These 20 Photos Perfectly Depict What Parenting Really Looks Like

Parenting is an adventure you start with little knowledge of what to expect. You can watch other parents or read about childhood development, but you never know what your baby will be like or what kind of parent you will be, until you welcome that bundle of joy into your home.

1. Trying To Get Along After A Fight

Everybody knows at least one family that has brothers or sisters who never stop fighting. Even in families where the siblings get along with one another, there are always those moments when you need to step in and act. Look at these two! The little sister is in tears and her brother is unhappy, too. To force them to spend some quality time together their mom gets them to share a T-shirt. Gold star parenting!

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2. Quiet Isn't Always Good

Any "Quiet Time" when you've got kids usually means there is some serious mischief happening somewhere. A Colorado mom was feeding her little baby when she realized that she hadn't heard from her two-year-old daughter for a while. As it turned out the toddler had utterly covered herself, and lots of the house, with a bucket of white paint. "It was horrible! She got into the bucket and submerged herself!"

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3. Safety In Hair-Holder

Some parents are overprotective of their children whilst others simply tend to wing it and hope for the best. This enterprising dad seems to fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. To carry his toddler safely, he made an unconventional choice - he put the child in his long dreadlocks. It seems to be working for this father-daughter duo though, as she looks pretty content in her hair-holder.

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4. Not Just Desserts

Multitasking is just part of life for people with children. You change diapers while speaking on the phone. You cook dinner while soothing your crying baby in your arms. You have little time for yourself. Well, this dad is definitely the king of multitasking. While bonding with his baby, he is also treating himself to an after-dinner snack, using his infant as a flat table.

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5. Another King Of Multitasking

This muscle dad is indeed a king of multitasking, too. For most parents, raising a baby means fewer trips to the gym. This dad, however, decided not to sacrifice his body-building time for his infant. Instead, he makes this precious time productive for both of them. Not sure how safe this is, but it seems pretty effective!

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6. Swing Time

You are supposed to spend time with your kids after a long day at work, but what you really want to do is relax and enjoy a drink. What should you do? Well, this dad came up with an ingenious idea. He tied a long rope to his daughter's swing, so he could sit back and enjoy a nice cold brew, while gently swinging his daughter from a distance.

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7. An Early Introduction To The Animal Kingdom

A Kansas mom took her three children to the zoo. While she was caring for her two older kids, a stranger approached, giving the mom a piece of startling news - "Um, ma'am, there is a lemur on your baby." "I was shocked, but the zookeeper assured me she was safe, so my two older daughters and I got a few laughs and we snapped some pictures."

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8. Don't Be Afraid To Experiment With New Looks

Hey, it's never too early to learn which makeup works for your newborn baby. A parent did a little experiment using eyeliner on her daughter, and the result was hilarious. Look at the pictures. Instead of a sweet, toothless toddler, the baby girl looks more like a little demon.

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9. Gettin' By With A Little Help From My Kid

Parents can always use an extra set of hands. While most parents put their kids to "work" on little chores or household tasks like helping feed the fish, this dad has really put his daughter to good use. He has her carry the beer in her child-sized cart in the grocery store, and she looks pretty proud of her grown-up responsibility.

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10. Upside Down (But At Least Not Inside Out)

A dad was really impressed with his 10-month-old son's new outfit. "He said he thought Lenny's (onesie) was a great design as it had in his words 'added scratch mitts' along with 'easy access for nappy changing'!" It turned out that the new dad had just put the outfit on completely upside-down, with the foot coverings on the baby's hands.

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11. Whatever Is Convenient

Dads truly appear to take more risks with their kids than moms. Take this dad who is on a hike with his family. While most parents carry their child when he or she is too tired to walk, this guy just picks the toddler up by the back of his overalls.

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12. Don't Mess with Dad Tony Hawk

When parents get mad at their naughty children, they just want to tie them up and leave them to think about their behavior. Unlike most parents though, Dad Tony Hawk actually did it, saying: "This is what happened when my kids fight over videogames."

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13. A Parent's Clever Rules

Kids grow up with rules. But parents sometimes need to get innovative to convince their children to do certain things. Take these smart parents. They know exactly what drives their kids.

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14. Watch What You Say

Parents have to be careful about what they say around children because they can pick anything up. One man wrote on Reddit: "When I was 5 or 6, we were at my dad's company picnic. I was introduced to his boss and I told him, 'My daddy says you're a son of a (expletive).' My dad's coworkers fed me ice cream all afternoon."

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15. Mixed Signals

A parent's best intentions don't always have the intended effect. Take this mother for example. "To avoid perpetuating gender stereotypes, I gave my daughter a mix of dolls and toy cars to play with. This is what happened..."

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16. Directions Don't Always Apply To Kids

This lucky little boy got to visit Dolphin Bay in the Bahamas. The staff instructor told him to gently kiss the dolphin. However, as we see in this photo, the cute kid gave the dolphin an enthusiastic licking instead of a "gentle kiss."

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17. Hilarious Baby Names

Children are innocent and gullible and sometimes you can't help but mess with their heads. Take this Reddit user. "When my sister was pregnant with my nephew, my sister kept the baby's name a secret from my then-four-year-old niece. While babysitting my niece, I convinced her that her parents were planning to name the new baby Homeslice. She announced her new brother's name to everyone in her daycare, random strangers at the grocery store or anyone else who would listen. My sister still hasn't forgiven me for that one."

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18. If You Want To Act Like You Know Everything...

An Atlanta-based barber father came up with a hilarious way to discipline his child. He gives his son an old man haircut, similar to Mr. Burns or George Costanza. The embarrassing hairstyle sure caused teasing from his classmates, but it also pushed him to try harder in school and his grades have since gone up dramatically.

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19. She Turned Her Back For A Second

Life sometimes can be pretty tough for busy moms. They have to parent the kids, do their jobs, and keep on top of the housework. Take this mother. Already exhausted from a day of all her other duties, she still had to prepare dinner for the family. The children, however, were left to their own devices, causing a messy disaster.

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20. This Mom Knew Better

Trying to keep up with children when they're playing can sometimes be exhausting. Take this dad. He is stuck in a tricky situation where his two boys are both climbing over him. Mom who hilariously captured the moment said poignantly: "Your mistake, my love, was getting down on their level." Once you're down there, good luck getting back up!

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