Where Were The Parents!? They Ask

This happens every time a picture of these nature is shared on the internet.

Firstly, the picture goes viral because the vast majority of parents are sitting behind their computer screen going “Ahahaha, yeah, been there, done that” OR at the very least can go “Oh, I totally can see how that went down”

It’s funny to see that it happened to someone who wasn’t you; either to not feel alone in your own child-related-disaster, or to thank your lucky stars.


I’m more the latter. I’ve been lucky *TOUCH ALL THE WOOD* that my kids haven’t done anything nearly so dramatic. We’ve had the odd texta mark on the wall and a few minor glitter related catastrophes and had my living room toilet papered once or twice, but nothing that couldn’t be cleaned up in a few minutes. Nothing really viral on Facebook worthy.

But every time. EVERY TIME. Each. And. Every. Time. I see these pictures in my newsfeed someone ALWAYS has to ask “BUT WHERE WERE THE PARENTS?!?!” or suggest “This couldn’t possibly have happened in a couple of minutes – they child must have been unsupervised for hours!” and the sanctimonious “MY children have NEVER done anything like this because I supervise them 24/7!”

Given the number of these pictures involve children who were (believed to be) sleeping in cots, I hardly think that parents are literally watching their children all day, and night. Otherwise when do they sleep? Or do they sleep in shifts? Does one parent unblinkingly follows the children around from 7am to 7pm and then the other parent takes the 7pm to 7am shift?

Even then, when do these parents hang up washing? All well and good to take the one child out to the clothes line with you, but what about 2 or 3 or 6. Do you really wrestle all the kids outside and then somehow watch them and actually manage to peg up their clothes?

I imagine taking two or more children into the loo with you when you need to poop would get a little crowded (I don’t know about you, but if I can poop audience free I will) 

And what about tending to other siblings needs; like breastfeeding, or reading one child a story, or helping them with their homework, or breaking a squabble between child 1 and 2 while child 3 and 4 get up to mischief?

Even if you do somehow manage to supervise your child’s every moment – sleeping or awake – surely you can understand how it’s tempting when you can hear your child(ren) playing happily in another room to think; right I’ll just quickly get these dishes done while they’re occupied. Or drink a cup of coffee while it’s hot. Or make a phone call. Or whatever else, because you think you’ve got a minute…. and then realise that “playing nicely together” means that they were drawing all over each others faces.

I mean, even if that’s not what you’d do personally, at least it should be understandable.

And yeah, ideally the permanent markers, scissors and paint is kept well out of the kids reach (but small ones can be resourceful little mountain goats sometimes) and yeah, it would be great if you could teach your child that “walls are not for drawing on”, but they’re kids. Stuff happens.

Bottom line. Be kinder to each other. You never know when it’ll be you fishing out something your toddler threw in the toilet.


Images source 


Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.


  1. Makes me wonder… how do your children learn independence and confidence when you’re watching over them like a hawk every waking minute?

  2. Yeah. .. for me it wasn’t the texters… it was my 1 year old having a leaky poonami and eating the sultanas for the second time. .. and covering everything around him in poo… how can that happen you ask? Where was the parent? Well, the parent was less than 2m away. On the other side of a dividing wall, stacking the dishwasher. The parent was well aware the baby was doing a poo but thought that she’d just quickly finish the dishes while baby finishes the pooping (this baby could poop for a while).
    I’ll never forget that sight. ..

  3. I will still never forget the day James went off to the toilet the day before his 3rd birthday party where I was expecting 80 guests and he filled the toilet with ball pit balls and flushed before I made it to him took half a day to unclog because those suckers float in the u bend and each time I thought they were all gone I was mistaken as to how he got them all in there so quickly I have no idea he left the room to go to the toilet and I went to check on him 3mins later as I was doing the dishes.

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