05/19/2015 10:05 am ET | Updated May 19, 2015

What It Really Means To Be A Stay-At-Home Parent, In 31 Candid Photos

According to 2014 reports from Pew Research Center, there have been recent increases in the number of moms and dads who identify as stay-at-home parents.

Though it comes with many rewards, being a stay-at-home parent is a challenge in its own right -- from the endless errands and messes to clean up to the total lack of alone time.

Here are 31 of their photos and musings about what being a stay-at-home parent means to them. (Click here for a look at what some working parents had to share about their experiences.)

  • 1
    Heather Polumbus Wennberg
    "It means your living room looking like this all the time when you have triplet babies, a 3-year-old, and a 5-year-old!"
  • 2
    Maggie Jones
    "It means never peeing alone again."
  • 3
    Kelli Marsden
    "Never going to the bathroom alone!"
  • 4
    Kayla Jankans
    "It means SO MUCH LAUNDRY! ... But having a helper who understands how you feel."
  • 5
    Stephanie Gendro
    "Being stuck on the couch for 3 hours because she only naps on you."
  • 6
    Angelic Orellana
    "Being a SAH mom means that I can spend all the time in the world with my babies."
  • 7
    Katherine Smith
    "This what being a SAHM is all about!"
  • 8
    Manuela Perez
    "Always being on the lookout for suspiciously quiet toddlers..."
  • 9
    Athina Marie Fascianella
    "Make a mess. Clean the mess. Repeat. Love my little guys."
  • 10
    Houakia Moua
    "Being the SAH parent means finding innovative ways to change diapers."
  • 11
    Lloyd Thomas
    "Being a SAHD means grocery shopping with these two as quick as I can."
  • 12
    Dara K Tilghman
    "Target runs."
  • 13
    Kimmy Green
    "That your once pristine home now looks like a massive playroom gone wrong, but when you can have precious moments all the time the mess is insignificant."
  • 14
    Amber Elalami
    "It means baby proofing... everything!"
  • 15
    Alexandria Kelly
    "Being a SAHM means being able to have the privilege to homeschool my daughter, and having the ability to be there for her when she needs me."
  • 16
    Ali O'Brien
    "Being a stay-at-home mom means I can always be there for my son, no matter the circumstances, and grow along with him. He nurtures and cares for me the same way I nurture and care for him."
  • 17
    Christine Elizabeth
    "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! #stopclimbingonthetable"
  • 18
    Amanda Hamilton
    "*Sigh* It means never, ever, ever being caught up..."
  • 19
    Jenn Lott
    "Surrendering to your toddler's destructive ways."
  • 20
    Alice Bronzo
    "Picnic lunches in the driveway."
  • 21
    Julianna Fischer
    "Being a SAHM not only means I'm there for every tantrum, but I'm also there to teach him how to enjoy simple things like planting flowers. Memories he'll take with him forever. Oh, and it also means hair roots lol."
  • 22
    Teresa Johnson
    "Target runs! Disclaimer: no child was harmed in the taking of the photo. Dirty yes, harmed no."
  • 23
    Molly Kikumi SleskimoSkeen
    "Having no privacy with your things."
  • 24
    Kelly Bialick
    "Having our 'morning coffee' together before we head out to the gym and activities and errands. Getting to spend quiet time just the two of us is wonderful."
  • 25
    Kristen Sievers Bracken
    "It means that a simple art project can quickly turn into a painted dog..."
  • 26
    Dara K. Tilghman
    "Play dates at indoor playgrounds."
  • 27
    Danielle Wiltz
    "Being able to homeschool my kids. Giving them exposure to culture."
  • 28
    Sarah Poyck Lesniara
    "It means arts & crafts gone bad while I'm cooking dinner."
  • 29
    Lindsay Atkinson
    "These awesome little moments. Play cars mom? Sit with me, mom?"
  • 30
    Kimberly Jepsen Howard
    "Grocery shopping trips with Mom!"


What It Looks Like To Be A Working Parent