Parenting

23 Photos That Sum Up What It Means To Be A Working Parent

These pics are completely candid and totally real.

As any working parent knows, it can be extremely difficult to sum up the experience with words.

So we asked the HuffPost Parenting audience to give it a shot using their own pictures. Here are 23 photos (some of which, yes, use words) that show what being a working parent means to them.

"When my son was going through chemotherapy, he never wanted to be away from me. Many days he would come to the office with me and eat popcorn and play on my laptop while I would work. So glad those days are behind us now but it was a comfort for us to be together during that time." -- Jessica Hovland
"This was after my first day back at work from a four-month maternity leave. The baby had cried most of the day and my toddler was exhausted from having to hear it. I was emotionally and physically drained. These early weeks were so hard; we settled into a nice routine eventually but leaving my baby to cry for 90% of the time I was gone was so hard." -- Heather Sanchez
"My wonderful husband Brian Mawyer works a full time job and runs his own business after that. He’s always quoting jobs and is basically never off the clock, even when taking excellent care of our new baby." -- Gina Mawyer
"HuffPost Parents, that is my kiddo yesterday at the far end of the conference table waiving. She is 9 and I am a PhD candidate who works at a research hospital. I have the profound privilege to work at a place where I can bring my child with me if I do not have care. And childcare costs for the summer surpass my graduate researcher pay, and so she is with me often. This is only possible because the director doesn't mind. Most of us in my division have kids, and none of us are here trying to save humanity from disease for money. We have to make it work without sacrificing the relationships we have with our kids." -- Becky Richards-Steed
"I have been a full-time stay-at-home working mom. I work Monday through Friday 7am to 5pm in my home office recruiting truck drivers for a trucking company. I have been recruiting for eight years now and only been working from home for the past three years. My son was born July 23rd and he has been at home with me since. He is now 10 months old and has his own little play area now next to my office chair and desk. It's been soooo soooo hard and now that he is more vocal and mobile it's getting harder. My job requires interviewing drivers all day so having a screaming baby in the background doesn't help but thankfully its a great conversation starter and everyone loves babies right?" -- SarahWolf
"I am a birth doula and my daughter was invited to attend a birth with me last Boxing Day. She was amazed and I loved that her first experience of childbirth was a normal, beautiful one." -- Rasee Govindani
"Working mom with the added layer of being a military wife...the roles blur into a chaotic mess, but at the end of the day, it’s all for my family." -- Tiffany Johnson
"I'm fortunate enough to have an understanding boss who lets my girls come to work with me. My daughter got to set up her lemonade stand out front, and made a lot of money, while I got paid to work my job and help her as well. Missing work for illnesses, doctor's appointments, and school functions makes paying bills hard quite often, but I'm fortunate enough to have quality time with both of my daughters on the clock." -- Krystal Kilpatric
"When you're a college professor, your normal daycare is closed, and your back up daycare cancels last minute....your 3 year old comes to class with you!" -- Laci Fiala
"Eleanor and I at my work." -- Ashley Pehlke
"Keeping them occupied long enough to get something done and praying they don’t say anything crazy to your coworkers 😂" -- Amber Renae Holland
"Pumping in an airport Mamava pod, on a business trip during a layover, trying to catch up on email. My little guy was 6 months old at the time." -- Emily McClimon
"The early days of newborn stage when you just could not come to grips that your child may need to go to daycare, so your boss agrees that the baby can come along." -- Bridget Lauret Crump
"Happy to give up my anchor seat to my two munchkins. They surprised me at work after a newscast. Best work day ever!" -- Lauren Przybyl
"I had to pick up my son early from preschool and bring him to work. I teach high school math. I had to get another teacher to cover my class while I went to pick him up. Once he was in class, he was my helper while I taught. It wasn’t ideal, obviously, but my students enjoyed the change in teaching style! It just shows that even when you’re working, you’re always a parent first." -- Jenn Zoldan
"Nursing at my desk with my 16-month-old who got picked up from daycare before I finished my work day. I love working from home but this is what I run into every so often. To be a full time working mom and still be able to provide breastmilk at his age is such a blessing!" -- Elizabeth H. Johnson
"Hanging in my office when school is done for her but mama still has work! So lucky to work at her school a couple days a week but miss her when I’m working at the other campus!" -- Amanda Kirkland
"Being a teacher at my daughter’s school means I get to eat lunch with her once a week." -- Erin Maness
"It means snuggling your sick kid to sleep in your office just to get a little work done..." -- Zoe Lauckner
"I am a prenatal yoga teacher and birth doula. This is one of my daughters with me in my studio holding one of my yoga babies!" -- Heather Brown
"My little guy was sick and couldn't go to daycare. Normally, I would work from home if this happened but we were days away from an important board meeting so I had to be in my office to prepare. I dimmed the lights and played soft ocean sounds on my computer so he could take his nap on a little mat we brought from home. Thankfully, it gave me a few hours to get enough work done that we could leave shortly after he woke up." -- Nikki Crews-Castillo
"I’m a single mom who works and is in school full time! Here is a picture of my babe “doing work” while I finish a paper." -- Alyssa Derrick
Emily Graham-Quinones

Captions have been edited and condensed for clarity.