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Honest Parenting: The Truth Behind the Styled Photos

17/01/2016 17:49 GMT | Updated 17/01/2017 10:12 GMT

If you've ever followed an dazzling 'Instamum' or come across a humble-bragging baby blog or Twitter feed, you've probably felt mum-guilt about why your house isn't a whiter shade of Persil advert, why your average day isn't a gentle gurgle of giggles followed by an open-mouthed babe patiently waiting for your lovingly-homemade puree to slide on down (stain-lessly) - before said babe begs for their cot - where their eyes instantly slip shut for a 12-hour sleep.

Because for most of us, this Photoshopped, Instagram-filtered life seems absurd. When you've got a baby, #shithappens. Usually when you've just popped him/her in the car seat and are already running 30 minutes late. Sick happens. Usually when you've just put your best silk top on for a keep-in-touch work day and wanted to prove you have Totally Got It Together. Embarrassment happens. Usually when your toddler announces the person in the (broken-down?) line next to you is really old and ugly.

Luckily some mums of Facebook are happy to confess the poonamis of parenting too. In a bid to help struggling parents realise they're not alone. To counter the perfection-parenting of social media. Or just to help us giggle through a particularly poopy day.

We all love our babies to infinity and beyond. But sometimes, when #shithappens all over your clothes, car, bag, and baby, it's nice to share... Here are parents' honest tales of baby days.

* "For a few weeks our son only pooed once a week (Friday morning, like clockwork). We were visiting my parents and my mother was holding him. She had put on his nappy just before but must not have closed it well enough - so when the poo happened, she was covered - with the most adorable, surprised expression on her face. A week's worth of poo is a significant amount.. Oh, and I might have to mention that my parents have a pristine white carpet..."

* "I had really bad piles following my first pregnancy, which of course nobody really talks about. My lovely brother decided to teach my two-year-old son to shout 'PILES' every time someone asked 'what's mummy got'. At the next family tea my brother decided to ask him really loudly what mummy's got and my son ran around the house shouting 'PILES PILES MUMMY'S GOT PILES'!! So embarrassing!

* "I just got in the car on way back from Kew Gardens, ready for the hour-long journey. I could see my baby in the back, getting really red-faced and clearly pooping. I immediately got out of the driving seat to change him because of the long journey back.. But by the time I reached his seat, it was clear I was too late. Poo everywhere. Including on my clothes as he flailed around as I tried to change him. Luckily I found some old shorts in the boot to change into, because my jeans got covered - and the only other option was sitting there in my knickers. Not ideal at all the traffic lights."

* "My son cried rape (instead of grape) right in the middle of the two-minute silence at his nursery school!!!!! That added to the shocked silence!!!!!! Wasn't quite the Remembrance Day they were planning."

* "I just found a poo under the sofa.."

* "On a packed tube at rush hour with my two-year-old, I was clearly standing to close to the emergency alarm as she managed to yank it and bring the train to a standstill! I wanted to die!"

* "The morning of the election results my son puked directly into my mouth. Formula tastes just how I knew it would ..."

* Waiting for our swimming lesson at the side of the pool today, I felt a warm trickle down my leg, my son was peeing what seemed like his body weight in fluid.. (Turns out I didn't place the bits correctly in the swim nappy and it managed to flow over and out). We both needed a shower and had to flag down the pool staff to clean up before we could start the lesson!"

* "Was running a one-off training day while on maternity leave. Put in a massive effort not to look like a bedraggled mum. Got to the venue and realised I had snot streaks across the shoulders of my black cardigan so had to be cold all day. Plus I spent every break in the toilets expressing milk into a polystyrene cup so that my boobs wouldn't explode!"

* "Don't play "upside-down, rightway-up baby" with a freshly-fed baby.. My partner did - he was swiftly covered all over in vomit, although our son was laughing beautifully (one of his first real laughs.)"

* "My partner has taught my one-year-old princess to waft her hand in front of her nose and say "pooey" when she farts! Such a cute, dainty child!"

* "I have been weed on many times but this time was more special! I was singing and cooing at my 10-week-old as he was lying down naked. I was really going for it, singing away, he was smiling and laughing and then of course he wee'd - right at the time my mouth was wide open..."