something lighthearted and cute, as over 300,000 people follow Gordon's account. 

2. These co-parents who showed there's no one right way to be a family.

Across America, there are diverse families, with LGBTQ parents, adoptive parents, single parents, and more. Recently, we've seen some co-parents open up about their family lives, inviting others to relate to their experience. 

For example, in a Facebook post, one co-parenting family shared a soccer photo of them at their daughter's game, all in support of her. In the photo, mom, dad, stepmom, and stepdad are all wearing jerseys with their daughter in uniform at the center. 

"Because of us, I will never believe co-parenting can't work! I know through experience it can work! Choose to do what's best for your child and everything will just fall into place," stepmom Emilee Player wrote on Facebook. That post has since been shared over 87 thousand times, with many commenting on their positive family dynamic and talking about their own co-parenting experiences. 

3. This mother who articulated sweet moments through illustrations.

Joy Hwang, aka Mom is Drawing, illustrates her parenting experiences  through a series of touching parenting drawings on Instagram.

"I started Mom Is Drawing to capture fleeting moments in my new role as a mom," Hwang wrote on her website. "Every time when my baby falls asleep for nap or bed time, I rewind my day with a pencil in my hand to recreate the emotion fresh and raw. I see my drawings as love letters to new parents everywhere, and I am happy to be here to share them with you." 

4. This mom who got real about the first 9 months of motherhood.

"In the last 9 months I have never slept so little in my life. In the last 9 months I have suffered my worst anxiety I have ever experienced," Mel Watts wrote on Facebook. "Having a new baby is exhausting and life just doesn't stop. The bills still need to be paid, groceries still need to be purchased and the pressure you put on yourself is overwhelming." 

In her post, Watts acknowledges all the things that make parenting hard. But more importantly, she offers her words to other those who may be struggling with the pressures of motherhood.

"We aren't invincible. We're humans and we're mothers. It's OK to have days that you don't feel good enough. It's OK to feel like you have no idea what day it is. You've got this. We've got this. Some women seem to have it all. Well, so we think. Some women don't. I don't," she adds. "Life challenges us daily. We are given new obstacles every single day. There's always tomorrow! So cheers to first 9 months of poop, spew and crappy sleep. We (I) survived and we smashed it."

5. This parent coach who offered her best parenting hack and tips.

People are always asking Laine Lipsky, a parenting coach, how to be more calm and patient with their children. 

How does she do it?

In a post on A Plus last year, Lipsky breaks down her favorite parenting hack into a simple breathing system: The 4/4/8 Breath

. Not only does her system calm you down, but it allows you to think mindfully about a difficult situation with your children.

"I really love this trick. It's simple, always available, and it's free! I hope you love it, too," she added. 

And when Ashton Kutcher shared his parenting struggle, managing one's work-life balance, Lipsky came to the rescue again, offering her tips for a good game plan and how to unpack your guilt and stick to your top five priorities. 

"Please note: while I don't believe in the binary of right/wrong parenting, I do believe there is a way that feels right to each of us; it's what I call our authentic parenting path. I hope these suggestions help you find and stay true to your path," Lipsky wrote.

6. Chrissy Teigen, who penned an essay about postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression, or PPD, affects an estimated 1 in 7 moms. But despite this, it isn't often talked about, just like many mental illnesses. But back in March, mom Chrissy Teigen opened up about her own struggles so that the world could start talking.

"I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy," Teigen wrote in Glamour magazine. "What basically everyone around me — but me — knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression. How can I feel this way when everything is so great? I've had a hard time coming to terms with that, and I hesitated to even talk about this, as everything becomes such a 'thing.' During pregnancy, what I thought were casual comments about IVF turned into headlines about me choosing the sex of my daughter. And I can already envision what will be said about me after this admission. But it's such a major part of my life and so, so many other women's lives."

Teigen goes on to talk about seeing a doctor and a therapist and why its so important for women — all women — to speak up about their PPD. She even adds that she's been made to feel "icky" or "selfish" for speaking out. Now, Teigan talks about her parenting struggles so that nobody else has to feel alone.

"I'm speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don't want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone. I also don't want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody. But one thing I do know is that — for me — just merely being open about it helps."

7. This mom who isn't here for your parenting style advice.

"Mom-shaming" is a thing — and people are over it, including mommy blogger Constance Hall. In a viral Facebook post, Hall explained why people need to stop judging other parents for their own parenting styles

"To the woman with piles of dishes and washing who walks straight out the door for a coffee at her friends, I salute you. Being a good mum or wife or human does NOT mean spending eternity cleaning your house. If you leave them for long enough your friends will start doing them. Trust me," she wrote, in part. 

Afterward, floods of people commented on Hall's post and some added their own messages to the women and mother's who are just trying to live their lives. 

"To the mum drinking a beer while her husband bathes the children. I salute you, it's OK to just chill!" one person wrote.

"To the mum who wrote this post and set free all the women who were being strangled by their guilt to all the above scenarios, I salute you!" another added.

We applaud all these parents for sharing their stories with the world, and hope other parents will find comfort reading them.

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